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DUNDAS, ON, June 5, 2014--(CNW)--

Provincial candidates: Adults with developmental disabilities fear being shipped from home, demand individualized funding for crisis

Canada NewsWire

DUNDAS, ON, June 5, 2014 /CNW/ - As provincial candidates rally support sparring about jobs, budgets and scandals, more than 12,000 adults with developmental disabilities await funding and many fear being ripped from their communities due to a broken system. The Dundas Living Centre (DLC), an advocacy group pushing for the rights of these individuals to choose where and with whom they live, is calling on all parties to end this crisis and provide individualized funding for Ontarians living with developmental disabilities.

The advocacy group, through their #Unshippable Campaign, argues the current crisis-driven system is not fiscally effective and leaves the parents of adults with developmental disabilities in fear for their children's futures.

"It's horrendous for a parent to fear dying before their child—but this is the reality for many Ontario families. This is a social justice issue and must be rectified by whoever takes power on June 12," says Martha Fox, DLC board member and mother to 33-year-old Matthew. "To add insult to injury, the current ministry overseeing this funding admits the system isn't working, but remains dismissive of innovative solutions. Choice must be central to the system—this can only be achieved with individualized funding."

"Ontario is blatantly ignoring Canada's commitment as signatories to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities which says individuals must have the chance to choose where and with whom they live and not have these decisions made for them," says Fox. "The way they're being treated in Ontario makes it clear the system doesn't see them as contributing and valued members of communities."

"This election is a chance for candidates to step up and deliver on the needs of thousands of adults with developmental disabilities—many of whom have been forced onto waiting lists and risk being shipped away from their home communities, friends, families and jobs to live with strangers hundreds of miles away," says Anne Pearson, DLC board member and stepmother to 42-year-old Cheryl. "How we treat the most vulnerable reflects who we are as a society. It's time Queen's Park cleans up the mess of the current system and provides choice and individualized funding for services, supports and residential planning before crises hits."

Quick facts:

  • More than 12,000 individuals with developmental disabilities await residential supports as part of the $810 million the Liberals propose to spend over the next three years—some of them have been waiting for more than 20 years.
  • When individuals with developmental disabilities lose their parents or caregivers to illness or death, they're put on a 'crisis list' and risk being shipped from their home communities with no choice, voice or regard for the lives they leave behind.
  • More than 1,450 Ontario parents over the age of 70 still provide primary care to their adult children with developmental disabilities.

SOURCE Dundas Living Centre

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