Gabrielle Battiste

Gabrielle Battiste

Gabrielle Battiste

Board Chair (President)

1. What is acceptance for you?
Every individual has value and should be recognized for their unique perspectives that make the world a better place for those around them. We need to respect diverse talents and accept that diversity into our everyday lives. Every individual should have opportunities to have their voice heard, be empowered to succeed, be celebrated for their success and be loved for who they are. Being an inclusive society ensures positive growth and mutual respect. Innovation and creation happen through open, accessible dialogue and collaboration. Each of us has the power to change the world and the responsibility to make that change inclusive and respectful.

2. What’s your favourite holiday?
Hallowe’en!! When I was younger, I loved the houses that were super scary – that’s the whole point of Hallowe’en! I love trying to make our home the scariest in then neighbourhood – tons of animatronics and spooky effects 😉

3. Who’s in your village?
My village includes our home [son, puppy, cat and hubby (in that order ;-))]. I am very close with my parents, two brothers and sister, and their families (although they live in another Province, we talk almost every day). We have an active dog community and so are close with a number of our neighbours. I work with a number of local, provincial and national NFPs, including Autism Edmonton, and I include every one of the amazing individuals who also work with and for NFP agencies. The more I volunteer, and the larger I make my village, the more inclusive my perspective becomes. Listening to experiences of so many different people is powerful and unifying. We all have things in common and we all have differences to celebrate. The more I share of myself with others, the more others feel open to sharing with me. As my village grows, my heart and mind expand. In my village, I have a voice and I can empower others in my village to have their voices heard. Sometimes my village is a cacophony of noise with every voice clamouring to be heard at once – and sometimes we argue – and sometimes we lash out. And that’s ok. If everyone agrees all the time, nothing changes, nothing grows. I love my village and every person in it – because of our differences. Love is messy, but it’s worth it!

4. Why did you join Autism Edmonton?
My son was diagnosed with Asperger’s when he was in his early 20’s. Joining Autism Edmonton was a way for me to become involved in an organization that has a positive impact on the Autistic Community, to learn more about Autism in general and to donate my personal time where I can help support the amazing staff members and volunteers at Autism Edmonton continue to make such a positive difference in the lives of Autistic individuals and their families.

5. What is your favourite book, author or movie?
I am a fan of science fiction and fantasy. I have an active imagination and love storytelling. I used to have a collection of 1000 related books that I hauled around during every one of my dozens of moves. I started reading when I was young (Andre Norton and Roger Zelazny). It’s impossible to pick favourites in books as there are so many. I don’t read anymore. Now I love movies – action, adventure, fantasy, sci-fi, thriller. All time favourites would have to be: Terminator I, Empire Strikes Back, Blade Runner, Logan’s Run, Mad Max, Total Recall, etc.). TV in the same genre (Farscape, Babylon 5, Star Trek (original), Mandalorian, Serenity, Xena, Hercules, etc.)

How Can You Get Involved with Autism Edmonton?





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