May 15, 2008

Strengthening Services for People with a Developmental Disability

The developmental services sector in Ontario is in the midst of an important transformation that began in 2004. Since then, the McGuinty government has:

  • Launched a major review to make the province's developmental services system fair, accessible and sustainable
  • Begun preparing for the closure of the three remaining provincially-run facilities for people with a developmental disability by the end of March 2009, and
  • Consulted widely with community service providers, people with a developmental disability and their families on the future of developmental services in Ontario.

Over the last four years, Ontario has made significant progress in strengthening the foundation of the developmental services system. Ontario has increased funding for developmental services by more than 30 per cent to $1.57 billion annually. These investments have:

  • Created almost 1,300 spaces in the community for adults with a developmental disability to live
  • Set up four Community Networks of Specialized Care to provide linkages to specialized clinical supports for people who have some of the most complex care needs
  • Created opportunities for nearly 2,200 people leaving school to participate in their communities through the Passport initiative
  • Served 8,400 more families through the Special Services at Home program; that is an increase of more than 40 per cent since 2004
  • Increased operating funding for community agencies by 5.5 per cent
  • Brought salaries for developmental services staff into line with other jobs in the social services field.

Next steps

Throughout the transformation process, people with a developmental disability and their families have said they want a system that is easier to navigate and offers them more choice and flexibility in the services they receive.

Ontario's proposed Services for Persons with Developmental Disabilities Act, 2008 would provide the framework the province needs to respond to these needs and improve its system of developmental services over the long-term.


Julia Sakas,
Minister's Office,

Erika Botond,
Communications Branch,

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