September 30, 2008

The Services and Supports to Promote the Social Inclusion of Persons with Developmental Disabilities Act, 2008

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.

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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Julia Sakas,
Minister's Office,
416-325-5219

Erika Botond,
Communications Branch,
416-325-5760

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