Dear Ted Arnott,
Thank you for reading our letter and poem below.
As you will see from Nathan’s poem, life with development disabilities is not a straightforward path of school, job, apartment, and so on. Independent Facilitation provides individualized supports proven effective by the Ministry to help people move forward on their own paths rather than the prescribed which does not work for all. It is exciting for us to see Nathan feel empowered and joyful as he overcomes hurtles and finds ways to connect and contribute to this community he so loves. This is his goal. Independent Facilitation helps make this possible and we see the light in his eyes. It is hope. It is success. Some missions accomplished already! But there is more to do. More track to lay. We’ve only just begun. Nathan is laying inroads that will disappear in front of him if Independent Facilitation is lost.
The Ministry has invested significantly in this initiative; a process proven valuable, innovative and efficient by its own assessment. Ending Independent Facilitation will derail much good work that has been done and on which many have come to rely. It is an ongoing individualized process that, in effect, continually strengthens communities.
For Independent Facilitation to be stable, it needs to be funded as a part of the Ministry’s budget for service and support offerings, not solely through a fee-for-service model where people and families purchase support with Passport or personal funds which are already limited.
Then Independent Facilitation will remain for generations to come!
Nathan is newer to this support and his life has already started to open from the young man creating dreams on canvas to one making inroads and connection to the community he loves here in Fergus as is his dream. He is not there yet. It has to be nurtured continually. No-one can see the invisible hurtles or have the patience or time to learn, then dream and scheme ways around them, or it would have happened by 25 years of age with all our efforts. It takes skillful, dedicated Independent Facilitation.
We look forward to meeting with you when able at your convenience to share our experience and need for Independent Facilitation.
Best wishes for family, staff and your day.
The Gatten Family