Letter to Disability Community March 13, 2009

March 13, 2009

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

In October 2008, the Honourable Donna Harpauer, Minister of Social Services announced the development of a separate income program for people with disabilities. The announcement included a commitment to consult with the disability community on the design and roll out of the new program.

A community and government task team was formed in January 2009 to develop recommendations on design options for a new income program for people with disabilities. The task team includes community representation from the Disability Income Support Coalition (DISC), the Provincial Interagency Network on Disabilities (PIND), the Saskatchewan Abilities Council and government representation from the Ministry of Social Services. The list of task team members is attached.

The task team is developing a long-term vision for disability income support that will inform recommendations for initial steps to be taken in 2009-10, pending Ministerial approval. The task team will submit its recommendations to the Minister of Social Services in May of this year.

The task team has been working collaboratively over the last two months and has developed a shared vision for a new income program for people with disabilities. We have some preliminary thoughts on how the program might look and how it might be delivered. We now need your advice and input on this initial work. We would like to invite you and members of your agency/organization to attend a community discussion in order to share our work with you and get your input on key elements of the new income program. You will have the option of attending a community discussion in the afternoon or evening in one of the following three locations – please note the new start time of 1:00pm for the afternoon sessions and 6:30pm for the evening sessions.

Monday, March 30, 2009 Wednesday, April 1, 2009
City Hall Forum Hilton Garden Inn, Estevan Room
2476 Victoria Avenue 90 22nd Street East
Regina Saskatoon
1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. 1:00 p.m.– 4:00 p.m.
6:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. 6:30 p.m.– 9:30 p.m.

Monday, April 6, 2009
Art Hauser Centre, Ches Leach Lounge
6th Avenue East
Prince Albert
1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
6:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.

We would ask you to please RSVP your attendance by Wednesday, March 25, 2009 using the contact information below. All locations for the community discussions are wheelchair accessible. If you require any disability accommodations to participate (sign language interpreters, attendant care etc.) please advise us when you RSVP as we need to cancel disability accommodations 48 hours in advance should none be required.

The community meetings will include a presentation followed by small group discussions. We expect that this informal approach will create a great opportunity for lots of active dialogue and input.

We would like to ensure broad representation from the disability community particularly from people with disabilities and their families. We encourage you to let individuals and family members know about the discussions.

If you are unable to attend a community discussion, a copy of the presentation and the questions will be available on the Ministry of Social Services website on April 7, 2009. You may provide written comments and feedback using the mailing or email addresses listed below. We would appreciate all written comments by Friday, April 17, 2009.

If you require further information or to RSVP, please contact the Disability Income Support Task Team as follows:

Disability Income Support Task Team
c/o Office of Disability Issues
Phone / TTY: 306-787-7283 or toll-free 1-877-915-7468
Fax: 306-787-3650
Mail: 1920 Broad Street, Regina, SK. S4P 3V6
E-mail: odi@gov.sk.ca

Website: http://www.socialservices.gov.sk.ca/office-disability

Please mark your calendars and we look forward to seeing you at one of the community discussions.

Merv Bender
Merv Bender Daryl Stubel
Co-Chair, Co-Chair,
Disability Income Support Task Team Disability Income Support Task Team

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