Get people with disabilities out of institutions, rights groups tell Nova Scotia

Disability rights groups are calling for Nova Scotia to commit to spending the money needed to get people out of institutions and into the community.

They want a legislated, multi-year commitment, saying there's a systemic failure to live up past promises to provide proper supports and services in the community.

Barb Horner of the Disability Rights Coalition of Nova Scotia says the inaction amounts to a human rights violation for 1,500 people with disabilities who are on the wait list for proper resources and housing options.

The groups want Premier Stephen McNeil to fulfil promises to ensure no one is unnecessarily institutionalized.

They say there are an estimated 240 people between the ages of 18 and 60 with physical disabilities in nursing homes, and another 600 living with other disabilities in various kinds of large care facilities.

The call for improvements came during a news conference today at the legislature, and follows the recent Nova Scotia Human Rights board of inquiry decision that found the needless institutionalization of people with disabilities is harmful and discriminatory.