McGuinty Government's Commitment to Developmental Services Encouraging

    TORONTO, March 22 /CNW/ - Community Living Ontario is pleased with
today's budget announcement of $200 million over four years in the
developmental services sector as well as $7 million in new capital funding for
community agencies. This is a step in the right direction to make sure that
the necessary community supports will be available to ensure the inclusion of
people with intellectual disabilities. The McGuinty Government began a
transformation process of the sector three years ago and this investment will
start to fill some major service and support gaps.
    "We had hoped for a budget that would respond to the concerns voiced by
many family members and individuals from Community Living associations over
the last several months," said David Barber, president of Community Living
Ontario. "$200 million will be helpful assuming that the vast majority of this
funding will be available within the first year. Further resources are needed
to fully address the needs of the sector. We will continue to work with
government to explore ways to make additional investments in developmental
services to improve the quality of life for people who have an intellectual
    Community Living Ontario and others had been calling on the government to
invest $200 million this year as the beginning of a multi-year investment that
is needed to address challenges currently facing the system, and to reduce the
urgent pressures facing agencies and families.
    "This funding will start to make a difference in the lives of families
who are not getting the support they require," said Noreene Adam, a
Pembroke-area parent of an adult son who has an intellectual disability. "It's
heading in the right direction, but more needs to be done for people who have
an intellectual disability and their families."
    Steven Muir, who spearheaded a campaign to increase the Ontario
Disability Support Program (ODSP) and who is a member of Community Living
Ontario's Self-Advocates' Council, said, "Word of a 2% increase to ODSP is
good news, and it would be nice to have this increase every year."
    This year's increase, along with previous increments in recent years,
reflects a commitment to annual cost-of-living increases to ODSP. "This is
what we have been calling for and it is a positive step for people," said

    Community Living Ontario is a province-wide federation that promotes and
facilitates the full participation, inclusion and citizenship of people who
have an intellectual disability. More than 12,000 people are members of
Community Living Ontario through membership in 110 affiliated local
associations. Community Living provides direct support and services to people
who have an intellectual disability, helps communities build the capacity to
support people, and advocates for social change toward the full inclusion of
all people in community.

For further information:

For further information: For Interviews Contact: David Barber,
President, Community Living Ontario, W: (416) 484-6144; Keith Powell,
Executive Director, Community Living Ontario, C: (416) 709-5292; Community
Living Ontario's Media Dept.: Abigail Brown, C: (416) 735-3101

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Community Living Ontario

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