Jenny Clement has an educational resume that would put best of us to shame: a Bachelor of Social Work, as able-bodied as two Masters Degrees, one in Social Work and one in Critical Disabilities Studies.
All in all it was an absorbing resume back she activated for a job with a accommodating alignment in Barrie.
She landed the position with Gilda’s Club Simcoe-Muskoka and for the accomplished year has been analogous programs that serve and abetment bodies with blight and their families. Her bang-up gives her aglow reviews and would be blessed to accumulate Clement in her four day a anniversary position.
But as of February 12, she faces unemployment and welfare.
“It’s acutely frustrating…a decay of my education,” she said.
She was built-in with bookish palsy, gets about in a automatic wheelchair and has bound use of her hands. Clement has been able to do her job because of a adolescent man called J.R. He types for her, dials the phone, holds the receiver to her ear and about acts as her easily about the office. In the chat of this field, he is her accessory and for the accomplished year his bacon has been covered by a check allotment arrangement.
This ages it runs out and back it does, Cement’s job comes to an end.
When we interviewed her in the antechamber of the Gilda’s Club building, she was animated and beholden for the befalling to acquaint her story. Because of her affliction it is at times difficult to accomplish out what she was saying. She has abstruse aides, forth with J.R. to abetment in authoritative herself accepted with her clients.
But aptitude in, and alert anxiously it was bright that this is an intelligent, clear woman who has affected aerial barriers to get herself through university and assimilate the job market.
“It’s bigger to accept me alive so at atomic I can be productive,” she said.
The Managing Director of Gilda’s Club, Deborah Loosemore, said options are limited. The alms gets no government allotment and is already on the bend of alive a deficit. Her alignment aloof cannot allow the $20,000 a year it would booty to pay for the attendant.
The arena does armamentarium this affectionate of abetment but there are continued cat-and-mouse lists and Clement has not been able to admission the money.
“It’s abundantly frustrating,” said Loosemore. “I can alone brainstorm what it’s like for addition in that position to action these battles over and over again.”
Health Abbot Deb Matthews was not accustomed with Clement’s case, but said Queen’s Park has afresh added the allotment for accessory affliction by $5 actor this year.
“We are actual committed to adulatory and architecture on and demography advantage of the abilities that bodies with disabilities have,” she said.
The new allotment is accepted to advice about a thousand people. Advocates for the disabled accord the abbot acclaim for advancing up with added money, but agenda that there are absolutely about 5 thousand bodies on delay lists for home care. Options are bound for those who charge accessory casework on the job.
In short, said Peter Athanasopoulos of Spinal Cord Injury Ontario, the added money is not enough.
“There is a gap in abutment for bodies with disabilities in the workforce,” he said.
He has been a quadriplegic back a diving blow at age 17 and now is the administrator of accessible action and government relations for the organization. As you ability apprehend in an appointment that lobbies for disabled rights, there are abounding workers in wheelchairs. Athanasopoulos has some use of his hands, but still needs abetment with banal tasks like stapling or filing. There is an accessory accessible who helps him and anyone abroad who needs it. But this is an alignment with acceptable assets to pay for it and a axial authorization that demands it.
Other administration either cannot allow it, or accept to not acquire the expense. Athanasopoulos argued that it makes both bread-and-er and altruistic faculty for government to ample the gap.
“It’s arresting because rather than enabling bodies to be taxpayers and alive advisers we’re in actuality banishment them to be on welfare,” he said.
When we larboard Jenny Clement she was still animated and attractive advanced to seeing herself on television. But abaft the brilliant demeanour she was afraid February 12 and the aftereffect that unemployment would accept not alone on her coffer annual but on her accord of mind.
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