New Brunswick Update

All / New Brunswick

September 10, 2007

While New Brunswick no longer has large institutions designed specifically for persons with an intellectual disability, many people still reside in a number of residential facilities throughout the province. These facilities range in type and size and include nursing homes, for profit special care homes, and group homes run by non profit organizations. There are also a small number of people with an intellectual disability who live in 2 provincial psychiatric facilities.

Since April 2005, New Brunswick has been piloting a new disability support program for adults with disabilities under age 65. The intent of this pilot project was the testing of new ways to design and provide personalized and flexible disability supports that would focus on “individual development and community participation".  The pilot was also designed to test ways for people with disabilities (and those close to them) to be directly involved in deciding their goals for the future and how and by whom disability supports should be provided. This included the provision of independent planning facilitation support.

As of June 2007, an external evaluation of the pilot project was completed. Although the report has not been released publicly, it is overall very positive. Within the pilot regions, the percentage of people with various types of disabilities under age 65 receiving services in residential facilities has declined (from 32.5% to 29% in one pilot region and from 47.5% to 41.1% in another pilot region). This decline in the percentage of people accessing services in facilities has been occurring for a number of years and appears to be solidly supported by the pilot project’s focus on proving personalized and flexible disability supports. 

It is expected that the Government of New Brunswick will make a decision by the late fall about the roll out of a new support program for adults with disabilities.