So often we can be working on major projects, but nobody sees anything we're doing. Whether we're in the back-office or on the front-lines, many people in our community or in the general public will never ever know the extent, degree, nor depth of our efforts.
This is true for our political party. Over the last eight years, there has been much work done dealing with bureaucracies, red-tape, administration, logistics, politics, policies, and just being persistent and committed.
Last month, our executive director got assaulted on the street with injuries that required brain surgery. He's had seizures and is currently in ICU. It's ironic how someone advocating for people who get disabilities from sudden injuries, may be facing the exact same situation himself.
Something good must come from this, right? As we were making sure business still carries on, we found a document that outlines some of the successes we've had—and had forgotten about.
The list may seem dry, but the results are very real and tangible. We hope a list like this can inspire you to record, remember, and reflect on your own personal lists, as well as help us share the good word about supporting people with disabilities.
When we help people with disabilities, we are helping everybody.Please skim through the rest of this article. There's a great new Visual Quote at the end, as your reward. :)
1. Our Party for People with Special Needs (PPSN) founders were engaged with the government in the dialogue that eventually resulted in the creation of Canada's Registered Disability Savings Program (RDSP), and were acknowledged in the government report that led to its creation in 2008.
2. PPSN founders were cited as the #1 organization consulted on the
Report of the Minister of Finance’s Expert Panel on Financial Security for Children with Severe Disabilities, 2006.
3. PPSN founders submitted two reports to the Low Murchisson Commission formed for the development of the Registered Disability Savings Plan.
4. PPSN founders are advocating for People with Disabilities to the Finance Minister, the Hon. Jim Flaherty. PPSN founders formed Citizens to Restore Tax Credits for People with Disabilities to ask the government to restore the Disability tax credits for the years 1985 to 1996. On December 31st 2004 back-filing privileges for these years was removed from People with Disabilities with very little advance warning. An estimated $3 billion was lost to families with this action that was never clearly identified to taxpayers.
5. PPSN founders were instrumental in getting Segregated Funds recognized as a Life Insurance Policy. This permits People with Disabilities to save without losing their ODSP benefits. A brief was submitted to the Director of ODSP for Ontario. Minister of Community and Social Services was John Baird, who supported this initiative. This is now recognized in regulations Directive 4.8 and is now on the Ministry web site under internal staff directives, ODSP handbook.
6. PPSN founders made the key steps in getting ODSP offices to not deduct Life Insurance dividends from ODSP cheques. This was supported by Frank Klees, MPP, & John Baird, MCSS.
7. PPSN founders made submissions to the federal government’s Technical Advisory Committee for People with Disabilities.
8. PPSN founders intervened with the City of Toronto RFP on computer purchasing. PPSN founders advocated for standard software facilities to be available on all the City’s computers so that People with Disabilities could do their job no matter what workstation their job placed them at.
9. PPSN founders advocated that the jobs for the new 311 government information service be telework jobs, accessible for People with Disabilities. Presentations were made to the Newmarket Town Council and the City of Toronto 311 public hearings. “311 These jobs are our jobs”, jobs for People with Disabilities.
10. PPSN founders has been instrumental in developing alternatives to Henson Trusts for protecting the long-term financial security of People with Disabilities. Segmented Funds are cheaper, easier to set up, do not require a trustee, and require no annual tax filings or financial reporting.
11. PPSN founders supports York Region alliance to end homelessness and has made deputations to the “Streets to Homes” program in Toronto.
12. PPSN founders conducts free educational seminars for public education for financial planning for People with Disabilities.
13. PPSN founders have raised objections to Shelter Allowance request delays at ODSP offices. MPP Frank Klees read a letter from PPSN founders into the parliamentary record. People with disabilities deserve better service to prevent delays in processing. The Minister agreed to investigate delays.
14. PPSN founders have been recognized as advocates for People with Disabilities by the National Post, Toronto Star, Toronto Sun, Abilities Magazine, Exceptional Families Magazine, Investors Guidebook, TD Canada Trust, & Mutual Fund Magazine.
15. PPSN has helped families with disabilities raise over $2.4 million by successfully lobbying to get Disability Tax Credit to cover previous seven years, and then informing and educating people of new legislation through networking and social media.
Send positive thoughts to our executive director in the hospital, Dan King, who is one of the founders of our party, The Party for People with Special Needs.
Let's love the world together...
[)anish /|hmed, blind visionary
Leader of the Party
The Party for People with Special Needs
Why Play When You'll Never Win?
Helping People with Disabilities