Vela, Family Support Institute BC and PLAN are working together because we are deeply concerned about access to health care, social supports, disability benefits and other financial support for people with disabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Our organizations represent thousands of families across British Columbia.
On Friday, we wrote to the Provincial Government to urge the following:
1. Mandate the immediate suspension of group activity. Despite Dr. Bonnie Henry advising people with disabilities to stay home, they are still being sent to day services. This must stop immediately. There is no reason why people with disabilities should be treated differently than the general public. This is endangering our loved ones, their staff, and families;
2. Reallocate the necessary additional resources to support people with disabilities in their homes and places of residence. In addition, disability benefits must continue, and people with disabilities must be included in the financial relief and stimulus packages that your government is preparing for the upcoming budget;
3. Convene a Task Force to develop a provincial emergency health care strategy for people with disabilities, their families and service providers. This is a particularly high-risk group that absolutely must avoid infection, continue to receive regular health care and therapies, and not be harmed by potential health care rationing. This strategy should be created with engagement from people with disabilities and their families.
We look forward to working collaboratively with the Province in the days, weeks and months ahead. Together, we will ensure that people with disabilities across BC receive the care and consideration they deserve during the response to COVID-19.
Here is what you can do to help: contact your MLA, local media.
Reach out to other families; reach out to disabled people who are isolated.
Sign up for our tip sheet: www.plan.ca
Or phone 1-844-311-7526 (PLAN)