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Since 2004, the Ministry of Community and Social Services has been working to transform Ontario’s developmental services system to:

  • make it fair and more consistent across the province
  • ensure that service providers and the ministry are held accountable for the quality of the services and supports delivered
  • ensure that long-term, sustainable planning guides the responsible and effective use of resources
  • promote independence and inclusion for adults with developmental disabilities in their communities
  • provide more choice and flexibility to individuals and families in choosing the services that best meet their needs

The goals of this transformation are independence, inclusion and choice for all people with developmental disabilities in Ontario.


Since 2004, the ministry has:

In 2009, the Ontario government closed its last three residential institutions for people with developmental disabilities. Nearly 1,000 people moved into new community-based homes with the help of the province, families and agencies.

Investing in the system

In the 2014 budget, the Ontario Government committed to investing $810 million in the community and developmental services systems, over three years.

This investment will support the goal of helping people with developmental disabilities to be as fully included in the fabric of their communities and to live as independently as possible.

The investment will:

Progress to date

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Direct Funding

Since August 2014, the ministry has approved more than 14,000 individuals and families for new direct funding through the Passport and Special Services At Home programs.

This is two-thirds of the 2014 Ontario Budget commitment for new service funding for 21,000 applicants over four years. In fact, this number includes the complete elimination of the 2014 Special Services At Home program waitlist which was originally expected to take two years has now been achieved in just eight months.

Residential Supports and Housing Solutions

About 500 people in urgent need have been approved for new residential support under the new investment in developmental services.

The first group of projects have been selected by the Developmental Services Housing Task Force to help expand the range of housing options and choices for adults with developmental disabilities in Ontario.

A second call for proposals is being planned for later this year.

Employment and Modernization Fund

Through the 2014-2015 Employment and Modernization Fund the ministry approved 38 projects for a total of $8 million in grants for modernizing service delivery and to create opportunities for people with developmental disabilities to secure integrated employment in the community.

Growing Independent Facilitation and Planning

The ministry is also investing in person-directed planning initiatives that can help people with a developmental disability plan for their futures and major life transitions, and connect them and their families with broader community supports.

Beginning in April 2015, the ministry is providing funding to the Ontario Independent Facilitation Network and seven partnering organizations, to provide independent facilitation and planning to almost 1,100 adults with a developmental disability over the next two years. The project will also evaluate the effectiveness of this service in terms of improving the lives of people with a developmental disability, and the ability to make it available to more people in the future. 

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