Provincial cuts leave adults with disabilities ‘hanging on a ledge’

Posted
January 21, 2019
Article Source
Toronto Star

From a Toronto Star article: Like too many young people on the autism spectrum, Nazarenus Rimando struggled with the transition from high school to adulthood. 
 
After failing most of his college courses in computer repair maintenance, he retreated to the family's Scarborough apartment, where he grew increasingly withdrawn and depressed.
 
Rimando's mother Maria, who searched frantically for help between shifts at her factory job, says it "felt like watching a slow death. It was heartbreaking."
 
The turning point came in the spring of 2016 when the provincial Developmental Services Office suggested the family try independent facilitation, a service that since 2015 has helped more than 1,700 young people like Rimando create a meaningful adult life.
 
Through independent facilitation, Rimando was able to re-enrol at Centennial College, start volunteering with Habitat for Humanity, join a local martial arts gym and even learn how to sail a tall ship.
 
But the Ford government decided late last year to axe the $3.1 million demonstration project March 31. And now the Rimandos and other families across the province are mobilizing to save it.
 
As part of an online campaign launched this month, more than 40 individuals and family members have posted poignant videos and testimonials about how the program has changed their lives. Dozens more are contacting their MPPs for support.

Read more: Provincial cuts leave adults with disabilities ‘hanging on a ledge’