Caregivers of adults with developmental disabilities, community members, and developmental services workers are concerned and angered by the abrupt closure of six day program sites by Community Living Guelph Wellington.

Day programs provide valuable opportunities for adults with developmental disabilities to congregate, have a good social life, get out of the house, and learn new skills. Day program closures have forced adults with developmental disabilities to be home-bound, isolated from their friends, and has left their parents and caregivers without any much-needed respite.

Hundreds of parents and caregivers of adults with developmental disabilities are now stuck without any support. In many areas impacted by the day program closures, there are no similar programs that parents can turn to.

Community Living Guelph Wellington is eliminating day programs in favor of limited supervised community outings, which poses many challenges for workers, parents, caregivers, and adults with developmental disabilities.

We call on Community Living Guelph Wellington to immediately restore funding to day programs, invest in appropriate community outings for program participants, and begin a meaningful consultation with caregivers, parents, and adults with disabilities to develop a new and inclusive path forward.

Please add your name to our letter to the Executive Director, Laura Hanley, the Board of Directors of Community Living Guelph Wellington; Randy Pettapiece, PC MPP for Perth—Wellington, Mike Schreiner, Green MPP for Guelph, and Ted Arnott, PC MPP for Wellington—Halton Hills and Speaker.

To whom it may concern,

I am gravely disappointed by your decision to suddenly close six day program sites across Ontario. Your decision to eliminate this service has completely uprooted the lives of parents, caregivers, and adults with developmental disabilities.

For many parents and caregivers of adults with developmental disabilities, day programs were the only accessible programming available in the community. Now, without congregated day programming, many adults with developmental disabilities will be cut off from their friends, forced to be home-bound, and will receive significantly less hours of support per week.

The proposed model of limited, supervised community outings will be disastrous. Direct support professionals, workers in developmental services, caregivers, and parents all recognize the importance of day program sites. In fact, many generously donated to the capital campaigns aimed to erect the very spaces you just closed.

People with developmental disabilities deserve better and have been ignored for far too long. I call on you to restore day programs and create additional encompassing services so that adults with developmental disabilities have access to the supports they need and deserve.

Sincerely,

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