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 these two institutions, 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
By signing this petition you can help Teresa get an apology for the harm done to her -- even to this day, two 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 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.
We appeared to be getting traction -- 48 hours after we launched this petition, the CEO of the Toronto Central CCAC, Stacey Daub, responded with a public apology to Teresa on Change.org. "I apologize for any part the Toronto Central CCAC contributed to this." However her apology was hollow. The "thorough investigation" which CEO Daub launched failed to find any wrongs done by them -- when we challenged them on the facts and asked why key evidence was omitted from their report, they told us in writing they would not answer any more questions. We have filed Freedom of Information and PHIPA requests with the CCAC, the Ontario Ministry of Health, and the Rekai Centre to expose the truth.
Sadly, the Rekai Centre has not responded at all. We need the Rekai Centre to offer a full and public apology for the harm they caused Teresa.
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
Nowhere Else to Go: 2007 / Toronto Star http://www.thestar.com/life/2007/02/16/nowhere_else_to_go.html
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 www.teresapocock.com
Franke James started this petition with a single signature, and now has 25,836 supporters. Start a petition today to change something you care about.