Your responses are needed—this week, by June 30, 2006

Calling everyone who lives with a developmental disability or who cares for or about someone who has a disability in Ontario……

We urge you to read the following report and respond to MCSS via the feedback page very soon. The report is the culmination of the recent process of transforming developmental services in
Ontario, and may become the "blueprint" for services and funding in the next 25 years.

Opportunities and Action: Transforming Supports in
Ontario for People Who Have a Developmental Disability
is the Ontario government's response to the challenges facing our developmental services system.  The paper outlines key directions to achieve the Province's vision of an inclusive Ontario for people with a developmental disability, and is the product of 18 months of consultation with people who have a developmental disability, their families, community agencies, academics and clinical experts.  The paper also includes a series of questions to generate thought on how best to implement changes to the system of supports in Ontario.

Opportunities and Action is available for public comment so that all Ontarians can contribute to shaping the future of a fair, accessible and sustainable developmental services system for Ontario.  Comments may be submitted via a feedback page, e-mail, fax or mail until June 30, 2006.  The government will also be holding focus groups with families to encourage further discussion and obtain their input about how to implement changes to the system. 

The Ministry says that input received from the consultation will guide a blueprint for the future of developmental services in Ontario: one that is focused on long-term solutions to help individuals with a developmental disability realize their potential and fully participate in our communities.

Please think about these issues and respond as you see would best suit the needs and dreams of the person you know best. Adult autism issues have not been considered much so far. You may wish to refer to these. In our view, real transformation of Ontario’s supports and services, to enable persons who live with disabilities such as autism to have real quality of life and be fully included in their communities, can only be achieved by a combination of the following:

1. A person-centred approach of respecting and listening to each vulnerable person with a disability, so that people are not squeezed into programs.

2. Strengthening of circles of friends and personal support networks, including people who are not paid to be in the social service system, but know and care about their friend who is vulnerable. These entities may be strengthened by being incorporated and are the best safeguard of continuous quality improvement.

3. Independent planning and facilitation (on the model of the Windsor-Essex brokerage, and separate from current service provider systems) so that each person with a disability can make informed choices about how, where and with whom to live, who will provide the supports they need, and how they will spend their time.

4. Priorities defined through the previous three factors can best be implemented with Direct Funding for each person with a disability. Persons can choose to use their disability support dollars on what they most need, choosing among existing agencies if appropriate or niche social enterprises that may be started to meet specific needs. Funding for housing should be separate from funding for other supports. Direct funding must be complemented with infrastructure supports (such as ways to find support workers and ways to manage and be accountable for the funding).

5. No one blueprint serves every person. Adults with autism have particularly complex combinations of needs and abilities. Flexibility and portability must be built into the system.

Read the Full Report http://www.mcss.gov.on.ca/NR/MCFCS/developmental/DSreport_EN.pdf
Read the Plain Language Version
Read Executive Summary
Feedback Page


To respond:
a) you may complete and send the online feedback form (last link above)
b) or you may attach your responses to an email message sent to dstransformation.mcss@css.gov.on.ca
c) or you can fax your answers to (416) 325-5554 or toll-free to 1-866-340-9112
d) or you can mail your responses to:
Developmental Services Transformation Feedback
Developmental Services Branch
Ministry of Community and Social Services
4th floor, 80 Grosvenor Street
Check out the very helpful resources of the IFCO website
representing a decade of effort by an umbrella group of Ontario organizations, support groups and facilitators.


Read more on the OAARSN site at http://www.ont-autism.uoguelph.ca
Please note the Search feature on the Main Page.

OAARSN welcomes discussion of ideas and topics related to adults with autism.
We support freedom of information and expression and encourage everyone
to try to see all sides of issues and to understand the viewpoints of others.
We do not endorse all opinions or interventions that we may report in this bulletin.

Please send news, announcements of autism events, new information,
discussion questions and comments, and accounts of experience to

Gerald & Elizabeth Bloomfield