Attendant Services Board (Table accompagnement)

Since 2006, PIMO has coordinated the Montreal Attendant Services Board, which includes a wide range of organizations involved in sectors relating to attendant services. The board’s mission is to develop and deploy attendant services to meet the needs of Montrealers over the age of 15, including those with diminished autonomy due to aging.

Attendant Services Board History

The Montreal Attendant Services Board emerged from a committee created in 1995 that was headed by ROPMM and CRADI.

CRADI sought to highlight attendant service requirements for the cognitively impaired, as distinct from family respite needs. ROPMM focused on obtaining additional funding for attendant services for persons with physical disabilities.

In 1996, the committee succeeded in convincing the regional board to allocate funds enabling these organization to provide attendant services. However, the organizations continued to contend with financial difficulties, due to growing demand. Furthermore, families still had to use their family support allocations to pay for the attendant services needed by their disabled members.

In March 2002, a definition of “attendant services” (which would be incorporated almost word for word in the Comprehensive Attendant Services Policy (Politique À part entière) was adopted.

With other organizations focused on their own priorities, PIMO took the lead in coordinating the Attendant Services Board. At the time, three regional associations for the disabled participated in the board’s work, along with PIMO and an OPHQ advisor:

  • The Regroupement des organismes de promotion du Montréal métropolitain (ROPMM), an umbrella organization for associations working on behalf of those with physical, sensory, neurological, linguistic and speech disabilities.
  • The Coalition régionale des associations en déficience intellectuelle et en troubles envahissants du développement (CRADI), responding to the needs of those with cognitive impairment or a developmental disorder.
  • AlterGo, which includes associations seeking to ensure the right of the disabled to recreational activities.

In 2006, the OPHQ began updating its draft Equality Policy. The discussions did not cover attendant services and the topic was only raised in conjunction with such other issues as transportation and recreation. Through its efforts, however, the board succeeded in including attendant services one of the eight priorities of the 2009 Comprehensive Attendant Services Policy.

In 2010, the board published a study on Support: Outside the Homes, for Real Participation in Society, (L’accompagnement : Au-delà du domicile, pour une réelle participation sociale), which confirmed the magnitude of unmet attendant service needs.

PIMO subsequently asked the board to bring in representatives from other networks (institutions, seniors, volunteers) concerned with attendant services. The board then decided to develop a service model responding to the attendant service requirements of Montrealers, including seniors with a loss of autonomy linked to aging. A beta model was adopted in 2012. PIMO tested this beta as part of its For Regional Attendant Services Pilot Project in 2014 to 2015.

Following the pilot’s solid success, the board teamed up with PIMO to conduct a promotional campaign supporting attendant services.  Entitled GOING OUT TOGETHER! For Comprehensive Attendant Services (ON SORT ENSEMBLE ! Pour un accompagnement à part entière), the campaign, which was launched during Quebec’s 2017 Week for Disabled Persons (SQPH) 2017, should wrap up in June 2018 with the submission of a petition to Quebec’s National Assembly.

The board is also closely monitoring its One-Stop For Comprehensive Attendant Services project (titre unique d’accompagnement) (previously called Universal For Comprehensive Attendant Services Card—carte universelle d’accompagnement), on which OPHQ has worked for some time.

PIMO’s Role on the Board

PIMO heads and coordinates the Attendant Services Board (Table accompagnement), consisting of some 20 representatives from community organizations (of the disabled, family caregivers, seniors with a loss of autonomy linked to aging and volunteer services), public and quasi-public organizations and a research group.

The Board’s Key Contributions

Definition of Attendant Services

In 2002, the Greater Montreal Attendant Services Board launched a study to define “attendant services.” Various service scenarios were also developed, but could not be tested due to lack of funding.

Attendant Services Recognized in Government Policy

In 2007, based on a proposal by PIMO, the Attendant Services Board asked the OPHQ to include attendant services in its updated Equality Policy (politique À part égale). The OPHQ, which had previously omitted the topic, this time agreed to included it. To our delight, virtually all of the board’s recommendations were accepted.

Better Understanding of Attendant Needs and Services

In 2010, the Attendant Services Board published the results of its study, Attendant services: Outside the Home for Real Social Participation (L’accompagnement : Au-delà du domicile, pour une réelle participation sociale). This study, which was coordinated by PIMO and financed by the OPHQ, assessed the scope of attendant services required for Montreal. It also identified the attendant service needs and expectations by people with different kinds of disabilities.

Due to a limited budget, the board targeted those it believed received the least attendant services:

  •  21 to 64-year olds with motor, visual, hearing, language and/or speech disabilities, or a mild cognitive disability.
  • 13 to 20-year olds with a physical (motor, sensory, language and/or speech disability).
  • Parents of adults with a cognitive disability.

Unfortunately, we were unable to contact disabled teens. However, we acquired a better understanding of people’s needs and requirements for future services. PIMO used the study and the information it provided in developing its pilot project.