Archives for Services for People with Intellectual Disabilities

Travelling by bus in BC and Canada?

  

Pacific Coach Lines (travel between Victoria, Vancouver and Whistler) has a limited number of wheelchair lift equipped coaches in its fleet. For passengers who require service with the wheelchair lift equipped coach reservations must be made AT LEAST 48 hours in advance of the trip to guarantee accessible service. For Health and Safety reasons motorized scooters cannot be loaded, unloaded or securely fastened within the baggage bays.

For passengers who use mobility aids but are able to board the coach with some assistance and store their mobility aid under the coach, phone Pacific Coach Lines at least 24 hours before departure to request assistance and be at the depot no less than 30 minutes prior to departure for boarding.

For more detailed information on these services, please contact customer service:

1-800-661-1725 (toll free) or 604-662-7575

 

GREYHOUND BUS LINES  (travel across BC, Canada and the US) allows some people with disabilities and their attendant to ride together for the price of one ticket. This applies only on regular fares, not specials. Most depots have accessible washroom facilities and attendants to assist people in wheelchairs.
Check Greyhound’s web site for current policy as each type of disability (hearing, mobility etc) have diffent eligibility requirements and accomodations.

Greyhound suggests you call their information line to check on the current rules.
Fare and schedule information in Canada
1-800-661-TRIP (8747)

TDD/TTY
1-800-397-7870 5:00 a.m. – Midnight

Get the BC Ferries disability discount

  

If you are a resident of British Columbia and have a permanent disability, reduced fares are available (this applies to passenger fares only).  
To receive them, you must present your BC Ferries Disabled Status Identification (DSI) card.  
Please call BC Ferries for details or you can download the Information for Passengers with Special Needs Brochure (application included).


Passengers requiring the use of an "overheight" vehicle equipped with a mechanical wheelchair lift or ramp may travel for the same cost as an "underheight" vehicle (or car) with or without a DSI card. Please inform the ticket agent of your vehicle’s special status.

An escort (one only) traveling with a person with a disability is eligible for the disabled rate.  The escort must be traveling in the same vehicle as the person with a disability.  Escorts accompanying seniors with a disability traveling on a senior’s free day must pay full fare.

Gasoline tax rebates, how to get them!

  

Provincial Gasoline Tax Rebate for Persons with Disabilities

People with certain disabilities may apply for a refund of tax paid on fuel purchased for their motor vehicles. The refund is based on the amount of taxes paid, to a maximum of $500 annually.

You must meet all of the following criteria to qualify for the program:
– you must be a "person with disabilities" as defined in the Motor Fuel Tax Act
– you must be at least 16 years old
– you must be a registered owner or lessee of a motor vehicle, or provide a letter from the registered owner indicating you are a joint owner of the vehicle

Qualified persons must first register before claiming a refund. Please see Register for the Fuel Tax Refund Program for Persons with Disabilities.

 

Applications and supporting documentation should be sent to:

Consumer Taxation
Branch

PO BOX 9442 STN PROV GOVT
VICTORIA BC  V8W 9V4

Fax: 250-356-219

 

Federal Excise Gasoline Tax Refund Program

If you are medically certified as having a permanent mobility impairment, and you cannot safely use public transportation, you can apply for a refund of part of the federal excise tax on the gasoline you buy.

For more information and an application form, see Information Sheet XE8, Federal Excise Gasoline Tax Refund Program.

Disabled parking permits in BC, where to get them!

  

Enforceable, plastic placards with permit number and international symbol of access are distributed to people with disabilities, and agencies transporting people with disabilities, so that they may park in designated spaces. Individuals must complete an application form and have it signed by a doctor.

The permits are available from SPARC BC, and are available for download HERE

Mailing address:

SPARC BC

4445 Norfolk St, Burnaby, BC  V5G 0A7

Fax: 604-736-8697

Email: permits@sparc.bc.ca

 

If you are travelling to BC from out of province or out of the country and you want to use your home parking permit or need a temporary permit, find all the information HERE.

Remember: Review your own needs!

  

Although, there does not seem to be an "official" policy in place about yearly reviews for PWD benefits, it appears that people are no longer being asked to come into the Ministry offices every year to prove they are still disabled.

While this is mostly a GOOD thing you must remember that as your health or living situations change, you may be eligible for an additional  supplement or benefit.  Even if you are not being asked to attend an office to do a yearly review, take the time to review your own needs.  It might be time to visit your local MEIA office and ask for a reveiw.

Cuts to Medical Coverage = fewer dentist visits

  

Cuts to Medical Coverage and Minimum Shelter Allowance

FromBC Coaltion for People with Disabilities

Following the March 2nd budget, the Ministry of Housing and Social Development announced it will be making a number of cuts to the health and medical services available to people receiving provincial disabilitybenefits and income assistance. The BC Coalition of People with Disabilities (BCCPD) is very concerned about the impact that these changes will have on our community.

We are also disappointed at the lack of community consultation about these cuts. If you share our concerns, we invite you to write to Minister Coleman and your MLA. You can find your local MLA and Minister Coleman’s contact information by going to http://www.leg.bc.ca/Mla/3-1-1.htm.

The BCCPD is currently reviewing the new regulations in order to provide you with detailed information on the changes. In the meantime, here is a very brief list of some of the changes which will come into force on April 1st (unless we have indicated a different date).

Medical Equipment and Supplies

A broad range of medical equipment and supplies will no longer be funded by the Ministry. Those that will be funded must be the cheapest appropriate to the person’s needs and are listed in the regulations. Here are some examples of items that the Ministry will no longer fund:

  • diagnostic testing devices such as glucose meters
  • contraceptive devices (for example, IUDs)
  • pre-made orthotics.

Restrictions

In addition to changes to what the Ministry will fund, there will be restrictions, for example on:

  • how often the Ministry will repair or replace equipment
  • how much money the Ministry will spend on each item of equipment. For instance, motorized scooters valued at more than $3,500 will not be funded. To be eligible for a motorized scooter, a physician must say the applicant won’t need a wheelchair for 5 years.

Monthly Nutritional Supplement (MNS)

The eligibility requirements for the MNS have been tightened. For example:

  • loss of bone density will no longer count as a symptom
  • significant weight loss not significant weight change will be used to determine eligibility.
  • applicants will be required to demonstrate they have at least two symptoms, rather than one which is currently the case.

The MNS will be reduced by $20 because the Ministry will no longer fund bottled water. People currently receiving the bottled water supplement will receive it until May 31st 2010 only.

Medical Services: Time limits and Income-Testing

  • People with disabilities who leave assistance when they turn 65 and go on to the seniors’ pension, or people who leave provincial disability for Canada Pension Plan Disability will only keep their medical and dental coverage for one year, rather than permanently as is currently the case.
  • People with disabilities who leave assistance for employment will only keep their medical coverage if they are receiving Premium Assistance from the Medical Services Plan.

Dental Treatment

  • Cleaning, examinations and fluoride treatments will be reduced to once a year (currently twice a year).
  • X-ray coverage every 2 years (currently every year).

Shelter Allowance

The $75 monthly Shelter Allowance for people who don’t pay rent is eliminated as of June 1st 2010.

 

Different Approaches for Finding Employment

  

Know the different approaches that agencies use to find employment for people with intellectual disabilities. Some agencies conduct ongoing
training until the person with a disability is ready for a job. However, we hear and know that traininga person wiuth a disability until they are "ready" for a job has not been effective – people have been in “training” for many years and they have not graduated to employment. An alternative approach to getting sutainable employment for a person with an intellectual disability is to place the person with a disability in a job carved out based on their preferences and then systematically train for the tasks to achieve a real job for real pay.
This approach, according to the literature, creates more success for
people with disabilities (in Real Work for Real Pay: Inclusive Employment for
People with Disabilities
)
.

Need to find a Support Worker?

  

Let’s face it… trying to find a good employee is not always easy. Fortunately, the Family Support Institute (FSI) has just launched a website that brings together potential support workers for people or organizations who need them. So if you are a support worker or an employer this is the website to check out!

Looking for more tips? See other tips about finding workers on UNTAPE.

BC Employment Program for People with Disabilities

  

Did you know that the Minsitry of Housing and Social Development has a program for people with disabilities to find work? Yes.. its true. Their website says that they provide support in the following areas:

  • Pre-Employment
    Services
  • Planning
    and Employment Services
  • Self-Employment
    Services
  • Disability
    Supports
  • Assistive
    Technology

Give them a call….1 866-866-0800

Persons with Disabilities Online – Employment

  

Check out the persons with Disabilities Online Employment Section to find information to assist you in getting a job.