Wednesday, July 27, 2016
My Review of John Field's book, Working Men's Bodies: Work Camps in Britain, 1880-1940 is now posted on the Humanities and Social Sciences Online. It can be found in the H-Disability section, which explores historical issues around the experiences of disability. The full book review can be found here.
Thursday, July 21, 2016
Many people are under the assumption that those receiving the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) have all of their immediate needs covered. But this is not the case as the maximum amount an ODSP recipient can access ($1,110 per month) puts ODSP recipients on and/or below the poverty line.
Consider the following:
Consider the following:
- In 2014 the average expenditure for housing was $1617 and $675 for food - way below the maximum level an ODSP recipient can receive.
- Cuts and a failure to keep pace with inflation have meant that ODSP payments have failed to reflect the cost of living. In fact, it would require a 25% increase to the rate a single person receives for ODSP to even be worth what it was in 1994.
Additionally, there are costs disabled persons incur that are not adequately covered by ODSP. These include:
- Safe and accessible housing.
- Adequate and healthy foods.
- Adaptive equipments and accessibility needs.
- Transportation related costs.
- Fee-for-service disability supports.
- Clothing and recreational expenses.
While we certainly need to raise the rates for ODSP recipients, we also need to do away with outdated regulations that prevent persons on ODSP from receiving gifts and assets. This is a quick fix that the province of Ontario could implement immediately (like BC has done) to better support the economic well being of ODSP recipients.
How can you help?
Monday, July 11, 2016
I was fortunate enough to work as a part of a wonderful team of researchers for a recent exploratory study on the feasibility of a housing trust for persons with intellectual disabilities in the Ottawa-Carleton region.
Through Citizen Advocacy Ottawa, our research team worked with individuals, stakeholders, and advocates to explore the housing needs of persons with intellectual disabilities as well as how the establishment of a local housing trust would help to address the housing crisis.
Some of the key findings from this research include:
- The ageing population, both in terms of caregivers and disabled adults, has created an urgent need to identify and implement innovative housing models, like a housing trust, in this region.
- Housing trusts are a part of a broader housing continuum that can offer greater options for independent living and affordable housing.
- Community members need a strong continuum of housing choice to ensure inclusion and personal autonomy.
- Existing gaps within parallel areas of disability support require policy makers to proactively work to promote a holistic lens where disability supports are concerned.
- It is vital that future housing models separate housing costs from from support costs to ensure conflicting interests are minimized and that housing requirements can be met using various sources of funding.
The full research report can now be accessed online.