For over 30 years, people with a developmental disability,
their family and friends, and an array of disability organizations
have advocated for an alternative to guardianship in Ontario.
Guardianship removes people’s power over their own lives and is a fundamental violation of their human rights. A reality that was acknowledged by the United Nations over a decade ago.
Now, more than ever, the consequences of this inaction will take an even greater toll on the lives of people living with a developmental disability in Ontario.
The Federal government allows for some family members to open and manage an RDSP for a beneficiary who may not be able to manage one for themselves but many people with a developmental disability in Ontario and around the country are still left out. They are unable to access the program and its many benefits or to access funds saved on their behalf without first relinquishing all of their legal rights through a guardianship order. This completely defeats the intended purpose of the RDSP.
There is an alternative that is legally recognized in British Columbia, the Yukon, Manitoba and many other jurisdictions around the world – Supported Decision Making.
Isn’t it time to respect the legal rights of all people living with a developmental disability in Ontario and remove legal barriers that are so detrimental?