In 1987, Barry Munro was paralyzed after sustaining a spinal cord injury in a diving accident. At that time he realized how important it was for he and his family to have a proper support structure in place and the team at Sunnybrook Hospital was always there.
Munro says, “The single most significant thing I learned after my accident was the importance of self-advocacy. Self-advocacy means deciding what is best for you and taking charge of your rights.”
By becoming a self-advocate, Munro was able to pursue a career in law where he now helps those who need it. “Being a good self-advocate is important for anyone but it is absolutely crucial for a person with a disability,” says Munro. “It helps people with disabilities develop their skills, knowledge, and self-confidence. Self-advocacy does not have to be difficult or stressful. It can be a positive experience which gives you a sense of control and self-confidence. For example, self-advocacy means asking your lawyer more questions to better understand your legal rights.”
Barry Munro encourages you to empower yourself through informed advocacy. He says “Taking the time to inform yourself will help ensure that your needs are understood and taken into account.”
If you, or someone you love, have sustained a spinal cord injury, watch this informative and inspiring video: After and Beyond Spinal Trauma. While Barry’s story begins 22:42 minutes into the video, watching the entire video will help you to better understand what is happening during this difficult time and help you to voice your needs and concerns.
The video was created by the Canadian Spinal Research Organization (CSRO.) CSRO is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the improvement of the physical quality of life for persons with a spinal cord injury and those with related neurological deficits, through targeted medical and scientific research. The CSRO is also committed to the reduction of spinal cord injuries through awareness programs for the general public and prevention programs for targeted groups.
It’s important to Barry Munro, Chairman of CSRO and Partner at Falconeri Munro Tucci LLP, for you to realize you are not alone. He says, “You’re going through the biggest journey of your life with family, friends, and the community by your side. You are not alone.”