A new investment from the provincial government could change the lives of persons living with disabilities.
“Nova Scotians with different abilities have told us they want new opportunities to live as independently as they possibly can and to be supported and included in their community,” said Community Services Minister Joanne Bernard.
A total of $3 million from the new budget will go to new initiatives in the Disabilities Support Program.
- $800,000 will be earmarked for service centres throughout Nova Scotia.
- $2.2 million will be used to move 25-individuals from larger, residential settings in Nova Scotia back into the community.
Advocates say it’s money that’s desperately needed to better the lives of Nova Scotians with disabilities and their families.
“Would I have liked it to to be a little bit more? Absolutely but it’s an investment in people and I think that’s what’s the most important thing,” said Cathy Deagle-Gammon, executive director of the Dartmouth Adult Services Centre (DASC).
DASC is one of 29 organizations throughout the province that provide inclusion and support for persons with disabilities.
There’s over 400 people waiting to access programs like DASC.
“We’re the lucky ones, we’re here now. There are a lot of people out in the community that need the support of facilities like DASC and we hope that this funding isn’t the end of it,” said Faith Scattolon, whose daughter, Victoria, attends the day program at DASC.
“Like all parents you think about what your child is going to do with their life but quite frankly when you have a child with a disability you think about it a lot more,” said Scattolon.
The centre gives Victoria the opportunity to work in a facility and gives her a sense of belonging, Scattolon says.
“She feels that she’s needed here, she has a job to do here and she takes it very seriously and doesn’t want to miss work ever at all,” said Scattolon.
Support services also provide mental health benefits to people who may end up feeling isolated.
“I think that people graduate from school to the couch and it’s dismal because it affects the entire family. Everybody is compromised because of the lack of support and services for people with disabilities,” said Deagle-Gammon.