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N.S. misses deadline to halt admissions of people with disabilities into institutions

HALIFAX — Some disability advocates in Nova Scotia say they feel betrayed by the province’s failure to meet its deadline to halt new admissions of people with disabilities to institutional environments that are slated for closure.

Following a landmark legal victory for disability rights in Nova Scotia in 2021, the province accepted a proposal to help people with disabilities move out of institutionalized care and into housing in the community.

Part of the five-year plan released in April 2023 called on the province to end new admissions to the facilities, known as adult residential centres and regional rehabilitation centres, by March 31.

But that hasn’t happened, and disability rights advocate Vicky Levack says the province’s failure to meet this benchmark tells her the government cannot be trusted.

Maria Medioli, the executive director of Nova Scotia’s disability support program, says the new target date to stop admitting people with disabilities into the larger institutions that are slated for closure is Jan. 1.

Medioli says the additional time is needed to hire staff to support people in their new homes and to adjust the funding model.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 8, 2024.

The Canadian Press

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