Children with physical disabilities require costly equipment to meet basic needs, live safely, and strive for independence. The families of these children face not only personal sacrifice, but also a heavy financial burden. It can cost families more than $40,000 a year to care for a child with a severe disability, and as children grow, equipment must be replaced. Government agencies cover only partial costs of certain pieces of equipment necessary to these children for personal safety, mobility, and communication, and for some pieces, not at all.
Extra family expenses can include: home renovations, adaptive equipment and devices, special schooling, special transportation and adapted vehicles, time away from work for medical appointments and surgeries, plus the cost of care givers, to name a few.
Of the families who requested financial assistance from Easter Seals and self-reported their annual income in 2015, 64% reported a total family income under $60,000. In addition, 48% of families had a total annual household income under $40,000; and 28% had a total family income under $20,000.
Often children with disabilities live with feelings of isolation. Many spend most of their time at home or at school, with very little social interaction with others their age. For many of these children, camp or other recreational experiences are their only chance to establish independence, expand their personal boundaries, and explore their abilities.
All young people, whether disabled or not, benefit from camping or recreational experiences. A recreational environment builds social skills, independence and self-esteem. However, for a child with a physical disability, this experience is so much more
Sources of Revenue
Easter Seals Ontario relies fully on the generosity of public donations to offer its programs and services. The organization is not a member of the United Way, and receives negligible government funding.
Where the Money is Spent
2015, 78 cents of every dollars raised was used to provide programs and services for children and youth with physical disabilities.