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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Disability Rights Coalition Calls For Immediate Review


Of Operations At Outdated Government Funded Institutions:
Continued Violations of Rights of Residents Can No Longer Be Tolerated

Halifax, Nova Scotia – September 11, 2009 –The Disability Rights


Coalition expresses its outrage and demands the government of Nova
Scotia to immediately convene a full, independent review of operations
at the Riverview Adult Residential Centre in Riverton, Nova Scotia. This
demand is in light of the 19 cases of abuse against residents with
intellectual disabilities and mental illness at the Riverview Adult
Residential Centre in Riverton, Nova Scotia, and the 22 other reported
cases of abuse at other institutions throughout the province as
reported in the news earlier this week.

These cases of abuse highlight the continued violation of the rights of


residents with intellectual disabilities and mental illness living in
outdated institutions in Nova Scotia. This is a moral and social justice
issue that can no longer be tolerated.

These cases of abuse are especially disturbing in light of the fact that
in 2001 the government of Nova Scotia commissioned internationally-
renowned consultant Dr. Michael Kendrick to investigate the ways the
Nova Scotia government helps disabled people stay independent. The
report made several recommendations for better policies, improved
communications and more money to be spent on services for persons
with disabilities. When the report was released the government
committed to make decisions about the recommendations within
months. Eight years later the report has been shelved and the
government has taken little action on any of the recommendations
made by Dr. Michael Kendrick.

The Disability Rights Coalition strongly supports other advocacy and


rights groups’ appeal that a full, independent review must take place
immediately to provide justice for the vulnerable individuals who have
been harmed and for those who still reside in government funded
institutions.
The Disability Rights Coalition is an advocacy group made up of
persons with disabilities, professionals who work with individuals who
have disabilities, friends and family members. Members represent a
broad base of organizations throughout Nova Scotia.

The Coalition believes:

• That no new government dollars should be used to develop large


group homes or institutional living in Nova Scotia. Including the
4- 8 person “Community Homes”.
• Thatperson-centred planning should be established so that
supports and services are based on the wants, needs and desires
of the person. Services should recognize self-management &
supported decision-making.
• That a “Committee” composed of key community stakeholders
must be established to develop a Disability Strategy for Nova
Scotia. This strategy should include a vision of community
partnerships engaging and including stakeholders in the
decision-making process.

Contact:
Dorothy Kitchen
2815 Connaught Avenue
Halifax NS
B3L 2Z9
Telephone 902 455 0650
Email: disabilityrightscoalition@ns.sympatico.ca
Contact: Jennifer Gallant Telephone: 902 465-2316
E-mail: g_jennifer19@hotmail.com

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