The ODSP Action Coalition is a province-wide coalition of community agencies, provincial organizations, anti-poverty groups, legal clinics and people who receive income support under the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP).Â The Coalition was formed in 2002 following province-wide community consultations that found deep problems with ODSP.Â Our aim is to advocate for improvements to ODSP so that people with disabilities can live with dignity.
In June 1998, the Ontario Disability Support Program was created.
The government of the day said that ODSP would meet the unique needs of people with disabilities, provide the supports that they require to participate fully in Ontario society, and remove people with disabilities from inappropriate inclusion in the welfare system (Minister Janet Ecker in the House on June 2, 2nd session, 36th parliament).
But none of these expectations have been adequately met.
In the ten years that have passed, numerous surveys, reports, and investigations have chronicled the many problems in the ODSP system. Our recent review of many of these documents demonstrates that many of the same problems that were built into the system in 1998 persist, and that people who have disabilities and need adequate income support continue to face enormous challenges.
Ten years on, it’s time once again to take the pulse of ODSP. The current government is instituting a Poverty Reduction Strategy for Ontario. This means that it’s time to think again about the real impacts that ODSP has on real people. It’s time to think about how ODSP could be improved â€“ and how much real peoples’ lives would improve as a result.
This document outlines the ODSP Action Coalition’s initial recommendations for making ODSP a program that actually meets the challenge of providing supports for people with disabilities in Ontario.