(Further key messages and additional information can be found in the briefing materials)

  • OASIS’ 190+ member agencies support approximately 65,000 children and adults with developmental disabilities across Ontario and employ approximately 25,000 full and part-time staff. OASIS member agencies currently provide more than 85% of all developmental services in Ontario.
  • COVID-19 demonstrated the critical importance of safe, high-quality care for people living with developmental disabilities.
  • OASIS welcomes the vision of the Ontario Government’s sector reform plan – Journey to Belonging – a multi-year plan released in 2021 and developed with comprehensive sector input.
  • We believe that a fair, seamless transition and transformation that protects individuals living with disabilities must be our shared commitment.
  • There is no need to go back and reinvent the wheel. We can’t afford to spend the next several years working on another refreshed statement of values or framework of principles. That work has been done. We need a commitment to real action.
  • Fulfilling the vision of a sustainable DS sector as outlined in Journey to Belonging rests on funding that ensures the long-term sustainability of the sector, the individuals and families we support.
  • This is reflected in three essential pillars: staffing, housing and better collaboration with health care.
  • Pillar #1 – Staffing: Maintaining Workforce Stability and Sustainability
    • DSWs perform challenging and specialized work that keeps individuals healthy and safe while providing enriching programs and vital services.
    • The $3/hour wage enhancement for developmental services workers (DSWs) was critical for immediate workforce stabilization during the pandemic.
    • Nevertheless, the developmental services (DS) sector is confronting a significant skills and labour shortage – exacerbated by educational barriers. This was already happening before the pandemic and has only been intensified by it.
      • We need the Ontario Government to lead the development and implementation of a fully funded sector workforce strategy to attract more staff and to provide ongoing stability for the specialized developmental services workforce.
      • This is necessary to help attract and retain creative, compassionate and highly capable frontline staff which will be crucial to realizing the vision set out in Journey to Belonging.
    • Pillar #2 – Housing: Tackling the Developmental Services Housing Crisis
      • There is an urgent need to address the deepening housing crisis for people in Ontario living with developmental disabilities.
      • Addressing the housing gap for individuals living with developmental disabilities, and providing the necessary capital investment, is a foundational need if sustainable sector reform is to be achieved.
      • SOLUTION
        • There is an immediate opportunity to meet this significant need by earmarking 10% of funding in the upcoming phase (anticipated to launch in 2023) of the Canada-Ontario National Housing Strategy Bilateral Agreement to support the construction and rehabilitation of developmental services supportive housing.
        • By prioritizing and requiring that a portion of funds be dedicated to DS supportive housing, local municipalities and developmental services agencies can work together to determine how funds are used locally to address housing needs for adults living with developmental disabilities.
      • Pillar #3 – Better Collaboration: Bridge the Developmental Services Gap Between Community Services, Education and Health Care
        • The interaction and collaboration between the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services has long been a weak point in our efforts to support individuals living with developmental disabilities.
        • The COVID-19 pandemic helped reduce traditional barriers within government – we can’t afford to lose this progress.
        • Bridging the developmental services gap between community services, education and health will provide better care that will increase the life expectancy and quality of life of people living with developmental disabilities.
        • SOLUTION
          • Regularly bring together senior officials from MOH, MCCSS and other key ministries to develop policy and operational protocols to improve care outcomes, bridging the gap between health and developmental services.




192 Member Agencies and Growing