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Advancing Disability Support Program Transformation

We are moving ahead with transforming Disability Support Program by actively seeking external partners to help with planning and implementation of the program transformation. We will need expert project management advice for this complex project.The professional services that we require will be obtained through an RFP (Request for Proposal) process.

Using external consultants means that we will add expertise in change management and extra capacity that we is not currently available within the department. Importantly, this enables our staff to stay focused on the day-to-day needs of our clients. It is hoped that we will have a decision with regard to the successful proponent in the next several weeks.

This additional capacity will ensure that all aspects are in place to move forward with the transformation and assist us to get the project across the finish line.

In the meantime, we’re pleased to share a few of the milestones reached so far.

Program name change: What’s in a name?

The Disability Support Program (SPD) Program has undergone a name change to better reflect the transformation underway.

The program is now called the Disability Support Program (DSP). Within Community Services, we’ve been working to identify key areas that will require the name change.

Changes will occur over the next few months with a target date of addressing all resources -- such as policies, forms, correspondence, and other areas -- completed by April 1, 2015.

Moving into community-based living

Community Service’s important goal of increasing the number of community based living options for 70 Nova Scotians with disabilities is well underway.

A recent investment has allowed an expansion of the Independent Living and Alternative Family Support programs (ILS/AFS). Both programs offer flexibility, choice and the individualization of supports for individuals with a disability.

Independence, self-reliance and social inclusion are promoted in the Independent Living Support program. Participants live in their own community-based home or apartment with appropriate supports.

Meanwhile, participants in the Alternative Family Support Program who have varying support needs, benefit from sharing a home with an approved family support provider.

We have progressed towards our goal and as of December 18, 2014 an additional 42 individuals now have the support they need to live independently through the Independent Living Support (ILS) Program:

  • 14 individuals moved from larger DSP residential settings
  • 22 individuals had been waiting or were in urgent need of DSP residential or ILS program supports;
  • 6 individuals from other settings, including family homes, moved with the goal of increasing their long term independence