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Does Developmental Services Ontario (DSO) offer adult developmental services?

No. DSO does not deliver any services, it is the access point for Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services (MCCSS) funded adult developmental services and supports. You must apply through DSO to see if you are eligible to receive services.

What services can I apply for?

There are many different services offered across the province. Some of the services that may be available in your area include:

  • housing supports
  • respite for your caregivers
  • supports to help you take part in the community
  • specialized and clinical supports
  • Adult Protective Service Worker Program
  • Passport program

How do I know if I am eligible for services?

To apply for services, you must prove that you have a developmental disability, live in Ontario, and are 18 years old. You will have to show us different documents to prove this. You must provide a psychological assessment to prove you have a developmental disability. If you do not have a psychological assessment, talk to your area DSO. They will review options with you.

If you are eligible for services, you will receive a letter in the mail confirming your eligibility and you will move onto the next step, completing the application process.

I am eligible, what happens next?

Once you receive a letter from DSO telling you if you are eligible to receive MCCSS funded services, you will be connected to a DSO staff person in your area. The DSO staff person will set up 2 meetings with you to help you complete an application package and determine the level of support you need.

Each meeting will be about 3 hours long and you will need to have at least 2 people who know you well (e.g., parent, guardian, teacher, etc.) with you at the meetings.

Once the DSO staff person knows your needs, you will be connected to services that are available in your area.

I am eligible, but only 16 years old, will I get services now?

No, you can only access services when you turn 18. However, starting early will help to speed up the process and help connect you to services so that when you turn 18 you will be linked to available services in your area.

Can I apply for Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) through DSO

No, it is a different process to apply for ODSP. However, if you are under 18 you can use the DSO eligibility letter as part of your application for income support with the ODSP.

For more information about ODSP, visit

What happens if I am not eligible for service

If you are not eligible, you will have the option to request a review of the decision. DSO will make every effort to provide you with information to assist you in finding other resources.

Is there a waiting time between when I get my eligibility letter and when I get called by a DSO staff person?

Yes. The wait time between getting your letter and receiving a call from a DSO staff person is different depending on how many people are applying for services and how many DSO staff people are available in your region.

Please be sure to keep your area DSO updated around changes in your circumstances so that they can be as responsive as possible to your situation.

Can you send me a copy of the application package to fill out before we meet to save time?

No. A qualified DSO staff person who has been trained through MCCSS will complete the package with you. Information on how to prepare for the package is sent in advance to assist and prepare you for the process.

I completed the application package and have been confirmed eligible for services, what happens next?

Once the application package has been completed and DSO confirms your eligibility, you will be linked to supports and services when resources become available.

It may take some time before you get your services and supports. In the meantime, tell your area DSO if any of your information or situation changes.

What happens if I don’t want to proceed with the application package?

You may choose not to complete the application package. Please inform the DSO staff person who was in contact with you to explain your reasons for declining the meeting as it may affect your ability to access services and funding.

What happens to my information once we complete the application package?

Information from your application package will be entered into a service planning database. This system allows your area DSO contact person to print reports when you want to share them with a service provider and give you a copy if you want one for your records. With your consent, the information collected from the application package will assist DSO to make appropriate linkages to supports and services in your community.

I completed my application packages 6 months ago, why haven’t I heard from anyone?

The completion of the application package does not guarantee the start of services. At this point, keep DSO updated if there is a change in your current situation. Keeping your area DSO informed will help them prioritize service requests and keep community partners updated.

Still have more questions?