Moose Jaw Express August 22, 2018
Our government’s ability to provide support to the most vulnerable individuals and families in our communities is one of the reasons our government is committed to pursuing economic growth.
The Government of Saskatchewan envisions a more welcoming, inclusive, and accessible province for people with disabilities. The 10-year Saskatchewan Disability Strategy aims to address and identify the support and service needs of children and adults living with disability whether physical, sensory, psychiatric, cognitive or intellectual.
This year, the Ministry of Social Services’ budget increased 4.8 per cent with increased funding for community-based organizations (CBOs). This includes targeted funding to those providing direct daily care to adults with intellectual disabilities and/or mental health challenges, including:
- Community-based organizations delivering day programs and residential services to adults with intellectual disabilities; and
- Approved Private Service Homes providing care to adults with intellectual disabilities and/or mental health challenges.
Our Saskatchewan Government also recognizes the need for financial assistance for students with permanent disabilities. The Canada-Saskatchewan Integrated Student Loan program has specific features to help students with permanent disabilities pay for post-secondary education.
Students with a permanent disability:
- May be eligible to receive the Canada Student Grant for Students with Permanent Disabilities, which provides up to $2,000 per school year to assist with educational or living costs;
- May take a reduced course load and be eligible for loans and grants for a longer academic period;
- May be eligible to receive the Canada-Saskatchewan Student Grant for Services & Equipment, which provides up to $10,000 per program year to purchase education-related services and assistive equipment, such as: tutors, interpreters, computer software and specialized transportation; and
- Do not have to make the fixed student contribution.
Our province wants all students to have the opportunity to access post-secondary education.
We also remain dedicated to improving services for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and their parents, caregivers and families. The recently introduced Individualized Funding provides more choice and flexibility for families, and improves access to supports.
Parents of children with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) under the age of six may receive up to $4,000 per child for therapeutic interventions and family supports that best suit their child’s individual needs. It is estimated that approximately 700 children will be eligible for funding this year.
ASD Individualized Funding is a joint Ministry of Health and Ministry of Social Services program. The Ministry of Social Services is administering the program and accepting applications. Families who have applied and met the program criteria began receiving funding this month.
The Ministry of Health is building a registry to assist parents in locating service providers. The registry posted at www.saskatchewan.ca/autism includes:
- Behavioural consultants (who may provide applied behaviour analysis);
- Physical therapists;
- Occupational therapists;
- Social workers; and
- Speech pathologists.
Private service providers are encouraged to sign up for the registry, and can contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. Funding can also be used for respite services, therapeutic equipment, training/coaching for parents/caregivers and more. For more information, consult the eligible services list available at www.saskatchewan.ca/autism.