After reading about the construction of a new building for children with learning disabilities or autism as young as two years old, Kathy Myketyn looks at how society deals with people with learning disabilities over the last 90 years or so. “Step-up to add your voice for those who have none, to stop this human rights travesty,” she writes.
“The way that we’re looking at it, regardless of whether there’s four residents or 40 or 400, you’re taking children away from their families. What the press release says is that it will house children from two to 18 years old. No two year old should be removed from their family. No parent wants to have their child sent to live somewhere else, they will only agree when there are no alternatives provided, says Patricia Neves, Acting Executive Director of the Nova Scotia Association for Community Living.
As of March 2020, twenty people who have been deemed ready for discharge are detained at the East Coast Forensic Hospital. They are needlessly placed at an elevated risk for acquiring COVID-19 in addition to being exposed to numerous other ethical, legal, social, and health issues.
Facing the same threat of coronavirus, a new order issued by Dr. Strang institutes more accountability for nursing homes than for institutions for people with developmental disabilities. That leaves Community Services off the hook, and that is wrong, says human rights lawyer Claire McNeil. As well, protocols around isolation of infected residents need to be revisited.
We rightly hear a lot about the COVID-19 related risks faced by people incarcerated in Nova Scotia’s jails and prisons. What is more or less forgotten is that the 800 to 900 citizens labeled as living with disabilities who live in institutions in this province are facing the very same risks.
With so many people on a waitlist for community-based living opportunities, the eight small option homes the government has committed to just don’t cut it, writes Wendy Lill of the Community Homes Action Group.
Compensation awarded to the complainants in a human rights enquiry may sound generous, but it is peanuts when you take into account the decades the three were institutionalized, away from community and their loved ones, and subjected to a regime that allows almost no space for making your own decisions.
Nine months ago disability activist Jen Powley presented a proposal to Community Services for a four-bedroom unit with shared-attendant care in a new mixed-use building on Gottingen Street. This unit would keep me and three other young adults out of a nursing home at a cost comparable with that of housing them in a long-term care facility. She’s still waiting for a response.
Scott Neigh, of the excellent Talking Radical podcast, interviews Marty Wexler and Claire McNeil about the fight against institutionalization in Nova Scotia and the appalling Human Rights tribunal decision (which is being appealed).
Jen Powley. a tireless advocate for disability rights and housing for people with disabilities, has been presented with the 2019 James McGregor Stewart Award. Jen is a tireless activist for the right of persons with severe physical disabilities to live independently, rather than in nursing homes