Updated: Jan 5
Krystian with one of his newsletters (Photo: Krystian Shaw)
January 3rd, 2022
Krystian Shaw is BC's newsletter king. Although based out of Kamloops, his newsletter, the Kamloops Self Advocate, has reached readers around the world and covers issues in BC and beyond.
We talked with Krystian about why he started the newsletter, his most memorable interviews, and the message he aims to send.
Where did the idea for the newsletter come from?
Krystian: I wanted to do something good for the community and give back to the community since I got lots of support in my life from different service providers during my growing up years, which continued into my adult years as well.
I wanted to support people with diverse abilities for as long as I can remember. I was Santa Claus for them at Christmas Parties.
Then, as my interests grew, I took online courses about internet safety for those most vulnerable with the goal of teaching what I learned to all those with diverse abilities. This got my foot in the door to start working in the disability field, which was my real passion.
Since I couldn't go to university to be a professional in the field supporting them, I decided to start my own business with advertisers to support the newsletter.
The newsletter is free for everyone to help educate those in society on what we, regardless of challenges we may face, can do, not what we can't do. My goal is to reduce stigma and discrimination.
The newsletter's to help educate those in society on what we...can do, not what we can't do
How did you go about turning the idea into reality?
Krystian: I teamed up with a very nice person named Justine from the community companion program who took my newsletter on and helped me ever since.
She taught me how to get the newsletter to print. I am a fluent reader, writer, and speller but I need help with grammar and that’s where Justine comes in now. She continues to edit my newsletter for free outside of her regular work.
The community companion program is for those with developmental disabilities, and you need to be referred by Community Living BC to go to her program.
They do activities in her program such as Meditation, eating at restaurants after every pay day, arts and crafts which she continues to do even during Covid. She does the activities on Zoom with us.