Friday, August 23, 2019
News, analysis and commentary by UBC Journalism students


Q&A: Paul Gauthier

Paul Gauthier is a community capacity co-ordinator with the BC Paraplegic Association and a representative of the Lower Mainland Community…


Paul Gauthier is a community capacity co-ordinator with the BC Paraplegic Association and a representative of the Lower Mainland Community Implementation Group. He is seeking to create centres for the disabled that offer services tailored to their individual daily needs.

He wants to create centres for the disabled where they can get specific services and programs tailored to their individual needs. Here he explains about the Personal Supports Program that he wants to see implemented in Vancouver.

Question: Can you explain the principles behind the Personal Supports Program?

Paul Gauthier
Paul Gauthier is seeking a cross-ministerial approach

Answer: Being flexible and responsive to the person with the disability. Being citizen centred, accessible and available. The major one is enabling choice. Being able to be sure that the person with the disability really does have the option, and being able to lay those options out in front and make a sound decision.

Question: Tell me about the trials of Personal Supports Programs that have been set up in Victoria and Prince George.

Answer: These are really testing different ideas, really being cogniscent of the fact that we’re trying to get a community approach, looking at that community and what are the needs of that community. We’re trying to develop demonstrations that are different, that work well with the community, not a cookie-cutter approach.

Question: How will the Personal Supports Program get funding?

Answer: The majority of the funding at this time comes from the Ministry of Housing and Social Development for equipment and assisted devices. But there are 80 programs servicing people with disabilities… and the idea of working with a cross-ministerial approach, is that the funding that is already available to people with disabilities will be utilised differently based on the person’s goals.

Question: You’re hoping to get other government ministries on board?

Answer: Right. This is where the challenges start to begin, to be able to get ministries at the table. They are at the table it’s just a matter of being able to work with them so that the dollars can flow more easily and freely to still meet [our] goals.

Related: Disabled support centres urged for Lower Mainland