My sister, Teresa, Just Wants To Have Fun — Outside of an Ontario Nursing Home! #humanrights
by Franke James
Teresa Just Wants To Have Fun — Outside of a Nursing Home!
My sister, Teresa, sang and danced on-stage at the Best Buddies Karaoke event at the University of Victoria on March 13, 2015. It’s just one of many wonderful and amazing experiences she has had in the past 15 months that she would NEVER have had if she had stayed in the long-term care home where was forcefully placed in 2013. Her case is a shocking abuse of a vulnerable adult. She tried to defend herself but could not. It is up to us to stand with her and demand an apology and accountability for the wrongs that were done to her.
Please watch the video below and then SIGN her petition demanding an apology from the CCAC and the Rekai Centre.
Please sign Teresa’s petition: Tell the Ontario Government, Human Rights Should Never Be Disabled. at Change.org.
Read the letter to the CCAC and the Rekai Centre
CEO, The CCAC-Toronto Stacey Daub
CEO, The Rekai Centre Mary Hoare
Ombudsman of Ontario André Marin
Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, Ontario
The Honourable Dr. Eric Hoskins
Premier of Ontario, Kathleen Wynne
March 21, 2015
Dear Ms. Daub and Ms. Hoare,
It has been one full year since Teresa’s petition “Human Rights Should Never Be Disabled” launched on World Down Syndrome Day, 2014. We would love to able to declare “Victory”, but we can’t. Not yet. Teresa was, and is, demanding an apology from you for the harm your organizations have caused her.
The fact that Teresa has been thriving for the past 15 months, living outside of an institution with me, her sister, is proof that she should NEVER have been placed in long-term care.
Over 25,000 people, 9 MPPs, and countless Toronto Star readers, are now watching how you handle this crisis — and the numbers demanding an apology are growing everyday.
We are not giving up. Her case is a shocking abuse of a vulnerable adult. She tried to defend herself but could not. It is up to us, 25,000 strong, to stand with her and demand an apology and accountability for the wrongs that were done to her.
People who hear of Teresa’s story are outraged…
“I am disabled and don’t want the same to happen to me.” Sam Duerden
“As a parent of a child with DS, this is abhorrent.” Nick Disney
“My cousin has Downs and I would never want this to happen to him!” Ingrid Sheriff
Teresa was hopeful the CCAC and the Rekai Centre would do the right thing.
We were encouraged by the fact that Ms. Daub, CEO of the Toronto Central CCAC, apologized to Teresa within 48 hours of the petition’s launch. Ms. Daub wrote, “I apologize for any part the Toronto Central CCAC contributed to this.” That was quickly followed with a promise that the CCAC would conduct a “comprehensive review”. But whatever was learned in that review has been kept secret from us. The CCAC has failed to admit the errors that led to Teresa having her rights taken away. This adds further injury to Teresa and means that other vulnerable adults may face the same problems as Teresa.
The Rekai Centre has failed to apologize or explain its actions in calling the police to force Teresa back into their home. Ms. Hoare, has some explaining to do…
1. Why did the Rekai Centre call the police reporting Teresa as a ‘missing person’ four days after she was legally discharged?
2. Why have the Rekai Centre emails and records concerning the police call not been released? Why are they being kept secret?
3. Conflict of interest: Did the fact that Teresa has a relative on the Rekai Centre Board of Directors influence her placement? Did this conflict of interest influence your decision to call the police to force Teresa back into your nursing home?
4. The CCAC records show that Teresa’s siblings called you directly on several occasions. This was considered “unorthodox” by the CCAC and raised alarm bells which took the matter further up their chain for review. Did the CCAC know about the conflict of interest?
These are just four of the disturbing questions we need answered.
It’s time for the Rekai Centre to explain its actions in full and publicly apologize to Teresa. It’s time for the CCAC to deliver on their promise to investigate and own up to the mistakes that wrongly forced Teresa into long-term care — and explain why they looked the other way when they learned that I had offered to have Teresa live with me. The failure of both organizations to respond is creating even more turmoil in Teresa’s life and making the situation even worse.
Teresa’s sister and Petition-owner