Community Living Toronto and Developmental Services Toronto Partner on Diversity Project Initiative

TORONTO, May 21, 2014 /CNW/ - Families from ethno-culturally diverse backgrounds who have a child with an intellectual disability often face many barriers in accessing services, navigating supports and at times facing stigma and isolation from their own cultural community. However, thanks to a $115,100 grant through the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF), Community Living Toronto has partnered with Developmental Services Toronto (DSTO) on a two year project that will help make it easier and more inclusive.

'Diversity in the Developmental Services Sector: Increasing Capacity and Sustainability Initiative'  recognizes the urgent need to support adults with intellectual disabilities and families of various cultures, faiths, backgrounds and beliefs, and is hoping to increase the sector's capacity to respond to diversity while removing barriers to service access for ethno-culturally diverse families.

"Given the growing needs of culturally diverse families with children who have an intellectual disability, we are very thankful to the Ontario Trillium Foundation for providing us with this grant," said Sue Lynch, Regional Executive Director at Community Living Toronto and sponsor for the project. "This partnership will enable us to increase capacity to 37 member agencies to respond to diversity, as well as to improve access for families to developmental services through culturally-sensitive information, outreach and education.  We will be working directly with Developmental Services Ontario - Toronto Region (DSO-TR) which coordinates access to all services and supports in Toronto for all individuals with an intellectual disability over 16 years of age."

Through this project, staff in the Developmental Services Sector will also have increased knowledge and resources to support people with an intellectual disability from all communities.

About Community Living Toronto
Since 1948 Community Living Toronto has been a grassroots leader in developing community-based services and supports for people with an intellectual disability and their family. One of the largest organizations of its kind in Canada, Community Living Toronto provides services and support to over 6,000 people and their families across Toronto. Our mission is to change the lives of people with an intellectual disability by giving them a voice, and supporting their choices where they live, learn, work and play.

About Developmental Services Toronto (DSTO)
DSTO is a collaborative of 37 Toronto agencies funded by the Ministry of Community Services to provide services and supports to adults with developmental disabilities and their families in Toronto

About Ontario Trillium Foundation
A leading grantmaker in Canada, the Ontario Trillium Foundation strengthens the capacity of the voluntary sector through investments in community-based initiatives. An agency of the Ontario government, OTF builds healthy and vibrant communities.

SOURCE: Community Living Toronto

For further information: Karen Bell, Manager Public Relations 416.568.5010, kbell@cltoronto.ca

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