Ensemble provides emotional support to parents, promotes family leadership, and serves as a resource to families, professionals, and government agencies.

Parent to Parent Support

Ensemble provides emotional and informational support to families to promote feelings of inclusion, acceptance, and understanding which contributes to the well-being and stability of the family. Ensemble welcomes and supports all families.

Family Leadership

Family leadership promotes each family member’s unique journey through life. True family leadership means that everyone’s voice is heard and respected:  parents, children, siblings and other family members.

Effective family leadership involves parents supporting their children to express their own identity while respecting their right to make their own decisions about how to live their life.

Ensemble recognizes that family leadership is a continuous process as families have the ability to shape and influence a positive future for their children.  Family leadership means that family members develop and share their knowledge, skills, and expertise to influence programs, supports, and community development.

The Reality:  Families Are in Need

People with developmental disabilities and their families are not receiving adequate support and services as evidenced by the growing waitlist across the province. Ontario has approximately 12,500 adults age 18 years and older waiting for funding to access services and supports. Many people who are currently receiving funding have applied for additional supports but also remain on waitlists.

Ensemble made requests to the Ministry of Community and Social Services and various coordinating agencies to obtain an accurate number of adults and children with developmental disabilities in the Windsor-Essex County area currently using and/or requiring supports and services.

As of June 2013, there are approximately 2,185 adults with a diagnosis of a developmental disability that are currently receiving support through the Ontario Disability Support Program in the Windsor-Essex County area.  

In Windsor-Essex County, there are approximately 1,590 adults currently receiving supports funded by the Ministry of Community and Social Services. The Ministry estimates 1,586 adults are waitlisted in the South Western Ontario region.  It is difficult to obtain accurate statistics on the number of families in need for the Windsor-Essex County area because the Ministry only collects statistics on a regional basis and duplicate waiting lists are generated by families applying for multiple support programs.

We gratefully acknowledge the following statistical contribution from the Windsor-Essex Family Network who has worked diligently to compile accurate area statistics about families in need.  These statistics were gathered from attendance at various advisory/committee/agency meetings combined with program delivery information from lead area agencies.

There are over 500 adults with a developmental disability in the Windsor-Essex County area who are waiting for some type of support. That waitlist will continue to grow as 200 adults previously approved for Special Services at Home (SSAH) funding were removed from the waitlist as of April 1, 2012 with no hope of ever receiving the funding they were promised. In addition, all children turning 18 years old after April 1, 2012 will be permanently cut off from SSAH and will join the 12, 500 adults across Ontario that are on a waitlist for an adult funding programs.

In 2012, 912 children with developmental disabilities in the Windsor-Essex County received some type of support through either the SSAH, Assistance for Children with Severe Disabilities Program, or respite programs. This number does not reflect parents who self-administer their child’s SSAH funding; therefore the actual number of children requiring support is higher.

Currently, 368 children with developmental disabilities in Windsor-Essex County are on the waitlist for SSAH and 178 children waiting for needed/approved funding increases, bringing the total to 546 children and their families requesting support from the government.

These numbers do not truly reflect families in need as many parents are too discouraged to apply given the growing waitlists or they feel others may be in greater need.

Ensemble urges families to apply for supports and services so the numbers can adequately reflect families in need. It is important to have accurate figures in order to advocate effectively, to help those in need, and to adequately plan for the future.

* Please visit our web links section for information on applicable supports and services for both children and adults.

Professional and Government Resource

Ensemble represents the voice of families and serves as a resource to professionals and government agencies.  Families and professionals must work collaboratively and share equally the responsibilities of decisions that affect families and the community.

Ensemble advocates on behalf of families while raising public awareness to the challenges faced by families caring for people with disabilities.  We provide education, training, and resources to help the community gain a better understanding of how best to support us.