We’ve started a petition today against the Disabled Adult Transportation System on their new policy, set to roll into gear Sept. 1. DATS is changing their cancellation policy from 30 minutes to two hours without any consultation with their users. We petitioning the policy — and the lack of communication DATS had with their users: they only shared the news in the DATS newsletter — after the policy was changed.
We’ve seen this lack of consultation rodeo before. In June, Alberta Health Services made wide sweeping changes to home care without — you guessed it — any consultation. In fact, (I know from personal experience as I am a home care user) when existing home care programs were asked to submit proposals, we were told if we called our MLA or the media our proposal could very well be disqualified. Why does the word bullying comes to mind?
Perhaps we’re seeing a trend. I think we need to make a statement and encourage all levels of government to have better consultation with people with disabilities before making significant changes. But, first things first: the DATS policy. If we get enough signatures by Aug. 1 on the lack of consultation with users on the new DATS cancellation policy we will deliver the petition to Edmonton City Council. One never knows: maybe City Council will reverse DATS cancellation policy. After all, we will have talked to people to get their input.