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									                                   Investing in People

Periodic Updates from the Individualized Funding Coalition of Ontario
2:1                                                                          March, 2002


              Accountability and Individualized Funding
        Some one in my family several         Kindhearted people are expected to help
generations ago used to say: “You can’t       out. The role of the government is
make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear:” Of     simply to make resources available to
course, a cured pig’s ear makes a great       kindhearted people. Charity workers are
doggie treat but not an accessory for an      assumed to be accountable for rendering
evening gown.                                 good care simply because they ARE kind
                                              hearted.
        Accountability for services for
people who are considered disabled has                The medical model is based on
been a concern for a long time. Yet, in       different assumptions. The person with
spite of the time, effort and resources       disability is viewed as sick or impaired.
committed to ensuring availability and        The task is to return the person to
quality of support, there are still many      “normal” functioning as much as
people who are not being served,              possible. Often the educational model
especially people who are still living        overlays the medical model. Therapies
with aging parents. Where people are          usually have training or teaching
receiving services there are still many       component. Education and medical
examples of poor practice -- and              professionals are assumed to be
sometimes-even atrocities. Many of            accountable simply because they ARE
these situations have been in the news        certified as professionals.
lately.
                                                      Given that our society relates
        For more than 25 years, most          disability to charity, medicine and
governments in Canada have resisted the       education, accountability mechanisms
development of the mechanisms                 emphasize such things as checking
necessary to make individualized              credentials and certifications, running
funding for support widely available. It      volunteers through police checks and
is often stated officially that it would be   ensuring that staff training is updated
too difficult to ensure accountability in a   regularly. In addition we ensure that
system of individualized support. The         buildings are safe and clean, and that
problem lies in a mistaken idea of            programmes are delivered in the
accountability.                               recommended dose and frequency.

        The service system has two roots              But the wrong model delivers the
-- charity and medicine. In the charitable    wrong results no matter how carefully
way of thinking, the person with              we implement it. Sows ears don’t make
disability is “an unfortunate”.               silk purses!
        People with disability are               relationship network diminishes, it’s
citizens. As citizens they have the same         easy to see where the supports have
rights and responsibilities to participate       broken down or need enhancing.
in society as anyone else. To do so they
require access to all aspects of society --            Individualized funding is the silk purse
homes, education, relationships,                 of accountability when citizens with
employment, transportation, education,           disability require support to fully participate
health services -- like anyone else.             in society.
Access involves supports that range from               Judith A. Snow, M.A.
public to personal. Public access
supports include curb and building
ramps, information in a variety of                 MAKING INDIVIDUALIZED SUPPORT
languages and modes, accessible                     AND FUNDING WORK IN ONTARIO
transportation, inclusive classrooms and
more. Personal supports vary according                 COMMUNITY WORKSHOPS 2002
to the individual and if they are to be            for self-advocates, families, service providers,
effective they must be designed and                               and government.
managed by the individual who needs
them and the family and friends who                 April 19 (evening) and all day April 20th
know them best.                                                     London
                                                          For more information, contact
        In the citizenship model,                       Janice Strickland 519-473-4786
accountability is related to the outcomes
that the citizen achieves. If the person’s                    May 11; 9:30 to 3:30
goal is to gain and keep employment,                        Mitchell (Perth County)
then accountability includes checking                     For more information, contact
that resources are actually being directed            Barbara Leavitt 519-284-1400, ext. 226
toward job finding and training,                            Follow-up action planning
adequate transportation and other work                     May 29, 6-9pm with supper
related supports, as well as relationship
building and community connections.

      Such support must be tied to the
individual in order to be effective.                      The Coalition and nine other provincial
Individualized funding of support is a                    organizations continue to advocate with
powerful tool for achieving, tracking and                  the Ministry of Community and Social
renewing accountability. Simplified                      Services to support the STATEMENT ON
measures of actual effectiveness become                   ALLOCATING RESOURCESFOR 2002
possible. For example, if the person                     You can help by writing a letter to MCSS
loses a desirable job, or if their                         – or call the Coalition for information
                            The Individualized Funding Coalition supports
                           the self-determination of persons with disabilities
                              and their full participation in community life.

              To become a member of the Coalition, email barbara@acl.on.ca
              or call Barbara at 416-447-4347. Web page: www.lefca.com/ifco/
                     Coalition co-chairs: Yona Frishman & Judith Snow

								
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