What are my rights when getting developmental services and supports?

1. Learn more about your rights

You usually have the right to make your own decisions about:

  • health care when you turn 16, and
  • money when you turn 18.

This is true even if you get developmental services and supports, or live in a group home.

If you are not capable of making specific decisions, the law lets certain people make them for you. The people allowed to make these decisions are called substitute decision-makers, or SDMs.

If you have an SDM, that person has to follow your wishes as much as possible, about things like:

  • what food you want to eat
  • what clothes you want to wear
  • what you want to do

Your workers and your substitute decision-makers are supposed to listen to you. They are supposed to try to understand your wishes and preferences. This may take extra time because of your disability. 

Human rights and accommodation

Employers, landlords, unions, and service providers such as schools, hospitals, government and developmental services don't always treat people fairly. This is wrong, and sometimes it is against the law.

It may be against the law if they don't follow certain rules or policies. It may also be against the law if they treat you unfairly because of your personal characteristics that are protected by human rights law.

For example, the service agency might be discriminating if:

  • You live in a group home that only serves food that your religion says you can't eat.
  • You are forced to go to church, synagogue, mosque, temple or other religious places that you don't want to go.
  • You are insulted or treated badly because of your skin colour or what country your family came from.
  • You aren't allowed to have a boyfriend or girlfriend because of your disability or your sexual orientation.

Your workers and your substitute decision-makers must take the time to your disability-related needs.

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