More independence for people with a developmental disability
Federal legislation on the proceeds of crime and money laundering has rendered 1.5 million Ontarians 16 years and older without a valid driver’s license, passport or other photo ID, incapable of purchasing an insurance policy, opening a bank account, accessing government services, applying for work or opening a Registered Disability Savings Plan. However there is good news; the Ontario government has joined eight other provinces that offer a government issued Photo ID card that solves the ID dilemma. The card was designed with input from Ontarians with disabilities, seniors and advocacy groups. The card includes the cardholders name, photo, signature, address, gender and date of birth. The photo ID card mirrors the same features as a driver’s license to help prevent fraud and identity theft.
Similar to a driver’s license, the purple card has a clipped top-right hand corner that will help differentiate it from other cards in the holder’s wallet as well it has raised lettering on the card number. The Photo ID card will benefit people with a disability who want to access government and financial services that require proof of identity, such as cashing cheques, purchasing insurance, opening a new bank account, obtaining a credit card, boarding a domestic flight, returning merchandise to a store, obtaining hotel accommodations, renting a home, renting a video and signing a rental lease agreement. The Ontario government is working in conjunction with Elections Canada to ensure the card is accepted as proof of identity when voting.
David Carter-Whitney assistant deputy minister at the Ministry of community and social services says that “not having official identification can be a barrier to full participation in the community. Imagine getting a job, but finding out that you can’t complete the police check because you don’t have a driver’s license or passport” The new photo card will help people with disabilities to achieve greater independence and open doors to new opportunities.
The new government issued photo ID card can be obtained through any of the twenty-one Service Ontario centres across Ontario. It costs $35.00 and remains valid for five years. To find out where you can get a card:
• Call toll-free 1 800 387-7095
• Dial TTY toll-free at 1 800 268-7095
• Or go to the Ministry of Transportation’s web site and search for “photo card”
In addition “Development Services Ontario” is your access point for adult developmental services. Check out their web site for information and locations at www.dsontario.ca . Watch their video and let Charlie show you how Developmental Services Ontario makes it easier for adults with a developmental disability and their families to apply for support.
Click here to find an Ontario Service Centre near you to obtain your Ontario I.D. card.
John.Dowson, Ch lp, is the Executive Director of LifeTRUST Planning, a national company that serves exceptional families across the country. www.life-trust.com 1 800 638-7256
Information “Spotlight on Transformation” bulletin: Development Services Ontario