Residents Fight to Keep Programs for the Disabled

More than 100 parents, friends and family members with developmental disabilities are saying 'no' to Ontario government funding cuts.

When March ends, so does the funding for Independent Facilitation at Windsor-Essex Brokerage for Personal Supports.

Tina Szymczak says her 20-year-old son, Corbin, has been receiving assistance for two-years to help him overcome his disability.

"Prior to independent facilitation, he was sitting in the basement playing video games all day and had no aspirations. Windsor-Essex Brokerage for Personal Support came along because the government secured funding for it," says Szymczak. "They helped us figure out what Corbin's dream was."

She says most 18-year-olds don't leave home now a days, but kids like Corbin can't.

"A lot of our children who were in high school had support all day, every day. When they graduate or leave school they have nothing," says Szymczak. "For a lot of our families, this was the only thing that we had to connect us to the community."

She says the program came through on its promise to get Corbin out in the world and she wants every disabled kid to realize their dreams too.

"His dream is to be a video-game designer, so the WEBPS worked with him on his application for college, to prepare for the interview. He went and got into a program and now he's in his second semester," she says.

Szymczak says children with a disability receive support through their education and that support needs to continue, because they don't suddenly stop being disabled when they leave school.

The Windsor-Essex Family Network is gathering support to bring that message to Ontario Premier Doug Ford's office and drop it on his desk.