Access to Disability Supports

Traditionally, when people with a disability required supports, they were only able to choose from a fixed menu of government supports, or services by community agencies. However, this menu of supports did not always fit the needs of the person applying for them. Today, we know that throughout a person’s life, what effective supports look like can vary from person-to-person and can change over time.

NBACL takes a “person-centred” approach to supporting people with a disability, meaning that we work to ensure that the supports fit the person, instead of the person fitting the supports. We do this through “Independent Facilitation.”

The Role of NBACL Independent Facilitators is to get to know the individual and to ensure that they are a part of defining what supports best respond to his or her needs. An Independent Facilitator:

  • Assists a person with a disability and their families to develop a vision for their future;
  • Helps a person identify their needs for support and possible options for meeting those needs using both unpaid and paid sources of support;
  • Helps a person make informed choices based on all options available in their community;
  • Helps a person prepare an application for disability supports and with the presentation of their individual support plan for consideration for funding by the government; and
  • Helps a person to access other kinds of services that may be required.

An independent facilitator works directly for and on behalf of a person with a disability. The facilitator can represent the person with a disability in discussions with government, professionals, service providers, and others in the community.

Independent facilitation is provided by NBACL. However, we are not involved in:

  • Funding disability supports and services; or
  • Providing disability supports and services;

Depending upon the supports required by the individual we are supporting, Independent Facilitation could include supports through the Disability Support Program (DSP).

Disability Support Program

The Disability Support Program (DSP) is a program through the Department of Social Development (Government of New Brunswick) that:

  • Provides funding for personalized, flexible disability supports;
  • Encourages people with disabilities to be directly involved in developing their personal disability support plans;
  • Allows for the provision of independent facilitation and the use of “person centered” approaches to planning and designing disability supports.

Who is Eligible

You may qualify for the Disability Support Program if:

  • You are a resident of New Brunswick;
  • You are 19 to 64 years of age;
  • You have a long term disability (this does not include a medical condition that does not result in long term disability or services required to address drug, alcohol, nicotine or gambling addictions); and
  • You require disability related supports in order to address unmet needs related to your personal care or community involvement and enhancing your independence. Enhancing community involvement and independence could include support to establish or maintain your living arrangement in community, help you to participate in community, or ensure you have the supports you need to reduce stress for both you and your caregivers.

Disability supports that might be provided include:

  • Home Support Worker
  • Respite
  • Personal supports and assistance within or outside your home
  • Supports for community involvement and participation
  • Personal living skills training
  • Transportation supports that are disability specific
  • Technical supports and assistive devices not covered under other programs

Under the DSP, government funded disability supports will be paid for using “individualized funding.” This means:

  • Funding is provided in a way that meets some or all of the individual’s specific needs for support that are identified in a disability support plan; and
  • The individual (and his or her personal network) will identify how funds for approved disability supports should be spent.

For people eligible to receive government funds for disability supports, monthly payments can be made directly to the individual or to a trustee on the individual’s behalf. Payments can also be made directly to a service provider selected by the individual or his or her representative.

How to Apply

Once you’ve decided that you or somebody you know should be referred to the Disability Support Program, the next step is gathering some basic information on the person being referred. Here is a checklist of information to have on hand when calling NBACL or the Social Development office in your region:

  • Date of birth
  • Medicare number
  • Address
  • Telephone number
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