August 12, 2021
Halifax- The Disability Rights Coalition and its allies will be holding a rally at noon on Friday, August 13th outside the Provincial Legislature. The rally will demand that whatever Party forms government end the warehousing of persons with disabilities in segregated institutions and provide support for all persons with disabilities to live with dignity in the community.
In 2013, the current government committed to closing institutions and providing community-based living supports for all persons with disabilities by the end of 2023. This commitment was set out in a document called the Roadmap, a plan for community inclusion drafted jointly by the Province and disability rights advocates. This plan was endorsed by all three major Parties.
With just over two years left to fulfill the Roadmap on the schedule promised by the Parties, the Disability Right’s Coalition recently issued a report on the Roadmap’s implementation. This report makes clear that there has been serious back-sliding on the Province’s commitment to the Roadmap’s vision of community inclusion for persons who have experienced decades-long segregation and discrimination in accessing the services they need to live in the community. Nova Scotia continues to institutionalize people with disabilities in hospitals, nursing homes, and in large, segregated facilities across the Province. Further, the report found that the waitlist for the disabilities support program has actually increased by 74% since the Roadmap document was released, meaning more people with disabilities are facing long delays in accessing necessary supports.
“We are calling on whatever Party forms government after the election is over to keep its promise and fully implement the plan set out in the Roadmap document for community integration by 2023,” said Victoria Levack, a member of the Disability Rights Coalition. “Supports for persons with disabilities remain in crisis and we cannot wait any longer. This must be treated as an important election issue. We need serious action now,” she added.
The Disability Rights Coalition (DRC) is a cross-disability coalition of individuals and over 32 organizations across Nova Scotia, which is committed to promoting the equality interests of all persons with disabilities. Since 2001, we have advocated for the Province to stop institutionalizing persons with disabilities, and to fund the community supports necessary for persons with disabilities to claim their rightful place in society.