More Support for Adults with a Developmental Disability

By Tony DeSantis

The recent 2013 Ontario Budget announced $42.5 million in additional funding per year to improve supports for adults with developmental disabilities. This additional support will help families and adults at high risk and better support those with complex needs, including reducing waitlist pressures. In total, Ontario will invest more than $1.7 billion this year in services and supports for people with a developmental disability. Funding is available immediately. Individuals and families will be notified if they will receive new funding.

"I'm very pleased that this government is listening to families--there are too many families waiting in a long line-up for support--and there is much that agencies provide for while receiving insufficient funds; this is a good start” states Nancy Wallace-Gero, Executive Director of Community Living Essex County.

Enhanced supports will include: Emergency support for an estimated 600-800 adults with a developmental disability who have an unexpected temporary need, such as the sudden illness of a caregiver. Training and specialized equipment, such as bed lifts, for community agencies to help adults with complex needs. New or additional direct funding for 850 adults with a developmental disability to support their community participation and provide respite to caregivers. Residential accommodation or support to help up to 250 adults facing high safety and security risks (e.g., former Crown wards with no family support).

“This investment addresses pressing needs for adults with a developmental disability, and we will continue working to make the system better for more people. As a society, we also need to keep working on increasing opportunities for people with a developmental disability to thrive in our communities”, states Ted McMeekin, Minister of Community and Social Services.

Michelle DiCarlo, Parent Consultant with Ensemble is optimistic about the future for families with this announcement.  “Our government’s investment inspires families to continue advocating on behalf of our children because it demonstrates that our voices are heard, valued, and respected”.

For more information on the Ontario Budget visit: www.news.ontario.ca

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