Jen Powley, author and disability rights advocate in Nova Scotia, dies at 45 – Halifax

Jen Powley, author and prominent disability rights advocate in Nova Scotia, has died at the age of 45.

Carrie Ernst, director of Independent Living Nova Scotia, confirmed today that Powley died in hospital Sunday evening due to complications from her advanced multiple sclerosis.

Powley collaborated with the nonprofit group on a pilot project, using her own apartment as a model to show how people with advanced physical disabilities could live at home – with a roommate – with 24-hour care. hours a day.

In her most recent book, “Making a Home,” Powley describes how she created the project because she wanted to show how people with severe disabilities did not need to be placed in nursing homes.

Ernst said in an interview that she worked with Powley to create a funding model for the province to set up the unit, and that helped prompt the province to move about 200 youth from retirement homes to more independent lives.

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Farzan Hedayat, who was Powley’s a*sistant, says he never saw her in a wheelchair, but rather as a “gazelle,” a word she had tattooed on her wrist.

He said in an interview that he would remember Powley as a woman who “always pushed beyond limits”, with a sharp mind and striking intelligence.

“The gazelle grew wings and flew to its eternal destination,” he said.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published September 18, 2023.

&copy 2023 The Canadian Press

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