A human rights panel has given a partial victory to parents of disabled children challenging P.E.I.’s disability support program.
In a decision handed to claimants Tuesday, the Human Rights Commission agreed with some of the parents’ assertions that there were discriminatory provisions in the way the DSP provides funding to disabled Islanders and their families. The panel is expected to make the full text of its decision public today.
The DSP provides support to some 1,100 clients, paying out about $8 million annually for equipment and services.
Claimants Vic Douse, Carolyn Bateman, Brad and Dale Wonnacott, and Margaret Murphy have challenged several aspects of the program, acting on behalf of their own children.
Dale Wonnacott — who filed a claim on behalf of her son, Benjamin — said Tuesday that she had been told the families won part of their case.
“We haven’t seen it yet but we have talked to our lawyer,’’ she said. “It seems like we won part of it, but there were aspects of the case that the panel ruled were not discriminatory.’’
The case challenged the DSP on several key points, including the practice of testing for family income, the use of a single questionnaire to determine support for all types of disability and the imposition of a cap on spending.
The decision leaves government with the option of challenging the panel’s findings in court, but Wonnacott said she’s hopeful this becomes an occasion to re-open the DSP process.