The petition for full and uninterrupted funding for individuals with developmental disabilities has been up for 6 days now and the response has been incredible. Signatures have poured in from across the province and we have cleared 1600 signatures and gaining strength.
Beyond the numbers, what has touched me the most is reading the comments that people are leaving when they sign the petition. Some are general, and some are very specific. Across the province there are people in similar, precarious situations. Please visit the petition and read some of these comments. If you haven’t yet, please sign it and share it with friends and family.
I went through some of the local (Waterloo Region) comments and pulled out some of the most personal, passionate, and touching comments. I will share these here, without names attached. Perhaps with each one that touches you, you can ask another friend to sign the petition.
- My 5 year old son has been accepted and waiting for two years for SSAH, and we have been told that he will be older than 7 before he will get funding . As his medical needs grow, we will need more and more support, but it just isn’t there. Now that he’s aged out of the early intervention system and into the school system, the gaps are widening.
- Our little (name removed) was born at a disadvantage with both Down Syndrome and Hirschsprung’s Disease. Without support from our government, he will have a harder time being a fully functioning member of our community. From a purely financial perspective, this lack of investment costs our society much more in the long run. And from a human decency perspective, it’s just plain wrong. Please help make this right.
- I’m a parent of a special needs child; we’ve been on a wait list for years. This is unacceptable, early intervention is the key to long term benefits. Knowing she will, someday, be without funding for support is frightening!
- It is important for me because I have a family member who has a developmental disability and it is painful to see loved ones and families suffer because of not getting the life changing services. The wait lists are having such a huge impact on us and I demand that government seriously needs to do something about it.
- I have a special needs child that would not qualify for employment supports and needs 100% supervision. I have no choice but to quit my job to stay home with her once she graduates from high school as the wait lists for programs appropriate to her needs are extensive.
- The government is expecting disabled adults to live with their parent indefinitely. In order to do this, they need financial support to have a meaningful life.
- I have two special needs children and do not have the ability to have them Retested…. we know that their diagnosis will not change so what is the point in having us do this… many of us have made the choice to be stay at home parents to support our kids, and if this happens we will not have to opportunity to continue this. How are we to be able to care for our kids, AND survive? Ask yourself what you would do if after years of working, your job is yanked out from under you, you have no training in the world, and so you have to sit and wait till you are told, yes after your 7 year wait period, we will agree nothing has changed…. DON’T DO THIS!!!!!!
- Our daughter is a disabled adult, who is barely able to cover the costs of living on ODSP. As you know, the waiting list for subsidized housing is years long, so she has no option but to pay full rent and expenses on this limited income. As well the waiting list for funded case workers is years long, and the Passports funding is the only way we can afford the support she needs to live and work part-time in the community. Please help us keep her a functioning and contributing part of society.
- Every person brings value to a community, and we hurt the community as a whole when a person’s basic needs go unmet. It seems to me that government funding is becoming more about structural and financial efficiency, and less about truly supporting the original needs that started the funding to begin with!
- Intellectual and physical disabilities are yet another vulnerable population who only want what everyone else wants, to belong and contribute to their community. Unlike many other people in this world, they have to depend on minimal social supports because of the lack of sense of belonging in the area of equitable jobs and equal pay. People with intellectual and physical disabilities are more than eager to foster a supportive community. In fact, they desire a supportive community more than those who can afford to live without funding. The decision in framing life according to the deserving and non-deserving poor law violates their Charter of Rights to life and freedom. It is not freedom when one has to take refuge on the heating grates of a city or find food from a dumpster; that is not the right to life to which the Charter was created. If you are not brought to compassion from mere humanity than by not fully supporting people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, you only further put Canada into financial despair. Research proves that it is more cost efficient to care for those in need than not.
- I have two children with developmental disabilities and I am incredibly fearful for their future and what life looks like for us when they turn 18. Their lives are important, they have much to contribute…but will they have the opportunity to do so?
- I have a daughter with special needs that received SSAH funding until she moved out into a group home. I was a primary care giver and needed those funds! It helped me integrate her into the community and gave me some much needed relief.
- It is shocking that a province as prosperous as Ontario would leave individuals with disabilities and their families waiting for crucial support. It is neglect, pure and simple, and contrary to the rights of these individuals to the supports they need to live freely and function as citizens in their communities.
- I am widowed person trying to support two adults with mental / physical disabilities on a very limited income.
- I have a son with autism, I need some one help me to take care of him, I can not go anywhere or take any time for myself because I can not find any one help me and I can not afford to pay for babysitter.
- As parent of an adult daughter with a severe developmental disability, I am keenly aware of how important it is for families to have uninterrupted funding in order to just keep our heads above water.
- The government seems to think us parents are going to live forever. What happens to our kids when we can’t take care of them anymore? Why do they keep cutting our funding which is so little to begin with? What the hell is wrong with these people? Do they really not care that much? It’s pathetic.
These are just some of the comments people left who live in Waterloo Region. There are hundreds of comments from people across the province in the same boat. Please do what you can to build awareness on this issue.