"So many dreams at first seem impossible. And then they seem improbable. And then when we summon the will, they soon become inevitable."
~ Christopher Reeve

Monday, October 15, 2007

Independent Living Support ... Part of the Services for Persons with Disabilities Program

The Independent Living Support (ILS) Program is another new program that is partof the Province's Services for Persons with Disabilities program.

The ILS Program provides "up to twenty one (21) hours a week of supports and services**to eligible individuals who are semi-independent and require minimum support in their own apartment or home". As with the Direct Family Support for Adults program, individuals in the ILS Program might also be eligible to receive funding for items that, in the past, were more generally considered "social assistance" items, such as shelter costs, food, clothing, household items, prescriptions, transportation and a comforts (personal use) allowance.

Although this program sounds like like former "supervised apartment" program (more on that below) what makes this one so unique is that funding and services can now be accessed within the individual's "own apartment or home". This was not possible under the supervised apartment program.

Also unique about this program is that individuals may choose to share their accommodations with another person in the program. Although expenses associated with accommodations will be shared in such a situation, each individual will still have their own Individual Support Plan and hours of support. However, support hours may also be shared when it is considered "appropriate".

To be eligible for the ILS Program the individual must meet the following criteria:

  • require no more than 21 hours of support a week;
  • under the age of 65;
  • able to access crisis support independently and are able to use an emergency response system;
  • able to manage medication with minimal support and guidance;
  • able to participate in decisions about their activities and needs and are able to communicate these needs/preferences to others; and
  • willing to participate in the Individual Support Planning process.
Some of the more-likely-to-be-contentious circumstances in which an individual will be ineligible for the ILS Program include where:
  • the individual has safety and risk issues which cannot be accommodated and supported within the ILS Program;
  • there are medication management issuesthat present concerns for the applicant’s health and well-being that cannot be reliably and safely supported;
  • appropriate professional and outreach supports identified as being required cannot be provided due to logistics, cost or availability;
  • the applicant requires long-term or ongoing overnight support; and
  • the applicant is unable to access crisis support independently or is unable to use an emergency response system.
Contentious, of course, because the issue will be who is deciding whether an individual falls within one or more of those exclusions.


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3 comments:

Dorothy Kitchen said...

Unfortunately our government "just doesn't get it"
When are they going to get out of the dark ages and think out of the box. Probably when someone decides to sue them for abuse suffered at these instituions...the same way the former Aboriginal students who were taken away from their communities and who were placed in residential schools have done.

MMC said...

Dorothy
I think you right. At least to a point.
I know its an awful lot of work and effort in to get out some small movement, but I think we have to look at that movement, no matter how small, as a success. Acknowledge the baby steps forward and then keep pushing just as hard for more.

MMC said...

I should have added to my last comment, on the subject of possible law suits, there actually have been (and are) one or two going forward, not for "abuse", per se, but for how the Department chooses who they will let into these various programs.

But its been my [limited]experience that it often takes both political and legal action at the same time to move such issues forward.