Outline of OntarioRecently the Liberal government in Ontario announced an additional $810 million in funding over three years for developmental services1. While this is welcome news to both families and service providers, there are still a number of concerns. Wait lists for services in Ontario are incredibly long, and the funding may not be enough to eliminate them. The support system is also very fragmented, with supports delivered through four different ministries and virtually no support to help individuals with developmental disabilities transition between critical life stages (e.g. youth to adult).

There are two major investigations looking into the crisis in Ontario.

  • The Ontario Ombudsmen was scheduled to release a report on services for adults with developmental disabilities in 2013, but due to the high number of complaints received (well over a thousand) the report has been delayed indefinitely2.
  • The Ontario Select Committee on Developmental Services was formed in May 2013. The Committee’s interim report (released March 2014) highlighted a number of issues raised during their consultation process: long waiting lists for services, poor support through transition stages and lengthy re-application processes, lack of client and family involvement in decision-making, and lack of appropriate housing options3. You can read the Committee’s final report here (released July 2014).

[1] Ministry of Finance. Government of Ontario. (2014, Apr 11). Eliminating Waitlists for Government Services [Press Release]. Available online http://news.ontario.ca/mof/en/2014/04/eliminating-waitlists-for-developmental-services.html
[2] Reported the Hamilton Spectator on September 19, 2013 (“Dundas residents bid in Queen’s Park spotlight” by Teviah Moro. Available online http://www.thespec.com/news-story/4115769-dundas-residential-bid-in-queen-s-park-spotlight/
[3] Ontario Select Committee on Developmental Services. (2014). Interim Report. Available online http://www.ontla.on.ca/committee-proceedings/committee-reports/files_pdf/INTERIMREPORTENG-Final.pdf