Lots of Rhetoric, But Little Action

By Larry Reaume, The Windsor Star

Re: Families struggle to care for disabled, by Sharon Hill, April 9.

Did you know that two-thirds of Canadian adults with disabilities lack one or more of the educational workplace aids, home modification or other supports
they need? Also, slightly more than half of Canadian children with disabilities do not have access to needed aids and devices.

My son was at Southwestern Regional Centre, which closed in March 2009, and Sandra Pupatello, then the Minister of Community and Social Services, said in an article dated Jan. 18, 2005, “Closing our remaining institutions is just one piece of a larger plan we are planning for the future of the next generation
of people with a developmental disability. A future that is inclusive and serves people with fairness and dignity.”

In the same article, she said, “In fact, we are going to be investing $110 million to strengthen the foundation of our community-based service system for
people with a developmental disability.”

Also, in a response to a question during the question period in the legislature, answer noted in The Ontario Hansard dated May 11, 2005, she said: “As a
jurisdiction, we literally have the best community supports in the nation and we are proud of that.”

Deja vu, we are in 2011 and we find the support for the mentally challenged and the disabled still lacking. The families are struggling and looking for
help. What happened to the $110 million that Minister Pupatello said was going “to strengthen the foundation of our community based services?”

Did you know that two-thirds of Canadian adults with disabilities lack one or more of the educational workplace aids, home modification or other supports
they need? Also, slightly more than half of Canadian children with disabilities do not have access to needed aids and devices.

That 56.5 per cent of persons with disabilities of working age are currently unemployed or out of the labour market. Pupatello also said, “This time we
are going to get it right.” Well, I don’t believe the government has got it right in the last six years or the last 25 years.

They provide much rhetoric but little action. How many studies or reviews are needed to realize there is a problem, that something must be done for the
thousands of families that are struggling to ensure that their loved ones are treated “with fairness and dignity?”

LARRY REAUME, Windsor

© Copyright (c) The Windsor Star   

Reproduced from http://www.windsorstar.com/health/Lots+rhetoric+little+action/4644754/story.html