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GUELPH, Ont. – Across Ontario on Wednesday, January 18, 2012, developmental service workers (DSWs) will be in their communities and their workplaces celebrating the essential role their work plays in helping people with developmental disabilities and their families. They are asking their elected provincial representatives to acknowledge the contribution they make in supporting people with disabilities live inclusive lives in the community.

DSWs across Ontario will be spending the week meeting with Members of Provincial Parliament (MPPs) to inform them about challenges facing the sector and to ask them to sign a pledge to work with developmental services workers in their community and across the province to advocate for increased provincial funding.

In Guelph, front line staff of Guelph Wellington Community Living will be meeting with local MPP Liz Sandals on Monday, January 16 at 10:30 a.m. at her constituency office.


“Ensuring all Ontarians can live meaningful lives in inclusive communities is what developmental services workers do everyday,” said Joanne Smithers, CUPE Local 4392 President, representing 450 workers at Guelph Wellington Community Living. “But far too often this work goes under the radar and is not recognized by government. DSW Appreciation Day is an opportunity to reach out to community leaders and speak up together for improved provincial funding for developmental services.”


With nearly 23,000 children and adults with a developmental disability languishing on waiting lists for services and supports, it is crucial that the provincial government provide more financial support for development services. In the absence of more provincial funding, more and more Ontarians will find themselves unable to access the services they need to participate fully in their communities.


For further information, please contact:

Joanne Smithers, CUPE Local 4392 President, (519) 820-5945

Mark Greenan, CUPE Communications, (416) 292-3999 ext. 249