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Newfoundland and Labrador Association for Community Living opposes cuts to developmental screening

(February 8, 2016)

 Recent admissions by Eastern Health that automatic screening for children who may have developmental issues related to communication and social and learning development is distressing for many young families, says Dennis Gill, President  of the Newfoundland  and Labrador Association for Community Living (NLACL).

“The focus of our efforts must be directly on the well-being of children. It is undeniably clear that early detection and intervention have the power to positively impact children who have reduced developmental communication, social or learning capabilities”, says Gill.

NLACL is appreciative of the demands on health care professionals and restricted budgets, however, where children’s futures are involved the decision to make cuts to services flies in the face of everything we have been saying about community based health care.

Gill says, “the decision to withhold this from the public is deeply disturbing, as many young families would not necessarily know they could specifically ask for the screening. This puts families in lower economic levels and those with limited education at a further disadvantage”.

Gill said NLACL will be forwarding a recommendation to have the screening reinstated.

NLACL is an organization working with and on behalf of individuals with an Intellectual Disability and their families to promote full citizenship in inclusive communities. The organization works collaboratively with governments and community partners to ensure all people have the means and the support to live full and engaged lives in their own community.  NLACL is celebrating its 60th Anniversary this year by hosting a Family Conference and Workshops, April 28th – 30th, 2016, in St. John’s. 

For further information please contact Dennis Gill; President, Newfoundland and Labrador Association for Community Living at 1-709-722-0790 or email rdgill@eastlink.ca

 


Elimination of IQ standard applauded by NLACL  (October 30, 2015)

The provincial government is eliminating the IQ under 70 requirement in determining eligibility for government supports and services. This is very good news according to Dennis Gill, President of the Newfoundland and Labrador Association for Community Living (NLACL).

NLACL members are individuals with intellectual disabilities and their families. For many years, NLACL has expressed deep concern about eligibility being based on irrelevant testing that does not take into account the reality of the challenges faced in the activities of daily living.

“The 50th anniversary conference of the Canadian Association for Community Living featured a stirring exhibition of 70 tents, pitched near Parliament Hill, to honour those who were put in harm’s way due to IQ labeling. IQ testing was used, in concert with adult guardianship, to segregate people in institutions in the name of care. The actual experience differed from the promise and physical, sexual and emotional abuse were rampant.

“I am a living example of someone who was greatly harmed by labels such as the IQ tests. They could move me wherever they wanted. I am a survivor and I pray others will not have my experiences”, said Gail St. Croix, Vice President of NLACL and former President of People First of NL. “There are still many people in institutions in Canada, because of labels”, she added.

In more recent times, IQ under 70 has been less dramatic than the darkest days, but still forms a significant part of the reason people cannot access services. This has devastating consequences to people needing supports to prevent homelessness and wrongful admission to long term care facilities.

The shift towards a more holistic social model and away from a medically based lens on disability and disability supports is welcomed. Inclusive communities are created through a welcoming spirit where all people belong and are deserving of the supports necessary to overcome barriers that exist in environments and communities.

NLACL is an organization working with and on behalf of individuals and their families to promote full citizenship in inclusive communities. Members self-identify as having a disability. The organization works collaboratively with governments and community partners to ensure children and young people have access to quality inclusive education. The goal is to ensure all people have the means and the support to live in their own home in the community, be employed if you choose, and have the necessary income, support and security to live a full life.  NLACL will celebrate its 60th Anniversary, hosting a conference for families province-wide, 28-30 April 2016, in St. John’s. 

For further information please contact Dennis Gill; President, Newfoundland and Labrador Association for Community Living at 1-709-722-0790 or email rdgill@eastlink.ca