Human Rights Should Never Be Disabled. Forced into LongTerm Care at 49, my sister with Down syndrome wants apology.

With the stroke of a pen, my disabled sister's human right to decide where she lives was wrongly taken away. 

In a heart-breaking move, Teresa who has Down syndrome, was forced against her will into an old-age nursing home, by the Toronto Central CCAC (Community Care Access Centre) and two of my siblings. Four days later, she was rescued by my 91-year old father who was "adamant" he did not want his daughter living in a nursing home. But then the nursing home called the police, in a shockingly callous and bizarre effort to force her back. 

Teresa is demanding an apology from the Ontario government, the CCAC and the Rekai Centre. This is a sorry mess. Her records show that the crisis list was manipulated to get Teresa to the very top, and placed in the nursing home. Her profile contained false information which made her appear to need 24/7 care. See the presentation I made with Teresa, to the Ontario Government's Select Committee: 

Teresa’s story: Crisis, Capacity and Courage

UPDATE March 2016:

The capacity assessment stripped Teresa of her right to choose where she lives. But the test should never have taken place. I can say that with certainty because we recently filed Freedom of Information requests in 2016. We discovered that the capacity test was unlawfully conducted. Documents from the Ontario Ministry of Health show that the Community Care Access Centre (CCAC) ignored Teresa’s directions in her 1995 Power of Attorney document. The POA clearly stated that only Teresa’s own doctor could conduct a capacity test (or a doctor chosen by her POA, who was my father at that time).

By signing this petition you can help Teresa get an apology for the harm done to her -- even to this day, two and a half years later she talks about "danger day". Teresa is asking the CCAC to apologize for wrongly taking away her human right to decide where she lives. Teresa is asking the Rekai Centre to apologize for calling the police in a completely unnecessary, intimidating and callous attempt to force her back into their institution.

We need a full apology from the Ontario government and both institutions because this is not just about one person -- it's about standing up for and protecting the human rights of all people with disabilities. 

The truth is that if we had not rescued Teresa from the nursing home, she would have been living in an institution -- with no right to choose otherwise -- for the rest of her life. How could this happen in Canada? That's what Teresa and her supporters want to know. 

And Teresa is not the only one being hurt. Developmentally disabled people are routinely being forced into inappropriate "care".

This is wrong. And it is having a catastrophic effect on the lives of so many people like Teresa. 

We need to stand strong to protect the rights of developmentally disabled people so that what Teresa experienced does not happen to anyone else.  

Please sign Teresa's petition, because human rights should never be disabled. Thank you in advance for your support!

P.S. Please further help Teresa by tweeting this petition #DisabilityRights

Related Stories:

2016 - South Dakota Wrongly Puts Thousands in Nursing Homes, Government Says

2016 - Institution Watch: "Human Rights Should Never Be Disabled" by Franke James Institution Watch Spring 2016 Newsletter

2016 - Family Support Institute of BC:
Human Rights Should Never Be Disabled -

Nowhere Else to Go: 2007 / Toronto Star  

Disabled Forced into Nursing Homes

"In 1987, The Arc of Illinois filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of individuals with developmental disabilities forced into nursing homes who did not require nursing home care."  

To learn more about Teresa, please visit




This petition will be delivered to:
  • CEO, The CCAC-Toronto
    Stacey Daub
  • Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care
    Hon. Dr Eric Hoskins
  • Premier of Ontario
    Kathleen Wynne
  • Ombudsman of Ontario
    Paul Dubé
  • Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada
    Honourable Jody Wilson-Raybould
  • Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities
    Honourable Carla Qualtrough

Franke James started this petition with a single signature, and now has 26,149 supporters. Start a petition today to change something you care about.