I∙Decide Project Ready for Debut

Legal Assistance of Windsor is looking to provide greater legal support and advice to area residents who have an intellectual disability thanks to a recently launched initiative.

The legal clinic debuted the I∙Decide Project in May of 2018 with the goal of delivering rights-based education and services in order to promote self-directed decisions and planning, as well as abuse prevention and reporting.

A public launch of the initiative will take place on Wednesday, December 5th. In addition to information on the project, the event will feature a 10-minute documentary highlighting the journeys of local residents and information on people’s legal rights.

Stephanie Dickson, a staff lawyer spearheading the I∙Decide Project, stated the launch was also meant to coincide with the UN’s International Day of Persons with Disabilities on December 3rd.

“Within that week, we want to celebrate and raise awareness about that day, and we’ll be featuring some of the artwork created by our workshop participants in the summer.”

In addition to the art work, a panel discussion will also take place featuring community members with lived experience.

The initiative is being made possible through a $200,000 grant from the Strategic Program Investments Fund, a $7.3 million surplus of money from class-action settlements meant to assist survivors of abuse at the Huronia, Rideau, and Southwestern Regional Centres, and to create reminders of what took place at the now-closed provincially-run institutions.

Dickson said the clinic was aware of a need for their services through their relationship with the ARCH Disability Law Centre in Toronto, the partnerships they have with organizations like Community Living Essex County and Community Living Windsor, and by helping members of the class action to fill out their claim forms.

She pointed out that the I∙Decide Project is a program that’s free to people who have an intellectual disability living in Windsor or Essex County.

“If [people] are on ODSP, they qualify. If they have low income, they may qualify as well,” added Dickson.

Through the I∙Decide Project, Legal Assistance of Windsor can offer people a number of services, including the drafting or revocation of existing powers of attorney, and representation on a guardianship application.

Although the project is only funded until January of 2020, Legal Assistance of Windsor is hopeful that it will receive permanent funding by demonstrating the need for the service in their community to turn the project into a core service area.

The December 5th event is taking place at the Capitol Theatre in Windsor. It is free to attend, however, the seating capacity is limited. People are encouraged to register in advance through Eventbrite, and they can do so by clicking here.

Click here for more information on the services provided through the I∙Decide Project.

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