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OASIS Advises Government Select Committee

OASIS Advises Government Select Committee on Way Forward for Developmental Services in Ontario

TORONTO, Jan. 20, 2014 /CNW/ – Today, Ontario Agencies Supporting Individuals with Special Needs (OASIS)
President Jane Joris, Vice-President (Volunteer) David Barber, and Vice-President (Executive Director) Allan Mills
addressed the Ontario Government Select Committee on Developmental Services at Queen’s Park.

OASIS Executives warned the committee that developmental services in Ontario have reached a breaking point.
Existing services alone face a funding short-fall of $100 million by 2015/2016. That figure does not take into account
the 12,000 to 20,000 Ontarians with developmental disabilities currently on wait lists.

“We have seen first-hand, countless families struggling to make ends meet and having to make decisions that most
Ontarians would never have to contemplate. We have seen families languishing on wait lists forced to leave their jobs
in order to care for a loved one”, said Joris. “Worst of all, we have seen too many make the heart wrenching decision
to leave their child on the doorstep of a service provider because they are no longer able to provide care.”

OASIS member agencies have been responsive and responsible in doing their part to help mitigate the financial
challenges of the province, while continuing to honour commitments to our most vulnerable citizens in need of
developmental services. OASIS member agencies have built partnerships and collaborative approaches, forging inroads
to access in five critical developmental service success areas: providing housing, employment, respite care,
knowledge sharing, and leadership development. “We have done our part,” said David Barber. “Now the government
has to do its part. There need to be immediate investments to stop more families and their loved ones from continuing
to reach crisis.”

The current funding model based on crisis alone will ensure that waiting lists continue to grow and that the burden to
taxpayers will continue to skyrocket. OASIS Executives detailed solutions that will address a growing backlog of
crisis care, while proactively investing in preventative solutions to stop crisis situations from germinating in the first
place:

  • Commit to proactive systems changes.
  • Provide additional investments to ensure that critical and immediate needs are balanced with the imperative for preventative and proactive services.
  • Prioritize inter-ministerial and cross-sector collaboration to develop an integrated strategy that addresses poverty and the need for accessible and affordable housing in order to ensure that every person who has a developmental disability and their family has access to the support they need.

OASIS is a volunteer run, member driven organization. Our member agencies serve over 65,000 of Ontario’s most
vulnerable citizens and employ 25,000 full and part-time staff. Our 172 member agencies currently provide more than
85% of all developmental services funded by the Ministry of Community and Social Services.
SOURCE Ontario Agencies Supporting Individuals with Special Needs (OASIS)

For further information:
Jane Joris, President
OASIS
Office Telephone: 519-381-7488

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