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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)

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.

Separating Housing from Disability Supports: An Idea Whose Time has Come?

It is common practice in Ontario for people who have developmental disabilities to access housing and other needed supports from a single service provider. A number of stakeholders have argued that separating the provision of housing from other supports would boost system flexibility and increase people’s ability to obtain a full suite of supports.

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.

Community Living Ontario’s Recommendations for Direct Funding for People Who Have Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

Many stakeholders in Ontario have advocated for direct funding – where people manage and pay for their own supports rather than choosing options offered by a service agency – for several decades. Community Living Ontario supports the growth of direct funding because it has been shown to increase flexibility, control, and quality of life for people and families who choose this option. It also tends to decrease per-person costs of government-funded supports, since people using direct funding are more likely to build natural supports in the community and need less paid support. However, we believe that more work is required to understand how the change may affect overall service quality.