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.

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

“In the end I can say that what I have learned about myself is how incredibly strong I am, because I have to be,” said disability rights advocate Joanne Larade in February at a panel on the lack of suitable housing for people with severe disabilities. At the panel she explained what it is like to find yourself, at the age of 42, living among people with dementia, many twice your age. Joanne passed away early last week.