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Introduction

The government of Ontario is committed to revitalizing social services and providing effective supports for vulnerable people in the province. In the 2004 Ontario Budget, the government announced the province would be transforming supports for people who have a developmental disability to create a coordinated system of community-based supports that is accessible, fair and sustainable. Part of this commitment includes working with stakeholders to develop a plan that results in more self-reliant individuals and families supported by coordinated information, planning and supports in their local communities. One of the main principles underlying the transformation of developmental services is that people who have a developmental disability are people first. Enabling people to live in their communities as independently as possible and to participate as full citizens in all aspects of community life is the vision driving changes to the way individuals and their families or caregivers now get the services and supports they need. A successful outcome of the transformation will be the extent to which people who have a developmental disability are recognized and valued as being part of the community.