GUELPH, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - April 26, 2013) - Despite repeated appeals by Guelph Wellington families of people with developmental disabilities and the direct care staff who support them, area MPP Liz Sandals has refused to back a call for improved provincial funding for developmental services.
On Tuesday, April 30, 2013 at 12:00 p.m. (noon) families and Community Living Guelph Wellington (CLGW) staff are bringing their request for action on developmental services funding direct to Sandals door when they hold a pre-provincial budget media conference at the MPP's constituency office, 173 Woolwich Street, Guelph.
To represent the 23,000 families across the province and the nearly 400 local families on waitlists for services, they will have with them life-size paper people cut outs. "Don't forget us", this budget will be their message to the Liberal government when they deliver hundreds of signed petitions supporting better funding for the sector to Sandals.
Between 2010 and 2013 provincial funding for developmental services (DS) has been flat-lined. When inflationary costs are included the DS sector has experienced a substantive cut in funding. Over 30% of community living agencies are in deficit. To deal with deficits, many agencies like CLGW are reducing support hours and day programs, cancelling community based activities, closing group homes and increasing user fees for families.
Recently CLGW cut 90 hours a week of support time at residential group homes. The cut in hours has further reduced staff's ability to take supported individuals shopping, for walks and to events in the community.
Guelph families and direct support staff are advocating for funding because they believe in community inclusion and quality of life for individuals.
"We don't want to see services reduced to a custodial care arrangement which is where we are headed if the provincial government doesn't start to acknowledge the unmet needs of developmentally disabled people and provide better funding for services.
"We believe our Liberal MPP agrees with us, vulnerable people with disabilities should be supported by her government with better funding for services. We are offering her the opportunity to say so publically on Tuesday," says Joanne Smithers, a residential counsellor with CLGW.