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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.

 


 

Family Alliance Ontario-Experience with ODSP survey

FAO has been hearing about the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) from our members and from our affiliate family networks. Thus we have decided to find out what other families and people across Ontario experience when they interact with their local ODSP office. Please assist us in our advocacy efforts by completing this very short survey.

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People for Personalized Funding (PFPF) have created an advocacy kit for increasing Special Services at Home

URGENT ACTION IS NEEDED!

 

The Ontario government is keeping thousands of children with disabilities waiting for help on a lengthy Special Services at Home (SSAH) waitlist.

 

This pandemic has only highlighted how important adequate and timely support is needed so that children, youth and their families can thrive. It appears that 11,000 children may currently be on the waitlist and we expect that number to increase by thousands next year. Further analysis can be found at on our website.

 

If you are a family member, child or youth, or ally, contact your MPP and let them know

Ontario’s 2021-22 Budget must enhance SSAH funding so that the waiting list is eliminated and all children and youth are supported as soon as they become eligible.

 

HOW TO TAKE ACTION:

  • Find out who your MPP. Click on this link to find your MPP’s contact information https://www.ola.org/en/members
  • Send a message to your MPP and encourage others in your network as well. You can cut and paste the sample message below and send by email or use as a script for a phone call.

 

SAMPLE MESSAGE

 

Dear  [MPP’S NAME],

 

I am writing as to express my concern that thousand of children and youth are languishing on long waiting lists for Special Services at Home (SSAH) – some waiting for years.

 

 SSAH is an extremely important and cost-effective way to improve the lives of Ontario children and youth with disabilities. Families receive funding for workers or other supports so that young people can participate in and contribute to their communities. 

 

We urge the government to ensure that children, youth and their families who live with disability receive immediate support. Ontario’s 2021-22 Budget must enhance SSAH funding so that the waiting list is eliminated and all children and youth are supported as soon as they become eligible.

 

[ADD YOUR OWN PERSONALIZED MESSAGE IF YOU WISH]

Sincerely, 

[YOUR NAME]

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IMPORTANT REMINDER to Submit Temporary Wage Increase Claim for Direct Support Workers by March 22, 2021

People and families who employ or purchase services from eligible direct support workers with funding from the Passport program are eligible for this temporary support.
 
Claims for this temporary support can be for expenses dating from October 1, 2020 to March 31, 2021
 
For details and guidelines, please click here. 

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Ontario Considers Expanding Definition of “Child” in Children’s Law Reform Act to Include Adult “Children” with Disabilities

To read more, click here.

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Populations Eligible for Phase Two COVID-19 Vaccination

To read the latest news release from the Ontario government about the next phase of Covid vaccines, click here.

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Important Information from Family Alliance Ontario

For Vaccine and Covid resources, click here.

To read a letter to the Ontario government re: Medical Triage protocols, click here. 

To read a news release from Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Alliance, click here.

To read a news release from Family Alliance Ontario and the Ontario Disability Coalition re: protecting people with disabilities from discrimination in all Covid-19 policies and directives, click here.

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Help get our Budget message the Federal Government

Participate in the On-line Budget Consultation process and support us by asking the federal government to fund research into the creation of a medicare-type disability insurance plan for Canada.
 
Here's how:
Step 1: Go to the Let’s Talk Budget website: https://letstalkbudget2021.ca/pre_budget_consultations
Step 2: Go to questionnaire Button or link – a very short scroll down
Step 3:  Click on the Next Button “Take Questions”
Step 4:  There are 7 questions on this page and each one might be addressed as follows:

Question 1  - Click “Other”
Question 2 – this is a comment section, the comment might be (Copy and paste)

The creation of a national disability insurance plan would create thousands of jobs, particularly in rural and remote communities prospects while improving the employment for persons with disabilities and their families by supporting care needs. But first, we need the research.

Question 3 -  Again, go to and check ‘Other’
Question 4 – In the comment box a suggestion would be  (Copy and paste)

The economy will show real signs of improvement when persons with disabilities are employed at the same rate as other Canadians.  But for this to happen they must have the essential supports they need to be guaranteed by a Medicare type disability insurance plan.  It begins with research and public discussion.

Question 5 – Again choose ‘Other’ – NOTE: If you choose this, it will only let you make 2 selections, not 3.

A second choice here that is compatible with our message is either ‘Invest in Training’ or “Improve access to and affordability of High-Speed Internet”

Question 6:  Choose ‘Other’ - NOTE: Here too it will only let you make 2 selections, not 3.

A second choice compatible with our message might be “Provide accessible and affordable early learning and child care for all families” or “Continue to invest in affordable housing” or “Improve income support programs…”

Question 7 – Again “Other” NOTE: Here too it will only let you make 2 selections, not 3.

A second choice compatible with our message might be “Affordable Housing”

Question 8 – A possible answer might be “Research into the design and implementation issues of creating a National Disability Insurance (Medicare type) Plan”.

Question 9 – A possible answer might be “Engage persons with disabilities and their families in a discussion about what they would want a national disability insurance program to do for them by way of meaningful services and supports”.
It will then move to the next page.

Question 10 – Again “Other”
Question 11 – (only comes up after you answer ‘Other’)  The answer might be “Lack of disability supports (for family members that need it)”. This could be specified. “I need ________”

Question 12, 13, 14,  15, 16, 17 - These can be answered on its own

SUBMIT

The closing date for the survey is Feb. 19.
 

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New Core Services for Children in the OAP (Ontario Autism Program)

Starting in March, Ontario will begin offering core clinical services for children in the Ontario Autism Program. These services include applied behaviour analysis, speech language pathology, occupational therapy and mental health supports based on the child's individual needs.

 

Learn more about these new core services by clicking here.

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Have a Heart Campaign

The First Nations, Inuit, and Métis services team at Family & Children's Services of the Waterloo Region is proud to actively support the Have a Heart Day Campaign. 

The idea is simple. People from this part of Turtle Island (Canada) are encouraged to send Valentine's Day cards to the Prime Minister. The message is simple, too: it urges the Prime Minister to “have a heart” and provide equitable funding to Indigenous children and youth so that they have the same chance of achieving their dreams as non-Indigenous children.

For more information and to access the PDF of the card, click here.

Or, if you’d prefer, we have already-printed postcards in our main reception that you can pick up to sign and send off yourself. *To pick up a postcard, please go out main reception at 200 Ardelt Ave in Kitchener.* 

There is no postage stamp needed to send mail to the Prime Minister's Office.

 

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Housing for All Strategy

A Human Rights Based Strategy to Address Homelessness and Housing

Responding to public concern over homelessness and housing affordability expressed by the public in the Strategic Plan Environics Survey Council directed an Affordable Housing Strategy be completed by 2020 in collaboration with the Region of Waterloo community groups and development industry. Housing For All is the City of Kitchener's comprehensive strategy to realize the right to housing and help make housing affordable using the tools and resources available to a local municipality.

Click here to read the Housing For All Strategy report.

 

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