Everyone benefits when people living with physical and intellectual challenges are supported in their full participation in our communities.
Liberal and Conservative governments have had a chance to improve services for people with disabilities - and they’ve failed. They have rooted services in the welfare model instead of treating services as a right. Under this model, people who require supports for daily living are restricted from having savings accounts, owning a home, and having a trust fund for their care needs. Those who marry face being cut off completely.
Darrell Dexter and the NDP have a common sense plan to make life better for disabled Nova Scotians.
The right to dignity and independence
Some people with intellectual or physical disabilities need supervised care. But years of cuts and closures have left long waiting lists. Aging parents fear for their dependent adult children when they can no longer live at home. And adults with disabilities who want to live independently wait for years for a place to live.
Over half of disabled Nova Scotians live outside of cities that offer accessible transportation. Community-based transportation programs in rural areas struggle with inadequate funding and rising costs. In cities, services must be booked far in advance and are not universally accessible.
We need to work toward creating accessible housing in rural and urban communities, geared toward all levels of income.
The NDP has long advocated for an aids for independent living program that would be a central lending bank for mobility and technical aids. It would be operated by people with disabilities, and the cost of equipment would be geared to income levels.
Employment equity and assistance
Many people with challenges are able and willing to work full or part-time, but they still face barriers. The NDP is committed to working with people with disabilities, and with employers and educational facilities to increase the number of disabled people participating in the workforce.
Today’s families, regardless of their abilities, can count on the NDP to help support their needs.
The NDP will work to:
- Establish a technical and mobility aids program to help people without insurance obtain equipment necessary for independence
- Improve home care, attendant, and other support services for people with disabilities, remove restrictions on savings and income trusts, and maintain services when a person marries
- Work with transportation groups to expand services for people with disabilities
- Expand accessible housing through public rental housing, equity co-ops, and work with private developers on accessibility standards
- Review residential options for people with intellectual disabilities and create a plan to address these needs
Also enclosed is the resolution from 2007 supporting the adoption of the UN Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities, tabled by Marilyn More, our critic for the NS Disabled Persons Commission. Please note the motion was defeated by the Conservative members. The resolution reflects the NS NDP's position on the UN Convention and the rights of disabled persons.
Hansard January 11, 2007
RESOLUTION NO. 1624
MS. MARILYN MORE: Mr. Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:
Whereas on December 13, 2006, the United Nations adopted a landmark convention regarding the rights of persons with disabilities; and
Whereas in March 2007 the member countries of the United Nations will begin voting to ratify this convention and its optional protocols, which would make the convention international law, protecting the rights of disabled persons everywhere; and
Whereas Canada has demonstrated its leadership with prior UN conventions, and our country should be among the first members to ratify the convention and protocols in March;
Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly signify its approval today of the UN convention on the rights of disabled persons, and that the members here strongly encourage the federal government to move forward with voting for ratification of the convention and adoption of the optional protocols.
Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.
MR. SPEAKER: There has been a request for waiver.
Is it agreed?
I hear several Noes.
The notice is tabled.
There are several other Hansard transcripts of questions we have pursued during Question Period, Budget Estimates and Committee meetings. To search Hansard for what political parties have said in the Legislature on issues affecting persons with disabilities, go here and scroll down on the right to the green section "legislature" and follow the links.
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