What is Developmental Services Ontario (DSO)?
Developmental Services Ontario (DSO) is the access point for adult developmental services funded by the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services (MCCSS) in Ontario. There are 9 DSO locations across the province.
When you turn 18, your children’s developmental services such as Special Services at Home, Assistance for Children with Severe Disabilities, and services through the Ontario Autism Program end. This means that you must apply through DSO to see if you are eligible to receive adult MCCSS funded supports available in your community.
When you connect with your area DSO they will help you:
- understand and complete the application process.
- determine the kind of services and supports you need.
- get access to MCCSS funded services and supports that you need when a spot is available.
- find information in your community.
When should I apply?
When you turn 16, contact your area DSO to see if you are eligible for services. By starting the application process early, you may be able to avoid service delays when you turn 18. DSO will help you determine the supports that are available in your area and that meet your needs when you turn 18.
How do I apply?
Review the necessary steps on the application process page, or walk through the process below.
Update your information
It is important to keep your local DSO up to date about any changes in your situation. For example, call us if you are planning to move or change your phone number. This helps us to make sure that we have your current contact information and to confirm that you wish to remain in the service registry.
Are you in urgent need of interim adult developmental services and support?
If you need an emergency service response, please contact your local emergency service (e.g. police, ambulance, fire, hospital).
If you are in urgent need of interim adult developmental services and support, please contact your local DSO office.
Examples of situations where an adult with a developmental disability may have an urgent need for interim developmental services and support include:
- The unpaid primary caregiver (e.g., family member) is unable to continue providing care that is essential to the health and well being of the adult.
- The adult has no residence or anticipates in the very near future a very real likelihood of having no residence.
- The adult’s support needs have changed to such an extent that their current support arrangement may soon become untenable, and their well-being is at risk.
Visit our Frequently Asked Questions page.