Cathy Grant – Disabilities Activist

I always believed that there is enough money in the system.  We just give it out to the wrong places and in the wrong
amounts.
I.F. will give me my freedom so that I can call the shots – where I’m doing it, as well as when and how I’m doing it.
In order to get I.F. I needed to draw up a plan which I did years ago  – a plan of my life.
We all know it is going to happen. The question is WHEN is it going to happen?
In 2005, I phoned the Interim Authority Board (I.A.C.L.B.C.) to see if I could help get it off the ground and whether
there was anything I could do. They said they would send a facilitator to my house or to a place of my choice to discuss
I.F.
I asked them when the self-advocates would be on the board and they said that MCFD did not know that, or when I.F.
 was going to happen. They said that there was a meeting that day, March 1, but everything was really vague. As I said, I
am a really concrete person. I just want to know when, where and how to access it and who I am to talk to. I like
“ACTION”.  They still couldn’t answer those questions even though we had been waiting for what seemed forever. The
person on the other end of the phone said that if I had not received a letter by  the following week then I was to call back.
I talked to Brian S. and he told me they had a meeting on March 01, 2005 and said, “I will personally call you in four to
six weeks and let you know how things are going with I.F.”  He realized that I was the first person to submit an
application and knew how frustrating it was. I also asked him who my regional manager was. He said it was Doug F.
and he would, in time, help me with the I.F. project if he thought that my case was easy to handle. In my opinion, it is so
damned easy it should be done already but that is not the way MCFD thinks. Oh well…..I wait again…..I continue to
wait.  I should have heard from Brian S. around April 15 concerning I.F. and I was going to  call him myself if I hadn’t
heard.
I was at a meeting on March 11, 2005 and apparently there was not going to be I.F., but I thought we’d see what
happened. The federal budget came down and there was some kind of mention of entitlement which meant the same
thing to everyone.
The above still applies today unfortunately.
People out there will say they have I.F.  The difference between me and others is that I, along with 79 others who left
Pearson to join the community, were promised their services and funding til they die.  I have never actually seen this
funding.    The I.F. that “others” know and the I.F. that I almost had and relates to basically does the same thing – it
provides the money directly to the pwd (i.e. they get a cheque in the mail or direct deposit and can do what they want,
when they want with it.  They are the consumer and can decide on all their needs and who they want to provide them
with their care.  What I really would like is to have that funding (without restrictions) that was intended for me when I
left Pearson.
CIVIL RIGHTS’ focus is to get 2 statutes, one of which  is “Direct Funding”, made law.  I believe that the sooner this
happens, the better.  We have all waited far too long for something that is so simple.  As I stated above, I was the first
person to  apply for and almost get I.F.  however it was cancelled by the government.
If there really is enough money in the government, as people will say (and I believe this) then why are services and
funding etc being denied or cut?
I have a solution….which a few people have already.  It is Direct Funding otherwise known as Individualized
Funding.  In my opinion it’s a very confusing issue as there appears to be different views  as to what it means.