The challenge: Once young adults transition out of the educational system at age 21, services are scarce and difficult to access and to navigate. Often families don’t know where to turn.
Many organizations that provide services don’t collaborate to optimize delivery and don’t solicit advice from families–stakeholders with years of lived experience.
Many people are not sensitized to neurodiversity and want guidance on how to be more supportive.
The solution: Alink is continually communicating with organizations and decisionmakers to promote the funding and delivery of services to young adults and to offer insight as well as practical advice on how to create an inclusive and supportive community.
Here are some examples:
During the COVID-19 crisis, most support workers in health and social services were diverted to long term care institutions, leaving young adults at home 24/7 with very little support. Alink responded by contacting local MNAs and the Board of the CIUSSS West-Central Montreal and requesting that the Ministry of Health & Social Services address our concerns. We also participated in a national letter-writing campaign to provincial and federal officials that urged the government to respond to the needs of people with disabilities.
In February 2020, Alink organized “The Power of Community: How Can We Co-Create An Inclusive Community?” a public discussion with a panel of leaders from many local support organizations along with inclusion expert Shelly Christensen, author of “From Longing to Belonging—A Practical Guide to Including People with Disabilities and Mental Health Conditions in Your Faith Community.”
Alink members also participate regularly in forums sponsored by other organizations, such as the Miriam Home’s Users Committee, the CIUSSS West-Central Montreal’s Board meetings and the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs’ (CIJA) annual “Disability Fly-In,” in which advocates from across the country meet with federal officials in Ottawa to advance disability inclusion.