Question and Answer Fact Sheet

Question and Answer Fact Sheet

Q. 1. What are disability supports?

The Roeher Institute defines disability supports as: any good, service or environmental adaptation that assists persons with disabilities and their families to overcome limitations that people with disabilities face in carrying out daily living activities at each stage of their lives and in participating and being recognized as full citizens, in the social, economic, political and cultural life of the community

Q.2. Why disability supports?

The lack of disability supports results in poverty, unemployment and exclusion from workplaces, schools and communities. Over two million Canadian adults with disabilities, or two thirds of the disabled adult population lack one or more of the educational, workplace, aids, home modification or other supports they need.

Q. 3. Why would provincial/territorial governments support this concept?

In November 2004, FPT ministers commissioned a report on disability support needs which shows the gap in availability of disability supports. The report is available at: Now that the gap has been identified, it is time to create an FPT initiative to close it. A new investment of federal funding would help alleviate some of the fiscal restraints that PT governments face in the delivery of disability-supports systems that are flexible, responsive and appropriate for persons with disabilities.

Q. 4. Is this a win/win situation for FPT?

This is a win/win situation because it clarifies that both levels of government have responsibility for persons with disabilities. It provides the federal government with an opportunity to profile its commitment to make true and lasting change in the lives of persons with disabilities. Further, it allows the government to follow through on one of the main recommendations of the federally-sponsored Technical Advisory Committee on Tax Measures for Persons with Disabilities - new investments in disability should move beyond the tax system.

For PTs it allows them to invest new funding in areas of disability supports as prioritized by each PT. It reaffirms that delivery of disability supports is within the PT jurisdiction while recognizing that there is a role for the Federal government to play in supporting the delivery of services. Disability-related supports and services are essential for Canadians with disabilities to gain access to the basic institutions and benefits that Canada provides to its citizens - community, education, work, family life, mobility, cultural expression and identity, etc.

Q. 5. What impact would this investment of federal dollars have?

The impact of new funding would establish an "early win" for all levels of government, for communities that will benefit from new investments in community capacity to provide support and access, the disability community and persons with disabilities. The infusion of new funding would result in immediate improvements while allowing for a review of existing systems to ensure that they are guided by the principles established in In Unison.

Q. 6. How does a disability supports agenda differ from the current caregiver agenda?

A disability supports agenda is distinct because it gets supports directly to persons with disabilities to ensure that they can move in to independence and not be made dependent on family caregivers. A caregiver agenda does not replace the need for an investment in a disability supports agenda. A caregiver agenda on its own will not be effective; one of the most effective supports for caregivers is an investment in disability supports to people with disabilities because this will decrease the demand for disability related care by caregivers.