Reform Assistive Devices Program (ADP)
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The Assistive Devices Program (ADP) is mandated to help people in Ontario with long-term physical disabilities pay for customized equipment, like wheelchairs, walkers, communication devices, hearing aids, and more. The ADP is also supposed to help cover the costs of specialized supplies, such as those used with ostomies.
There are many problems with the ADP program. Though it is supposed to take 6-8 weeks to be able to have a file processed, people with disabilities can often wait for many more months to hear back about an application, and receive the required assistive device. This is due to a chronic underfunding and understaffing of the program.
ADP program does not cover repair costs. People with disabilities are forced to pay repair costs themselves, which can cost thousands of dollars in many cases, leaving us to believe that assistive devices are not viewed as a necessary part of our healthcare infrastructure. This leads to many people with disabilities not having the support they need to live full, independent lives, and in the worst case scenario, putting lives at risk.
Additionally, The Ministry of Health and Long Term Care specifies that people with disabilities are expected to pay "their share" of the costs for assistive devices directly, by either going to non profits, charities, insurance companies, relatives, or friends for money.
Lastly, people who wait for repairs for their assistive devices, after coming up with the money to cover their repairs, often have to wait for months to receive their equipment because vendors that sell or repair assistive devices are not properly licensed or subjected to reviews. This leaves people without the devices they need for an undue amount of time.
Assistive devices are necessary for people with disabilities to be able to live and function. Assistive devices should be treated as a necessary part of our healthcare system, not a luxury addition. The Disability Justice Network is calling for the following changes, and asks for your support through signing the following petition:
We, the undersigned, are concerned residents in Ontario with disabilities or are allies of the disabilities. We urge The Ministry of Health and Long Term Care to take the following actions as it pertains to the Assistive Devices Program (ADP) in Ontario:
- License all vendors that sell and/or repair assistive devices in Ontario.
- Have all vendors that sell and/or repair assistive devices be subjected to annual reviews by The Ministry of Health and Long Term Care.
- Mandate and enforce timely access to assistive devices funded partially or in full by The Ministry of Health and Long Term Care including addressing the backlogged files as it relates to Assistive Devices Program.
- Mandate and enforce timely access to repairs as it relates to assistive devices funded partially or in full by The Ministry of Health and Long Term Care. including addressing the backlogged files as it relates to Assistive Devices Program.
- Mandate and enforce clearer supports as it relates to the transition between pediatric and adult services.
- Mandate and enforce adequate staffing for the Assistive Devices Program, in order to address the backlog.
- Provide necessary loaner assistive devices for people with disabilities who are having their assistive devices repaired.
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