Families of people with developmental disabilities fighting cuts to program

January 18, 2019

Family members of people who have developmental disablities are mobilizing to fight a Ford government cut to a service that helps their loved ones lead a normal life.

"I was at home. I felt like there was nothing that I could do, I was playing video games in the basement," said 20 year-old Corbin Szymczak.

Szymczak has obsessive-compulsive disorder, ADHD, bipolar disorder, Asperger syndrome, Tourette syndrome and a learning disability.

But after meeting with an independent facilitator organized through the Windsor-Essex Brokerage for Personal Supports, Szymczak is now attending St. Clair College to be a video game designer — something he always dreamed of.

"It's a way to create a solid, stable life for myself that I can survive on," said Szymczak.

Just before Christmas, about 100 families that depend on the service learned the province will be cutting $3.1 million in funding on April 1.

The program funds three facilitators in the Windsor area at a cost of $296,000.

The facilitators meet with people with developmental disabilities to look for ways they can connect with other family members for support and forge a path toward a sustainable, satisfying and independent life.

"I think it's going to be devastating for our community," said Corbin's mother, Tina. "People with disabilities, they deserve to have a life in the community."

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