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February 14, 2008
For immediate release

Public Consultation Schedule Announced for Disability Services Review

Social Services and Seniors

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The Prince Edward Island Disability Services Review Committee is asking Islanders to share ideas and concerns through a series of public consultations.

The Disability Services Review Committee has developed a background paper and questions for discussion and written submission. The questions are as follows. In considering services and supports for people with disabilities: What is working? What are the gaps and problems? What are the solutions? What roles could individuals, families, community, business and government play?

The questionnaire is available on-line at, from any Disability Support Program office or by calling Island Information Service at 368-4000 or 1-800-236-5196. Copies will also be available at all public consultation events.

Co-Chair Barry Schmidl of the PEI Council of the Disabled said that the review committee wants to hear from individuals with disabilities of all ages, their families and care givers, private business members and the community. “We want to hear from advocates as well as those who typically stay quiet,” he added.

Public consultations will be held on February 26 at École Évangéline in Abram’s Village, February 28 at Montague High School, March 4 at the Souris Hospital (in the downstairs classroom), March 6 at Athena School in Summerside and March 11 at Westisle Composite High School in Elmsdale. These sessions will run from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. On April 2, consultations will be held in Charlottetown from 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and again from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Murchison Centre at 1719 St. Pius X Avenue (behind the Irving off St. Peter’s Road and across from the church). French simultaneous translation will be available in Abram’s Village and sign language services will be available at all events.

Written submissions can be sent to Ascent Consulting Services, PO Box 1531, Charlottetown, PE C1A 7N3 or by email to by April 10, 2008.

Bridget Cairns, co-chair, said that the Disability Services Review Committee has a great challenge before it, as Prince Edward Island has many individuals with disabilities who have unique needs and who require unique levels of support now and into the future. “Our goal is to gather as many of those unique stories as possible – stories of concern, stories of how present supports are working well or not working so well and stories of hope and ideas for possible solutions.”

The committee will provide a preliminary report based on findings from public consultations and written submissions to Government by late spring. The comprehensive disability services review will also include research into best practices of international and pan-Canadian legislation, programs and service models. These findings will be part of a report and recommendations to Government by fall 2008.

The Disability Services Review Committee includes the following members:

• Co-Chairpersons: Bridget Cairns, Association for Community Living and Barry Schmidl, PEI Council of the Disabled

• Sharon Gallant

• Kathy Pilkington

• Teresa Aitken

• Twilah Stone, Chairperson, Ministerial Advisory Committee on Disability Issues

• Kevin Porter, Ministerial Advisory Committee on Disability Issues

• Corinna Costain, Scotcor Construction, Summerside

• Shelley Watts, Tremploy

• Anna Duffy, Prince Edward Island Seniors’ Secretariat

For more information about the Disability Services Review, contact (902) 368-5967 or 1-866-594-3777 or visit the website at

Media Contact: Verna Lynne Weeks
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