The Ontario government has given Maggie an ultimatum: the disabled teen can lose her funding or her independence.
A judge has ruled the school is violating her right to make independent decisions on food, clothing and housing.
What happens next is anyone’s guess.
The Ontario government has given Maggie, a 15-year-old with a learning disability, a disability-in-training licence, allowing her to operate a special-needs home, provide food and clothing, and receive her own social services.
The government says the move is needed to deal with the complex system involved in providing government-funded services to individuals with special needs.
But that’s no excuse for not setting proper expectations.
Maggie, who has autism, uses a wheelchair and uses a manual lift in her house. That means every night she must put on her special-needs clothing and use a mechanical lift to get in her room, where she sleeps on a mattress and sleeps in her wheelchair.
She has the same issue with getting into her bathroom.
She has a custom wheelchair, which is too wide for the narrow bathroom she has.
Her bedroom is tiny — only about 70 square feet — and too small for her wheelchair and lift. That means she always sleeps on her mattress, which is covered with about a dozen pillows, each about 15 inches by 20 inches, and a blanket.
In the morning, she must leave her mattress and fold sheets on the floor to make a space big enough for her table and chair.
In a bedroom for two people, those are about the only things that have room.
“When you have two things that you can sit on, you can make your bed, you’ve got room for everything, you can do everything,” she said in an interview on Thursday.
Some of the items aren’t there yet — like the TV that could be sitting on the dresser or the computer desk when Maggie eventually can