A Message from the Co-Chair

By Yona Frishman

It is with great excitement that I will be sharing with you my recently acquired knowledge about this comprehensive study on individualized funding.

The study is called:
Individualized funding interventions to improve health and social care outcomes for people with a disability: A mixed‐methods systematic review

  • This study is a review of 73 studies on individualized funding for people with disabilities.
    They include 4 quantitative studies, 66 qualitative and 3 based on a mix-methods design.
  • The data refers to a 24 – year period from 1992 to 2016, with data for 14,000 people.
  • The review authors searched for studies up to the end of 2016. Studies that were carried out in Europe, the US, Canada and Australia.
  • This review was published in January 2019.

The aim of this review was to examine the effects of individualized funding on a range of health and social care outcomes. It also presents evidence on the experiences of people with a disability, their paid and unpaid supports and implementation successes and challenges from the perspective of both funding and support organizations.

The review provides an up-to-date and in-depth marigold-1522592_1920synthesis of the available evidence over 25 years. It shows that there are benefits of the individualized funding model. This finding suggests that practitioners and funders should consider moving away from skepticism, towards opportunity and enthusiasm. Policy makers need to be aware of the set-up and transitionary costs involved. Investment in education and training will facilitate deeper understanding of individualized funding and the mechanisms for successful implementation.

The World Health Organisation estimates that 15% of the world’s population live with a disability and that this number will continue to grow into the future, but with the attendant challenge of increasing unmet need due to poor access to health and social care (WHO, 2013).

Historically, the types of supports available to people with a disability were based on medical needs only. More recently, however, the importance of social care needs, such as keeping active and socializing, has been recognized. There is now an international policy imperative for people with a disability to live autonomous, self determined lives whereby they are empowered and as independent as possible, choosing their supports and self‐directing their lives . . . (click to keep reading)

To continue reading this message and to learn more about
the research and the authors, click here to read on.

Spring 2020 Updates 

Reflections on the pandemic and the work ahead

Although many of us needed time to get our bearings as we tried to wade through and survive the COVID pandemic in those first weeks, thoughts about supports for people with disabilities have been top of mind.  We’re all in this together certainly fits with the disability world; never before have we seen so many disability related groups come together across this country on common issues.  This has included the issue of prioritizing/triaging in ICU and the need for essential supports should someone living with communication challenges and other disabilities need to go to the  hospital in these times.  Lobby efforts continue.

About individualized and/or direct funding:  Some good work has been done with regard to temporary changes to Passport Funding and Special Services at Home (SSAH) funding given the circumstances and the pause on the use of support workers.  As people start to think about using support workers and how to be safe while things open up we know the work of educating and lobbying about individualized funding will continue.  Work needs to be done to ensure that those waiting for Passport and SSAH who have already been approved or deemed eligible will receive funding. More work needs to be done around the option of individualized funding to support a ‘whole’ life – one that includes support for an individualized home option as well as participation and contribution in one’s neighbourhood and community.  Not everyone wants to look to traditional supports.  Work is also needed to get the word out for a better understanding about the various individualized/direct funding options available to people who are vulnerable and living with disabilities in Ontario – some newer than others.

With regard to self-determination, supported-decision making, communication and relationships: Work needs to continue to heighten the importance for people with disabilities to be supported (as needed) to make their own decisions – in line with the United Nations Convention on People with Disabilities.  Also critical to self-determination and support for a person’s choices in life are the relationships one has with people who care, understand and want to support what is being communicated.

Many thanks to people and families who have spent time trying to educate government on disability related issues, and to some of our partner organizations:  People First of Ontario,  Family Alliance Ontario, the Special Services at Home Passport Coalition, Ontario Independent Facilitation Network, local family networks, and many other organizations and allies too many to list here. Those who have historically supported self-determination, citizenship, individualized funding and an everyday ordinary life in community!  We are all in this together! 

Windsor-Essex My Home My Choice group to host individualized funding gathering! 

Co-Chair of the Individualized Funding Coalition to participate

Prior to COVID-19,  My Home My Choice partners in Windsor-Essex had made plans to host a small gathering of people and families who have lived experience with individualized/direct funding and individualized home options. The face-to-face think-tank and discussion first planned for the end of April was cancelled just as invitations were ready to go out due to the pandemic.  It is being re-scheduled as a small virtual gathering.  Yona Frishman, co-chair, of the Individualized Funding Coalition for Ontario was invited to join the gathering as a resource person to the group. A couple of Ontario Independent Facilitation Network (OIFN) representatives were also invited due to their experience with facilitation and assisting people to take up a good life, often times using individualized/direct funding.  Given the times we are in this think-tank/discussion could look a great deal different than first imagined.  A report on the discussions will be shared later on the IFCO website.  

A Review of  Individualized Funding – Recent Research

Co-Chair Yona Frishman is excited to be reading newer research on individualized funding.  Stay tuned, she will be sharing the highlights and connections to this research in the next IFCO update — coming soon! Some of the research information will also be used as part of the discussion for the virtual gathering described above.

Thank You to Windsor-Essex Brokerage for Personal Supports!

Website save: You may have noticed the Individualized Coalition for Ontario website was down the first part of May 2020.  Bill from Windsor-Essex Brokerage was able to trouble shoot and bring the website back to life in even better form than before the problem occurred. He was also able to ensure the IFCO web-address was not lost!   Everything is working fine again.  IFCO is now in a better position to share updates and information! Much appreciation for the support IFCO has received over many years from Windsor-Essex Brokerage for Personal Supports.  Many thanks to Bill and the rest of the Brokerage team! 


WelcomeGo lights

The Individualized Funding Coalition for Ontario (IFCO) would like to welcome you to our website. It is our hope that you will find this site helpful for learning more about Individualized Funding and the possibilities it presents for people living with disabilities.  We are a ‘coalition’ of different members who have lived experience with disability and  various forms of individualized funding.  We are working together to keep moving Individualized Funding forward in Ontario.

Individualized Funding is a support that assists people with disabilities and others to live an everyday ordinary life because it offers more choice and control.  Supporting people to make their own decisions also assists them to live an ordinary life. Below is the IFCO Accord which outlines more fully what we believe.

Our Accord

The Individualized Funding Coalition for Ontario supports the self-determination of persons with disabilities.

We believe that all people should have control over decisions concerning where they live, with whom they live, with whom they associate and how they spend their lives.

In order to achieve this we recognize that Ontario must develop a system of funding whereby the person requiring assistance, supported by family and/or others, should have access to and control over the funds allocated for his/her supports. 

Website Information

Thank you for visiting the website for the Individualized Funding Coalition for Ontario.  The purpose for this site is to provide information to members and allies about individualized funding and related topics.  Most of the documents available for downloading on the site have been updated with our current email address.  There may be a few that have the old information. Please note our current contact information below.  

Contact information:
Address:  Individualized Funding Coalition for Ontario 
                c/o 3357 Walker Rd, Suite 2, Windsor, ON  N8W 5J7

Email:  info@individualizedfunding.ca