September 30, 2008

More Independence And Choice For People With A Developmental Disability

McGuinty Government Helps People With A Developmental Disability Succeed

Ontario passed a new law today that will help people with a developmental disability get the right mix of services and supports to participate fully in their communities.

The Services and Supports to Promote the Social Inclusion of Persons with Developmental Disabilities Act, 2008, will replace the 35-year-old Developmental Services Act, which provided services mainly for people living in government-run institutions.

When it comes into force, Ontario's new law will build a modern, sustainable developmental services system that reflects how people live today - in communities, not institutions. For people with a developmental disability and their families, it means:

  • Better service - so that people can get services more easily and closer to home.
  • More choice - so that people and families can get supports that fit their needs.
  • And fairness - so that everyone will be treated fairly across Ontario.


"This new law means that people with a developmental disability will take their rightful place in Ontario communities," said Minister of Community and Social Services Madeleine Meilleur. "Today we know that with the right supports, the right care, and the right attitudes, people with a developmental disability don't just survive in a community - they thrive."

"We're pleased to see the concept of 'social inclusion' named in this legislation, and we see this new law as a progressive step for all of Ontario," said Dianne Garrels-Munro, President of Community Living Ontario. "We are past the era of institutionalization. This legislation will provide the tools our society needs to include people who have an intellectual disability in all aspects of community life."

Quick Facts

  • Ontario's developmental services system helps more than 40,000 people with a $1.5-billion budget each year.
  • Nearly 40 per cent of Canadians with a developmental disability live in Ontario.
  • In 1974, nearly 8,000 people with a developmental disability lived in government-run institutions across Ontario. In 2009, these institutions will close their doors forever.

Learn More

Find out what Ontario is doing to improve services and supports for people with a developmental disability.

Read about the history of developmental services in Ontario.

Learn more about Ontario's new developmental services law.


Julia Sakas,
Minister's Office,

Erika Botond,
Communications Branch,

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