TORONTO, July 22, 2014 /CNW/ - The Final Report of the all-party Select Committee on Developmental Services, Inclusion and Opportunity: A New Path for Developmental Services in Ontario, is the culmination of an intensive process of consultations and deliberations. The Committee was created in October 2013 and immediately began its investigations. Over the months that followed, the Committee heard from more than 140 presenters at 14 public hearings across the province and received over 300 submissions.
The Committee's Interim Report, tabled in March 2014, summarized the hearings and discussed some of the challenges experienced by persons with developmental disabilities and their families. Above all, the Committee heard repeatedly that individuals and families who need developmental services and supports are in crisis. The Committee's members believe that everyone has the right to full social inclusion, and to receive the services and supports they need without delay. The Final Report makes 46 recommendations aimed at moving people out of crisis.
The members of the Committee over two sessions of parliament were: Mrs. Laura Albanese (Chair), Ms. Christine Elliott (Vice-Chair), Mr. Bas Balkissoon, Ms. Cheri DiNovo, Ms. Mitzie Hunter, Mr. Rod Jackson, Ms. Sylvia Jones, Mr. Jack MacLaren, Ms. Cristina Martins, Miss Monique Taylor, and Ms. Soo Wong.
The Committee's members came from all three of the province's political parties. All volunteered to serve out of a commitment to addressing the needs of individuals with developmental disabilities and/or a dual diagnosis, and their families, across the province. The Committee members worked together in a spirit of non-partisan collaboration and consensus.
The Committee's central recommendation is that a new Inter-Ministerial Committee on Developmental Services (IMCDS) be created with the mandate of implementing the recommendations in the Final Report. The Minister of Community and Social Services should be answerable for the progress of the IMCDS and the implementation of the recommendations in the Final Report. The IMCDS should also make regular progress reports to the Legislative Assembly.
The first task of the IMCDS is to eliminate all waitlists for developmental services and supports within 12 months.
Other key recommendations include
- an integrated provincial strategy to build capacity and coordinate services in primary and dental care for people with developmental disabilities and/or a dual diagnosis through the lifespan, from early diagnosis to geriatric care;
- coordinated provincial strategies to address Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) and Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD);
- programs to promote the employment of people with developmental disabilities;
- innovative housing solutions for people with developmental disabilities and/or a dual diagnosis;
- support for more locally-based programs and services especially in northern, Aboriginal, and remote communities; and
- the elimination of funding and service gaps that currently occur when a young person leaves school or turns 18.
SOURCE: Legislative Assembly of Ontario
For further information:
Clerk of the Committee, Trevor Day, at 416-325-3509