OASIS President Responds to Toronto Star article on abuse

TORONTO (October 29, 2001) — Sue Dolan, President of OASIS, Ontario Agencies Supporting People with Special Needs, today commented on information contained in an article which appeared Sunday, October 28 in The Toronto Star. The article reported incidents of abuse of those with developmental disabilities while in the care of provincial agencies. The following is Ms. Dolan’s statement:

“On behalf of OASIS, which represents 80 community-based agencies in Ontario, I wish to express deep concern over the incidents of abuse which have been reported within the provincial system. Abuse, while never justified, is a challenge in every helping profession.

Our agencies support more than 15,000 individuals with developmental disabilities, enabling them to live in their communities as you and I do. This is due in large part to the professionalism and dedication of the vast majority of the employees within our member agencies. For all their responsibilities, which are frequently required in difficult circumstances, our employees do a tremendous job. Indeed, the families of those we serve often testify to that fact.

Of course, no incident of abuse is acceptable. OASIS is committed to working with the Ministry of Community and Social Services and our member agencies to reinforce zero tolerance of abuse when supporting vulnerable people. We will do whatever is humanly possible to identify and eliminate abuse.”

192 Member Agencies and Growing