Media Advisory - Owen Sound and Elmira developmental services workers walk for dignity

OWEN SOUND, ON and ELMIRA, ON, May 26, 2014 /CNW/ - OPSEU developmental services workers across Ontario are taking to the sidewalk on Tuesday, May 27, demanding dignity for people who live with intellectual disabilities, their families and the workers who provide the services they depend on. Frontline staff in Owen Sound and Elmira invite all those who support dignity in their community to join them.

WHAT: Walk for dignity
WHEN: Tuesday, May 27, 2014

OWEN SOUND
TIME: 4:30 pm to 5:30 pm
WHERE: Corner of 10th St E and 3rd Ave E, Owen Sound

ELMIRA
TIME: 12:00 noon to 1:00 pm
WHERE: Gibson Park, Elmira

The recent All-Party Select Committee on Developmental Services openly acknowledged the extent of this sector's crisis in their March 2014 interim report. This committee has a mandate "to develop recommendations on a comprehensive developmental services strategy to address the needs of children, youth and adults in Ontario with an intellectual disability or who are dually diagnosed with an intellectual disability and a mental illness".

"Ontario's developmental services must be addressed during this election. And we expect all three parties to honour the commitment they have made," said OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas.

The Ontario Ombudsman, Andre Marin, has reported that we are failing families. The number of complaints regarding access to quality developmental services has skyrocketed to well over 800 in 2013-14.  Waiting lists have grown to 21,000 people.

Ontario reached a new low on May 20, 2014, with yet another parent taking the desperate action of threatening to abandon their adult child, this time at Ontario Deputy Minister of Community and Social Services Marg Rappolt's office.

"No-one should have to threaten to abandon their child just to access the services they need for them to be safe and well-cared for. There must be a firm commitment from all three parties to properly funding this neglected sector. It doesn't matter who wins the election," said OPSEU Developmental Services Chair, Patti Markland.  "Dignity should not be optional."

SOURCE OPSEU

For further information:

Debbie Powell, OPSEU local 235: (519) 387-2351
Emily Visser, OPSEU Communications: 416-557-7936