Changes to Ontario Autism Programming

  • June 28, 2016
  • Kimberly Srivastava

Over the past few months, bakerlaw has continued to be contacted by families wondering about their legal rights in the wake of the Ministry of Children and Youth Services’ announcement to remove children over 5 years of age from the waitlists for IBI funding. Today the government appears to have backtracked on some of those changes. You can read more about the latest announcement here (link)

Bakerlaw suggested families turn to their schools to request accommodation. This is consistent with the remedy we are seeking in another autism related case. Our current ongoing case is aiming to have ABA to the needed intensity level provided by schools. You can read more about that case here (link).

Bakerlaw also suggested that families consider initiating an application at the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario (HRTO) to preserve their rights. You can read more about that suggestion in our earlier blog post here (link). The strategy behind this approach is that families can preserve their legal rights by filing an application and then having it stayed pending resolution of a lead case. The lead cases could go forward and set the precedent which could be relied upon by the other cases. Given that the HRTO’s legislation prevents it from hearing class action suits, this was bakerlaw’s suggestion to attempt to use resources most efficiently.

Bakerlaw has been in discussions with the Human Rights Legal Support Centre (HRLSC) regarding the best way to proceed. The HRLSC has confirmed that it intends to proceed with a lead case approach. The HRLSC is currently looking for lead cases and has further information on how to proceed even if your situation does not meet the criteria for a lead case.

You can learn more about the HRLSC approach by visiting their website (link) or reviewing their handout here (link).

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