We raised our concerns and the ministry responded, and so did our members.

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Ontario-Disability-Coalition-MPPpage21499 Sherry Caldwell page11499 Sherry Caldwellpage21499 Sherry Caldwellpage3

 

Today appeared to be letter writing day for the ministry as a number of members received the same response letter.  It did not take long for members to respond.
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Dear Mrs Jane Cleve,

Thank you for your response letter. Just to clarify my letter to Honorable Lisa MacLeod and Premier Doug Ford was specifically about the lack of therapy and funding for therapy for children with physical and developmental disabilities(zero). I am very much capable of navigating/looking for services/resources; the problem isn’t my inability to navigate the system but rather there isn’t anything available in terms of physical therapy, occupational therapy as well as speech/communication therapy for children like my son. The whole point was/is to ask for change to the current system which has been discriminating against children like my son. How is it that one disabled child (with autism) can get $80,000+ for various therapies including and not limited to physical therapy while at the same time another disabled child (physically and developmentally disabled) gets $0?

I am not satisfied with your letter/response as it doesn’t speak to my concerns and frustrations; the government of Ontario is discriminating against my child as it is not giving same support to him as it does for children with autism.

I hope to see prompt change to current system which lacks support for physically and developmentally disabled children. There are thousands of children like my son, waiting to see same treatment as children with autism spectrum disorder.

I hope to hear back from you; addressing the concerns that I have been tirelessly expressing along with thousands of other parents.

Sincerely,

Aida

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How to get involved: email your MPP

Email-Marketing

Many parents, caregivers and individuals with disabilities are asking how they can get involved.  Here is an easy way to participate and become politically active from your computer or smartphone even. 

Writing an email/letter to your MPP is an excellent way to help move this political cause forward.    If  you need some guidance we attached below a sample letter with some suggested wording, Please customize your letter to your needs, and keep it simple.  One page is best as they receive many emails daily and you want yours to be read. 

Below is a link to Queens Parks MPP directory.    After sending your email/letter we suggest you follow up with a phone call in 3 business days if they have not responded especially important if your looking for a meeting with your MPP. 

We truly believe every single email, phone call and meeting  makes a difference.  

MPP ODC template letter

MPP Contact list and Directory

Sample Letter

Date
NAME OF MPP/PARTY LEADER
Address of Office

Re: Meeting request from (your name)

Dear MPP (First Name Last Name),

As a constituent in your riding, I am writing today to express my concerns with the government’s recent announcement on April 2, 2019, that the needs of anywhere from 25,000 to 50,000 children, youth and adults with disabilities in Ontario will not be addresseduntil the government finalizes its Ontario Autism Program.

The stark reality is that all individuals with disabilities, irrespective of labels, require and are deserving of appropriate therapeutic interventions.   No individual should be forced to wait their turn for life-altering therapies while the government limits its focus to only one diagnosis.

The government needs to ensure that the

advantages being afforded to children with a diagnosis of autism through the OAP, such as access to Direct Funding Options for physiotherapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy, are equally available to children, youth and adults with any other disability in Ontario.

To do otherwise is systemic discrimination.

[INSERT YOUR PERSONAL STORY HERE]

The government’s policies and practices towards individuals with any disability other than autism are devastating and discriminatory. Children, youth and adults with any disability need access to the appropriate intervention at the right time and with the appropriate intensity.

I look forward to meeting with you to discuss these issues and ways in which we can work collaboratively to ensure that all individuals with disabilities receive the appropriate, customized, and intensive intervention and they require.

Sincerely,

Your Name
Your Address
Your Contact Number

 

Petition for an Inclusive Ontario Disability Program

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We put together this petition in response to the thousands of families whose children, youth and adults with ALL disabilities were told to wait your turn.   We are asking you to stand in solitary with us because disability does not discriminate and neither should our government.

CALL TO ACTION: 

Please download, print, sign and mail this petition to Queen’s Park.
Attention MPP Monique Taylor 111 Wellesley St, W. Toronto ON M7A 1A4  

We realize this is old school but Queens Park rules requires hard copy petitions. All ages can sign but you must live in Ontario.

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The Real Wait List: Minister Macleod tells over 50,000 children with disabilities in Ontario to “wait their turn”

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The Real Wait List: Minister Macleod tells over 50,000 children with disabilities in Ontario to “wait their turn”

TORONTO, ONTARIO – April 2, 2019– The Ontario Disability Coalition is dismayed at Minister Macleod and Minister Elliot’s announcement today that the needs of anywhere from 50,000  with disabilities in Ontario will not be addressed until the Government finalizes its Ontario Autism Program.

“The Government of Ontario’s continuing practice and policy of putting the needs of children with one type of disability, over the needs of every other child with a disability, is discrimination.  No child should be forced to wait their turn for life-altering therapies while the government continues to limit their focus to only one diagnosis”, says Sherry Caldwell, Co-Founder of the Ontario Disability Coalition.

The Ontario Disability Coalition will continue to advocate for the needs and rights of all individuals with disabilities in the Province of Ontario until the Government ends its policy of discrimination.

The time is now.

About the Ontario Disability Coalition

The Ontario Disability Coalition was founded to address and redress the ongoing and proactive discrimination of the Government of Ontario against persons with disabilities. It is a grassroots organization, comprised of thousands of concerned parents, caregivers, and persons living with disabilities in Ontario. We represent all disabilities, including Cerebral Palsy, Down Syndrome, FASD, Rett Syndrome, Muscular Dystrophy, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Visual Impairments, Hearing Impaired, Chromosomal Abnormalities, and many other rare and unique disabilities.

MEDIA CONTACT:

For more information, please contact:

Sherry Caldwell, Co-Founder
Ontario Disability Coalition
Tel: (416) 903-5067

Email: sherry_caldwell@icloud.com
@ODCoaltion

For Immediate Press Release:   Ontario Government Discriminating Against Thousands of Children, Youth and Adults with Disabilities 

TORONTO, ONTARIO – March 31, 2019 – The Ontario Disability Coalition is extremely disappointed with the Government of Ontario’s decision to continue ignoring the needs of tens of thousands of children, youth and adults with disabilities across the province.

On the eve of changes to the Ontario Autism Program, children and youth with any other disability continue to receive zero dollars in Direct Funding for the therapies they desperately need to thrive and survive.

“All children, youth and adults with disabilities, regardless of label, need direct access to funding to support the very costly therapies and essential health services that they require for their basic survival. How much longer will they be neglected by the Government of Ontario? The inequity needs to end”, said Sherry Caldwell, Co-Founder of the Ontario Disability Coalition.

The Ontario Disability Coalition will continue to advocate for the needs and rights of all children, youth and adults with disabilities in the Province of Ontario until the Government ends its policy of discrimination. No one left behind.

About the Ontario Disability Coalition:
The Ontario Disability Coalition was founded to address and redress the ongoing and proactive discrimination of the Government of Ontario against persons with disabilities. It is a grassroots organization, comprised of thousands of concerned parents, caregivers, and persons living with disabilities in Ontario.

We represent all disabilities, including Cerebral Palsy, Down Syndrome, Chromosomal Abnormalities, FASD, Rett Syndrome, Muscular Dystrophy, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Visual Impairments, Sensory Processing Disorders, Hearing Impaired, and many other rare and unique disabilities.

MEDIA CONTACT:
For more information, please contact:
Sherry Caldwell, Co-Founder, Ontario Disability Coalition
Email: sherry_caldwell@icloud.com

Ipek Kabatas, Executive Member, Ontario Disability Coalition
Email: Ipekwellington@gmail.com
http://odcoalition.com
@ODCoalition
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Ontario Government Neglecting Children

The Ontario Government Plan now called the ‘Special Needs Strategy’ will neglect our children and youth with Special Needs.  It is just a Special Needs Tragedy.  
Eighteen years of study after study and the Ontario Government still wishes to waste money again on the issue rather than take proper corrective action.
The Special Needs Tragedy is NOT the action parents and caregivers who live everyday with a child with additional needs have recommended over these past eighteen years.  This is just another Government excuse they use to say we are doing something.
  • Money is wasted on studies when recommendations are not implemented. research is good if followed by recommended actions;
  • Money is being wasted on implementing a strategy which will fail to meet the needs of our disabled children and youth.

Meanwhile our Disabled Children and Youth continue to be neglected.


 

Ontario’s Special Needs Tragedy!

Failing Grade to Ontario Special Needs Strategy:

Ontario’s current model of Local Health Integration Network “LHIN” in-school therapy is rated an “F” by parents.  The government’s boasts that this will improve with their ‘Special Needs Strategy’.  All they are doing is adding service navigators we feel this will fail as NO additional funding has been provided!  It is a disaster waiting to happen.

Ontario is NOT using our Scarce Tax Money Wisely:

Ontario should be investing in Physiotherapists, Occupational therapists, as well as Speech and Language therapists. They need to work hands on with children and youth with ALL disabilities.  Many Special Needs Children, Youth and Adults can have a useful life and given the chance will be contributing members of society.  Children with multiple disabilities deserve substantial better care.

Champlain LHIN CEO agrees that therapy is consultative!  Therapy provided is not meant to help a child!

Parents must fight for hands on therapy as many are forced into debt,  depleting family bank accounts and taking out a second or even third mortgage.  Families become drained both emotionally and financially. 

Thank you Filipa and Paula for sharing your concerns.

#SpecialNeedsTragedy

 

The Special Needs Tragedy

 

Special Needs Strategy work has been going on for far too long – 4 years to be exact – with zero solutions or improvements felt by families. Although we recognized it was started with good intentions by the Ministry of Children and Youth Services, over time it has sadly left families in crisis.

We feel the special needs strategy has been a waste of 10 million dollars, a waste of time, and a waste of public funding and resources.

Photo credit Money fight-  FritsAhlefeldt.com
Money Fight

In a number of areas across Ontario, the decision makers from the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care (CCAC/LHIN), lead agencies such as those who provide preschool speech and language services, the Ministry of Education (District School Boards) and the Ministry of Children and Youth (Children Treatment Centres) met each other endlessly in order to drive change and improvements and reach local consensus. However, they could not agree who would handle the funding. No party was willing to give up control of services, resources, jobs and, most importantly, funding in order to improve the fragmented and broken system for children and youth with special needs. The whole process was ruined by GREED.

Look to Windsor for an example of this. No agreement could be reached and the Ministry of Children and Youth had to send in a mediator.

Sadly there is still no resolution, leaving families in limbo. Some families are unaware of what services are available to them, while others sit on a waiting list. Years of chaos have continued for families and their children without complete coordinated services.

Parents should be capable of managing their children’s rehabilitation funding and may even be able to purchase more rehabilitation services privately. Parents could also choose to use their local Children Treatment Centre if they preferred direct service. They can’t right now, but they deserve this choice.

Ontario voters care about special needs children and youth, and all families expect fiscally responsible and equitable services and resources for children and youth with ALL disabilities. It is 2018 after all.

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Climbing a mountain

We, families with children and adults with disabilities, feel like we are climbing Mount Everest. We are just at different stages of the climb. When we bump into the right advocates, they help us move up to the next level and for a brief moment, we can admire the view, close our eyes and breathe. But all too soon, we have to resume the long, lonely ascent.

With the right supports, it could be more like this:

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A family feeling at peace

 instead of this

Photo credit Money fight-  FritsAhlefeldt.com
Money Fight

 

#NoChildLeftBehind #onpoli #SpecialNeedsTragedy

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