"agencies supporting people with intellectual disabilities"

Our First (of Three) Priority Goals!

Better Front Line Outcomes for Manitobans with intellectual disabilities and the workers who support them.   “Quality is defined at the point of interaction between the staff member and the person with a disability.” John F. Kennedy Jr. Issue Adults with an intellectual disability are being supported by front line workers who are underpaid and lack standardized, consistent training. Further, Manitoba’s Community Living disAbility Services system lacks an effective measurement approach to ensure quality outcomes.   Background Community living is young in its history. The services offered were advocated for by parents and pieced together without a long-term plan. Community Living disAbility Services is reactive and crisis driven. Agencies have had to develop and deliver training for support workers in-house; requiring intensive resources. Chronically low staff wages and lack of standardized and consistent training have long been recognized as requiring attention. Most other sectors have consistent, comprehensive, standardized training available to front line workers. Coupled with these factors, there is no mechanism to measure quality outcomes within services, despite a significant investment from the province. The recommendations in this briefing note will ensure a proactive service that demonstrates value for the individuals receiving services.   Risk Front line workers are required to work independently, solve quality of life issues and provide complex medical supports and intimate personal care. Staff are paid poorly and their training varies based on the agency. Non-standardized training and inadequate wages in a high responsibility position results in high turnover. Vulnerable adults can have up to 800 different care providers in their lifetime. Turnover means inconsistent care and very high administrative costs for human resources and training.   Additionally, the system needs a quality assurance framework to ensure value for money. The framework needs to be value-based and person-centered with measurable goals and tools for improvements.   The Vulnerable Persons Act, Accessibility for Manitobans Act and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities all support the need for appropriate training and supports for people with intellectual disabilities.   The success of the Building on Abilities initiative, which aims to ensure people get the supports they need to lead meaningful lives in welcoming communities utilizing a person-centred approach will ultimately depend on the quality of direct support received. Success will be significantly hampered unless the pervasive training and wage concerns are addressed.   Recommended Action and Financial Impact: Work collaboratively with community stakeholders to: Professionalize the Community Living disAbility sector by implementing standardized training linked to compensation and a quality assurance system. Provide financial support to Abilities Manitoba to investigate and develop consistent training for direct support workers and a quality assurance framework. Significant progress can be made in both areas within one year at a cost of $293,440.00. Raise funding for wages to a level that respects the complexity and responsibility of the role of direct support workers. Increase overall funding for staff wages to agencies by 10% within your current term. This will address compression and excluded workers created by the wage enhancement fund and allow agencies who haven’t received a cost of living increase since 2011 to address wages. Ultimately it will provide greater stability and sustainability to a vulnerable population.   Ethical Considerations Community Living disAbility Services is the only human service sector that lacks consistent, standardized training, does not pay at a level that encourages staff to make a career of their job and does not have a mechanism to measure quality outcomes. These all represent barriers to full participation for adults with intellectual disabilities.   The lack of action in these critical areas makes it appear that government...

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We Won’t Be Left Behind

  December 3, 2015. For as long as I live, I won’t forget that day. Sixteen hundred people from across Manitoba crammed into the Manitoba Legislative Building to celebrate International Day of Persons with Disabilities and the launch of Disability Matters Vote 2016. One event. One reason. Rights. Joining thousands of  celebrations occurring worldwide, we stood in solidarity of inclusion. We stood together to speak about the right to vote and to participate in all aspects of political and public life. We stood together in frustration. We stood together in hope. The energy in the legislative building was incredible. Conversations buzzed, hundreds of webcasters joined, buttons and stickers circulated, signs bounced through the air, the sitting Cabinet was not amused, the media couldn’t get in: the building was at capacity and people flowed onto the steps outside. The elevators were beyond backed up trying to accommodate people using wheelchairs who waited patiently to access the event. There was a palpable excitement in the air. People crowded into corners, nooks and crannies and stood over railings, trying to hear and see the program above the audible excitement. The message was clear – We have rights too. We won’t be left behind. Never before have we come together so strongly, so unified, so ready for change.  Never has there been a stronger sense of collective empowerment. Those in attendance and many more went on to be the change makers of Disability Matters: Vote 2016. The campaign created a ripple across the province  connecting our provincial election to disability rights like never before. The focus was on basic human rights – employment, accessibility, access to services, dignified income and fair wages. Change happened. People with disabilities learned about their right to vote and exercised it. Many elected officials learned valuable, new information. We moved the needle forward on public awareness. We built new and stronger relationships. We collaborated. Most importantly, we saw what was possible when we came together. One unified voice: We all have the same rights. We won’t be left...

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Media Release International Day of Persons with Disabilities December 3, 2016

MEDIA RELEASE STILL FIGHTING FOR HUMAN RIGHTS (MANITOBA December 3, 2016) On the heels of the Disability Matters: Vote 2016 campaign, Manitobans affected by disability are coming together again to celebrate the human rights won by  persons with disabilities and also to call for these rights to be truly respected. Since the International Day was established by the United Nations in 1992, December 3rd has been a global day of reflection and rededication for over 1 billion persons with disabilities living in countries around the world. Last year attendance at the event surprised organizers, surpassing the capacity at the Legislative Building with people crammed into every nook and cranny. This year they are ready with a bigger space and self-advocates bringing the message forward. “This is an opportunity to celebrate people with disabilities and the rights we have won, but there’s no denying that we still have a long way to go,” said Malinda Roberts, co-spokesperson for the event. With disability discrimination having ranked as the No. 1 reason for human rights complaints in Manitoba in 2015, and for every year stretching all the way back to 2001 (click here to see the report), the event aims to highlight the issues facing people with disabilities so that our community can work together to achieve change. “This International Day of recognition is an opportunity to bring these issues forward toward a better understanding of the challenges our community still faces. From accessing the right supports, to full inclusion in our community, to fair and equal employment, we have a long way to go,” said Allen Mankewich, event co-spokesperson. The event takes place December 3, from 1 pm – 3 pm in the Bonnie & John Buhler Hall at the Canadian Human Rights Museum. Everyone is welcome and encouraged to attend. Attendees will be invited to contribute to a collective art mural, listen to stories from self-advocates and be entertained by the Scott Tones, a folk cover band. -30- For More Information: Jennifer Rodrigue 204-803-5781 jrodrigue@stamant.ca...

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