As September approaches I anticipate the sudden spike in online hits to the Special Education section of the Administrative Justice Support Network (ajsn.communitylivingontario.ca). Parents start the school year with hope that their child will be able to enjoy the school year with the appropriate support in a classroom where both education and friendship are valued, but by late September many have already begun the deeply divisive struggle to achieve those simple human goals for their child.
What we at the Administrative Justice Support Network have learned is that at the same time that families struggle for support in education they are also struggling with a CCAC to get personal care or nursing support, or to hang on the their Special Services at Home, or with ADP for the right equipment, or more. We did not expect to learn that so many people are struggling with two or more different bureaucracies at the same time.
When I hear that Premier Wynne in Ontario is considering how to best use the promised $800 million for developmental services what comes to mind is that it will likely be delivered through more bureaucratic services when it would be more effective and provide better service if it were to bypass these services and get directly to families.
It could be such a simple process. We all pay our federal taxes and we all have to claim our expenses related to disability, There is a long and clear list of what is an allowable expense. It would be most helpful to families to receive direct funding, buy what supports or services they need from various agencies, and then account for the money they spend through receipts included in their annual tax return.
Good luck to all the families whose children head off to School. I hope the struggle for support has a good outcome and leads to a happy school year.