The decision of the Ontario Government to commence a process of transforming services it funds for people with developmental disabilities is an opportunity for all concerned about present inequities and, more positively, for all to plan and implement better lives in people's home communities.
A Preliminary Discussion Paper was released in late October by the "Joint Developmental
Services Sector Partnership Table."
table and the government will now review the
submissions and propose policy alternatives for that will be the basis for broad public consultations to be
completed by Feb/March
2005. It is said
that "this very
important process will
profoundly affect developmental services for many years to come."
- What should be the
responsibilities of different parts of society in supporting
individuals who have a developmental disability?
- What strategies and
would help individuals receive seamless supports throughout their
lives, including points of transition?
- What supports and
services that are currently available work well should be built on for
- How should a reasonable
level of government funding for an individual be determined?
- Services are changing
in Ontario for people who have a developmental disability. What would
you like to see happen?
- What do you think are
the priorities the government should address?
Here are some links to resources:
a) Read the
Momentum: Mobilizing to Transform Community Living in BC is a report and assessment of
transformation of its community living services from May 2001, in
circumstances similar to Ontario's in 2004, in being initiated
by a new Liberal government in a period of budget and service cuts. The
report identifies strengths and uncovers areas of tension, from which
we in Ontario may learn.
Lord draws out some key lessons for our Ontario transformation process
from his close reading of the
report of the BC experience. Click to read John's thoughts
He makes four main
i. We must find the
levers than can transform the system
ii. We must be sure to
build individualized funding with appropriate infrastructure support
(especially independent planning/facilitation)
iii. As Ontario may now
be interested in phasing in individualized funding, we are challenged
to figure out how to do this in an equitable and meaningful way.
iv. We must focus on
citizenship and community inclusion, an approach that means capacity
building and participation rather than service or placement.
In summary, we
must "build principles that all stakeholder groups can
understand and work together to implement" and then "be strategic and collaborative in their
implementation [which] can only happen if
government and community work together the whole way."
d) Keep visiting the
site of The
Individualized Funding Coalition for Ontario
that has a collection
of background papers on this subject. For example:
i. Various documents from the IF Workfest in February 2004:
Me First": Advocacy for Voice and Choice
Definitions & Elements
Values Enhance IF
Community Agency Support for IF
& Individuals Learn to Plan
Facilitators in our Communities
ii. the primer
about Individualized Funding that distinguishes
income support and disability, and explains how IF and independent
planning work and can help.
iii. Take the
individualized funding test (an
article originally published on Community Living Leaders):
Key Elements of Individualized
Approaches within an
CLO's response to the
consultation paper identifies two elements of the new "core business"
Developmental Services should focus (click on title to read full CLO document):
Living Ontario: Keys to Transformation
This new core business
will shift Developmental Services increasingly away from a primary
focus on the
provision of programs and services that house and occupy people’s day,
primary focus on community development, community capacity for social
and providing individual support for community inclusion.
- enabling the community
to include people
who have an intellectual disability; and,
- enabling the person to
spite of their disability.
recommendation by CLO is that all people who have an
intellectual disability should have an entitlement to planning support
that should be aimed at:
responded to the Ministry's indication that it intends to create
specialized care to address complex needs of some individuals seeking
and thus to invest in greater capacity for research to ensure that
centres and the rest of the sector benefit from the best knowledge
with respect to innovative ways of supporting people with a disability.
Ministry's suggestion may be interesting and attractive for persons
and their families because of the complexity of their challenges and
and the lack of such expertise for adults with autism. CLO considers
centres would be beneficial to people being supported and to families
providing support but cautions that these supports should be delivered
community settings, be based on individualized plans, not label or
people, and be aimed at providing people the support they need to
effectively in the community. They should not be conceived of or
centre or building-based options. They should serve to embed people in
and families. These options must also be available widely throughout
province, designed to respond to people in their home community, not
based in a
few locations to which people are forced to travel.
- assisting the
individual to identify their unique aspirations, abilities and support
- working with the
individual to identify existing family and community relationships and
supports that might already exist to support them;
- working to develop
additional opportunities for relationships, participation and support
within the community;
- identifying what
supports cannot be provided by family and the community and assisting
the individuals to access them;
- assisting the person to
identify and access the government funding necessary to carry out their
the submission by ARCH A Legal Resource Centre for
Persons with Disabilities
g) Read the
submission by OASIS on behalf of 100 agencies