Arruda, 31, is just over three feet tall and has had a scooter his whole life, so he’s used to the slurs. He usually listens to music to tune them out.
Still, he says, “it gets unbearable at times.”
Arruda was inspired to share his daily experience on YouTube after the success of a recent viral “catcalling” video, which showed aspiring actress Shoshana Roberts walking around New York City. In the space of just 10 hours, Roberts experienced more than 100 instances of verbal harassment from strangers. The video started a national conversation in the U.S. about sexism on the streets.
Arruda says he’s long had a rapport with his female friends, because he was the rare man who could understand what it’s like to face frequent taunts from strangers.
He hopes the video draws more attention to the discrimination disabled people face.
It’s not just the slurs that bother him, but the lack of access he faces when trying to go about his day-to-day life. For example, it’s still common to find steps that wheelchairs can’t mount and bathrooms that he can’t open from the inside, he says.
“I’ve been stuck in a bathroom for an hour just trying to get people’s attention.”
When it comes to rude comments, he thinks more education is the only way to stop them.
Arruda has Morquio syndrome, a genetic disorder that left him with dwarfism and makes it difficult for him to walk. He says the disability has been a good source for his comedy.
“I’m a three-foot-something man,” he says, “in a world full of giants.”
A graduate of Humber College’s comedy program, Arruda has appeared in many productions, including The Jon Dore Television Show, Kenny vs. Spenny and Warehouse 13.
Arruda shared the video from his Twitter handle @Antigiant. It was filmed and uploaded by a comedian who goes by the name Kivork and released it on his YouTube channel, Key Fork.TV.
Push for kids to get 60 minutes of physical activity a day gets $1 million boost
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TANNIS TOOHEY / TORONTO STAR FILE PHOTO
Ontario elementary students are now supposed to get 20 minutes of phys-ed classes daily but “it varies," says the premier.
By:Rob FergusonQueen's Park Bureau,Published on Thu Nov 27 2014
The push for kids to get 60 minutes of physical activity a day to improve their health and study skills is getting a $1 million boost.
Premier Kathleen Wynne’s government has signed on to the “Active at School” coalition helped by a donation from Canadian Tire and will work with the Ontario Physical and Health Education Association to come up with voluntary programs at schools.
“This isn’t just about competitive athletics, this is about activity,” Wynne said at the former Maple Leaf Gardens after leading soccer drills with dozens of children.
Thanks to video games and hand-held electronics, “the lure of the couch has gotten greater over the years,” added Wynne, an avid runner, noting more must be done to combat rising childhood obesity and diabetes rates.
Under the program, already adopted by Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick, pilot programs will be established at 20 Ontario schools early next year with plans to increase that to 250 schools the following year.
The goal is to get all Ontario schools involved by 2018, said Canadian Tire president Michael Medline.
That 60 minutes can include walking or biking to and from school along with any extracurricular activities — not just organized sports or gym classes.
“It shouldn’t be all competitive, it should be fun,” Medline said.