Category Archives: ECC Coalition

Disability Plan would help families

LETTER TO THE EDITOR
Saturday, June 6, 2015 | The Peterborough Examiner

This past Tuesday, I attended an information session for people with disabilities held at the library hosted by the Every Canadian Counts (ECC) coalition.  I would like to share this information.

The goal of this group is to implement a national program for people with disabilities, including those with mental illness, similar to the one that Australia is now in the process of implementing.

To put it in a nutshell, with this national program a family with a person with a disability could move anywhere else in Canada and not have to start all over again. No more paperwork. No more waiting.  Also the federal government would not distribute funds for social services throughout Canada unless they all meet a set standard of specific requirements.

For example, housing and personal care. So a person with a disability could move out of the province to a new province and, for example, receive a specific assistance they had already been receiving.

I invite people to go to ECC’s website www.everycanadiancounts.com.  If people would like to see this national program come about, there is a petition for them to sign. Also, ECC is looking for life stories so as to pass on to the government. That website is www.realpeoplecampaign.com. – Submitted by Tamara Mann

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Information Session Tuesday

INFORMATION SESSION TUESDAY
Tuesday, June 2, 2015 | The Peterborough Examiner

The Peterborough Council of Person with Disabilities invites residents to attend an information session Tuesday on the Every Canadian Counts Coalition.

The coalition brings together people from across the disability spectrum, including mental illness, to design and advocate for a national program that will ensure access to day-to-day supports for Canadians living with long-term disabilities.

The meeting takes place at the Peterborough Public Library on Aylmer St. from 6 to 7:30 p.m.

To register for the event, go to www.eccptbo.eventbrite.com or call 705-874-6960. For more information about the coalition, visit www.everycanadiancounts.com.

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14,000 person waiting list, too few housing solutions for Ontarians with developmental disabilities

May 21, 2015 | Canadian NewsWire

“You’re being shipped” are words thousands of Ontario families do not want their adult children with developmental disabilities to hear, ever, when it comes to where they will live. It’s the focus of Unshippable Week, May 25 – 30 as families and supporters raise awareness of the need for choice, including individual funding for housing supports.

“We have spoken to people, organizations and networks representing thousands of Ontarians,” says John Preston ofDundas, Ontario, parent of 27-year-old Jenni. “We need to increase the profile of this looming issue.”

“We represent the first generation of parents to raise children with developmental disabilities in our family homes. They were integrated into schools and now are adults with rich active lives, rooted in their local community.  As parents age and are no longer able to provide care, we need support for a dignified, planned transition to new homes that maintain those community linkages. Currently we have a regional system based on crisis management,” says Preston, Chair of the Dundas Living Centre the organization launching the Unshippable campaign.

Ontarians with developmental disabilities and their families deserve to make the decision on where and with whom they live, when they can no longer live in the family home. The needs of 14,000 adults waiting for residential services and funding are being ignored or overlooked in favour of existing programs that are not keeping up with demand, are restrictive and exclude new, viable options.

To bring this issue home, every Ontario MPP will receive a tongue-in-cheek “Shipping Notice” with just that message. Why? So they have a sense of the stark news many with developmental disabilities are at risk of receiving.

When it comes to the current and future prospects for housing, the picture is alarming. Across Ontario adults are regularly being shipped dozens and sometime hundreds of kilometres away from the community in which they grew up. They are placed in group homes and other care settings simply because that’s where space is available. They don’t know anyone and have been disconnected with familiar programs, community groups, jobs, volunteer and social activities.

“The very real possibility that our children will be shipped away from everything and everyone they know is the last straw as far as we are concerned,” says Martha Fox, parent of 34-year-old Matt. “The government is operating a vacancy-filling system, not a person-centred program.”

Families say Ontario should consider the person-centred Australian funding model. The National Disability Insurance Scheme , launched in 2013, provides people with developmental disabilities choice and offers a positive economic model including job creation. In Canada, Every Canadian Counts is working for similar changes in every province.

Facts

  • The Office of the Auditor General of Ontario identified issues with access to and funding for housing in the 2014 Value for Money Audit of the Ministry of Community and Social Services “Residential Services for People with Developmental Disabilities.”
  • Through an $810-million, five-year investment the Ministry of Community and Social Services initiated the Ontario Developmental Services Housing Task Force to address housing issues encouraging Ontarians to offer “innovative solutions”. The Task Force is currently considering responses to a request for proposals (RFP) based on its $3-millionbudget. Some family and community groups were advised they were not eligible.

SOURCE Dundas Living Centre

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National Community Care Insurance: What’s New in Canada

April 13, 2015 | PLAN Institute Blog | Written by Donna Thomson

According to the 2014 Global Age Watch Index, Norway is the best country to be a senior citizen or person with disabilities. Apart from Japan (9), all the top 10 countries are again in Western Europe, North America and Australasia.

Norway shifted health care resources from hospitals to home and they have a huge financial, national nest egg from oil revenues to spend on community care.  Canada ranks 4th and the USA 8th.

In Canada, we have national health, but home care is a provincial matter and supports vary widely across the country.  Individuals with higher needs must spend private funds for the care they require in order to live at home. Recently, I learned about an effort to create a national insurance scheme to support the community care needs of Canadians with disabilities (the vision does not yet include seniors, but more on that later)– it’s called Every Canadian Counts and it’s based on an Australian model.   Here, Jess McCuaig speaks for Every Canadian Counts, or ECC:

Q:  Tell us about Every Canadian Counts.  What is the model of support?

The Every Canadian Counts Coalition is advocating for a national system for funding and setting delivery standards for essential disability supports. We envision cost-sharing between the provinces/territories and federal government, with the federal portion representing new funding to the sector. The “essential supports” covered by the program will be defined by our Coalition members.  Recipients could choose personal care budgets or agency support.

Q:  Where did the model originate?

The model that inspired ECC originated in Australia. The Every Australian Counts movement emerged in response to conditions similar to those in Canada (underfunded support programs, long waiting lists, inequitable access). Through grassroots organizing, cross-disability coalition building, and comprehensive research they built the awareness and political pressure necessary to have a national supports program created.

Q:  What are the benefits to Canadians?

While we don’t have exact numbers (yet), we know the waiting lists for support programs across Canada are long and provinces are spending a lot on crisis interventions rather than investing in sustained supports, which are cheaper over the long-term. We also know many family caregivers and individuals are out of work because of unmet disability support needs, which is shrinking our workforce and tax base.

This program will benefit ALL Canadians by investing taxpayer dollars in early intervention, sustained supports that grow our workforce, improve personal outcomes, and remove high-cost crisis spending. It will also ensure any Canadian who is born with or acquires a long-term disability through accident or illness has all essential support needs covered so they do not fall into crisis. No matter their income, where they live, or their ability to self-advocate, every Canadian will be covered.

Q:  How far along is your organization in realizing this dream?

Based on the experience in Australia, we expect the advocacy process to take five years, and we are one year in. At this point, the Coalition is steadily gaining new members from across the disability spectrum and attracting public supporters from across Canada. We have brought together leading Canadian research organizations (Centre for the Study of Living Standards, Canadian Council on Social Development, Canadian Centre on Disability Studies, and The Caledon Institute) to build a comprehensive research agenda to inform development of a program model for Canada. The Coalition has also begun to identify politicians who will champion ECC’s vision at both the provincial/territorial and federal levels.

This year (year 2) we plan to focus on fundraising to build our core organization’s capacity to support Coalition work, to produce new advocacy and education materials, and to further diversify our membership and support base.

Q:  What about seniors?  Are their needs covered in your vision?

The model in Australia only serves the ageing population if they enter the program prior to age 65. Those who develop disabilities later in life are not eligible. It’s becoming a controversial issue there and it’s something we’ve noted will need to be explored in advance (so creating two models: one that includes people who are older than 65 years of age with disabilities and one that doesn’t, to compare costs). In terms of serving the population that ages with a disability, this model should serve them better than the old system as disability supports are fully integrated into long-term care.

Q:  What would be the cost to Canadian taxpayers to implement Every Canadian Counts? 

As for the cost to Canadians, the method for funding this program would need to be determined by the federal government in partnership with the provinces/territories. In Australia the population did agree to a 0.5% medicare tax increase (which per household, on average, totals about $350 per year). We could look at a tax levy in Canada to fund this program, but the Coalition suspects the federal portion of the funds can be drawn from the existing tax base. This would just mean shifting funds around, and the most effective options for this need to be fully explored.

My research didn’t reveal any new ideas for national long term care insurance in the USA. Readers, let me know if I’ve missed something!  It’s worth adding though, that the wonderful Howard Gleckman in his Forbes column today muses on the future of individual long term care insurance.  Read his excellent article HERE.

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Every Canadian Counts

Wednesday April 1, 2015 | DeafBlind Ontario Blog

Do you believe Canadians with long-term disabilities (physical, mental, or developmental) deserve access to essential services and supports such as housing, education, assistive professionals and technologies?

At DeafBlind Ontario Services, we certainly do! That’s why we have lent our support to the Every Canadian Counts Coalition.

The Every Canadian Counts (ECC) Coalition is calling on provincial, territorial, and federal governments to work together to develop a national program to ensure essential disability supports are available to all Canadians living with chronic, long-term disabilities. The Coalition includes individuals living with disabilities, caregivers, advocates, and support organizations.

We encourage you to join the Every Canadian Counts Coalition by adding your name to their growing list of supporters: http://everycanadiancounts.com/

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Every Canadian Counts – Regional Meeting

October 28, 2014 | Easter Seals News

Over 2.5 million Canadians live with long-term disabilities, but few have access to the basic supports and services they need. Every Canadian Counts is an emerging coalition advocating for a national disability insurance program to improve Canadians’ access to disability supports.

On October 30, Every Canadian Counts will host a Regional Meeting in Woodstock at the Quality Hotel & Suites (Altadore Room) (580 Bruin Blvd) to provide information about this initiative and how you can get involved.  Visit http://eccmeetingwl.eventbrite.com for more information.

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Every Canadian Counts – Coalition for a National Disability Insurance Program

September 8, 2014 | OASIS Online

As you may know, OASIS is the first sponsor of Every Canadian Counts (ECC), an emerging initiative to unite disability sector stakeholders across Canada to advocate for a national disability insurance program.

It is very important to raise awareness about ECC, both within the sector and amongst the general public. OASIS would like to request that your agency assist us in spreading the word about ECC by including a link to the ECC website (www.everycanadiancounts.com) on your agency’s website.

Please consider signing up to publicly endorse the ECC initiative using the form on their website and follow ECC on Twitter (@EveryCdnCounts).

Thank you for assisting with moving this important and timely initiative forward!

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