Disability Advocacy Network of Eastern Ontario continues to play a key role in representing individual and family voices in the developmental services sector in our region. As a family network, we strive to ensure that families stayed informed of new developments and information sources in the community. We also work with other advocacy and family organizations to ensure that families connect with each other – to share challenges and successes – and to build confidence. As a member of Family Alliance Ontario, we have brought new ideas from beyond our region, using lessons learned and success stories from family organizations and agencies who have moved beyond the parameters of “the system” to innovate and empower.
Over the past year we have worked with local agencies and organizations, such as Service Coordination, Citizen Advocacy, Families Matter Coop, Total Communication Environment, Algonquin College, Coalition des familles francophones d’Ottawa and Personnes d’abord d’Ottawa to extend our voice in support of rights-based reform and “transformation” in the developmental services sector.
We have learned that transformation needs to be rooted in the recognition of the rights of individuals with disabilities to be treated as citizens and that supports/services should be provided that respect their citizenship and individuality. We applaud the recognition of individual rights in decisions around funding and supports, we also recognize the need to continue to push for change with a strong, collective, united voice.