BC Government Penalizing Disabled People with IQ Above 70

July 25, 2008

In July 2008 the BC government privately signed a new order that will deny access to services (such as housing) to developmentally disabled people with an IQ above 70. In 2007 a BC Court of Appeal ruled that the government did not have the authority to deny services based on IQ and this July 2008 order allows the government to sidestep that ruling. Although Housing and Social Development Minister Rich Coleman has said that this new criterion of what it means to be disabled was signed as a temporary measure, groups who advocate on behalf of the developmentally disabled say they were not consulted or given any warning about it. Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond, Representative for Children and Youth BC, says the wording isn’t even clear that the definition applies only to adults and fears that disabled teenagers could be made homeless because of it. Read an excellent opinion piece on the issue in the Vancouver Sun. Check out the BC Association for Community Living’s website, which boasts a comprehensive list of recent articles about this issue.