• News
  • August 27, 2014

Helping Children and Youth with Special Needs in Guelph Achieve Their Goals

Ontario Government Taking Action to Reduce Wait Times and Improve Services

The provincial government is investing an additional $310,000 in annual funding and $62,500 in one-time funding in KidsAbility in Waterloo-Wellington to reduce wait times and enhance children’s rehabilitation services.

This is part of an additional $5 million annual investment as announced in the 2014 Ontario Budget.

This new investment will expand access to physiotherapy, occupational therapy and speech-language therapy for up to an additional 2,000 children annually across the province, and builds on funding announced in the 2013 Budget.

As well, the government is providing an addition $1.25 million in one-time funding, divided equally amongst each of Ontario’s 20 children’s treatment centres, to reduce waitlists for assessments.

These investments support Ontario’s Special Needs Strategy which focuses on building a system where young people with special needs get the timely and effective services they need to achieve their full potential.

Ontario continues to work with families and community agencies, to improve services and make it easier for children and youth with special needs to achieve their goals and to fully participate at home, at school, and in their communities.


“Our government has heard from families that waitlists for services cause a great deal of stress and frustration. This is why we are taking action to reduce wait times so that young people get the vital supports they need.”

— Liz Sandals, MPP for Guelph

“Ontario is committed to helping young people with special needs achieve their full potential. This new investment demonstrates our commitment to improving wait times for rehabilitation services for children and youth with special needs.”

— Tracy MacCharles, Minister of Children and Youth Services

“At KidsAbility, we are delighted to learn that the Province has chosen to make children and youth with special needs a priority,” says Linda Kenny, chief executive officer of KidsAbility. “Research continues to support that early intervention is the key to the best possible outcomes for our children and KidsAbility believes passionately that Kids Can’t Wait, and they shouldn’t have to. The Province’s commitment of increased and continued investment in our children will allow KidsAbility to serve more children across Waterloo Region and Guelph-Wellington and help them to realize their full potential. This is fantastic news for KidsAbility and the children and families that we serve.”

— Linda Kenny, CEO KidsAbility

  • KidsAbility serves approximately 5,840 kids every year.
  •  Children’s treatment centres provide rehabilitation services to children and youth up to 19 years of age with physical disabilities, developmental disabilities, chronic illness and/or communication disorders.
  • In February of 2014, Ontario launched its Special Needs Strategy. Four ministries are working with parents, youth, service providers and communities to improve outcomes for children with special needs, including the ministries of Children and Youth Services, Health and Long-Term Care, Education, and Community and Social Services.

Ontario’s Special Needs Strategy

For more information, Contact:

Jenny Waterston

Office of Liz Sandals, MPP

(519) 836-4190

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