From time to time, the Waterloo Region Family Network (WRFN) is asked to distribute information on behalf of third parties. WRFN provides general information to self-advocates and families of children with special needs. The information provided on this website is not a recommendation, referral or endorsement of any resource, therapeutic method, or service provider. WRFN is not responsible for any information or services provided by third parties. You are urged to use independent judgment when considering any resource.
The Canadian Government recommends that essential support person(s) be included in 'essential visitor' policies. Ontario has not updated their recommendation around essential visitors since this updated guidance document was sent to all provinces and territories.
People and their families in Ontario still have to advocate at the local level on an individual basis to ensure that they have the supports necessary to access care. Granting this access to supports is at the discretion of the person in charge. It shouldn't have to be this way.
B.C. just updated their visitor policy to include essential support people. Ontario must do the same NOW!
Help get this policy changed in Ontario--it's easy just click the link below, read the open letter, sign on, then forward this email to all your family, friends, colleagues and networks.
ARCH Disability Law and its partners have drafted a response to Ontario’s Triage Protocol that will be sent to the Premier, Minister of Health and Minister of Seniors and Accessibility. Please share this widely, and ask organizations and individuals to endorse the letter before it is sent on April 7th, 5.00 pm.
Thank you for taking the time to review and hopefully endorsing this letter to protect the human rights of people with disabilities in this province who may fall ill due to COVID 19.
This pertains to measures which may occur in our province if a disabled person were to require medical intervention due to Covid-19, referred to as COVID Triage Protocol. They will not be triaged according to their medical needs, instead by their disability.
Ontario’s government is engaging in a month-long series of public consultations on how children and youth with autism, including those with complex needs, can be better supported.
You can participate in the consultations during the month of May by participating in an online survey and/or through participating in telephone town hall sessions.
Visit the website to learn more about these opportunities.
This website is a comprehensive, online hub where you’ll find up-to-date and accurate information on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder as well as access to valuable resources and services in your area and across the province. You will find:
Please see the message below from Pooran Law Professional Corporation regarding the Ontario budget, Protecting What Matters Most.
"On April 11, 2019, the government of Ontario presented its first budget, Protecting What Matters Most. In its plan, the government laid out its top four priorities for the province: balancing the budget, health care and education, affordability and convenience for Ontarians and lowering the costs of business. The budget includes aspects that are of particular interest to the disability community, namely changes to the social services sector, mental health programming, accessibility, housing programs, estate planning and education.
To learn more about the implications for people with disabilities and their families click here.
To learn more about the implications for not-for-profit employers and agencies supporting people with disabilities click here.
On March 19, 2019, Finance Minister Bill Morneau tabled his fourth federal budget (the “Budget”), ahead of the next election in October. The Budget, entitled Investing in the Middle Class, claims to provide over $2 billion in funding over six years to remove barriers experienced by people with disabilities and improve the lives of Canadians with chronic health issues. Of particular interest to the disability community include:
Changes to the Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP) and the Disability Tax Credit (DTC),
New and renewed support for inclusive employment opportunities for people with disabilities, ASD and visual impairments, and
Enhanced federal supports for students with disabilities.
The Down Syndrome Association of Simcoe County in partnership with Down Syndrome Association of Ontario have been building support for legislation to ensure that medical professionals are sharing non-biased information with expecting parents, in person and allowing them time to process the diagnosis.
You can participate in the letter-writing campaign to let MPPs know this is important to Ontario's Down syndrome community! All you need to do is enter your name, email address, and postal code, and the letter will be sent to your MPP and to the Minister of Health, Christine Elliott. If you want, you can also edit the letter to add your own story. Click here to participate in the letter wriing campaign.
"We would like to advise you of an urgent matter concerning future funding for the infrastructure for independent facilitation by the Ministry of Children's and Community Social Services (MCCSS).
As you may or may not be aware, Bridges to Belonging along with 6 other Independent Facilitation Organizations were funded to provide independent facilitation across Ontario through the Ministry of Children's and Community Social Services (MCCSS) since April 1, 2015. This funding arrangement expires on March 31, 2019.
To date, the Ministry has not provided any indication that the current funding arrangement will continue. Based on the current Provincial government's budgeting reviews and timelines, it appears highly unlikely that future funding will be extended beyond March 31, 2019.
The Ontario Independent Facilitation Network (OIFN) has held a number of constructive discussions with both elected and public service officials in the Government of Ontario to describe the value, benefits and positive impact that independent facilitation has provided in the lives of people with disabilities.
Over the next few days and weeks there are a number of things that you can do to be advocate for the continuation of funding for independent facilitation in Ontario.
Attend the Family Information Session:Thursday, January 17th, 2019 from 6-9pm in Room 2015, at the Family Centre 65, Hanson Ave. Kitchener
Post a testimonial statement and/or upload a 1-2 minute video clip about why independent facilitation matters to you. (How to instructions are provided on the site)
A helpful app that you may wish to use can be found at wetransfer.com. You may wish to contact your local MPP either by phone call and/or email your 2 minute video (using wetransfer) about why Independent Facilitation is important
Please find the following message from the Independent Facilitation Matters Coalition:
Dear Friends, Partners and Allies,
The Independent Facilitation Matters Coalition is made up of people with developmental disabilities, their family members and loved ones, and other allies who believe that Independent Facilitation makes a difference in the lives of people and families and should continue to be available and funded in Ontario.
Please share this information with your networks, so that as many people, loved ones, and allies who are interested in Independent Facilitation can join in and support the Coalition. We want the Ministry to see strong, large numbers of people who care about this!
PooranLaw has shared the following legal update on labour and employment reforms:
On October 23, 2018, the PC government introduced Bill 47, the Making Ontario Open for Business Act (“Bill 47”). If passed, Bill 47 will repeal a number of changes made by the Liberal government’s Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act (“Bill 148”). While Bill 148 provided some much-needed protection for Ontario’s most vulnerable workers, many aspects of Bill 148 posed significant challenges for charities, not-for-profit government funded agencies and people with disabilities receiving individualized/direct supports and their families. For the most part, Bill 47 addresses those challenges by simply reverting back to the legislation that existed before Bill 148 was passed.
The important changes are outlined in the full document. The implications of these changes will be discussed further in a webinar on Octoer 30, 2018.