Building A Community Where Everyone Belongs

We believe that exclusive institutions are no longer relevant today and that no one should be isolated and segregated in such a manner.

Two girls smiling outside

In 2008 the Ontario government passed the Services and Supports to Promote the Social Inclusion of Persons with Developmental Disabilities Act, a law which will reform the way in which the government will deliver services to people with intellectual disabilities. This reform brought about the potential to create inclusive communities in which people with intellectual disabilities participate fully as regular citizens.

The act marked the beginning of the shift to a new way of providing services and supports to people with a developmental disability, one which focused on greater independence, social inclusion and personal choice. This shift culminated in 2009 when Ontario closed the doors to its last remaining facilities.

Learn more about Ontario’s former residential facilities for people with developmental disabilities.

The Regional Centre Class Action Suits: Huronia, Rideau, Southwestern

In 2010, three former residents of Huronia, Rideau and Southwestern Regional Centres, assisted by their litigation guardians, sought justice and compensation for severe abuse they and other residents suffered while residing at the regional centres.

Plaintiffs who resided at the institutions allege they suffered inhumane treatment and abuse at the hands of some of the staff, including physical and mental punishment for “acting out,” a prison-like environment, unnecessary medication, restricted access, and forced work without pay.

In September, 2013, the government agreed to apologize to the former residents of Huronia Regional Centre, and established a fund of $35 million for former residents who suffered harm while living at the facility, and other commemorative undertakings.

In December, 2013, the province agreed to pay $32.7 million to former residents of Rideau Regional Centre, in Smiths Falls, and Southwestern Regional Centre in Blenheim. Premier Kathleen Wynne provided a written statement apologizing on behalf of Ontario to the Former Residents of the Regional Centre.

Learn more about the Regional Centre Class Action Suits.