My name is Wilma Arthurs and I am the parent of a 19 year old daughter with intellectual disabilities. Over the years, I have acted as an advocate on many Committee's, Boards and Planning Groups for individuals with disabilities. I have come to learn how families must wait and beg for services that are underfunded. I have seen many parents go into crisis before funding has been granted to provide services for their children. I have seen families with very young children who are waiting for Special Services at Home that is needed to help their child make the progress that is so very important in the young years. I have seen young people with intellectual disabilities make good progress and are participating members of their community while attending school and then upon graduating, loose that progress and become unhappy sitting at home without the funding that could support them to work, volunteer and live away from their parents home. I have seen elderly parents struggle to look after their grown children at home. These parents despair knowing the time is coming when they can no longer care for their children. This means their beloved adult children could very possibly end up in a hospital or nursing home where staff do not have the training or programming to provide a meaningful life for them.
I decided to try and send a strong message to Government two years ago by gathering the photos and stories of these families. Some of the families went with me to Queen's Park and met with several MPP's and Cabinet Ministers to impress upon them our needs. It was meant to be a one time thing, but has continued.
Last year, I gratefully received the help of Sherry MacNeill, a Mom who became passionate about our cause and at the same time, Barry Vosburg, a Dad who also saw merit in helping. Together, we furthered the work and now hope that this website will do more. We continue to gather photos and stories, use the media to let the public know of our needs and to carry on letting the Government know that they are providing good funding programs, but no where near enough to meet the needs of the many who sit on waiting lists.
The Real People Campaign is not aligned with any political party, union or agency. We are a group of families trying to send the message that it is our children's right to participate in society, however, we need help to make that happen.
We hope that you will join our Campaign by uploading your photo and story if you are a family affected by disability and that you will send the letter on this website to as many Government officials as you can.