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CLO – MCCSS Launches New Long-Term Vision for Developmental Services in Ontario

Posted on: May 21st, 2021 by Community Living St. Marys


Community Living Ontario
Sponsored by CSBT

Feature Story
MCCSS Launches New Long-term Vision for Developmental Services in Ontario

On May 18th, the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services launched Journey to Belonging: Choice and Inclusion, in traditional and easy read formats. The document sets out a ten-year timeline for the reform of developmental services in the Ontario.

Journey to Belonging sets out a vision where “People with developmental disabilities are supported by their communities, support networks and government to belong and live inclusive lives,” and where “People are empowered to make choices and live as independently as possible through supports that are person-directed, equitable and sustainable.” The document notes that MCCSS has been influenced by other countries that are “making services more individualized and providing greater choice and flexibility for people and their families.”

Community Living Ontario welcomes the ministry’s person-centred approach, and its focus on supporting people to live good lives.

To assist with the creation of a detailed reform strategy, Community Living Ontario is releasing Building a Full Life + a Home of One’s Own in the Community. This new document offers in-depth research and recommendations on individualized funding, housing and community inclusion that complement the vision set out in the new MCCSS reform plan. You can read more about this comprehensive document in the next section.

Advocacy Updates

Community Living Ontario Releases New Report, Building a Full Life + a Home of One’s Own in the Community

Building a Full Life + a Home of One’s Own in the Community is a new report from Community Living Ontario that offers recommendations on individualized funding, housing, and community inclusion for people who have an intellectual disability. The report provides detailed guidance and insights, and will hopefully serve as a platform for meaningful discussion as the province moves forward with developmental service reform.

Building a Full Life takes lessons from across Canada, the United States, United Kingdom and Australia to identify leading practices that increase choice, control and quality of life for people who have an intellectual disability. It offers detailed guidance to policy makers and advocates working to move our sector to the next phase in its evolution. Its central purpose is to show that change is possible – that Ontario can seize the opportunity to position itself as a leader in person-centred and rights-based support in developmental services.

Building a Full Life is meant to be a living and evolving document – if you would like to make comments or suggestions, please contact shawn@communitylivingontario.ca.


CSBT offers a full range of affordable Group Benefits. Find out more by visiting our website today!

NEW SERIES: Innovations in Housing
In this new section of Update Friday, “Innovations in Housing”, we will be featuring the latest groundbreaking housing solutions for people who have developmental disabilities.

Bridges to Housing Brings the ‘Housing First’ Model to People Who Have Developmental Disabilities

Bridges to Housing was first proposed as one of 18 demonstration projects under the Developmental Services Housing Task Force. The initiative focused on hard-to-reach, street-involved people with significant complex, co-morbid health, substance use and mental health issues.

A recent report on the project shows promising results: over the course of 12 months, 24 people with developmental disabilities and complex needs were successfully housed. Quality of life improved significantly, and people’s unmet service needs were greatly reduced.

While little information exists on this issue, it is generally believed that people who have developmental disabilities make up a significant portion of the street-involved population in Ontario. Bridges to Housing demonstrates the applicability of the Housing First model (where housing is provided immediately and without preconditions, along with wraparound supports), and offers a promising template on which to build.

Supporting Aging-in-Place

Sal Amenta has been an active member of the Community Living movement for many decades at all three levels of the confederation. Sal laments the rise in admission to long-term care facilities of people who have a developmental disability, and calls on associations and allies to remember our roots and the need to be vigilant regarding the safety and security of people who have disabilities. Sal asks the simple yet profound question, “why are people who have developmental disabilities being placed in nursing homes?”

You can find all previous stories from our “Supporting Aging-in-Place” series archived here.

Why are Persons with Disabilities Being Placed in Long-term Facilities?

As an active member in the Community Living movement for decades, I have served on local, provincial and national boards. In these roles, I championed families in an association that sometimes forgot that families gave birth to the movement while almost exclusively focusing on the needs of individuals with intellectual disabilities. Over the years, however, as my parents aged and passed away after long illnesses, my commitment extended to the family caregivers themselves – those who give so much of themselves to caring for loved ones of all ages, with or without intellectual disabilities.

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CL Toronto ad

The Canadian Association for Supported Employment (CASE) HR Inclusive Policy Toolkit

While the business case for hiring Canadians who experience a disability has been repeatedly demonstrated, some employers remain unsure how to best integrate this highly skilled group of individuals into their labour force.

The CASE toolkit has been designed in collaboration with the supported employment service provider community to assist small- and medium-sized Employers (SMEs) on becoming familiar with the framework of inclusion policies and procedures.


Policy Forum Session 3: From Substitute to Supported Decision-Making: Amplifying Voice and Choice among People who have Intellectual Disabilities

Join us on Tuesday, May 25 at 1:00 p.m. EDT for Session 3 of our Policy Forum!

In this session, panelists will discuss the drawbacks and dangers of guardianship, and of Ontario’s substitute decision-making legislation. Attendees will learn about concrete examples that have negative effects on people’s ability to access needed supports. This panel will spotlight two guests who will talk about recent progress toward supported decision-making in the United States.

CoP Session 7: “Minding the Message”

Community Living Ontario, in collaboration with the Provincial Executive Director’s Coordinating Committee, and People Minded Business, invites you to participate in our next Community of Practice session.

Join us on Friday, May 28 from 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

‘Minding the Message’ is the focus of May’s C.o.P and you don’t want to miss it! We will share some of the common messages that are surfacing about ‘what matters most to people supported and families about day supports.’ You will take part in engaging breakout discussions with colleagues and other stakeholders from across the province, on ways in which service providers can honour the wants and needs of people and families through the evolution of day supports. We look forward to seeing you on May 28th!

Economical Insurance is a proud Strategic Partner of Community Living Ontario.

People Minded Business is a proud strategic partner of Community Living Ontario.

For Members

Understanding Perceptions and Experience of the COVID-19 Vaccines

Direct support professionals are being invited to complete a brief survey to help researchers better understand your perspectives and experience with COVID-19 vaccines. You may have completed a survey in January similar to this one. The researchers are looking to understand what has or has not changed over time, so they are asking all members to complete this brief survey once again.

This survey should take no more than 10 minutes of your time. All those who complete the survey have the option to enter a draw for one of 5 gift cards for $150.

Click below to access the consent information and the brief survey

Group of youth

This guide is designed as a manual for people who are considering engaging private Support Workers, or who have already done so, to help them to meet their obligations, avoid conflict and resolve issues as they arise. Support Workers can provide vital supports that enhance opportunities for inclusion, provide relief to caregivers and improve well-being for people with disabilities and their families.This guide begins by providing a brief background on the law that governs the relationship between families/people supported and their Support Workers. It then explore some of the key questions that people with disabilities and their families ask about working with a private Support Worker.

Sponsorship Disclaimer

Community Living Ontario maintains independence over the editorial content of its communications. While sponsorships assist with our communication efforts, sponsors have no editorial input or influence on the information itself. Click here to read the Sponsorship Disclaimer in its entirety.

17th Create A Smile 5km Walk/Run – Virtual for 2020

Posted on: October 13th, 2020 by Community Living St. Marys

Welcome everyone!

Create A Smile Foundation in partnership with Community Living St. Marys & Area has been creating smiles since 2004!

This fundraiser is fueled by the amazing generosity of volunteers.  All of the money raised at this event goes to Community Living to support their mission of improving the lives of people with developmental disabilities in St. Marys and Area.

Not only has this event generated significant financial resources, it has also reminded us of the power of healthy communities.

In 2020, families have been negatively impacted by COVID-19. This year funds raised will be used to support families with school age children not able to attend school on a full time basis and needing additional support for activities and respite.

We are excited about our 17th Annual Create A Smile 5km Walk/Run – Virtual for 2020

Between now and November 1 – make the decision to participate – grab a mask – walk your 5km and make a difference!

Take a picture and email it to lcannon@clstmarys.ca and be part of our Facebook Memory Create a Smile page. The more smiles we can capture the better!

For those who wish to donate online or create a team through Canada Helps Peer to Peer, please visit our website and click on the ‘Create A Smile’ logo or click on the following link 17th Annual Create A Smile Walkathon

For those who would still like to use a pledge sheet, you can pick one up at the JPC or print the pledge sheet attachment (see below).

2020 has been an exceptional year! We hope you will join our ‘virtual’ walk/run in the month of October and help us support families in our area!

Inspiring video   https://vimeo.com/377585189/4769d0d905 –  Click on this link to understand the heart of the Create A Smile Walkathon!

If you would like to use a pledge sheet, please click on the link  Create A Smile 2020 Pledge Sheet 

Tradition Mutual Insurance Company kicked off our annual fundraiser with a very generous donation of $1000.00.

COVID-19: Keeping up to date

Posted on: March 20th, 2020 by Community Living St. Marys

DS Sector Thanks

As we continue to navigate through the daily updates and changes around COVID-19, we will do our best to communicate with current employees, people we support, and families via email and our facebook page. Please continue to check there for most up to date information.
Thank you.

Sexuality, Safety & You!

Posted on: February 21st, 2020 by Community Living St. Marys

A One Day workshop on Apr 28, 2020 for adults with a developmental disability and a support person (if desired).
Supportive person can be family, friend, or paid worker.

16th Annual Create A Smile Fundraiser Raises over $22,000!

Posted on: October 10th, 2019 by Community Living St. Marys

Create A Smile Foundation in partnership with Community Living St. Marys and Area raise over $22,000!!

It’s often said that the shortest distance between two people is a smile! Many smiles and stories were shared on Sunday September 22nd when over one hundred people participated in the 16th annual ‘Create A Smile’ 5km walk/run.

This fundraising event was a huge success with over $22,000 raised! The generosity of our community, families, friends and sponsors is overwhelming!

The money raised will pay for things that enhance the lives of people with disabilities, their families and the communities they live in. This includes essential items not covered by government funding, some mobility and communication devices, summer supports for a number of young people, housing, People First and accessibility equipment needed in our community.

Our sincere gratitude is extended to all people that made this walk a success.

“Build Community. Start with a Smile!”


Sponsor listing for day of walk


If you require more information, contact Candace O’Hearn at cohearn@clstmarys.ca or 519-284-1400 x 221