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What is Developmental Services Ontario?
Developmental Services Ontario (DSO) is the single point of access for all Ministry of Community and Social Services (MCSS) funded adult developmental services. We help adults with developmental disabilities connect to services and supports. There are nine DSO agencies in Ontario. For a list of the nine DSO organizations in Ontario, click here.
DSO organizations are responsible for the following:
- Confirming people’s eligibility for MCSS funded adult developmental services and supports;
- Providing information about services and supports available in the community;
- Completing an application package with the person and their support network to determine which MCSS funded services the person needs/would like to apply for and;
- Referring to MCSS funded adult Developmental Services on the person’s behalf.
What is DSO Hamilton-Niagara Region?
Contact Hamilton administers DSO Hamilton-Niagara Region (DSO-HNR). DSO HNR serves the following communities:
- City of Brantford, County of Brant
- Haldimand County
- Norfolk County
- City of Hamilton
- Niagara Region
- Six Nations of the Grand River
- Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation
If you do not live in the DSO Hamilton-Niagara catchment area, please visit the provincial DSO website for a full description of DSO services across the province and to find the DSO that services your community.
What is SIPPDA 2008?
This legislation governs how adult developmental services are provided in Ontario, including the services of DSO organizations. For more information on the Ministry’s overview of the purpose of the DSO, click here.
How can the DSO HNR help?
We can help you or someone you care for to connect with the available services and supports you need; this may include:
- person-directed planning
- professional and specialized services (like a psychological assessment, counselling, or behaviour services)
- community participation supports (like recreation, volunteering, employment, or in-home supports)
- Passport funding
- caregiver respite
- residential supports
- and other supports to help people with developmental disabilities become more involved in their communities!
Who can apply for MCSS Funded Adult Developmental Services?
People aged 16 years of age or older who have a developmental disability and are looking for services should call the DSO HNR. The DSO HNR will need to make sure that you are eligible for services. In order to be eligible, certain criteria must be met. The criteria is determined by the Ministry of Community and Social Services (MCSS). To be eligible, one must meet all of the following criteria:
- Live in Ontario and
- Be 18 years of age or older (eligibility can be confirmed at age 16 and 17 but referrals cannot be made until age 18) and
- Have a confirmed developmental disability.
For more information on applying for adult developmental services and the eligibility process, please call the DSO HNR and ask for the Intake Department at 1-877-376-4675 or 905-297-5604.
What is a Developmental Disability?
A developmental disability:
- is present at birth or develops before 18 years of age
- limits a person’s ability to learn
- is permanent
- can be mild or severe
People with developmental disabilities often require more help to learn, understand or use information than others. This can affect the person’s language and social skills. It may also mean that the person needs support with daily life as well as other assistance to be as independent and successful as possible.
Some people were born with a condition that caused their disability. Others may have had a childhood illness, accident, or other reason for their disability. People with developmental disabilities can participate fully in their communities and contribute to the strength of our communities and our province.
How does the DSO HNR help youth ages 16 and 17 years?
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 HNR will be made (with consent) through their local Contact agency if they are registered there. If you are 16 or 17 and registered with a Contact agency, please call your Contact agency:
Contact Hamilton – 905-570-8888
Contact Brant – 519-758-8228
Contact Niagara – 905-684-3407
Contact Haldimand-Norfolk (a division of Haldimand-Norfolk REACH) – 519-587-2441
Youth and families can also call the DSO HNR directly if they wish.
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, the application package will be completed.
- Please note: referrals to adult services cannot be made for eligible applicants until they are at least 18 years of age.
Who Can Call the DSO HNR?
Anyone who would like information about what services and supports may be available for adults with developmental disabilities in the Hamilton-Niagara Region and information about the application process can call us.
How can I make a referral to the DSO?
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 person.
- If the person has a Substitute Decision Maker, then consent can be given by the Substitute Decision Maker.
- If the person does not have a Substitute Decision Maker and is not able to provide consent on their own, the person’s primary caregiver is welcome to call us on the person’s behalf.
- The person with the developmental disability should be as involved as possible/able in providing consent.
If you have any questions about consent or how to refuse, please call our Intake Department at 1- 877-376-4674
Last modified Jun 9, 2019 @ 4:46 pm