Over 2,000 adults and thousands more children and youth who struggle with developmental disabilities and special needs are on “waitlists” for badly needed community living supports and services.
Since these “waitlists” are thousands long it is clear there is very little prospect for many getting the help they need. Coupled with barriers such as eligibility and program criteria, the system seems designed to not give people service. The current economic climate and rumours of government cutbacks lend even more urgency to dealing with the plight of these vulnerable and often forgotten citizens.
The BCTF has endorsed a campaign to address these waitlists. The End Waitlists Now campaign is co-ordinated by the BC Association for Community Living. Members are encouraged to lend their support and get active in the campaign. The End Waitlists Now website (www.endwaitlists-now.org) has a number of ways people can be involved: Talking to MLAs and the political parties, letters to the editor, invitations to join a virtual rally, relating any direct experiences, and contributing to the blog.
As one contributor has put it, “We cannot afford—either ethically or financially—to ignore this issue any longer. Families are in crisis and government must listen.”