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Investments in developmental services equal more opportunity, choice for Ontarians who have an intellectual disability

Toronto, ONTARIO – Community Living Ontario is confident the commitments made to the developmental services sector as outlined in the 2018 Budget will lead to positive changes sought by people who have an intellectual or developmental disability, their families and community agencies. The budget delivered by Finance Minister Charles Sousa in the Legislature yesterday addressed many of the recommendations made by Community Living Ontario in its pre-budget submission, including changes to the Ontario Disability Support Program, mechanisms to assist families who are in crisis, and new funding to assist community agencies with operational pressures.

“Our membership was very active with a common message during pre-budget consultations around the province and at Premier Wynne’s town hall meetings,” said Chris Beesley, Chief Executive Officer of Community Living Ontario, “and the result was a $1.8 billion investment in the sector over three years.”

The Government of Ontario’s expansion of direct funding for the Passport program will ensure that more than 40,000 eligible adults who have an intellectual or developmental disability will receive at least $5,000 a year, a guarantee of support that Community Living Ontario had been calling for.

“We have been told by representatives from the Ministry of Community and Social Services that the change will be implemented as early as next month and so this will address the cut in funding that people currently experience when they transition from child to adult services. The change ensures a dedicated amount and a clear timeframe so that parents can start to make plans for their child’s transition into adulthood.”

Community Living Ontario also called for enhancements to ODSP income support, as wells as increases to asset limits and employment claw back levels, all of which were addressed in yesterday’s announcement. Funding increases of more than $200 million over three years to community agencies will enhance the capacity of service providers to maintain high-quality supports for people who have an intellectual or developmental disability.

“Ontarians who have an intellectual disability, their families and community agencies around the province should feel encouraged that the Government of Ontario is listening and acting to address the challenges they face,” added Beesley.

“Community Living Ontario applauds the government in its effort to make incremental changes to the sector that will hopefully translate to more opportunities for people who have an intellectual disability to participate actively in their community. In the coming weeks leading up to June 7th provincial election, we will be engaging all political parties to build on the changes that have been put forward.”

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Community Living Ontario is a family-based association assisting people who have an intellectual disability and their families to lead the way in advancing inclusion in their lives and in their communities. We represent more than 12,000 people, families and over 100 member organizations across the province. 

For additional information and interview requests, please contact:

Ron Laroche
Director, Communications, Marketing and Fund Development
Community Living Ontario
Cell: 1-416-707-4907
Email: rlaroche@communitylivingontario.ca