The thought of driving her son to a service center in Ontario to renew his health card fills Jane Toner with anxiety.
Ben, 22, suffers from chronic pain, which makes the shocks, vibrations and cold temperatures that inevitably accompany a car journey – not to mention the queue at the provincial center – excruciating, says Ms Toner.
But soon they will have no other choice. In Ontario, only people with a driver’s license can renew their health card online.
Ms. Toner believes it is
ashamed that the province provides such a restriction for people with disabilities and seniors with mobility limitations.
What this actually means is that we don’t care if you have a disabilityShe said.
Incomprehensible to me.
Ben’s health card expired about a year ago, but he has not had to renew it yet as the province extended the validity of Ontario cards until February 28, 2022 in response to the pandemic. Ms. Toner attempted to act on his behalf by filling out all the required paperwork and submitting it to Service Ontario, but was told that Ben would still need to come forward to have a new photo taken.
Ms Toner hopes changes will be made by then.
These are the people who need your help the mostShe said.
The province declined to provide official comment for this article.
Level playing field
Crystal Barnard was in the hospital for months after serious back surgery. Like Ben, she has an expired health card and no driver’s license. She faces a similar dilemma: no
no chance so she can go to a Service Ontario office herself.
When it comes to people with disabilities, we end up with all sorts [défis] Being able to do things yourself said Mrs. Barnard.
In February, she must see a doctor who will sign a medical exemption form. What makes matters worse is that she doesn’t have a family doctor. She then has to ask her father – who uses two canes to walk – to drop off the forms for her at a service center in Ontario. They hope she can reuse the photo from her old health insurance card.
If they could find a way to give everyone involved, disabled or not, the ability to renew their card online, it would be a lot easier for everyone said Mrs. Barnard.
This would give everyone equal rights.
Anthony Frisina, a disability advocate who uses a wheelchair, said the current system ignores the fact that people without licenses have more difficulty getting to a parking space in Service Ontario than those who drive, particularly because they have to use them are traveling on public transportation and encounter barriers to accessibility.
With information from CBC News
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