The submission period for the Employment and Modernization Fund closed on October 24, 2014. A review panel selected 38 projects to receive funding. The ministry is currently planning the 2015-16 call for proposals. Watch for more information in a future issue of Spotlight or on our social media channels.

See the 2014-2015 successful proposals.

About the fund

The Employment and Modernization Fund is part of the Ontario government’s $810 million investment strategy for community and developmental services approved in the 2014 Budget.

The fund offers financial support to projects that promote greater inclusion and independence for individuals with developmental disabilities.

There are two funding-application streams:

  1. Employment: Projects that create opportunities for people with developmental disabilities to secure integrated employment in the community.
  2. Service delivery modernization: Projects that modernize service delivery models and lead to more individualized and responsive services and supports.

Who can apply?
While the ministry strongly encourages regional and cross-sectoral partnerships, the lead applicant for each proposal must be a ministry-funded transfer payment agency that serves adults with developmental disabilities. Proposals for this fund must be submitted to regional offices by only those agencies funded by the Ministry of Community and Social Services.

Next call for proposals
The ministry is currently planning the 2015-2016 call for proposals. Watch for more information in a future issue of Spotlight or on our social media channels.

2014-2015 successful proposals

Congratulations to these 38 communities/organizations who received grants from the 2014-2015 Ministry of Community and Social Services Employment Modernization fund.

Successful Employment Proposals

Region Organization Project Name Project Description
Province-Wide Ontario Disability Employment Network (ODEN) Centre for Excellence in Employment Services The Ontario Disability Employment Network will establish a provincial centre for excellence on employment services. This centre will support agencies in providing effective employment supports for individuals with developmental disabilities. Some of its functions will include coordinating and providing training for agencies, coordinating community networks for sharing information and best practices, and building employer networks and outreach initiatives.
Brantford and Brant County Community Living Brant From Segregation to Integration Community Living Brant will implement an employment preparation curriculum and deliver workshops, train employment services staff, and organize a regional summit to share best practices related to employment for people with developmental disabilities. It will also work with families of individuals transitioning from sheltered workshops to identify appropriate community-based alternatives.
City of London and other areas served by the Thames Valley District School Board Community Living London Transition to Employment First Community Living London will support individuals with developmental disabilities transition from a sheltered workshop towards person-centred supports encouraging employment and other integrated community participation activities. Another component of the project will be to collaborate with the Thames Valley District School Board, teachers and families to focus on promoting employment opportunities for students.
Essex County Community Living Essex County First Choice Employment Community Living Essex County will enhance its employment services through a training program for staff, increasing community collaboration and improving employer engagement. The agency will also work on strengthening linkages with school boards and St. Clair College to improve employment outcomes and transitions for youth with developmental disabilities.
Kemptville Community Living North Grenville Customized Employment & Self Determination This project will train Community Living North Grenville staff in customized employment approaches (job development), in order to implement an employment program for youth with developmental disabilities in local high schools. The program will aid students to prepare for the school to work transition and with attaining quality co-op placements that could lead to longer term employment.
Lambton County Community Living Sarnia-Lambton Tools for Transition Community Living Sarnia-Lambton will develop standardized toolkits for a summer jobs program and a pre-employment program, targeted towards developmental services agencies supporting youth and adults with developmental disabilities. The agency will also work with other agencies and school boards to mentor key stakeholders (school and college staff, agencies, municipalities, employers) to promote employment opportunities for youth.
Muskoka, Parry Sound and Nipissing regions Community Living Parry Sound Employment First Training and Resources Community Living Parry Sound will organize two knowledge sharing events on employment supports for developmental services agencies in the Muskoka, Parry Sound and Nipissing regions. In addition to sharing best practices and developing capacity, this project will help support agencies in developing strategies to address training and organizational needs as they shift towards community based competitive employment and move away from sheltered workshops.
Niagara Region Community Living Port Colborne - Wainfleet Pre-employment Program for Young Adults Community Living Port Colborne will deliver a pre-employment program for youth with developmental disabilities transitioning out of high school in Niagara Region. Youth will participate in a co-op placement, after which they will be referred to an employment supports provider to help them pursue competitive employment.
Ohsweken Community Living Six Nations Employment Outcomes 2015/16 Community Living Six Nations will start an employment supports program for individuals with developmental disabilities within the Six Nations community of Ohsweken. An employment specialist will serve as a job developer and job coach and will engage with employers, individuals and their families to facilitate and support job opportunities.
Ottawa LiveWorkPlay Youth and Adult Employment Supports LiveWorkPlay will support youth with developmental disabilities obtain and maintain competitive paid summer jobs, part-time employment during the school year and volunteer placements with non-profit agencies. Through this investment, the organization will also develop increased capacity to provide employment supports to people who receive direct funding.
Oxford County Community Living Tillsonburg Options for Employment Community Living Tillsonburg will facilitate the transition of individuals with developmental disabilities from settings such as sheltered workshops towards individualized supported employment. Through emphasising employment, the agency will also develop a pre-employment training service, a skills development program in collaboration with community businesses, and a student employment service.
Prince Edward County Community Living Prince Edward People at Work Community Living Prince Edward will transform its employment supports model to move towards community-based supported employment for individuals with developmental disabilities. The agency will also improve the coordination between the developmental services and employment services sectors, and ultimately increase the number of individuals who are employed, build linkages with local employers and increase its capacity to serve more people.
Quinte West and Hastings County Community Living Quinte West Accessing Customized Employment This is a partnership between three agencies, led by Community Living Quinte West, to implement a customized employment model for individuals with developmental disabilities.This approach will address the needs of both employers and individuals, as job developers will collaborate with employers to identify job functions and business needs that would fit the skill set of individuals in the program (also known as job carving or job development).
Rainy River District Community Living Fort Frances and District ERN - Employer Resource Network Community Living Fort Frances and District will implement a training program for staff members on customized employment approaches, to enable them to work with employers to identify business needs and tailor strategies to meet these needs, leading to competitive employment positions for individuals with developmental disabilities. The agency will also enhance its employer outreach activities and provide resources and awareness to promote the hiring of individuals with developmental disabilities.
Sault Ste. Marie Community Living Algoma Transition - Sheltered to Community Connections Community Living Algoma will be transitioning away from its sheltered workshop program to focus on employment and participation in the community. The agency will provide a continuum of employment services to individuals with developmental disabilities to get them job ready and support them to connect with employment service providers. They will also arrange workshops to give staff and families practical tools to facilitate community participation for individuals.
Simcoe County Camphill Communities Ontario Passport to Employment Camphill Communities Ontario will provide skills training, job development and job coaching to individuals with developmental disabilities who are interested in pursuing employment. Support staff will also be included in the training process to learn skills to support individuals with employment on an ongoing basis.
Simcoe County Simcoe Community Services Acquisition/ Sustainability of Employment Simcoe Community Services will expand its capacity to deliver employment programs, increase employer awareness and identify new employment opportunities for people with developmental disabilities. The agency will also identify gaps in underserved areas and potential partnerships, and train existing staff to continue with employment support activities beyond the end of the project.
Simcoe County Community Living Association of South Simcoe Cross Sector Training and Staff Development Community Living South Simcoe will collaborate with an employment agency (Focus) on a training initiative to allow employment staff to better support individuals with developmental disabilities and developmental services staff to learn employment support strategies. This project also includes launching a youth employment program, increasing community-based job opportunities and making programs available to people who receive direct funding to help them participate in the community.
Sudbury District Community Living Espanola Employment Supports Community Living Espanola will facilitate a job coaching training program for agency staff and community partners, and support transitions of youth from high school to employment. This project will also create a job training partnership with Cambrian College’s Employment and Life Skills Training programs, and build employer capacity within the Espanola community to promote competitive job opportunities for individuals with developmental disabilities.
Toronto March of Dimes Providing Effective Employment Supports March of Dimes will develop a training program for its staff and other employment supports providers across the province on providing effective employment supports to individuals with developmental disabilities, with a particular focus on job development and job coaching.
Waterloo Region Kitchener-Waterloo Extend-A-Family Association Community Based Employment Supports Kitchener-Waterloo Extend-A-Family Association will partner with an employment agency (The Working Centre) so that individuals with developmental disabilities can access employment training in an integrated community setting. This project will also promote the sharing of expertise and best practises between the two organizations resulting in better linkages between developmental services and employment services, and more opportunities to expand employer networks in the community.
Wellington County Community Living Guelph Wellington Employment First Community Living Guelph Wellington will increase the focus on competitive employment within their existing programs for individuals with developmental disabilities, and begin moving towards community-based supported employment approaches.
Wellington County Torchlight Services Gaining Real Opportunities for Work Torchlight Services will support students with developmental disabilities to obtain summer employment through training and job coaching, in partnership with Community Living Guelph Wellington and Second Chance Employment Counselling.

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Successful Modernization Proposals

Region Organization Project Name Project Description
Halton Regional Municipality Community Living North Halton Project Coordinator - Autism Oriented Bungalow Agencies will work with Habitat for Humanity to build a bungalow for five people with Autism Spectrum Disorder. The funding will be used to employ a project coordinator to oversee the project, including recruiting and providing orientation to volunteers.
Halton Regional Municipality and Toronto Bob Rumball Association Integration Through this project the services provided by the Bob Rumball Association for the Deaf and Bob Rumball Centre for the Deaf will streamlined over three years. The outcome will be a single agency that serves the deaf community in the developmental disabilities sector in a more efficient and responsive way.
City of Kawartha Lakes, Haliburton County, Peterborough County Community Living Kawartha Lakes Three Community Integration The project consists of a feasibility study to explore integration and collaboration options between Community Living Kawartha Lakes, Community Living Peterborough and Community Living Haliburton County.
Lanark County Community Living Association, Lanark County DynaMentor: A Modern Training and Learning Support System The agency has partnered with a technology firm, Tertec (that developed the Mon Ami monitoring system) to offer an enhanced learning experience for individuals with developmental disabilities. The agency has also partnered with Algonquin College to develop a curriculum to provide training for individuals related to Quality Assurance Measures within developmental services agencies.

Lanark County Mills Community Support Corporation Getting to “Yes” - Building the Foundation for a Strategic Alliance The project involves hiring a subject matter expert to review and plan to identify how Mills Community Support Corporation, Lanark Community Programs, and Tayside Community Options can build on existing collaboration to form a strategic alliance. The alliance will make the agencies more sustainable and allow them to have a greater impact in providing services for people with developmental disabilities.

Leeds and Grenville United Counties Career Services of Brockville Transitioning: Clients, Capacity, Community The agency will hire a facilitator and a job developer to develop employment supports for recipients of direct funding. Through this investment, the agency will be able to adapt its operations in response to changing demand as its capacity to handle cases is limited in the current model.
Mississauga Community Living Mississauga Inclusion Resource Team Pilot Project The agency will hire a coordinator to work in a formal partnership with the City of Mississauga to integrate individuals with developmental disabilities into existing community programs run by the city. The coordinator will also train city employees on how to integrate individuals with developmental disabilities into future program offerings.
Niagara Region Bethesda Services Crisis Guideline Launch/Implementation This project consists of running an event on Unified Crisis Response to launch the Niagara Crisis Guideline/Protocol for a consistent approach to crises across police, health, mental health and developmental services. The project also involves sharing response plans with the Crisis Outreach and Support Team and the Psychiatric Emergency Response Team of the Niagara Health System.
Oxford County Woodstock and District Developmental Services Evolution This project involves transitioning individuals with developmental disabilities to more community-based supports including the opening of two resource centres, one for Social Enterprise and Microbusiness, another for Low Tech Communications Resources.
Simcoe County E3 Community Services Tele-Rehab Mobile Videoconferencing System An agency and an occupational therapy provider will develop a video-conference application to provide remote occupational therapy.
Toronto Community Living Toronto Fee-for-Service Hub for Developmental Services in the Greater Toronto Area This project involves developing an online fee-for-service hub for all developmental services agencies in Toronto through connectABILITY.ca to help individuals and families find and register for various programs.
Toronto Community Living Toronto Community First Project This project will help people move from site-based day supports to community based supports. A coordinator will be hired to start the process, and aims to shift staff members at existing sites to supporting individuals in the community.
Toronto Kerry’s Place Autism Services Leaders for Success Training Program This project is a key training course as part of succession planning for executive leadership in the developmental services sector.
Toronto Surrey Place Centre DSO - 211 Call Centre Integration This project will use the existing Ontario Government 211 service to triage calls so that the individuals routed to Developmental Services Ontario will be those seeking to obtain developmental services. General information questions may be dealt with more efficiently by 211 staff, and they can refer individuals to other government resources (e.g. mental health, children and youth services) more appropriate to their needs.
Wikwemikong Community Living Wikwemikong Anishinabek D’baajmowin This project involves developing a website for an agency in a First Nations community on Manitoulin Island. As a localized modernization project that will benefit this community, it will also demonstrate to other First Nations communities in Ontario what the Ontario Government can do for their members with developmental disabilities.

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