Nice work ‘Citizen Network’ in creating this fantastic video on citizenship!

Click here to watch it!

Institutionalized Model of Care

This audio link is connected to an interview on CBC with Katie Rossiter, a Professor at Wilfred Laurier. She frames the inherent dangers of an institutionalized model of care and the painful experiences shared by survivors of Ontario’s institutions (Huronia) .  While the interview is excellent, please note the inaccuracies in the closing remarks. The funding is not ministry based but is a direct result of class actions suits, in particular the remaining amount of funds that could not be claimed by survivors as they did not have a ‘voice’ in expressing the injustices they faced.

Click here to listen to the interview.

Premier Kathleen Wynne’s apology to Ontario citizens for their painful experience(s) caused by Ontario’s institutionalized model of care.

Newsroom : Ontario Apologizes to Former Residents of Regional Centres for People with Developmental Disabilities
To view the apology on CBC footage click here.



Community Partners

People First of Ontario  is the provincial organization representing people with intellectual disabilities. We are the provincial voice for people who have been labeled with an intellectual disability. We are about rights – human rights, citizenship rights, accommodations rights and language rights. The right to freedom, choice and equality for all.

Their Driving Force …

We want people in the community to see us as people first. The problem is, we are still being labeled with damaging words like retarded or slow. We have been taken away from our families and communities, and have been kept in institutional settings. We have been kept in segregated workshops and schools apart from other people in our community. People have forgotten that we have the same dreams and the same needs as everybody else.

Their Goals …

  1. To promote EQUALITY for all persons.
  2. To assist other people trying to speak up for themselves and making their own decisions.
  3. To teach the members about the RIGHTS, ABILITIES, and STRENGTHS of People First of Ontario.

For more information, contact:

Special Services at Home Passport Coalition

The Ontario Independent Facilitation Network (OIFN)  has a membership comprised of: people with the lived experience of having a disability or self-advocates, family members, independent facilitators and other community allies who support citizenship for all.

Check out OIFN’s  Facebook Page, Instagram, Ideas and Story Blogs.

The network envisions a society where:



-control over one’s life

are afforded to all people.  They imagine shifts within systems and society so that all people have equal economic power, political, and social rights and opportunities.

They believe in a Citizen Focused Framework which includes:

– individualized, portable, direct funding

-affordance and accessible housing resources

-staffing and administrative  resources

-inclusive, quality education

– support in making sense for it all and planning for a good life in community through independent facilitation

Individualized Funding Coalition for Ontario

Government Legislation and Programs

Special Services at Home

The Special Services at Home program helps families who are caring for a child with a developmental and/or physical disability. It is funded and managed by the Ministry of Community and Social Services.

The program helps families pay for special services in or outside the family home as long as the child is not receiving support from a residential program. For example, the family can hire someone to

-help the child learn new skills and abilities, such as improving their communications skills and becoming more independent

-provide respite support to the family – families can get money to pay for services that will give them a break, or respite, from the day-to-day care of their child.

For more information click here. 

MCCSS: Developmental Services

Interested in more information about the Passport program, accessing an Adult Protective Service Worker, or Residential and Clinical Supports?

Click here to access the MCCSS website and information about these programs.


Social Inclusion of Persons with Developmental Disabilities Act, 2008 (developmental services legislation)

For more information click here.

Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP)

ODSP offers:

-financial assistance to help you and your family with essential living expenses
-benefits, for you and your family, including prescription drugs and vision care
-help finding and keeping a job, and advancing your career

ODSP offers two types of support:

  1. Income support – Financial assistance provided each month to help with the costs of basic needs, like food, clothing and shelter. Income support also includes benefits, like drug coverage and vision care, for clients and their eligible family members.

2. Employment supports – Services and supports to help clients with disabilities find and keep a job, and advance their careers.

For more information click here. 

Disability Resources

Disability On-Line Resource for Transition into Adulthood

The long-term outcome of “D.O.O.R. 2 Adulthood” is to improve the process of transition to adulthood and to adult programs and services for youth with disabilities and their families in Ontario.


  • to collect information about the needs, preferences and ideas of youth with disabilities, parents and service providers in Ontario for the different components of an online transition resource;
  • to evaluate the use, utility and impact of an online resource about transition to adulthood for youth with disabilities in Ontario;
  • to identify gaps in transition services in Ontario within and between multiple sectors, i.e. health, social services and education, and between child and adult services; and,
  • to identify best practices for facilitating youth with disabilities in their transition to adulthood.

Click here to find out more. 


Nowhere to Turn is an investigation into the Ministry of Community and Social Services’ response to situations of crisis involving adults with developmental disabilities. This Ombudsman Report was written in 2016 and offers information on lessons learned from the past, an overview of the system, the ‘face of crisis’ in Ontario and recommendations for moving forward.

Ombudsman Report – Nowhere to Turn 2016

Did you know …

That the values of the Office of the Ombudsman include:

  • Fair treatment
  • Accountable administration
  • Independent, impartial
  • Results: Achieving real change

That their mission is to:

We strive to be an agent of positive change by promoting fairness, accountability and transparency in the public sector.

Their vision is :

A public sector that serves citizens in a way that is fair, accountable and transparent.


Common Vision for Transformation Part 1 and 2 – highlights the collaborative efforts and insight of; Family Alliance Ontario, The Individualized Funding Coalition, People First Ontario and Special Services at home Provincial Coalition in 2005. The principles and direction(s) suggested in these documents are still relevant today.

Click the links below to read Part 1 and 2:

CommonVision One


Family Leadership

Autonomous Family Networks

In this article, John Lord, researcher, author and parent, explores the value and power of autonomous family networks.  “The transformation of service systems is challenging work.  Family leaders have been instrumental in advocating for changes that are consistent with citizenship and with the factors we know contribute to resilience of individuals and families.  Building the capacity of autonomous family groups and independent planning and facilitation will contribute to genuine transformation.”

Click here to read the full article.

Click here to connect directly with John to access more of his articles, books and research around inclusion.

Legal Resources & Estate Planning

Looking for information on wills, trusts, and estate planning?

This article invites you to think about planning ahead and having the right legal tools in place to ensure a quality of life for your loved one when you are no longer here. Click the link below for more information.


Person Directed Approaches

Interested in finding out what Independent Facilitation is?  This document clarifies the ‘heart and core’ of the work.

Click here for a quick summary:


Interested in more information? Click here to access OIFN’s resource list:

OIFN List of Key Resources and Publications – September 2018

Self Determination


Self Determination

Enforcing the Rights of People’s with Disabilities in Ontario’s Developmental Service System

This report was commissioned by the Law Commission of Ontario as part of its project entitled, “The Law as it Affects Persons with Disabilities”.  This report discusses the impact that the Social Inclusion Act will have on people with intellectual disabilities who receive publicly-funded services and supports from the government of Ontario. The report asserts that there are significant limitations to the new legislation that will prevent it from achieving its much-needed goal of transforming Ontario’s developmental services sector.

Click here to read the report. 

Family-Centred Practice

Family-Centred Service

Family-centred service is a philosophy and method of service delivery that: recognizes parents as the experts on their child’s needs; promotes partnerships between parents and service providers, and supports the family’s role in decision making about services for their child.

What is family-centred service?  Family-centred service is a philosophy and method of service delivery that:

  • recognizes parents as the experts on their child’s needs
  • promotes partnerships between parents and service providers, and
  • supports the family’s role in decision making about services for their child (Rosenbaum, King, Law, King, & Evans, 1998; Shelton & Stepanek, 1995).

Read more by clicking here.

Hiring Personal Support Workers

Family Alliance Ontario Hiring Survey 2018

This survey was completed to gain a better understanding of the challenges families face in the recruiting, hiring and training support staff for their loved ones.

FAO Hiring Survey 2018-Full