"There is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things."

~ Niccolo Machiavelli, historian and writer

Thursday, May 4, 2017

My Favourite Time of the Year ... Election Time!

Long time, no speak. My apologies for that.

But look at what I found today ...
Shaping the future of NOVA SCOTIA’S DISABILITY SUPPORT PROGRAM Choice and Inclusion: Implementation Plan
Reading through it, it occurred to me that they design these things so that anyone outside the disability community who happens to stumble across it will flip through it and think, "Good job, guys. Look at us go".

Unfortunately, if you happen to be someone who has actually walked (or wheeled) their way through this world, you might want to take a Valium (or some other nervous system calming agent) before trying to read it.

If I may ... a few examples, perhaps?

Oh look, they are going to take a new approach in providing services. How special.
A New Approach
Nova Scotians with disabilities have the same rights as everyone. We all deserve to live our lives as independently as possible. Each of us has a right to be full participants in society.

That means full social and economic inclusion, and the opportunity to live with dignity and choice. A person-directed, accessible and flexible support system for persons with disabilities will focus on key areas of action: • Increasing community-based living with social and economic inclusion; • Modernizing services and programs based on choice, flexibility and person-directed planning; and, • Reducing reliance on long term larger facilities. 
Too bad that promise was first made four year ago, when this government came to power. You might remember that - it was when the Liberals first adopted the NDP plan in the middle of our last election campaign.

Update the legislation? You mean the Homes for Special Care Act, first passed in the 1970s? That would be awesome, wouldn't it?
Updated Legislation
New legislation to replace the Homes for Special Care Act will ensure a person-directed approach to service delivery and emphasize helping people live in their own homes and communities. The legislation will help establish a range of services, supports and funding, while protecting the rights of individuals with disabilities so they can access government services and programs. 
Too bad that promise was made four year ago, too. And still not a hint of the legislation, let alone the regulations that would have to follow (often where the "meat" of the law lives).*

Should I go on? Just a few more thoughts, I promise.

What exactly are we to "reimagine" these "facilities" as?
Reimagine Residential Facilities
Under a new delivery system, facilities will no longer be used as long term residences. Instead, they may be adapted and reinvented in keeping with the principles of the transformation. The province will no longer fund the expansion of the old model of support which includes Regional Rehabilitation Centres (RRC) and Adult Residential Centres (ARC). This will not happen overnight. As we move away from the old model, there will be a focus on community-based residential living options. 
And when, exactly, will referrals actually stop? Just how long can a "temporary" placement in one of these institutions last?

Sorry, I didn't quite catch that ... how many years was that?

All right, all right. I hear you.

I will leave it to you to peruse the rest at your leisure.

But before you go, anyone interested in a little history on the Roadmap?

  1. Choice, Equality and Good Lives in Inclusive Communities: A Roadmap for Transforming the Nova Scotia Services to Persons with Disabilities Program [June 2013]
  2. WAREHOUSED: NOVA SCOTIANS WITH INTELLECTUAL DISABILITIES FACE A HOUSING CRISIS [June 2013]
  3. EDITORIAL: A welcome revolution for people with disabilities [August 2013]
  4. Whazzup With That Roadmap, Anyhow? [April 2014]
  5. Locked up for no reasonHuman Rights complaint about institutionalization goes to Board of Inquiry [May 2015]
  6. Presentation** made by Deputy Minister Lynn Hartwell, DCS and Joe Rudderham, Executive Director of the Disability Supports Program at the Dept's Standing Committee [September, 2015].
  7. The DSP Connection: A way to connect on what’s happening on the Disability Support Program (DSP) Transformation [May 2016]

And on a side note, if'n you're interested... a very interesting session of the Public Accounts Committee in February 2011 where Lorna MacPherson was grilled on the Services for Persons with Disabilities program with respect to findings made in the Auditor General's Report.

* But never fear, we now have a "commitment" to new legislation in the Spring of 2018. 
   [p. 16 of link]

** Particularly interesting for a list of the significant modifications that the Liberal government saw fit to make to the original Roadmap document. [p. 16 of link]

** Unfortunately, I've recently (as in today) found it necessary to add a new label to the blawg ...  snark. I'm sad to say it, but sometimes a girl's just gotta do what a girl's got to do.

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