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About Options

At the Options program, we work in partnership with individuals with developmental disabilities, and their families, friends and communities.

Options is dedicated to creating welcoming, inclusive communities where everyone can contribute their skills and talents. We work in the city of Toronto, supporting children and adults, their families and surrounding communities.  We work with community organizations, developmental service agencies, and schools, in order to create community connections.

Our focus is on equity and inclusion and is guided by a person-directed approach, allowing us to support and empower individuals and families.

Services are available to adults (18 and over) diagnosed with developmental/intellectual disability and their families, who reside in Toronto. This service is free and is funded by the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services (MCCSS).

Accessibility Advisory Workgroup

Family Service Toronto is starting an Accessibility Advisory Workgroup. We are looking for FST clients who would like to share their experiences and help make recommendations to improve access to services here at Family Service Toronto. Learn more about how you can support us.

Community Resource Facilitation

Community Resource Facilitators collaborate with individuals, families and caregivers to reach their desired goals.  This is accomplished through service coordination, community connections, circles of support and advocacy. Our approach is to break down barriers and find ways to facilitate interconnected lives within family groups and communities.  This service can only be accessed through Developmental Services Ontario (DSO).

Community Network Facilitation

Community Networking is a process that challenges and invites ordinary places to be more inclusive. Community Network Facilitators work with individuals, families, small groups and community organizations to explore and build connections with community places and people.  Our work supports individuals to explore their interests and enhance their community involvement.  This service is only available if you are already an Options client.

Navigating the Adult Developmental Services System: Tips and Tools

Now that your adult child/sibling/student is registered with DSO, what services are available to them? When and how can those services be accessed? When should you call DSO and what can you ask for? How can caregivers keep a record of contact with various services and how can they get a break?

Workshop content

  • DSO process, procedures and assessments
  • Funded and non-funded services and supports
  • Scripts for contacting service providers
  • Tips to organize relevant information
  • Caregiver self-care


Transitioning to Adult Developmental Services

As a caregiver to someone with a developmental disability, you’ve become familiar with services and supports for children, but what happens when that child turns 18? This workshop, facilitated by Kelly Casey of KC Professional Solutions, will guide you in your preparation for the transition to adult developmental services, including how to prepare, what to do and when, and how to begin planning for the future.

Workshop content

  • Key dates for applications and referrals
  • Connecting to DSO
  • Applying for ODSP
  • Transitioning from child to adult financial benefits
  • What to expect from adult developmental services
  • Introduction to future planning


Planning for a Person in Crisis

As the caregiver of a person with a disability, you do everything you can to protect the well-being of the person you care for. Despite this, sometimes crises arise that require the involvement of additional supports in order to safely manage or resolve the situation.

Workshop content

  • Preparing for an unplanned hospital visit
  • What to do when aggression becomes unmanageable
  • Preparing for and responding to elopement
  • Scripts for contacting emergency services
  • Tips to enhance safety at home and in the community
  • Crisis services for children and adults


Talking About Sexuality and Relationships

Content Summary: Many parents and caregivers of people with developmental disabilities recognize the importance of discussing sexuality and healthy relationships with the people they care for, but sometimes don’t know how. This workshop will empower you with the information you need to meaningfully educate the person you care for.

Workshop content

  • Healthy relationships
  • Boundaries
  • Safety
  • Bullying
  • Consent
  • Physical development
  • Opening lines of communication


Caregiver Workshop – Using Technology Effectively

As a result of COVID-19, many services have moved online and offices have temporarily closed, creating a greater reliance on technology to access services and supports. If you are a caregiver of a person with a disability who is finds using technology confusing and overwhelming, this workshop is for you!

Workshop content

How to use Zoom effectively:

  • Merging phone calls
  • Submitting SSAH/ Passport invoices via email
  • Using your phone to scan and send documents
  • Creating a fillable PDF file
  • Translating web pages
  • Text to speech
  • Solving your technology problems

This workshop is offered by Family Service Toronto at no cost. It is funded by United Way of Greater Toronto and the Government of Canada.

Download the presentation (pdf)

Planning for a Caregiver in Crisis

Are you the primary caregiver for someone with a disability? Do you have a plan in case something happens and you’re not able to provide care? While everyone hopes this moment will never come, preparing an emergency plan will give you peace of mind that the person you care for will be safe.

Workshop content

  • Developing a caregiver emergency plan
  • Creating a profile of the person you care for
  • Identifying emergency contacts and supports


How do I, as an adult, become an Options client?

To become an Options client as an adult, you will need to apply to the DSO, and be referred to us by the DSO. You cannot obtain Options services by contacting Options directly.

Is there a waitlist for this service?

Yes. The waitlist for adult services is held at the DSO.  The waitlist for children’s services with Options is held with the Options-Children program.

Does the Options program provide funding?

Options does not provide funding or financial resources for clients.

If I am receiving this service, can I still receive other developmental services?

As an Options client, you may still receive services from other agencies (such as day programs, respite services, housing, and employment services). You may not have a second case manager through another agency.

Does the Options program cost money?

Options is government-funded, so it will not cost you personal funding to access our services.

Does the Options program accept placement students?

To find information about student placements at Family Service Toronto, please explore the ‘Student Placements’ section of the Family Service Toronto website.

Does the Options program accept volunteers?

To find out about volunteering in the Options program, please explore the ‘Volunteer at FST’ section of the website.

Options Adult Peer Support Group

This group is dedicated to FST clients, 18 years or over. Participants have a chance to have fun, talk about staying healthy, feeling supported and potentially forming meaningful connections. During meetings, the topics of discussion are chosen collaboratively by participants. Volunteers help run the group with assistance from FST staff.

The group is open and ongoing, holding regular meetings every Monday from 12 to 1 p.m., except on public holidays.

If you want to participate please contact: 
Heather Shaw: 416-846 4930 [email protected]; or
Joel Schreiber: 437 224 0584   [email protected]

Best Buddies

Best Buddies is an international program dedicated to breaking down barriers between people and erasing misconceptions about individuals with developmental disabilities. The program creates opportunities for one-to-one friendships by matching Options clients with volunteer university students. Contact your Options worker if you are interested in the best buddies program

Advocates for a Better Future

Advocates for a Better Future welcomes adults with developmental disabilities who want to connect with one another and take action on issues of common concern. For more information, please call Mansoora Qazi, Program Manager, 416.971.6326 ext. 236 and leave a message with your name and number.

Building Inclusive Communities Virtual Stakeholder Consultation Report

Clients, parents, and caregivers in the Building Inclusive Communities Programs were invited to participate in a conversation about their experiences with Options and Passport services. Data was collected through two virtual group consultations and individual phone calls. The Family Service Toronto – Building Inclusive Communities Virtual Stakeholder Consultation Report is a summary of conversations that took place. Family Service Toronto would like to thank the clients and parents who were able to participate on such short notice, and for sharing their personal stories and feedback with us.

Options – Adults is offered at the following location(s):

Programs and Services

Programmes en Français
Appointments and Frequently Asked Questions
Campaign 2000
Caring for Caregivers
Families in Transition
Growing Up Healthy Downtown
Healthy Families. Healthy Communities
Male Survivors of Sexual Abuse
Options – Adults
Options – Children
Partner Assault Response
Partner Contact
Pat’s Place
Person Directed Planning
Seniors and Caregivers
Seniors Community Connections
Social Action
Transitional and Housing Support
Violence Against Women
Walk-In Counselling