The Ontario government has given Maggie an ultimatum: the disabled teen can lose her funding or her independence.
Maggie, who suffers from anxiety and depression, is being homeschooled by her mother this fall through the Ontario government’s Community Learning Program, or C-L.
It’s supposed to be a better, more enriching path for Maggie than her mother’s job as a hospital clerical worker. But the program hasn’t been designed specifically to accommodate her disability, according to the provincial agency that oversees the school-to-work transition, the Ontario Disability Support Program.
The program is designed to be a “model for other programs,” said Andrea Jourdain-Gagnon, a co-ordinator on the program that is meant to be a “learning pathway” for adults living with a disability.
The ministry says it does not take any funding from it for its education and support services.
“If (Maggie) wins the appeal in court, that’s great, and we will continue to give Maggie the support and services that she needs, her family, and the community to help Maggie succeed in school,” Jourdain-Gagnon told CBC News.
But Maggie, who turns 13 in January, has already lost her funding for two years and as a result is being home schooled for the next two.
She said she’s angry about the situation in front of her court as she looks to the future.
“I really don’t want to go through what I went through again,” Maggie said. “I don’t want to go through the court. I don’t want to go through being taken away from me.”
The school-to-work program has been a major sticking point in the case between the Ontario government and a Toronto family over funding support for their daughter’s education.
The program is a controversial issue because the government has given over $26 million in support to the disabled in the past nine years. That funding is supposed to help them get to and from