Ontario’s developmental services system evolved over many decades. Like other jurisdictions, we used to operate institutions for people with a developmental disability.
Over the past 50 years, Ontario moved government-run services and funding for those services from institutions to community groups, and increasingly to individuals and their families. By 2004, Ontario was investing more than $1 billion each year in these supports, including group and individual living arrangements, as well as day programs.
While Ontario’s developmental services system evolved in response to demand, it lacked consistent infrastructure and planning. People applied for and were assessed for services in different ways across the province. This led to people’s needs, funding and priorities being determined inconsistently.
Many people with a developmental disability and their families have found this system confusing and challenging to deal with. Meanwhile the demand for supports has continued to rise.
The government recognized that the province’s developmental services system could work better for the people it served. In 2004, Ontario announced plans to modernize services. Since then, the government has:
Ontario is making progress on its plans to improve Ontario’s developmental services system, but there’s still more work to do. Next steps include:
Check out the new legislation Services and Supports to Promote the Social Inclusion of Persons with Developmental Disabilities Act, 2008.
Stay informed about our progress on improving Ontario’s developmental services system. Read Spotlight on Transformation.
Discover how new accessibility standards will make our communities more inclusive for everyone. Visit Ontario.ca/AccessON.