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Ontario Supporting Better Health Care for Adults with Developmental Disabilities

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Ontario Supporting Better Health Care for Adults with Developmental Disabilities

Online Tools Will Help Family Doctors Implement the Latest Practices in Patient Care

Ontario is improving health care for adults with developmental disabilities through new supports for primary care providers, including family doctors. 

The Developmental Disabilities Primary Care program will be led by Surrey Place Centre and will help primary care providers, like family doctors, provide the best possible care for adults with developmental disabilities through updated clinical practice guidelines and online tools and resources.

These guidelines include information related to the care needs of adults with developmental disabilities, recommendations for person-centred approaches to care, and preventative care measures. By making these resources available, this new program will help people with developmental disabilities access the health care they need.

Investing in better health care for people with developmental disabilities is part of the government's broader plan to support care, create opportunity and make life more affordable during this period of rapid economic change. The plan includes free prescription drugs for everyone under 25, and 65 or over, through the biggest expansion of medicare in a generation, free tuition for hundreds of thousands of students, a higher minimum wage and better working conditions, and free preschool child care from 2 ½ to kindergarten.

Quick Facts

  • Ontario is investing $900,000 over two years to fund the Developmental Disabilities Primary Care Program, which is led by Surrey Place Centre (SPC).
  • This investment will help SPC become the source of primary care information for people with developmental disabilities and advance primary care education in Ontario.
  • The updated clinical practice guidelines were published in the Canadian Family Physician Journal in April 2018.
  • There are an estimated 70,000 adults with developmental disabilities in Ontario.
  • The 2018 budget proposes an increased $1.8 billion investment over three years to support developmental services. If passed, it will be the largest one-time investment in developmental services in the province’s history.

Additional Resources


“Through this program, Ontario is providing national leadership in improving the health care of adults with developmental disabilities. We value the hard work that our partner agencies like Surrey Place Centre do, day in and day out, to provide high-quality services to people and their families.”

Michael Coteau

Minister of Community and Social Services

“Primary care providers like family doctors play a vital role in the care of adults with developmental disabilities. Through these enhanced guidelines and educational resources, doctors will be able to offer the best care possible for their patients and help prevent crisis situations that are not only difficult for patients and their families, but also taxing on the health care system.”

Dr. Helena Jaczek

Minister of Health and Long-Term Care

“At Surrey Place Centre, we are committed to providing the highest quality of care for clients we serve throughout their life span and improving best practices through research and education. The new Developmental Disabilities Primary Care Program serves as a credible resource for primary care providers caring for adults with developmental disabilities. We develop and promote clinical practice guidelines and other resources that are informed by ethics, empirical studies, expert knowledge, current research on health care systems and the perspectives and experiences of people with developmental disabilities and their caregivers.”

Dr. William F. Sullivan

Developmental Disabilities Primary Care Program Lead, Surrey Place Centre, and Academic Family Health Team, Department of Family and Community Medicine, St Michael’s Hospital

Media Contacts



Education and Training Government Health and Wellness Home and Community Children and Youth Parents People with Disabilities Seniors