Portable Supports

Image of a backpack.“Portable” means you can take something with you, no matter where you go in Canada. Right now Canadians with disabilities have no guarantee that if they move their services will move with them.

Moving to a new community or a new province/territory may mean losing supports.  For instance, wheelchair users who receive their devices through government programs in Manitoba and Quebec must leave their wheelchairs behind when they move out-of-province. Once relocated, these individuals must reapply for a mobility device through a new provincial program, and they may not be eligible for the same type of device they used before. How are they expected to get around in the meantime?

In addition, many Canadians are forced to reapply for disability supports as they move through life stages. In many provinces, when an individual turns 18 they must switch from the youth to adult service ministry. This means reapplying for supports, often to be put on waiting lists. If put on a waiting list, individuals go from having access to some publicly-funded supports, to none – even though their day-to-day needs have not lessened.

A national program could ensure that a minimum standard of support is available across Canada, allowing Canadians to move with their disability supports and to transition through life stages without loss of supports.