Learn more about how Ontario’s new developmental services legislation is coming into force. Read Spotlight on Transformation, Issue 19, July 2010.

The Services and Supports to Promote the Social Inclusion of Persons with Developmental Disabilities Act, 2008, is a law we created to give people with a developmental disability more independence and choice. This legislation is the foundation of Ontario’s plan to improve developmental services.

In July 2011, this law officially replaced the Developmental Services Act, Ontario's old developmental services law. It regulated 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.

The province’s new law is helping build a more modern, fair and sustainable developmental services system.

The legislation includes:

  • A new definition for a developmental disability
    • The new definition of developmental disability is not based strictly on IQ. It also considers how a person handles common demands in life and how independent they are compared to others of a similar age and background.
    • The new definition will be applied fairly and consistently across Ontario.
  • 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.
  • A new application and assessment process
    • The new application and assessment process will be consistent, fair and standardized across Ontario.
  • Support for person-directed planning
    • 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.
  • More accountability
    • The legislation provides accountability requirements to make sure public money is used efficiently and people are supported properly.
    • This will allow the government to take corrective action if there are serious issues with such things as health, safety or financial problems.

Learn more