Hoping for more progress when it comes to supported decision-making

In his session, Securing the Right to Make Your Own Decisions, Community Living Ontario’s Director of Policy Gordon Kyle will update attendees on where things are at with respect to advocating for the introduction of a legal framework around supported decision-making.

His presentation for Community Living Ontario’s 65th AGM and Conference will focus on two threads: the organization’s work on an Inclusion Standard over the past year, and the pilot projects underway.

The Standard, he explained, “Lays out the fundamental things that would need to be in the law in order to introduce supported decision-making.”

He emphasized that this work has been happening for a very long time. Over the past few years in particular, working with the Law Commission of Ontario, has resulted in “some progress, but we were hoping for more.”

Because of the recent change in government, Community Living Ontario will further build on conversations with the new Attorney General, who Kyle explained, holds the authority on the matter. Community Living Ontario will this time bring recommendations backed by evidence from new pilot projects.

“We’ve got some funding this year to begin development of pilot projects in five communities around the province to introduce supported-decision making, to test out the standard and provide advice on what supported decision-making looks like on the ground.”

The five communities where the pilots will take place are Windsor, Dryden, Brockville, Toronto, York Region.

These pilots will provide a foundation to “Evaluate and give advice to government on the things we’ve done that actually make sense,” said Kyle.

The pilots are modelled on three international pilots supported by the Institutes for Research and Development on Inclusion and Society underway in Zambia, Bulgaria, and Colombia. In Canada, supported decision-making already exists in all the western provinces including British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, as well as the Yukon. Globally, there are various models being introduced.

Presenting on this topic at this year’s Conference is necessary because it’s difficult to advance the agenda of real inclusion and authority without supported decision-making being embedded. Members need to know about the work that is being done.

Click here to register for this year’s conference.

Madison Koekkoek, Community Living Ontario