Developmental Services Ontario - South East Region
Developmental Services Ontario (DSO) helps adults with developmental disabilities connect to services and supports in their communities. There are nine DSO agencies across Ontario to serve you. To learn more about DSOs in general and/or to find information about your local DSO, please follow this link: www.dsontario.ca
The DSO in the South East Region is called Developmental Services Ontario South East Region (DSO-SER). The DSO-SER is a program administered by Extend-A-Family Kingston. The DSO-SER serves the communities of Hastings, Prince Edward, Frontenac, Lennox & Addington, Leeds & Grenville and Lanark.
Who We Support?
Developmental Services Ontario Hamilton-Niagara Region (DSO HNR) works with and on behalf of people that:
- Are 16 years of age or older
- Have a developmental disability
- Live in the communities of Hastings, Prince Edward, Frontenac, Lennox & Addington, Leeds & Grenville and Lanark.
What is a Developmental Disability?
A developmental disability is:
- Present at birth or develops before 18 years of age
- Challenges a person's ability to learn
- Permanent (lifelong)
- Can be mild or severe
People with developmental disabilities can require more help to learn, understand or use information than others. This can affect their language and social skills. It may also mean that they need support with daily life as well as other assistance to be as independent and successful as possible.
As all citizens, people with a developmental disabilities can and should have the opportunity to participate fully in their communities. They can be great athletes, artists, workers, advocates, neighbours and friends.
What We Do
1. We provide information to anyone who calls us wanting information about available services and supports in the Hamilton-Niagara region as well as information about how to access services. We also provide information about relevant legislation such as:
- Services and Supports to Promote the Social Inclusion of Persons with Developmental Disabilities Act 2008
- Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act
- French Language Services Act
- Human Rights Code
2. For people that want adult developmental services and supports, the DSO SER confirms if the person is eligible.
3. For people that are eligible for adult developmental services and supports, the DSO HNR assesses the person’s needs by helping the person and/or their support network apply for services. Once the application process is completed, recommendations about services are made. Referrals are made with consent.
Who Can Call Us?
Anyone can contact us if they want information about what services and supports may be available for adults with developmental disabilities in the South East Region, for information about how to access services and/or information about relevant legislation. Consent is not required for general information requests. We receive lots of information requests from people with disabilities, their support networks, service providers, physician’s offices, other government offices, etc. Everyone is welcome.
Anyone can refer an adult with developmental disabilities to the DSO HNR for services and supports as long as they have appropriate consent to do so.
- If you are referring a person aged 16 years of age or older, consent is required from that youth.
- If the person requires the assistance of a substitute decision maker, then consent from the substitute decision maker is required. The person with the developmental disability should be as involved to the fullest extent possible in providing consent however; consent will be sought from the person with the developmental disability and a substitute decision maker will be perused when appropriate to do so.
If you wish to obtain information or to apply for services and supports:
Phone (613) 544-8939
Fax (613) 544-9569
Mail or in person:
Developmental Services Ontario South East Region
c/o Extend-A-Family Kingston
361 Montreal Street,
24 Advance Avenue,
How We Help – Youth 16 and 17 Years of Age
Youth wishing to apply for adult developmental services can begin the process at age 16 or 17. For most youth, a referral to the DSO-SER will be made (with consent) through various community sources including schools, family physician or other agencies providing youth services who may have a relationship with the individual and their famiy. However, youth and families can call the DSO-SER directly if they wish. For more details about this process, please click here. For youth ages 16 and 17 years, the DSO does the following:
- Confirms whether the youth is eligible for adult developmental services when they turn 18 years of age
- If they are eligible, completes the application package.
- For details about these two processes, please see “How We Help – People 18 Years of Age and Older”.
How We Help – People 18 Years and Older
First time inquiries and people that are not documented clients with the DSO-SER will speak with an Intake Coordinator.
If you are looking for information, the Intake Coordinator will listen to your request and provide you with the information you need. If this is all that you need, then the call will end here. You are welcome to call back any time in the future if you have new information or service needs.
Confirming Eligibility for Adult Developmental Services
If you are looking for services, the Intake Coordinator will need to make sure that the person is eligible for services. This is necessary before a person can apply for adult developmental services. Who is eligible for adult developmental services? In order to eligible, certain conditions must be met. These conditions or rules are made by the Ministry of Community and Social Services (MCSS). To be eligible, one must:
- Live in Ontario
- Be 18 years of age or older (eligibility can be confirmed at age 16 and 17 but referrals for service cannot be made until age 18)
- Have a confirmed developmental disability
A confirmed developmental disability depends on these three things:
- This means a person’s intellectual capacity, including the capacity to reason, organize, plan, make judgments, and identify consequences.
- This means a person’s capacity to gain personal independence, based on the person’s ability to learn and apply conceptual, social and practical skills in his or her everyday life.
These limitations must have started before the person turned 18 years of age, be life-long in nature, and affect a person’s personal care abilities, language skills, learning abilities, and ability to live independently.
To confirm a person’s eligibility, the DSO-SER needs to look at a psychological assessment. If the person already has an assessment or relevant documentation (e.g. through their school, a hospital, or another organization) you can give us a copy of this assessment. We will review it to see if it is satisfactory to confirm eligibility. In the absence of a psychological assessment, we will assist you in finding out how and where to get an assessment completed. Some assessments are publicly funded, which means you won’t need to pay, or you can choose to pay a psychologist to do one.
If the DSO-SER determines that the person is not eligible for adult developmental services, the person will be advised that they have a right to request a review of that decision. The person will be given information about how they can do this.
Some people are automatically considered eligible for adult developmental services and supports according to Ontario Regulation 414/12:
- Adults with a developmental disability who were receiving support under the Passport program on April 1, 2012, or who transitioned from the Special Services at Home program (SSAH) to the Passport program on April 1, 2012
- Adults with a developmental disability who were on the SSAH waitlist as of March 31, 2012
- Children with a developmental disability receiving SSAH who turn 18 before March 31, 2013
- Children with a developmental disability who turn 18 between April 1, 2012 and March 31, 2013 who are on a waitlist for SSAH before they turn 18
- Individuals who applied and were found eligible for adult services and supports under the Developmental Services Act between January 1, 2011 and June 30, 2011 and began to receive support or were placed on a waitlist for support during that time
People who are covered by the regulation do not need to do anything to become eligible under the Services and Supports to Promote the Social Inclusion of Persons with Developmental Disabilities Act 2008 (SIPDDA) as the transfer of eligibility is automatic, as of January 1, 2013.
Applying for Adult Developmental Services and Supports
If the person is eligible, the Intake Coordinator will collect some basic information. An Access Assessment Coordinator will be assigned and will schedule the application appointments. The person and at least one or two other people who know that person well should also attend the appointment. There can be often two application appointments scheduled and can take up to 2-3 hours each. The process of getting to know the person, their wants, likes, dislikes and to assess the level of support can vary and dependent the nature and extent of discussion. It also takes time to make sure that the person participates in the process as much as possible.
The date and time of the application appointments will depend on everyone’s availability. Application appointments usually happen during the work day but appointments can be made in the evening and on weekends where this is required to accommodate family schedules. Appointments occur in the person’s community, in a place where the person feels the most comfortable like their home or school. Appointments can also be held at the office of the DSO or facilitated through video conference if more convenient for the person and their family.
At the appointment, the Access Assessment Coordinator completes two specific questionnaires (this makes up the application package):
- Application for Developmental Services and Supports (ADSS)
- Supports Intensity Scale (SIS)
The Access Coordinator receives extensive training on administering the application package and must be certified in order to use these application tools.
Identifying Service Needs
After the application is completed, the Access Assessment Coordinator talks to the person and their support network about the services in their community that may be able to help. The Access Assessment Coordinator considers all services and supports in the community, including natural, social, generic community and MCSS-funded options that could be helpful.
With consent, the Access Assessment Coordinator will refer and present the application for services and supports to one or more of the 4 regional Pressures/Priorities and Prioritization Committees in the South East Region. These committees are comprised of representatives of all Developmental Service Provider agencies. Generally speaking, people in the greatest or identify as ‘urgent’ in need will be considered as priorities for services where they are a match with available services and supports.
The committee will:
- Receive applications from the DSO-SER for adults
- Determine priority
- Identify the most appropriate agency who will assume case management responsibilities for individuals being presented by Developmental Services Ontario-SER
- To ensure the completion of a written Support Plan & Budget which is presented to the Committee for review
- To support the DSO-SER in keeping the wait list registry current and accurate
- To conduct regular reviews of each person on the Pressures and Priorities List
- To explore every avenue of funding or support regardless of the source
- Support the DSO-SER in the process of managing Urgent Response Request
Some referrals can made immediately including behaviour services, clinical services (e.g. social work, psychology, psychiatry, other clinical/specialized assessments and Adult Protective Services.
Very often individuals who have applied and are eligible for service are placed on a wait list registry and when there is a service opening and the person has been prioritized it will be offered. This tends to be more prevalent in cases where referrals are requesting residential services, day support or community participation supports and respite services.
The DSO-SER in collaboration with the Pressures and Priority Committee and community partners will try to find other services and supports that can help the person while they wait for what they need to become available. At any time the person or their support network needs more information or their contact information changes (e.g. address, phone number) or their situation changes (there are new needs or the situation is getting worse), then the person or their support network, should notify the DSO-SER and their Access Assessment Coordinator. Updated information and any changes in personal circumstances will be documented and together with the person and their support network will determine what next steps are taken.