MONTREAL, QUEBEC--(Marketwired - Dec. 2, 2016) - On the eve of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, the Comité régional des associations pour la déficience intellectuelle (CRADI) is imploring the Ministry of Health and Social Services to rectify the worrisome plight of individuals with an intellectual disability and an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) residing in residential services in Montreal.
Most of these individuals, who are under the direct responsibility of centres de réadaptation en déficience intellectuelle et en troubles envahissants du développement (CRDITED), establishments that have since been merged into CIUSSS, reside in private homes named «ressources intermédiaires» (RI).
Over the past few months, the CRADI, its partners and many professionals, including the Quebec Ombudsman, have denounced a long list of problems: the withdrawal of CIUSSS professionals who initially provided clinical support and supervision to individuals with disabilities and to their homes, endless waiting lists to obtain residential services, funding cuts to RI homes, the frequent relocation of individuals with disabilities due to poor planning and preparation of individuals moving into new homes resulting in elevated distress and behavioural regression, the laxness in decreasing quality control of standards of care in RI homes, and even the growing trend of reinstitutionalisation, etc.
As indicated by Electra Dalamagas from Autisme Montréal, "There is currently a double abandonment taking place by the Ministry of Health and Social Services: individuals with autism and with intellectual disabilities are being abandoned, but their RI homes are being abandoned by the government as well. In such a context, how can specialized clinical rehabilitation and quality of care for even basic services be provided throughout all of the homes?"
As a result of the current situation of these vulnerable individuals, parents are increasingly worried, staff working in these homes are experiencing exhaustion, and the ultimate goal of social integration of these individuals with disabilities is unattainable. An increase in funding to these RI homes is therefore primordial. As Marianne Dupéré from Sans oublier le sourire states "the government must evaluate the medium and long term needs of this population and consequently devise a plan to provide the required services. It is unacceptable that funding only appear as a result of pressure and outcry from families and community organizations".
Furthermore, it is essential to develop means by which the standards of care provided in these homes can be validated on a regular basis. This can even include an on-going certification process ensuring quality of care in the services provided. As Isabel Molliet from l'Association de parents pour la déficience intellectuelle et les troubles envahissants du développement states "intervention and support to individuals with severe behaviour problems or intellectual disabilities requires qualified staff with significant pre-existing experience. It therefore makes no sense that funding provided to these homes ensures for minimum wages only!"
For individuals with disabilities and their families, having access to health and social services is not an option, but rather a fundamental right which is imperative to enable for their complete social integration and quality of life!
The CRADI is formed by 31 different organisations of Montreal who advocate for and promote the rights and interests of individuals with intellectual disabilities and with an autism spectrum disorder, and those of their families as well.