Office of the Child and Youth Advocate Disability Report - A Survey for Family, Friends and Professionals


In our work at the Office of the Child and Youth Advocate (OCYA), we recognize that the voices and experiences of young people with disabilities should be at the centre of any discussions and decisions made about them. We will be focusing on bringing attention to this issue in an upcoming special report. To advocate for better systems, we are engaging with young people with disabilities to learn what is important and helpful for them and about the barriers and challenges they face accessing and receiving services. We recognize the importance of hearing from significant people in young people’s lives, such as caregivers, friends, and family, as well as relevant stakeholders. It is our hope that this special report will help uphold the rights, dignity, and well-being of young people with disabilities and support their full and equal participation in society.

For this report, we are using a simplified definition of disability based on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities:

People with disabilities have long-term physical, mental, intellectual, or sensory conditions that may interact with various barriers to make it harder for them to have full and equal participation in society.


What is the OCYA?
The OCYA stands up for young people and we do this through individual and systemic advocacy for children and youth receiving “designated services”. These designated services include services under the Child, Youth and Family Enhancement Act (CYFEA), the Protection of Sexually Exploited Children Act (PSECA) and/or the youth justice system. Our mandate is to advance the rights and serve the interests of these young people.

We are interested in hearing your perspectives on the experiences of young people who have disabilities and are involved in the child welfare or youth justice system.

We will be asking you what is and is not working to support young people with disabilities and what changes you would make. Sharing your experiences will bring attention to the realities facing young people with disabilities and highlight the supports and services necessary for them to actively participate in decisions made about them and to thrive and be fully included within their communities.


Frequently Asked Questions

Who can do the survey?

Anyone who works with, cares for, or supports a young person who has a disability.

How long will the survey take?

There are 7 questions in the survey. The time it takes to finish will depend on how you answer the questions.

Will anyone know I answered the questions?

No. Your safety and privacy is very important to us. We don't ask for your name in the survey, and the report won't contain any identifying information.

What if I don't have answers for some of the questions?

No problem! Just answer the questions that you can. We appreciate anything you have to tell us about any of the topics. Just type "no comment" or leave it blank.

I'd like to participate, but is there another way to do the survey?

Yes! If you want, you can complete the questions over the phone with someone from the Office of the Child and Youth Advocate. We can also meet you virtually or in person. You can reach out to Jay Vandermeulen at or by calling 1-800-661-3446 to talk about how you would like to participate. You can also contact her directly by calling or texting 587-987-0142.

How will the answers be used?

Responses to this survey will be part of an upcoming special report. The report will talk about what life is like for young people who have disabilities and are part of the child welfare or youth justice systems, and will recommend things the government could do to make life better.


If you have any other questions about the survey, you can contact Jay Vandermeulen at or call 1-800-661-3446.  You can also call or text Jay directly at 587-987-0142.

Thank you for taking the time to complete the survey!