May 27th, 2024

Alberta ombudsman says rules for developmental disabilities program unfair

By The Canadian Press on May 7, 2024.

Alberta's provincial ombudsman says a government body has unfairly denied a young man with autism the supports he needs. Alberta's provincial flag flies on a flagpole in Ottawa, Tuesday, June 30, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

EDMONTON – Alberta’s provincial ombudsman says a government body has unfairly denied a young man with autism the supports he needs.

Kevin Brezinski adds that the eligibility rules for the Persons with Developmental Disabilities program are unfair.

Brezinski has released a report into how the program shut out Evan Zenari when he turned 18.

He says the rules continue to rely heavily on intelligence tests – an approach criticized by a judge as well as by most medical clinicians.

His report says the government has committed to reviewing the rules in the fall but has refused to reconsider Zenari’s case.

Brezinski says Zenari, now 21, needs counselling and support to find a job and his family needs respite care.

He says it’s unusual for his office to release public reports, but he felt the case was important enough to do so.

Alberta’s Ministry of Seniors, Community and Social Services was not able to immediately comment on the report.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 7, 2024.

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