“From My Heart to Yours”, Story Sharing Evening
Monday, May 1, 2023 – 6:30-8:30 pm
Would you like assistance getting your story written down? If so, join us on May 1, 2023 at 6:30 pm to receive assistance. People and families who would like help to get their story written down, will be matched with a volunteer who will assist.
Register online here: https://forms.gle/wG72zjknzJCcomRS6
OR by emailing: email@example.com
Here is the flyer with more details: From My Heart to Yours, Story Sharing Event – May 1, 2023
——- Are you someone who would like to assist a person to share their story and get it written down? If so, please email the Individualized Funding Coalition at the email above. Let us know of your interest. Judith and Kory will connect soon.——–
Out the Starting Gate with Actions, Learning and Hope!
A total of 73 participants came together virtually for the Now is the Time gathering on March 23, 2023! Participants attended from all across the province as far north and west as Kenora and as far south as Windsor and Essex County. A total of 52 people and families attended, as well as 21 agency professionals and independent facilitators. Twelve family-led networks and organizations were represented. Eight independent facilitation organizations and/or facilitation training orgs were represented, as well as seven supportive agencies. As a result of polling results from three surveys during the event AND conversations with self-advocates, families and allies, leaders with the Individualized Funding Coalition for Ontario have a wealth of information for further direction.
The PowerPoint Presentation is available. The last slide in the presentation has a number of links on it to direct people to various types of information. This could be helpful if you decide to have conversations in your own communities, and/or want to be part of some actions. Click below to download a pdf of the PowerPoint: PPT Now is the Time Mar 23, 2023 Event.
Highlights that have come about because of the gathering and/or with follow-up include:
- Story Sharing Evening planned for Monday, May 1, 2023 6:30 – 8:30 pm
- Volunteers coming forward to assist others with their stories and get them written down
- Plans for supporting story writers/listeners
- Local conversations that are starting to be talked about
- Invitations for new partnership ventures with IFCO
- New action pages added to the IFCO website
- Link for on-line membership form: https://clw.formstack.com/forms/ifco_membership
- New Information and Membership Brochure for download on the website.
An invitation for conversation and collective action! Welcome fellow citizens: individuals, families, friends, partners and allies! Join this event – a call for action, learning and hope!
Now is the Time! Thurs. March 23, 2023 – 6:30-8:00 pm
Have you experienced barriers that prevent you or someone you care about from living life as a full citizen? Have you or someone you care about who lives with disabilities, been waiting a long time for SSAH, Passport, or any other type of individualized funding in this province? Do you need adequate funding to pay support workers to help live a basic life like other citizens in Ontario? Do you wish you had a facilitator – someone that stands with “you” through life’s ups & downs? IF YOU ANSWERED YES TO ANY OF THESE QUESTIONS – THIS EVENT IS FOR YOU! HERE IS WHAT TO EXPECT:
- A starting point for all of us!
- Highlights from the Now is the Time paper!
- A common message!
- Actions that are doable! Sharing of ideas!
- Partners & allies who are aligned and want fellow citizens – people and families living with disabilities – to do more than ‘just’ survive . . . and to have the right supports and funding for a self-directed tailor-made everyday life!
- 8:00-8:30 pm – An optional time for peer-to-peer conversations and questions.
DOWNLOAD THE EVENT FLYER HERE: Now is the Time! March 23, 2022-Flyer
October 2022 – Message from the Individualized Funding Coalition (IFCO)
Now is the Time!
The Individualized Funding Coalition for Ontario (IFCO) is pleased to be launching a comprehensive paper called: Now is the Time, Key Principles and Core Elements to Bring About Effective Individualized Funding Mechanisms in Ontario. Click the image or this link to download Now is the Time
This paper is a synthesis of many of the writings produced by IFCO, as well as some provincial, national and international research reports and information, and direct input from people, families and others. It is about individualized funding, third party assistance like independent facilitation and planning, individualized mechanisms and structures for people including the recognition of rights, support for decision-making, social networks and more. All this leading to an effective individualized approach for living an everyday, ordinary life of inclusion and social connections.
The principles, core elements and approaches described in this paper apply to all people living with vulnerabilities at every stage of life from young children and families looking for community inclusion, to youth and adults living their own unique lives, to elders and seniors who want to stay in their homes, neighbourhoods and communities.
IFCO has had opportunity to collaborate with many like-minded individuals, families, allies, agencies and provincial partners over the past 28 years while working to build positive change. The kind of change that leads to people and their trusted others having control over key decisions, and having the funding and supports they need to live a good life expanding relationships and meeting others.
The values and principles taken up by IFCO have been affirmed by individuals, their families and/or trusted others over time and proven to be central elements of a desirable individualized funding model. These principles include community inclusion, community first, natural relationships and access to third party structures, (like independent facilitation and planning supports), to foster an everyday, ordinary life of inclusion. They have been re-affirmed recently with input from people, families, and allies at 10 different gatherings where IFCO was presenting and/or facilitating discussions in 2021 and 2022. Affirmation also came through many international research reports that have been published in the last 4 years that identify shared values and principles, similar to those we have named as crucial to the success of individualized funding, also lending credibility to the work.
The primary purpose of the first individualized funding programs developed in Ontario was to promote social inclusion by supporting individuals to remain in their homes and to contribute in their neighbourhoods and local community. The focus on social inclusion and supporting individuals (of all ages) to live in their homes, neighbourhood and local community has been significantly lost over the past 10 years.
Today, we are seeing less investment for individualized, inclusive type/home support funding being allocated for individuals with physical disabilities, individuals living with developmental/intellectual disabilities, and older citizens who need extra assistance. We are finding that the individuals and families who were devoted in their advocacy for social inclusion and who worked at creating individualized custom supports feel defeated. Not only because they are aging and have less capacity to continue to advocate for coherent options, but because they see a bleak future for their loved one and even for themselves. One of our allies has summed it up best: “For people with disabilities needing support it is like having a straight line to Long-Term Care.”
We all know that Long Term Care institutions continue to be heavily funded to grow and expand as a ‘residential’ option. LTC institutions appear to be the acceptable default option for seniors and people with disabilities. We have seen LTC being promoted and favoured for those living with significant needs in social media. Without investments in individualized funding, supportive housing arrangements and daily life, the future looks grim.
At recent IFCO gatherings, we heard loud and clear that people and families were highly dissatisfied with the lack of adequate and equitable individualized funding, the unreliability of the funding, and the lack of power and control they were given over the funding. They were also frustrated with the lack of resources they were given to engage independent facilitation and planning support to enhance their capacity for creating an everyday ordinary life in the community.
The Now is the Time paper outlines individualized funding approaches that recognize basic rights with supports for decision-making, along with good principles, and adequate funding to live a good life – all together keystone pieces that make a significant difference moving forward. The paper presents a way to ground joint action in core values and principles.
The Individualized Funding Coalition for Ontario recognizes the need to bring like-minded individuals, families, trusted others, allies, independent facilitators, agencies and provincial partners together for collective action and moving forward. We leave off with an invitation forthcoming for collective action . . . Now is the Time.
The Individualized Funding Coalition for Ontario (IFCO) would like to welcome you to our website. It is our hope that you will find this site helpful for learning more about Individualized Funding and the possibilities it presents for people living with disabilities and for our elders as they face changes in their later years. We are a ‘coalition’ of different members who have lived experience with disability and various forms of individualized funding. We are working together to keep moving Individualized Funding forward in Ontario.
Individualized Funding is a support that assists people with disabilities and others to live an everyday ordinary life because it offers more choice and control. Supporting people to make their own decisions also assists them to live an ordinary life. Below is the IFCO Accord which outlines more fully what we believe.
The Individualized Funding Coalition for Ontario supports the self-determination of persons with disabilities.
We believe in all people having control over decisions concerning where they live, with whom they live, with whom they associate and how they spend their lives.
In order to achieve this we recognize that Ontario must develop a system of funding whereby the person requiring assistance, supported as appropriate by family and/or others, has access to and control over the funds allocated for his/her supports.
Thank you for visiting the website for the Individualized Funding Coalition for Ontario. The purpose for this site is to provide information to members and allies about individualized funding and related topics. Most of our own documents available for downloading on the site have been updated with our current email address. There may be a few that have the old information. Please note our current contact information below.
Address: Individualized Funding Coalition for Ontario
c/o 3357 Walker Rd, Suite 2, Windsor, ON N8W 5J7