Office of the Child and Youth Advocate Disability Report - Survey for Young People


The Office of the Child and Youth Advocate (OCYA) stands up for young people involved with the child welfare or youth justice systems.  We are writing a report about what life is like for young people with disabilities who are involved with these systems.


Why are we reaching out to young people?

  • We would like to learn from young people with disabilities who are involved, or have been involved, with the child welfare or youth justice systems. 

  • We want to know what services, supports, and other things are helpful and make life better and what sorts of things make life harder and should be changed.


What do we mean by ‘disability’?

  • 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.


This Survey

  • If you agree to do the survey, we will ask you questions about what it's like having a disability, what helps you and what you would like to see changed.

  • There are other ways to participate (see the Frequently Asked Questions for more information).



Frequently Asked Questions

Who can do the survey?

  • Any young person (24 years old and under) who has a disability and is involved with the child welfare or youth justice systems - or has been involved in the past.

How long will the survey take?

  • There are 9 questions in the survey. The time it takes to finish depends on how you answer the questions.
  • If it feels too long, you can save your answers and come back to the survey later.  You can also skip questions and answer just the ones that are important to you.

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 any information you give us will be grouped together with what other young people say.

What if I don't have answers for some of the questions or don't want to answer them all?

  • No problem! Just answer the questions that you can. You get to decide what you share with us. 
  • There are some questions that might touch on topics that are sensitive for you.  If you don't want to talk about them, its ok and we won't be upset with you at all. 
  • If you feel confused or upset by anything we ask, talk to someone you trust for support.
  • We appreciate anything you have to tell us about any of the topics. 

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

  • Yes! If you want, you can answer 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 1-800-661-3446 to talk about how you would like to participate.   You can also call or text her directly at 587-987-0142.

How will the answers be used?

  • Responses to this survey will be part of an upcoming 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.

How can I reach out if I need more help?

  • If you have any 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.
  • If you tell us in the survey you need help with a problem - remember we don't have any way to reach you. 
  • If you would like support, you can call us at 1-800-661-3446 or e-mail   Our office is open Monday to Friday from 8:15 am until 4:30 pm.  If our office is closed and you leave a message, we will call you back as soon as possible during regular business hours. 

Remember - the survey is voluntary!  You can look at the questions and decide whether you want to do the survey or not.