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Press Release: «Disabled Person And Elder Advocacy Groups Join Forces To Send An Urgent Message To The Ontario Cabinet»


Blue background with Yellow Text reading Press Release. Beneath teal blue text reading “Disabled Person and Elder Advocacy Groups Join Forces to send an urgent message to the Ontario Government. Beneath this the image of a microphone and sound waves in yellow.

Ontario Advocacy Consortium

NEWS RELEASE


For Immediate Release

Thursday, 16 May 2024


DISABLED PERSON AND ELDER ADVOCACY GROUPS JOIN FORCES TO SEND AN URGENT MESSAGE TO THE ONTARIO CABINET


ONTARIO—”Seven provincial organizations representing the interests of disabled persons of all ages have, for the first time in four decades, jointly submitted a Brief to Cabinet calling for an end to the mass institutionalization of individuals—”young and old”—in Ontario’s long-term care institutions.  The organizations are demanding that the Government of Ontario take action to redirect funding into a range of non-profit community-based service and support options; end the exclusionary criteria in the Family Managed Home Care Direct Funding Program; Pay Family Caregivers to help loved ones remain at home; create service navigation and advocacy support through the creation of an Adult Community Service Worker program housed within Ontario’s community legal clinic system; and establish a full range of non-profit, fully staffed, residential options of individuals’ own choice as alternatives to big facilities. All of these options are detailed in the brief to Cabinet.


The goal is to promote the full inclusion in their communities of people with disabilities of all ages, and end their exclusion and segregation in an institutional system based on an 18th century Houses of Industry model.


"Too many persons with disabilities continue to be warehoused in nursing homes and other institutions, in large part due to a lack of community options. There are more than 2,900 Ontarians with developmental disabilities under the age of 65 living in long-term care. This is not only a waste of human potential, but it can lead to cruel and unusual punishment and dire consequences where there is no other choice." Mah-E-Leqa Jadgal, President, Citizens With Disabilities - Ontario (CWDO).


“Disabled people of all ages deserve to live good lives. Right now, the decision by the Conservatives to continue institutionalizing disabled people of all ages in large congregate settings not only tramples on their constitutional rights to freedom, but it will only lead to more deaths, more abuses, and more illness” said Megan Linton of the Disability Justice Network of Ontario.


“That Canada, and especially Ontario, have not joined other progressive OECD countries in funding a full range of options“ both in-home and residential, to keep elders and younger people with disabilities out of hospitals and institutions is a cause for real concern. A policy of mass institutionalization of people with disabilities of all ages violates their human rights” said Patricia Spindel, Chair of Seniors for Social Action Ontario. 


"I grew up in an Ontario institution for children with permanent physical disabilities. Upon turning 18, it was my fate to be sloughed off to a home for the aged since I needed help with all my physical needs. But I learned about 10 apartments having round-the-clock attendant services included and this was my ticket to freedom! Now that I am a retired senior, I live in dread that community-based services will not be there as I age further and my disabilities age with me. I believe that the government must expand and invest in successful community-based service models instead of expensive institutions, to deliver services that are personalized, effective, and much more humane”, said Tracy Odell, a long time disability rights advocate.


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