Income Security and Housing

Project Name

Legal Education for Staff of Agencies Supporting Individuals with Disabilities in Rural Ontario

Project Partners

Lead Agency: South East Grey Support Services (SEGSS)
Legal Partner: Grey Bruce Community Legal Clinic

Project Summary

This project will train front line workers in developmental service agencies in the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) and Residential Tenancies Act (RTA).

Legal Topics for Training

The training focuses on two areas of the law: Income security and housing, and how these relate to individuals with a developmental delay.

  • Income security: One goal of the training is to increase the awareness and understanding of ODSP  for people with disabilities.
  • Housing: The second goal of the training is to review the RTA as it pertains to people with disabilities, their families, and the agencies that support them. It also aims to increase trainees’ understanding of the RTA, and its implications and impacts for people living in rental housing.

Target Audience

Training participants will include:

  • Direct service professionals
  • Adult protective service workers
  • Mental health support workers
  • Clinicians who work directly with people who experience mental health issues and developmental disabilities
  • Individuals receiving support services, volunteers and family members
  • Supervisors and managers

Key Activities

The training content will be organized into two learning modules; one on ODSP and one on the RTA. Training will be delivered using the Ontario Telemedicine Network (OTN). This is a video-conferencing system that allows users from different locations to actively participate in the training.
The presenters will be invited to a HOST site where they will be in front of a live audience. This live audience will experience the training face-to-face. Two other training rooms in two different communities will be linked to the original host site. Individuals in these sites will participate simultaneously in the training, via video-conferencing.

Need for Training

An environmental scan with the developmental sector agencies in the region identified the need for this kind of legal information training. Specific requests were made for training on the ODSP. Both front line staff and supervisors have identified that serious problems arise when agency staff lack adequate understanding of the RTA and the ODSP.

Innovative Approach

This project will use an innovative system to deliver the training – the OTN. It is hoped that this “pilot” of using the OTN may lead to further opportunities to strengthen connections between legal and community services in the developmental services arena.