Province expands disability supports for Islanders
Islanders living with disabilities will have more and better assistance from the Prince Edward Island government.
Expansions to the Disability Support Program – now called AccessAbility Supports – will include a coordinator to help clients navigate the system, job coaching and skills training, increased financial help for home and vehicle modifications, and a toll-free number as single point of contact.
“Our government wants to ensure Islanders living with disabilities can access the tools they need to reach their full potential and contribute to society as fully as possible,” Family and Human Services Minister Tina Mundy said. “These improvements mean supports will be more personalized and focus on empowering individuals and their families.”
Some of the new or enhanced supports include:
• support for all disabilities including physical, intellectual, neurological, sensory and mental, based on an assessment;
• a new assessment tool to help better understand how the disability affects activities of daily living to ensure appropriate support is provided;
• new Community Connector positions to focus on improving people’s independence and more active participation in community living;
• a supports coordinator to navigate all available support services and develop a personalized plan to meet individual needs;
• increased supports for finding or keeping a job including coaching and skills training;
• increased financial help for home and vehicle modifications required because of a disability -$10,000 every 10 years for home (was $2,000 in a lifetime) and $6,000 every 8 years for a vehicle (was $2,000 in a lifetime); and
• a single point of contact by calling a toll-free number for easier access to support.
Over the past year government and the AccessAbility Advisory Council have engaged with Islanders about what is working well and how supports could be improved so that those with disabilities get the appropriate support they need.
“We are very pleased that the inclusions mean Islanders who are disabled by mental illnesses may be eligible for support,” said Reid Burke, executive director of the Canadian Mental Health Association. “It is important to provide the necessary supports to those who are impacted by mental illnesses so they have the best chance for recovery.”
The changes are effective July 16, 2018. Current disability support clients will automatically be enrolled in AccessAbility Supports.
For more information, visit princeedwardisland.ca/accessability-supports or call 1-877-569-0546.
Support is provided through AccessAbility Supports (princeedwardisland.ca/accessability-supports) for unmet needs based on an assessment to determine how an individual’s disability impacts their daily life.
Help is available under five areas of support.
1. My Personal Supports to help with personal daily living may include assistance such as:
- life skills training in areas like meal preparation, budgeting, grocery shopping, recreational activities;
- technical aids and assistive devices such as a wheel chair; and
- supports that enable an individual to be self-sufficient and live independently such as in-home supports or personal care workers.
2. My Housing Supports to help with independent living may include assistance such as:
- financial assistance to provide daily supervision and guidance in a community residential setting; and
- financial help for required home and vehicle modifications - $10,000 every 10 years for a home (was $2,000 in a lifetime) and $6,000 every 8 years for a vehicle (was $2,000 in a lifetime).
3. My Community Supports to help increase active participation in the community may include:
- assistance with finding or keeping a job including coaching, skills training, and supports for youth transitioning from the education system to the workforce; and
- supports to enable active participation in the community such as day programming, personal aid or specialized transportation.
4. My Caregiver Supports to help family members or caregivers may include:
- respite for caregivers to allow them time to have a break and recharge; and
- support to provide supervision for adults who are unable to safely be left home alone so that care givers can go to work or school.
5. My Financial Supports to help with basic living expenses if needed may include:
- assistance for basic needs such as food, clothing, shelter, household and personal supplies through what is called Assured Income.