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.

For more information, please contact:
Sherry Caldwell, Co-Founder, Ontario Disability Coalition

Ipek Kabatas, Executive Member, Ontario Disability Coalition

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.



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-
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.

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:

A family feeling at peace

 instead of this

Photo credit Money fight-
Money Fight


#NoChildLeftBehind #onpoli #SpecialNeedsTragedy

Ontario Children Denied Medication

Health Canada has approved Spinraza for Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) patients so what is stopping the Ontario Government from allowing a Children’s Hospital to administer this to young patients. Especially when it has proven effective in the USA for patients with SMA 1, 2 & 3. Money should not prevent a child have a chance at a normal life.

Irreversible tissue damage will happen if 3.5 year old Sofia Gall does not get treated. Why do her parents need to raise money through donations to travel to a hospital in the States just so the Ontario Government can save a penny to waste on their follies?

Help Sofia and her mom Julia Antipa by making her plea go viral on Facebook.

Help the Ontario Disability Coalition make a change and sign our Petition.

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