December 14, 2018

Winnipeg
-2° C, A few clouds

Full Forecast

Advertisement

Advertise With Us

People with disabilities fight for needed services, programs

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 23/3/2017 (631 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Young Manitobans with physical disabilities are finding strength in numbers as they unite to fight for services and programs taken away from them when they hit adulthood.

"We are all united," said Tyson Sylvester, 21, who spoke up at a meeting this week in Winnipeg with 60 other "gappers" as they refer to themselves. Tuesday's meeting was organized by the the Cerebral Palsy Association of Manitoba and was the first time they gathered to talk about their common gaps in service and what action to take.

"It was an electric feeling — a symbol of hope," said Sylvester, who filed a Manitoba Human Rights Commission complaint this winter with fellow gapper, Amy Hampton, 24. He has cerebral palsy and is visually impaired. She is dealing with cerebral palsy, spastic quadriplegia, and scoliosis. They both say they’re being discriminated against on the basis of disability and age.

Those under 18 with lifelong physical disabilities qualify for comprehensive assistance. Hampton, for instance, received one-on-one support, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, speech therapy, orthotics, care at a spasticity clinic, medical supplies and equipment. That ended when she turned 18. When Hampton and Sylvester reached adulthood, they became ineligible for services and programs that helped them learn, thrive and gain some independence.

Get the full story.
No credit card required. Cancel anytime.

Join free for 30 days

After that, pay as little as $0.99 per month for the best local news coverage in Manitoba.

 

Already a subscriber?

Log in

Join free for 30 days

 

Already a subscriber?

Log in

Subscribers Log in below to continue reading,
not a subscriber? Create an account to start a 30 day free trial.

Log in Create your account

Your free trial has come to an end.

We hope you have enjoyed your trial! To continue reading, we recommend our Read Now Pay Later membership. Simply add a form of payment and pay only 27¢ per article.

For unlimited access to the best local, national, and international news and much more, try an All Access Digital subscription:

Thank you for supporting the journalism that our community needs!

Your free trial has come to an end.

We hope you have enjoyed your trial! To continue reading, we recommend our Read Now Pay Later membership. Simply add a form of payment and pay only 27¢ per article.

For unlimited access to the best local, national, and international news and much more, try an All Access Digital subscription:

Thank you for supporting the journalism that our community needs!

We hope you have enjoyed your free trial!

To continue reading, select a plan below:

All Access Digital

Introductory pricing*

99¢

per month

  • Unlimited online reading and commenting
  • Daily newspaper replica e-Edition
  • News Break - our award-winning iOS app
  • Exclusive perks & discounts
Continue

Read Now Pay Later

Pay

27¢

per article

  • Commitment-free
  • Cancel anytime
  • Only pay for what you read
  • Refunds available
Continue

*Introductory pricing schedule for 12 month: $0.99/month plus tax for first 3 months, $5.99/month for months 4 - 6, $10.99/month for months 7 - 9, $13.99/month for months 10 - 12. Standard All Access Digital rate of $16.99/month begins after first year.

We hope you have enjoyed your free trial!

To continue reading, select a plan below:

Read Now Pay Later

Pay

27¢

per article

  • Commitment-free
  • Cancel anytime
  • Only pay for what you read
  • Refunds available
Continue

All Access Digital

Introductory pricing*

99¢

per month

  • Unlimited online reading and commenting
  • Daily newspaper replica e-Edition
  • News Break - our award-winning iOS app
  • Exclusive perks & discounts
Continue

Mon to Sat Delivery

Pay

$34.36

per month

  • Includes all benefits of All Access Digital
  • 6-day delivery of our award-winning newspaper
Continue

*Introductory pricing schedule for 12 month: $0.99/month plus tax for first 3 months, $5.99/month for months 4 - 6, $10.99/month for months 7 - 9, $13.99/month for months 10 - 12. Standard All Access Digital rate of $16.99/month begins after first year.

We hope you have enjoyed your free trial!

To continue reading, select a plan below:

All Access Digital

Introductory pricing*

99¢

per month

  • Unlimited online reading and commenting
  • Daily newspaper replica e-Edition
  • News Break - our award-winning iOS app
  • Exclusive perks & discounts
Continue

Read Now Pay Later

Pay

27¢

per article

  • Commitment-free
  • Cancel anytime
  • Only pay for what you read
  • Refunds available
Continue

*Introductory pricing schedule for 12 month: $0.99/month plus tax for first 3 months, $5.99/month for months 4 - 6, $10.99/month for months 7 - 9, $13.99/month for months 10 - 12. Standard All Access Digital rate of $16.99/month begins after first year.

We hope you have enjoyed your free trial!

To continue reading, select a plan below:

Read Now Pay Later

Pay

27¢

per article

  • Commitment-free
  • Cancel anytime
  • Only pay for what you read
  • Refunds available
Continue

All Access Digital

Introductory pricing*

99¢

per month

  • Unlimited online reading and commenting
  • Daily newspaper replica e-Edition
  • News Break - our award-winning iOS app
  • Exclusive perks & discounts
Continue

*Introductory pricing schedule for 12 month: $0.99/month plus tax for first 3 months, $5.99/month for months 4 - 6, $10.99/month for months 7 - 9, $13.99/month for months 10 - 12. Standard All Access Digital rate of $16.99/month begins after first year.

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 23/3/2017 (631 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Young Manitobans with physical disabilities are finding strength in numbers as they unite to fight for services and programs taken away from them when they hit adulthood.

"We are all united," said Tyson Sylvester, 21, who spoke up at a meeting this week in Winnipeg with 60 other "gappers" as they refer to themselves. Tuesday's meeting was organized by the the Cerebral Palsy Association of Manitoba and was the first time they gathered to talk about their common gaps in service and what action to take.

JASON HALSTEAD / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS</p><p>Lawyer Joelle Pastora Sala, left, Amy Hampton and David Kron of the Cerebral Palsy Association of Manitoba with Hampton’s dog Chase at Ten Ten Sinclair Housing Inc. Before she became an adult, Hampton received one-on-one support, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, speech therapy, orthotics, care at a spasticity clinic, medical supplies and equipment. That ended when she turned 18</p>

JASON HALSTEAD / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Lawyer Joelle Pastora Sala, left, Amy Hampton and David Kron of the Cerebral Palsy Association of Manitoba with Hampton’s dog Chase at Ten Ten Sinclair Housing Inc. Before she became an adult, Hampton received one-on-one support, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, speech therapy, orthotics, care at a spasticity clinic, medical supplies and equipment. That ended when she turned 18

"It was an electric feeling — a symbol of hope," said Sylvester, who filed a Manitoba Human Rights Commission complaint this winter with fellow gapper, Amy Hampton, 24. He has cerebral palsy and is visually impaired. She is dealing with cerebral palsy, spastic quadriplegia, and scoliosis. They both say they’re being discriminated against on the basis of disability and age.

Those under 18 with lifelong physical disabilities qualify for comprehensive assistance. Hampton, for instance, received one-on-one support, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, speech therapy, orthotics, care at a spasticity clinic, medical supplies and equipment. That ended when she turned 18. When Hampton and Sylvester reached adulthood, they became ineligible for services and programs that helped them learn, thrive and gain some independence.

The tech-savvy Sylvester dreams of studying computer science and developing software for the visually impaired but is trapped collecting welfare and sitting in front of his computer at an assisted living facility. He’s eligible for just 50 hours a week of home care, but that is barely enough help for him getting dressed, going to bed, eating and going to the bathroom. There is no support for him to continue his education or have any kind of social life.

"A lot of people have the same problems," said his mother, Claresa Sylvester, who attended this week's meeting. Until now, though, they haven't connected with one another, said David Kron, executive director of the Cerebral Palsy Association that organized the meeting. They're just starting to find out how many young adults there are like Sylvester and Hampton in the Winnipeg area, said and Kron. "There are no stats so we don't know how many people this affects."

The human rights complaint process doesn't move quickly, said Tyson's mom, Claresa. "It's going to take another 10 months to even look at it," she said. The Manitoba Human Rights Commission says it's dealing with a larger than average volume of complaints right now and doing the best it can with the resources it has. Acting executive director and counsel Isha Khan said she can't discuss specific cases but, generally speaking, it takes 10 months for an investigator to contact witnesses and arrange interviews after they've reviewed documents and conducted legal research.

The situation for many young adults is urgent and they can't wait 10 months, said Joëlle Pastora Sala the Public Interest Law Centre lawyer representing Sylvester and Hampton. She said they're considering a day of action, a letter to Premier Brian Pallister and urging gappers, their families and supporters to write to their MLAs.

The longer it takes for the young adults to access services, the worse things get for them, said Tyson's mom Claresa Sylvester.

"Every time I see him, he's a little more hunched over," she said. Depression and a lack of physiotherapy are taking a toll on her son when he could be thriving if given the chance and support, she said.

Seeing other young adults and their families rally together this week is empowering, Tyson said.

"When you're in a fight like ours, sometimes you feel hopeless. A vision like that gives you hope and the will to fight."

carol.sanders@freepress.mb.ca

Carol Sanders

Carol Sanders
Reporter

Carol Sanders’ reporting on newcomers to Canada has made international headlines, earned national recognition but most importantly it’s shared the local stories of the growing diversity of people calling Manitoba home.

Read full biography

Advertisement

Advertise With Us

You can comment on most stories on The Winnipeg Free Press website. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or digital subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to The Winnipeg Free Press print or digital subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to The Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective January 2015.

Advertisement

Advertise With Us