I tried to share this post from the CanFASD Connect blog but there was no reblog button – so all content below is copied from canfasdblog.wordpress.com.
Did you know that the Government of Canada is developing new accessibility legislation? The goal is to promote equality of opportunity, and increase inclusion and participation of Canadians who have disabilities or functional limitations. They asked Canadians,
What does an accessible Canada mean to you?
To create a more accessible Canada for individuals with FASD and their families, CanFASD believes that the proposed Accessibility Act should:
- Recognize invisible disabilities such as neurodevelopmental disorders, regardless of IQ.
- Ensure equitable access to FASD diagnostic services regardless of age or geographical location.
- Allow for specialized funding and/or tax benefits for FASD specific/FASD informed interventions in education, recreation, addictions, housing, health and justice regardless of age or IQ.
- Address stigma (i.e., without prejudice so women who drink during pregnancy are offered assistance and not subject to punitive measures). Without protecting the legal status and rights of the mother, how can we expect them to provide information on alcohol consumption during pregnancy?
- Recognize the lifelong complexity of FASD and that the need for services and supports does not diminish with age.
- Speak to the need for services and supports (social, physical and financial) for those who care for individuals with FASD including caregivers and siblings.
- Encourage/support applied FASD research, particularly intervention, diagnostic based research, and longitudinal studies.
- Previously mentioned, but worth reinforcing, is the need for access to services and supports regardless of IQ for those “at risk” or diagnosed with FASD.
- Speak to the need for cross-sectorial information sharing while respecting the individual’s right to privacy. There needs to be a process by which health information can be shared with social services, justice, education, etc.
- Consider confirmed eligibility for disability tax credit for individuals with FASD and their caregivers. Disability tax credit or alternative tax credits should be available to parents who are financially supporting their children regardless of the residency or age of the individual with FASD.
- Support guaranteed living allowances for people with disabilities. Persons with disability allowances should not be disallowed or discouraged from seeking part time work.
- Allow for some form of representational agreements, which are interprovincial in scope.
- Recognize the mental health complexity of FASD and resulting ramifications for health, education, and justice. This may include the need for a collaborative funding agreement between the federal, provincial, and territorial governments.
- Facilitate the development of supported living options for individuals with FASD. This could be encouraged through tax benefits for landlords renting to individuals with disabilities or the provision of funds for the development and ongoing operation of low barrier, supportive housing options for individuals with FASD.
- Require an individualized support plan be developed upon diagnosis which would address not only the needs for support but also the strengths of the individual diagnosed with FASD.
- Require screening for FASD for all those involved with the Criminal Justice System and require the CJS to provide FASD diagnostic services, FASD informed interventions, and specialized case management for any individual identified as potentially having FASD.
- Ideally, include the appointment of an FASD advocate who could speak to the needs of individual with FASD on a national level, with subsequent provincial counterparts. Since the incidence of FASD is so high, it is warranted to have a specific FASD advocate.
Find out more about the accessibility legislation visit the above blog post at www.canfasdblog.wordpress.com