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5 Things Campaign

On April 8, 2021, Respecting Rights launched the 5 Things Campaign. This was a campaign to tell the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services what self-advocates across Ontario wanted the government to know about what people with disabilities want to see change in developmental services.

A growing network of self-advocates who participated in Respecting Rights workshops identified 5 key priorities they want changed in Developmental Services. These include: people’s voices need to be heard, making complaints must be accessible, the same rights should be available for everyone, better staff training, and accessible technology.

This is not a comprehensive list, but these are 5 key changes that self-advocates have identified as fundamental to any larger reform that the Ministry is undertaking. Please see the one page poster identifying and describing the 5 key changes that people with disabilities are asking for.

When Respecting Rights heard about the proposed Developmental Services reform that the Ministry of Children, Community & Social Services says it is embarking on, self-advocates gathered across Ontario to discuss it in December 2020. Letters were sent to the Ministry December 31, 2020 by Respecting Rights and ARCH about the proposed changes to Developmental Services. Respecting Rights brought 9 self-advocacy groups together to send off a letter to the government April 8 2021 to remind the government that self-advocates are asking to be involved in change for Developmental Services.

Respecting Rights will continue to advocate to make sure people with disabilities have a voice at the table about the Developmental Services they receive.


Download Handout – Human Rights, Accessibility and Accommodations

Download Handout -Your Legal Right to Make Decisions about Your Money

Download Handout – Your Legal Right to Make Decisions about Your Health

Download Stop Light Cards

Download letter to The Hon. Todd Smith, Minister of Children, Community and Social Services

Download 5 Things Poster (RTF)

Download the 5 Things Poster (Word)


laptop showing 6 people in video conference call

During COVID-19 people around the world joined together on online meeting sites. But many people with intellectual disabilities were left behind.

Did you know that many Respecting Rights self-advocates are not online?

sad person thinking about using a phone and

Some don’t have the support they need to attend online meetings. Others don’t have internet access, computers, or smartphones. And others can’t afford to pay for internet service.

This means that many people with intellectual disabilities do not have online social supports.

sad person with hands in face

Without social connections like friends and family, many people are feeling very lonely, sad, isolated, and worried about their mental health.

Respecting Rights has a message for families, agencies, and developmental services providers: During COVID-19, let’s do better at helping people with intellectual disabilities get online to connect safely with friends and family and participate in virtual activities.

3 reasons why it’s important to support people to get online:

1. MENTAL HEALTH: Self-advocates tell us they feel connected and happy when they see their friends’ faces on a video call. Feeling connected to friends and family is part of mental health.

person in online conference with many other people

2. COMMUNITY PARTICIPATION in online activities: During COVID-19 the world shifted to online activities like yoga, bingo, cooking, music, and exercise programs. Self-advocates want to stay active and participate in online activities.

person cooking

3. INSTANT ACCESS to family, partners & friends: Connecting with friends and family through online meetings can help people feel less lonely and isolated.

hands holding phone with a video image from another person

How can you help?

  • ADVOCATE to make sure that people have internet service and access to devices that can connect to the internet.
  • SUPPORT people to learn how to use the device as best as they can.
    It might take some practice. Remember, everyone has the right to learn.
  • RESPECT privacy while on video calls. Do your best to help people
    have calls in a private place where they can talk comfortably with their friends or family.
person using computer feeling happy

If you know someone with a disability who is not being supported to get online, let them know that they can call ARCH for free, confidential legal advice. ARCH’s contact information can be found at

© ARCH Disability Law Centre, 2020

Images by Giuliana Barrow Lattanzio

Respecting Rights supports Institutionalization Survivors

March 19, 2019.

Respecting Rights participated in Flying to Freedom to commemorate 10 years since the closure of the last large government-run institutions for people labeled with an intellectual disability, and reflect on how we can commit to creating a fully inclusive society. The event was organized by institutional survivors and several organizations within the disability community, including People First of Ontario.

Respecting Rights spoke to The Journey from Institutionalization, and how they are addressing institutionalization and supporting people who have an intellectual disability to lead meaningful lives in the community.

Respecting Rights: My Voice My Choice Newsletter #1

October 10, 2019.

Go To Newsletter:[UNIQID]

Pamphlets – My Voice, My Choice Workshops

These pamphlets introduce participants to My Voice, My Choice workshops and talk about the legal right to make decisions about your health and your money.

My Voice, My Choice – Introduction

My Voice, My Choice – It’s My Healthcare

My Voice, My Choice – It’s My Money

Last Modified: November 1, 2022