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Can you imagine being forced to be live in a locked unit in a psychiatric hospital even

though you neither wanted nor needed to stay in the hospital, let alone in a locked unit?

Can you imagine your feelings if you were repeatedly told that you would be
found a home in the community but it never happened?

I can and it makes me shudder.

Listen to my interview on CBC's Main Street program concerning the current Human
Rights claim against the Province with respect to housing for individuals with intellectual
disabilities.

In 2015, a Human Rights Complaint was brought against the Disability


Support program on behalf of three long-term residents of Emerald Hall.

Intended to be a temporary (up to three months) acute care in-patient unit serving clients
who live with intellectual disabilities as well as complex mental and/or physical health
issues, there are individuals who have spent literally decades "living" there. Not because
they needed the services the unit provides, but because

Emerald Hall supports adults living with a mental illness and developmental
disability who are not able to live in the community either because of a lack of
available resources or a need for intense support that is only available in
hospital. Many of Emerald Hall’s current clients are long-term residents. As such
its occupancy is almost always 100 per cent. However, crisis admission is
sometimes available to registered clients.
(Emphasis added)

This complaint, if successful, has the potential to shake up the Disability Support program
for all of us, in a very positive way. The crux of the case is the argument that the three
complainants were discriminated against by being forced to stay in an institution, where
they neither want nor need to be. That DCS discriminated against these individuals by
providing assistance for people without disabilities, who are in need, to live in the
community while failing for many, many years to take into account and accommodate their
differing needs and offer supports for them to live in the community.