E2 Intellectual Disability Culture And Service Engagement for Newcomers to Toronto_Bob Ferguson & Layla Ibrahim


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E2 Intellectual Disability Culture And Service Engagement for Newcomers to Toronto_Bob Ferguson & Layla Ibrahim

  1. 1. Intellectual Disability, Culture and Service Engagement for Newcomers Community Living Toronto April 24, 2009
  2. 2. Agenda 1. What is an intellectual disability 2. Community Living Toronto video 3. Stats: Need for access and supports 4. Results and Recommendations from the United Way/Roeher/Community Living Toronto report 4. How to Access Services and Supports 5. ConnectABILITY workshop 6. Questions 2
  3. 3. Workshop Objective: To Bridge the gaps between settlement and disability services by: a) Settlement Agencies getting to know the disability services in Toronto/Ontario and how to access them. b) Start to think about strategies on how settlement workers and Community Living staff can work together.
  4. 4. Intellectual Disability vs. Learning Disability • Intellectual Disability: A person may learn new skills at a different rate. It is life long and can affect a person’s emotional, and daily living skills. For example Down Syndrome and Autism • Learning Disability: A person learns and understands instructions in different ways; therefore the way a teacher teaches needs to be changed or modified to accommodate the person’s learning style. 4
  5. 5. Newcomers with Disabilities Need for Supports • 87% needed help accessing community/recreation activities • 84% needed a modified work schedule in order to provide care • 81% needed help with information and referral to supports and services • 78% needed life/social skills development • 78% needed respite care • 65% needed child care 5
  6. 6. Access to Supports • 33% of respondents reported receiving no help from friends, neighbours, or service agencies • 70% indicated difficulty participating in activities with other families because of a lack of special supports or equipment • 38% had difficulty participating in activities because they felt they “were not wanted” 6
  7. 7. Community Living and the Developmental Services Sector 7
  8. 8. Disability, Culture and Service Engagement • Established our starting point • Provided key Findings and Recommendations 8
  9. 9. Process • Literature Review of all relevant materials • Community consultations with members of the groups studied • Interviews with service providers who work with members of these groups • In-depth surveys and focus groups with persons with disabilities, their families, members of the three communities and ethno-specific social service organizations 9
  10. 10. Somali Community • Confusion about the difference between mental health issues and intellectual disability • Little discrimination between types of illness/ chronic health issues/disability • Somali culture relies on the verbal exchange of information • “Too many taboos” Somalis suffer from multiple forms of exclusion (e.g. employment, housing, administration problems related to a lack of official citizenship documentation), therefore the problems associated with intellectual disability may not be seen as a primary service need. 10
  11. 11. Chinese Community • There is a great deal of diversity among the Chinese community in Toronto and Canada • Families may feel that they should take sole responsibility for the provision of care • There is great value in “keeping face,” (i.e. maintaining strength of character and the position of one’s family) and great possible loss in “losing face” (i.e. seeming weak or bringing shame to one’s family). 11
  12. 12. Tamil Community • Families may not acknowledge the presence of disability • Children with disabilities may be excluded from social gatherings, hidden from the community • Families may feel marriage prospects of children are compromised by the presence of a person with a disability in the family – points to widespread negative beliefs within the community • Two major barriers to Tamil community use of support services are (1) lack of knowledge about what services are available, and (2) lack of English language skills/shortage of information in the Tamil language • Tamil individuals and families may be more comfortable looking outside their ethnic community for help and support. 12
  13. 13. Recommendations Establish ongoing relationships between Community Living agencies, ethno-cultural organizations and settlement workers. Work with ethno-cultural organizations to establish support groups for individuals with disabilities and their families. This would allow those touched by disability to “come out of hiding” and connect with others facing similar situations in a safe environment 13
  14. 14. Recommendations As much as possible, offer service coordination in the first language of the family, either through interpreters or employment of staff fluent in languages other than English. Community Living agencies to strengthen connections with schools in their area. Relationships with newcomer families can be started and maintained through connections to principals, teachers, guidance counselors, etc. 14
  15. 15. Recommendations Community Living organizations can work together with settlement agencies to educate families on intellectual disabilities and services available to them 15
  16. 16. Outcome Statements • Community Living Toronto will outreach to all communities in Toronto so all people who have an intellectual disability and their families will have equal knowledge and access to our services and supports. • Community Living Toronto’s staff will have the skills, knowledge and resources to support individuals and families from the various backgrounds and cultures within the City of Toronto 16
  17. 17. Access, Resources and Services
  18. 18. Access to Services and Supports • Community Living Toronto www.communitylivingtoronto.ca Our Access numbers: 647-426-3219 (3220) • City Kids www.mothercraft.ca 416-920-6543 • Developmental Services of Toronto www.dsto.com • Respite Services www.respiteservices.com 18
  19. 19. Resources 19
  20. 20. Community Living Toronto Family Support • Mom’s Support Groups • Pilot Parents • Sib Shops • Person Directed Planning 20
  21. 21. Individualized Government Funding available to families • Special Services at Home • Ontario Disability Support Program: Income Supports • Passport Funding • Assistance for Children with Severe Disabilities Program www.mcss.gov.on.ca 21
  22. 22. Toronto Parks and Recreation • Adapted Programs / Integrated Services • Adapted Programs: Recreation programs promote both social and skill development. Qualified staff gives encouragement and support to meet the individual needs of the participants. Staff are 18 years or older and are selected based on positive attitude, experience working with individuals with special needs, enthusiasm and compassion. • Integrated Services: Participating together in recreation programs enhances the quality of life for everyone. People with disabilities/special needs are encouraged to participate in diverse recreational opportunities within their community, at a level of participation suitable to their ability, program choice and facility access. • For detailed program information refer to the district of your choice. • Adapted & Integrated - North York • Adapted & Integrated -Etobicoke York • Adapted & Integrated -Toronto/East York • Adapted & Integrated - Scarborough 22
  23. 23. Web-site • French: Les gens sont importants • Portuguese:O importante são as pessoas • Shrilankan: இைை அைைததம மககைைபறறியைை • Spanish: Todo por las personas • Somalian: Dadka ayeey ku saabsan tahay • Italian:Si parla di persone • Mandarin: 為智障人士提供創新的支援服務,我們在這方面一直站在領導的地位。 23
  24. 24. Why we need to work with the Settlement Sector • Settlement workers are one of the first contacts for newcomers upon their arrival in Canada • There is a trust level established already between the families and the settlement workers • The Settlement and Ethnic specific organizations have the skills and resources to support the language and cultural barriers • Community Living has been more successful when partnering with the Settlement Sector in providing supports for newcomers with an intellectual disability 24
  25. 25. Results from the Survey N/A, 3 • Have you encountered challenges when providing No, 34 service/support to individuals and families from diverse Yes, 74 backgrounds and cultures? General Admin Gender Issues Family Resistance Religious Dif f erences Cultural Dif f erences Language Barriers 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 25
  26. 26. N/A, 10 • Do you utilize any internal or external resources to No, 41 Yes, 60 support you with these challenges? Training Literature Translator Outside Agency Professional Internet Family/Friend Co-worker 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 26
  27. 27. • We have developed a partnership plan to educate the Somali Community on intellectual disabilities and access to services and supports • Developed a working relationship between Midaynta and Community Living Toronto Family Support Workers to support Somali families 27
  28. 28. • Information sessions on Services and Supports in English, Mandarin and Cantonese • Support with (and distribution of the results) of our research study on Culture, Disability and Service Engagement • Support with Mandarin and Cantonese translations of information on ConnectABILITY 28
  29. 29. • We have connected Working Women Community Centre’s child care supports to Community Living Toronto’s Early Childhood Services • Working Women Community Centre connected us with OCASI (Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants) 29
  30. 30. Interactive Discussion Session • A newcomer parent told you that she would like some information on health services in order to “cure” her son (15 years old) with Down Syndrome. The mother also told you that she would keep her son at home, out of the sight of the community until her son “felt” a little bit better. She also asked you not to call Children’s Aid. What are some options and strategies that you do with the family. 30
  31. 31. Information Available Electronically • Report on Disability, Culture and Service Engagement (in 5 languages) • This Power Point presentation (with all of it’s web links) • Information on Community Living Toronto, the Developmental Service Sector of Toronto and Community Living Ontario • Developmental Services Branch information from the Ministry of Community and Social Services (Spotlight on Transformation) 31
  32. 32. Thank you 32