ConnectABILITY Homepage


DSO Housing Navigation Tool Kit

A Tool kit of useful resources as you work to create your own individualized housing plan or support someone in the creation of theirs. DSO website

Getting ready for living independently

STEPS To Independence is a guidebook that provides an opportunity for individuals with an intellectual disability to determine how prepared they are for semi-independent living. It provides a holistic tool to help someone with their goal of living independently with supports by starting the conversation, identifying current skills, determining skill areas for improvement (where more learning can happen), and next steps to focus on. Read more »

Developmental Services Housing Task Force


The Housing Study Group of the joint Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services/Developmental Services Sector partnership table, released a report in September 2013 entitled “Ending the Wait – an Action Agenda to Address the Housing Crisis Confronting Ontario Adults with Developmental Disabilities”. The report made several recommendations, including the creation of a Capacity-Building Task Force (“Task Force”).

Join The Ontario Developmental Housing Task Force Facebook Group

Overview of the 18 funded housing projects with the Housing Task Force
PDF version

Bridges to Housing Project

This project targets a hard-to-reach subset of Toronto’s homeless population: individuals with developmental disabilities and significant complex, dual diagnosis (health, substance use and/or mental health issues).

  1. Overview of sheltered System and Developmental disabilities (0:00 – 10:00 minutes)
  2. Overview of Bridges to Housing (18:08 – 25:05 Dr. Sylvain Roy)
  3. Case studies/psych testing (36:44-15 Dr. Radek Budin)

Person Directed Planning and implementation – Bridges to Housing program

York Region Lifetime Independent Facilitation

The York Region “Why Wait” Collaborative Demonstration Project provided four innovative housing models to eight individuals identified on the DSO eligibility list. The models are individualized to suit each person’s needs and desires, yet share several components in support of long-term sustainability: Independent Facilitation, incorporated microboards, coordinated agency-based staffing supports, and shared administrative costs including for fund administration, brokerage, and QAM oversight.
Read more »

The Ontario Developmental Services Housing Task Force investigated new ways to help individuals with finding a home. Part of this investigation included looking at how other countries manage their developmental services.

Innovative Options in Ontario

Dorvict Home & Health Care Services

Permanent and Temporary Staff Placement Agency

Dorvict Home and Health Care Services provides in-house, community and health support services to children, adults and seniors. Our expertise is in the areas of developmental, mental and physical disabilities. We also provide services to youths in crisis and people with challenging behaviours.

Beaver Barracks

In 2008 Families Matter Cooperative, Ottawa, during the design stage, developed a relationship with CCOC- Beaver Barracks – An Affordable, Accessible, Sustainable Project. The hope was to ensure individuals with developmental disabilities would have access to affordable units in this mixed community. In 2012 six – seven adults moved into their own apartments, supported by LiveWorkPlay.
Beaver Barracks Affordable Accessible Sustainable

Scarborough Residential Alternatives

Scarborough Residential Alternatives are parents of developmentally handicapped young adults. Because there are almost no funded residential places available for our children, we are examining ways to create our own residential alternatives for lifelong living arrangements. We are determined to successfully create the best possible living arrangements for our children, using all resources, governmental and otherwise, that are available to us. We welcome the participation of any parents or caregivers who find themselves in a similar situation and want to join us in building our children’s future.
Scarborough Residential Alternatives

Options for Homes

Options for Homes is a non-profit social enterprise dedicated to providing cost-effective home ownership opportunities for everyone. For over 20 years, Options has been working with our purchasers to provide down payment help and save each household up to $50,000 off each suite. For more information on our new homes and how Options can help you to get into home ownership, visit Options for Homes

My Home My Choice

My Home My Choice is a three-year initiative designed to explore ways to better respond to the housing needs of people with intellectual disabilities. People with significant disabilities and more complex needs have traditionally been institutionalized. With the closure of large-scale institutions, group homes have become a prevalent service model for provision of residential support. While there are a range of options and supports provided under group home arrangements there is growing recognition that the usual approaches to funding, staffing and delivery are not designed to maximize individual choice and mobility.

The overall purpose of the project is to increase the capacity of community service providers to assist adults with intellectual disabilities and more complex needs to move from group home arrangements to supported living in the community. The project engages local organizations in defining and executing transformation plans and uses an active research methodology to identify the process and key factors involved in making the shift from provision of group home based residential support to supported living in the community.

My Home My Choice is delivered and managed by the Canadian Association for Community Living in partnership with provincial partners including: Inclusion BC, New Brunswick Association for Community Living, Community Living Ontario, and Nova Scotia Association for Community Living. Six (6) local partners include the Langley Association for Community Living (BC); Restigouche Residential Services (NB); Parry Sound Community Living and Rygiel Support Services (Ontario) and Regional Residential Services and Breton Abilities Centre (Nova Scotia). My Home CACL

May be created when someone has individualized funds. Living arrangements may be similar to the models described above or may look different.

The Future Looks Bright: New Approaches to Making a Home for Someone with an Intellectual Disability

Highlights Reel (4:55)

This new movement calls for service providers, government and communities to partner with parents to address long residential wait lists (currently 2700 in Toronto alone) and create innovative, affordable and accessible residential housing and community participation supports. Read more »


LIGHTS is an option for families to explore who are interested in helping their family member start a life outside the family home. LIGHTS brings together individuals with intellectual disabilities, families, community members and Community Living Toronto in a unique synergy that will facilitate the establishment of residential solutions for the intellectually disabled, and provide interim funding to overcome financial obstacles in the establishment of a place to call home.

What is LIGHTS? (1:02)

Families For A Secure Future: Creative Housing Options

Families for a Secure Future is dedicated to serving adults with developmental disabilities and supporting them to become more engaged in directing their lives, making choices and taking up full citizenship in the community.

Friendly Housemates

A three-year partnership between Community Living Toronto and Centennial College that brought together post-secondary students and people who have an intellectual disability under one roof is coming to an end, but many of the relationships that were developed as a result of Friendly Housemates continue to grow. Friendly Housemates

Trying it On For Size (TIFS)

Trying It On For Size – Elmira Program of Elmira District Community Living

Finding answers require recognition of an individual’s skills, the things they already know how to do, and their potential…and ability…to learn more. Therefore, our purpose…the evaluation of independent living skills… is to recognize not only what a participant is capable of in order to live, but what are they willing to do to make living successful for them.

TIFS (Trying It on For Size) Community Living Toronto

TIFS (Trying It on For Size) is a model of support, which helps you gain experience living independently. You participate in short-term stays in an apartment where you can learn and further develop your independent living, confidence and decision-making skills.
TIFS takes one full year to complete.
For information contact: Sunday Cvetanovic, or 647-726-0129

L’Arche Toronto – Trying It On for Size (TIFS)

Trying It On for Size (TIFS) is made for you! It is a yearlong life skills program that can help you to be more independent. TIFS teaches you important life skills and gives you the opportunity to “try” living on your own. TIFS does this by:

  • 1:1 coaching that motivates and inspires you
  • You set the pace of your learning
  • Staying for overnights in an apartment setting with access to support

For Information contact: Amanda Hickey, TIFS Program Leader (416) 406-2869 ext. 22


Sustainability of your Creative Housing model: An introduction to Microboards and their purpose within the context of developing creative housing models.

Long-Term Care: Reframing the Conversation

Recorded at a Transition Planning training forum put on by The Toronto Networks of Specialized Care in partnership with the Developmental Services Toronto (DSTO) Shared Learning Forum and This is one of 9 videos that were recorded during a 3 part Certificate Series for direct support professional’s to help meet the complex needs related to Transition Planning.
Presenters: Cindy Dodd, Angela Gonzales, Pamela Tolson, Lindsay Wingham-Smith


MagnusCards is a free app that combines a proven method of instruction (Social Stories) with elements of game design to help people learn life skills.
Read more »

DSO Housing Update

A brief introduction to the new housing navigation role at DSO.

Partners For Planning (P4P)

P4P empowers people with disabilities and their families with FREE resources to create meaningful lives and secure futures, firmly rooted in the community. We help families envision, plan and implement strategies to ensure that your loved one is safe, fulfilled, respected and financially secure—from childhood into adulthood and for the rest of his or her life.

Ontario government funded Residential Options

Various government funded residential supports are provided by community agencies that help people with a developmental disability. Individuals with a developmental disability and their families work with community agencies to find the kind of residential accommodation that works best for them. These include:

Supported Group Living

Three or more adults with an intellectual disability are living together. Paid supports are provided up to 24 hours every day depending on the support needs of the people living there. Support outcomes are aligned with each person’s individual support plan. Typically, people considering group living require some level of support at all times.

Supported Independent Living

Enables someone with an intellectual disability to live with or without a partner/room-mate. A caseworker enables the achievement of outcomes which are aligned with each person’s individual support plan and paid supports are available on a part-time basis to foster and maintain independence. Someone considering this option would have life skills necessary to live with occasional support for meals, money management and community engagement.

Life Share

Involves 1 or 2 adults with an intellectual disability living with a care giver who is not a family member. This is a room and board arrangement in which the care giver is available overnights if needed. A caseworker provides support to achieve outcomes which are aligned with each person’s individual support plan. Though daily support is dependent on the availability of the care giver, this living arrangement forms such close relationships that the person often becomes a part of the care giver’s life network of family and friends. For this reason, the matching process between the person and the care giver is essential to the success of this living arrangement.

There are waitlists for government funded residential supports in some areas of the province.
To apply contact Developmental Services Ontario

Useful Reports

Atlas on the Primary Care of Adults with Developmental Disabilities in Ontario

CAMH is a medical facility in the City of Toronto. It has completed a medical assessment of Adults with Developmental Disabilities. This is their documentation of that process. CAMH Atlas of Adults with Developmental Disabilities 2013

Select Committee on Developmental Services Final Report – Inclusion and Opportunity: A New Path for Developmental Services in Ontario

The Select Committee was developed to investigate the effectiveness of the Developmental Services in Ontario. The committee was made up of Members of Parliament. Here is a copy of their report. Select Committee Development Services Final Report 2014

Ontario Auditor General’s report on the Residential Services for People with Developmental Disabilities

Residential Services for People with Developmental Disabilities – 2014

Toronto Developmental Service Alliance

The TDSA Housing Sub-Committee aims to make this information easily accessible through links and documents provided on this site. This includes providing access to various documents produced by TDSA and links to housing initiatives the TDSA is currently engaged in on the TDSA Housing Sub-Committee page.