More Independence And Choice For People With A Developmental Disability

Archived Release

More Independence And Choice For People With A Developmental Disability

Ministry of Community and Social Services

McGuinty Government Helps People With A Developmental Disability Succeed
TORONTO, Sept. 30 /CNW/ -
NEWS
Ontario passed a new law today that will help people with a developmental disability get the right mix of services and supports to participate fully in their communities.
The Services and Supports to Promote the Social Inclusion of Persons with Developmental Disabilities Act, 2008 will replace the 35-year-old Developmental Services Act, which provided services mainly for people living in government-run institutions.
When it comes into force, Ontario's new law will build a modern, sustainable developmental services system that reflects how people live today - in communities, not institutions. For people with a developmental disability and their families, it means:
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- Better service - so that people can get services more easily and
closer to home.
- More choice - so that people and families can get supports that fit
their needs.
- And fairness - so that everyone will be treated fairly across
Ontario.
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QUOTES
"This new law means that people with a developmental disability will take their rightful place in Ontario communities," said Minister of Community and Social Services Madeleine Meilleur. "Today we know that with the right supports, the right care, and the right attitudes, people with a developmental disability don't just survive in a community - they thrive."
"We're pleased to see the concept of 'social inclusion' named in this legislation, and we see this new law as a progressive step for all of Ontario," said Dianne Garrels-Munro, President of Community Living Ontario (http://www.communitylivingontario.ca/). "We are past the era of institutionalization. This legislation will provide the tools our society needs to include people who have an intellectual disability in all aspects of community life."
"This law is a major step in the evolution of supports for individuals with a developmental disability," said Geoff McMullen, Chair of the Provincial Network on Developmental Services (http://www.alltogether-now.ca/). "It recognizes that people with developmental disabilities have unique needs like everyone else. Our response to these needs must be individualized, allowing for choice, flexibility and portability."
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QUICK FACTS
- Ontario's developmental services system helps more than 40,000 people
with a $1.5-billion budget each year.
- Nearly 40 per cent of Canadians with a developmental disability live
in Ontario.
- In 1974, nearly 8,000 people with a developmental disability lived in
government-run institutions across Ontario. In 2009, these
institutions will close their doors forever.
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LEARN MORE
Find out what Ontario is doing to improve services and supports (http://webx.newswire.ca/click/?id=7393932b4280819) for people with a developmental disability.
Read about the history (http://webx.newswire.ca/click/?id=adbd587d68f734d) of developmental services in Ontario.
Learn more about Ontario's new developmental services law (http://webx.newswire.ca/click/?id=2b905e319153d4d).
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BACKGROUNDER
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THE SERVICES AND SUPPORTS TO PROMOTE THE SOCIAL INCLUSION OF PERSONS
WITH DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES ACT, 2008
September 30, 2008
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The Services and Supports to Promote the Social Inclusion of Persons with Developmental Disabilities Act, 2008 is a new law that will help people with a developmental disability live with more independence and choice.
When it comes into force, this law will replace the Developmental Services Act, which is almost 35 years old. Ontario's old developmental services law provided services mainly for people living in government-run institutions. Today, people with a developmental disability live in communities across Ontario. With the right services and supports, they can participate fully in community life and feel that they truly belong.
This law will help Ontario build a modern, fair and sustainable developmental services system that will be here today - and tomorrow. The new system will give people with a developmental disability more independence and choice, so that they can live in communities across Ontario and take an active role in the lives they lead.
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The legislation includes:
- New, modern language
- The legislation talks about services and supports. Supports are
more flexible and provide many forms of assistance. This gives
people more choice and independence.
- It also eliminates the words "facility" and "institution" since
Ontario's last three institutions will close in 2009.
- A new application and assessment process
- The new application and assessment process will be consistent,
fair and standardized for each region. Everyone will use the
same tools and meet the same standards.
- It will provide a simpler way for people to get services and
supports.
- Person-directed planning
- This will be recognized as a ministry-funded support.
- It will help people with a developmental disability prepare
life plans that lay out their distinct needs and goals. These
plans will help them make the most out of funding and outline
ways they can participate in community activities.
- Direct funding
- This will give people with a developmental disability and their
families more choice and flexibility. Some families may want to
receive services through an agency and others may want to buy
supports themselves.
- It will involve individuals and families in determining the
right amount of supports for their needs.
- A new definition for a developmental disability
- The new definition of developmental disability will not be
based strictly on IQ. It will also consider a person's adaptive
functioning.
- The legislation outlines eligibility criteria that would be
applied fairly and consistently across Ontario.
- More accountability
- The legislation provides accountability requirements for
agencies and people who receive direct funding.
- This will allow the government to take corrective action if
there are serious issues, like health, safety or financial
problems.
- It makes sure public money is used efficiently and people are
supported properly.
- The right to collect personal information
- The legislation lets the government collect personal
information only to help plan services and supports.
- Without this information, the government would not be able to
plan future services and supports and prepare for changing
needs.
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For further information: Julia Sakas, Minister's Office, (416) 325-5219; Erika Botond, Communications Branch, (416) 325-5760