Advocates Ask Province To Drop IQ Cut-off Appeal
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
September 8, 2006
VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--The B.C. Supreme Court recently ruled that the provincial government cannot use I.Q. scores alone to decide whether an adult with a developmental disability ought to receive support services.
The Ministry of Child and Family Services, which oversees such services, is appealing that decision. The ministry has adopted a policy that says people with I.Q. scores above 70 will lose services once they turn 19.
But critics -- including some community service providers, social workers, parents, and family members -- call the ministry's policy discriminatory and in violation of its own rules. They say that many factors should be taken into account to decide whether a person needs services, particularly for people who have disabilities, such as autism or fetal alcohol syndrome.
According to Wednesday's Goldstream News Gazette, Maureen Karagianis, a Member of the B.C. Legislative Assembly, said she is worried the government's policy will leave many people with developmental disabilities at risk of homelessness, criminal activity, and victimization.
"You realize that the IQ is in no way indicative of their capabilities to look after themselves," she said.
"For the government to arbitrarily decide that anyone with an IQ of over 70 is now qualified for independent living is extremely cruel and shows how little they care for the most vulnerable individuals."