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More Choice and Flexibility for People with Developmental Disabilities

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More Choice and Flexibility for People with Developmental Disabilities

McGuinty Government Moves To Modernize Developmental Services Legislation

Ontario introduced legislation today that, if passed, would lay the groundwork for the province to modernize and improve service delivery for adults with a developmental disability.

Ontario's current Developmental Services Act is almost 35 years old.  During that time, services for people with developmental disabilities have changed dramatically.  People who previously would have lived in large, government-run institutions now live and participate in communities across Ontario. 

The proposed new legislation recognizes that people with developmental disabilities can live independently with the right supports.  It also recognizes that people with developmental disabilities want more choice and control over the supports they receive.

The new legislation would lay the foundation for better services and supports for people with developmental disabilities and their families, including:

  • Better service: people would only have to go to one place to apply for services and support.
  • More choice: people could receive funding directly for supports tailored to their needs.
  • Improved fairness: everyone would use the same application and assessment package, and people who need service and support the most would have priority. 

Quick Facts

  • More than 40,000 adults with a developmental disability live in Ontario.
  • Since 2003, the Ontario government has committed an additional half billion dollars for services for people with developmental disabilities.
  • The total annual budget for developmental services is $1.57 billion.
  • In 1974, at the height of institutionalization, there were approximately 8,000 people with a developmental disability living in government-operated facilities. Today, there are fewer than 180 adults living in the three remaining facilities which are set to close in 2009.

Background Information

Additional Resources

Quotes

“The current Developmental Services Act is out of date. It’s from a time when we supported people in institutions. A year from now, these facilities from a bygone era will be closed, This legislation will help us to build the foundation for the next generation of people with a developmental disability.”

Madeleine Meilleur

Minister of Community and Social Services

“I would like to congratulate the Ontario government for introducing legislation that will bring disability issues into the 21st century. This bill will foster strong partnerships between the Ontario government, families and agencies in order to better serve people with developmental disabilities and provide them with a brighter future.”

Sandy Keshen

Executive Director of Reena

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Health and Wellness People with Disabilities