A dream you dream alone is only a dream. A dream you dream together is reality.
~Yoko Ono

Tuesday, July 18, 2023

The Devil in the Details [NS Human Rights Decision]

In my last two posts, we discussed the huge changes that are in the works for Nova Scotia's Disability Support Program.

Photo by <a href="https://unsplash.com/@chela_bonky?utm_source=unsplash&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=creditCopyText">Chela B.</a> on <a href="https://unsplash.com/s/photos/human-rights?utm_source=unsplash&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=creditCopyText">Unsplash</a>
Let's see how quickly I can do a "quick" summary of the background. As if ...

Three individuals with intellectual disabilities were kept in a locked ward in the Nova Scotia Hospital
for literally decades long after they should have been discharged and placed in the community. Possibly the world's best human rights case ever (in my humble opinion, at the moment, but I admit that I might be a little biased) followed a lengthy and tortured legal process until it finally resulted in a settlement [approved by the NS Human Rights Commission, thus, giving it the force of law (which, trust me, is HUGE)] that will radically change how (and where) services are provided to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Nova Scotia.

I set out a broad overview of what the changes will look like in my last post, but noted that I hadn't yet  read the text of the HUMAN RIGHTS REVIEW AND REMEDYFOR THE FINDINGS OF SYSTEMIC DISCRIMINATION AGAINST NOVASCOTIANS WITH DISABILITIES (aka "the expert's report"), which, despite it's length (to call it lengthy would be a serious understatement), I do intend to get to. Hey, one DSP worker who actually read the report said it was "very long but very interesting". How could I not delve into that?

Alas, I digress, as usual - for now, I will share with you a more detailed explanation of the time line for these radical changes (courtesy of the Disability Rights Coalition)*.

Highlights of the Report and interim settlement include: 


 In year 1, the Province will institute a “no new admissions” policy to DSP funded institutions

 By year 3, 75% of those people currenting residing in ARCs, RRCs and RCFs will be living in community based settings.

 Within five years, or by March 31, 2028, the government will close all institutional settings for persons with disabilities.


Individualized Planning Supports and Funding 

 In year 2, the new individual planning and coordination and individualized funding system will be full operational which includes an accessible system designed with users in mind.

 In year 2, a province wide critical response team will be fully established to ensure people in crisis have immediate access to supports and services as well as multi-disciplinary teams to meet needs wherever people choose to live in Nova Scotia

Supporting People in Their Community of Choice

 In year 1, the Local Area Coordination model will begin with the creation of 25 new local area coordinators and local area coordination leads in all 4 regions and by year 3 there will be 80 local area coordinators throughout Nova Scotia. Putting an end to years-long delays in accessing social assistance

 In year 3, all persons currently on the DSP waitlist and receiving no access to social assistance will be provided with full access to the supports and services they require to live in community

 In year 5, the DSP waitlist will end, with new applicants being provided with immediate access to navigational supports and services and, where appropriate, emergency response.


Yeah, I too, am wondering how everything can occur on that exact schedule when the Province has openly admitted it needs to hire 100 more social workers, which they will do that at the rate of 25 per year.

Hmm, I know math has never been my strongest but ... How does that go again?

100/4 = 25. 

Nope, it must be that new math: 

100/4 + 30.5-75 x 10 + 12 = nothing to see here; move along now

Yeah, that's it. That's the ticket. 

* No, it wouldn't be too far beyond the realm of possibility for me to call the Disability Rights Coalition my heroes (and seriously, yours and yours and yours, too)

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