Provincial Government Responds to Disability Advocacy
Community Living Ontario, alongside other provincial associates, have been advocating to ensure equal access to care and flexibility in how people can use their Special Services at Home and Passport funding. We are pleased to share two recent announcements that demonstrate this hard work is paying off, and that the provincial government is beginning to listen to our voices and address our concerns.
MEDICAL PROTOCOL FOR TRIAGE
The Ontario Ministry of Health recently sent out a letter responding to fears that people who have disabilities might face discrimination in a medical triage situation, meaning they would be deprioritized from access to scarce critical care resources. The letter states that Ontario Health will work with the Ontario Human Rights Commission, as well as human rights and community experts, to ensure “that any medical protocols that may be required during this outbreak do not disproportionately affect vulnerable groups, including people with disabilities, older persons, Indigenous communities and racialized people.” Community Living Ontario commends the Ministry of Health for taking this issue seriously, and looks forward to seeing how they will follow through on their commitments.
TEMPORARY CHANGES TO ELIGIBLE EXPENSES: SPECIAL SERVICES AT HOME AND PASSPORT PROGRAMS
Yesterday, the provincial government announced temporary changes to eligible expenses for those who are enrolled in the Special Services at Home program or the Passport program. These changes allow you to use your funding for goods and services that may make it easier for you to stay at home during this time and practise physical distancing. New eligible expenses include certain sensory items, technology, art supplies, fitness equipment, PPE, and more.