Policy Snapshots

There is a huge amount of information about people who have an intellectual disability available in academic journals and public datasets. Unfortunately, much of this information is locked behind paywalls and complex language. This ongoing series of short articles will work to open up hidden knowledge to inform future practice in developmental services.


Lessons from Australia’s National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)

The Ontario government is currently planning a reform of the province’s approach to developmental services (DS). In this context, it is important to understand the experience of other jurisdictions that have reformed their DS systems.

Australia’s National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is often referenced as a leading example of disability service reform, and there is much to learn from the country’s experience. However, the NDIS has been plagued by a number of issues – especially for people who have an intellectual disability – and it is crucial that we learn from Australia’s mistakes.

 The Myth of Economies of Scale in Developmental Services

It is commonly believed that large congregated residential facilities for people who have developmental disabilities are less expensive to operate than group homes or supported independent living. Yet information from the United States shows that, even for people with high support needs, large congregated facilities are in fact more costly than small group homes or supported independent living. Furthermore, smaller settings have been shown to support a higher quality of life among residents.

Five Ideas about Housing for People Who Have Intellectual Disabilities

The 2021 federal budget included several welcome announcements about affordable housing, including the Federal Community Housing Initiative and the Affordable Housing Innovation Fund. These programs will add to the already substantial funding provided by the National Housing Strategy, which includes a goal to create 2,400 new affordable housing units for people who have developmental disabilities.

As these programs are rolled out, it is crucial that funds be used to support the greatest possible choice and independence in housing for people who have intellectual disabilities. Here are five ideas that offer direction moving forward.