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Legislation and regulations

Directives and guidelines

Other publications

Related:

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Defining developmental disabilities

Ontario defines a developmental disability in law - the Services and Supports to Promote the Social Inclusion of Persons with Developmental Disabilities Act, 2008 and Ontario Regulation  276/10.

Generally, developmental disabilities:

  • affect a person’s ability to learn and apply conceptual, social and practical skills in their everyday life
  • affect a person’s intellectual capacity, including the capacity to reason, organize, plan, make judgments and identify consequences
  • originate before a person reaches 18 years of age
  • are likely to be life-long in nature

Eligibility for developmental services

Ontario law also states what makes an adult eligible for developmental services that are funded by the province.

Generally, to be eligible a person must:

  • have a developmental disability (“significant limitations in cognitive and adaptive functioning”) and  provide documents that demonstrate the disability
  • be at least 18 years of age
  • reside in Ontario

Contact Developmental Services Ontario to apply for adult developmental services. If you’re eligible, staff there will help you complete a developmental services application package to assess your needs and connect you with available services and supports.

For more information about developmental disabilities, visit the Developmental Services Ontario website. Developmental Services Ontario manages the application process for all provincially-funded supports for adults with a developmental disability in Ontario.

Legislation and regulations

Community agencies deliver most of the services and supports available to adults with a developmental disability in Ontario. The laws that govern these services and supports are:

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

Regarding Quality Assurance Measures and Policy Directives:

  • Developmental Service (DS) Compliance Inspection: Indicator List (PDF - Revised May 2017)
  • Behavioural Support Plan Reference Guide (PDF - February 2017)
  • A plain-language guide to the Regulation on Quality Assurance Measures
  • Audio version - This will play an audio version of A Guide to the Regulation on Quality Assurance Measures

Directives and guidelines

Policy directives and guidelines provide more detailed rules and information that community agencies follow when making decisions about services and supports.

Policy directives and guidelines explain:

  • how services and supports work
  • what supports are available, and
  • the roles and responsibilities of both staff and clients.

The policy directives and guidelines are good places to look if you want more detailed information about a policy or if you need answers for specific questions about the laws.

Current directives and guidelines include:

Policy Directives for Service Agencies

Policy Directives for Application Entities

Policy Directives for Service Agencies Regarding the Host Family Program, April 2016

Joint Policy Guideline for the Provision of Community Mental Health and Developmental Services for Adults with a Dual Diagnosis - December 2008

Passport Guidelines, October 2014 (PDF)

Policy Guidelines for the Adult Protective Service Worker Program 2012


Other publications

Spotlight on Transformation is the ministry’s newsletter for people interested in services and supports for people with a developmental disability. It features:

  • information about what is happening in Ontario’s developmental services system
  • updates on our progress in improving services and supports
  • inspiring stories of inclusion in communities throughout Ontario.

Criteria for Developmental Services Agencies When Reviewing and Selecting an Accrediting Body (PDF)

Creating Good Life in Community: A Guide on Person-Directed Planning (PDF)

Opportunities and Action: Transforming Supports in Ontario for People who have a Developmental Disability (May 2006) (PDF)

Hiring a Support Worker: A guide for Ontarians with a developmental disability (PDF)

  • Audio version - This will play an audio version of Hiring a Support Worker: A guide for Ontarians with a developmental disability

Person-Directed Planning and Facilitation Guide - November 2013 (PDF)

Select Committee on Developmental Services