Hear what people on the Direct Funding Program have to say

Jeffrey Perreault, a self manager on the Direct Funding program, is pictured outdoors with his wife.

Jeffrey's Story

The Direct Funding program provides me with an extremely great quality of daily living. The program allows me to employ and manage support workers who enable me to be productive and accomplish my daily goals. Whether it's assisting me at appointments or social events, preparing food, doing laundry, helping me stretch or transferring me from my wheelchair to my bed for a rest in the afternoon, or an overnight stay when my wife is on a 24-hour call shift, the Direct Funding program helps everyone involved in caring for me as I fight this brutal ALS disease. I have very limited movement, and I'm either in my wheelchair or my bed. The Direct Funding program gives me back the independence I once had, while depending on my support workers. Ultimately, I'm very grateful for the Direct Funding program!

Our late son, Noel Marshall, had been a Direct Funding Self-Manager from age 16 until his death at 29. Early on it gave him and us freedoms most young adults with disabilities couldn't have... Read Noel's Story

Noel Marshall - Self-Manager since age 16

As we are about to close out on six months of receiving support through the Direct Funding Program, I am pleased to advise that things are going very well. I have been fortunate to have hired excellent staff and the program’s flexibility has really helped. I am much better supported then I was and I also feel a greater sense of independence. I know my wife and family are very appreciative of the self-directed care program as well.

Ron Mackinnon - Self-Manager since June, 2015

My tale of transition from an assisted living environment to being on Direct Funding is one of rags to riches. But the currency in play was never of a monetary kind, what I got back in spades was my agency, my autonomy.

I never could have made it to the office by 9 a.m. or stayed late at my desk to finish up a document without being in control of my own schedule. I work freelance now and have the motivation to do more and if it weren't for Direct Funding that never would have been possible.

Before, when I was in an assisted living environment, I was on someone else's schedule; I didn't have the freedom to plan my day, my life, beyond just having my basic needs met. And now I do.

Carolyn Pioro, Self-Manager since 2010

I have been nothing but thrilled by the way the Direct Funding (DF) program works and how well it's organized not only to accommodate real life events but to make it feel like you actually have a "real life". When I compare it to the agencies I've been with in the past, with midnight as the cut-off time for attendants to be out and overnight stays being out of the question ... no matter what the issue, DF is so liberating and freeing. Got a function to attend? No problem, just arrange it with your attendant. An emergency crops up? No problem, between arranging coverage with an attendant, and following up with the DF office afterwards/during, you know it'll all get worked out and you'll be okay. As I approach the one-year anniversary of being accepted onto the program, I honestly feel like everything is in place to help me and that the "too many managers" arrangement that you find in regular attendant care agencies doesn't exist with Direct Funding. I've not had this kind of freedom since before my accident and it's such a welcome experience.

– D.W., a Self-Manager since 2014.

Direct Funding allows me the freedom to hire attendants and gives me the flexibility to modify my schedule, whether at home, work, medical, travel or play.

Shelley Tudin

I have been on the Direct Funding Program for just over 12 months now and the benefits to my overall health have reached a point where I now find myself with a great amount of new energy that allows me to go out on day trips and make medical appointments.

Carmen Genovese

Working for (a participant on) the Direct Funding Program for over a year now has given me a great amount of satisfaction, especially when I can see the positive results that my work is achieving and that I am truly making a difference in someone's life.

Attendant of Self-Manager Carmen Genovese

Prior to Direct Funding, our financial burden increased tremendously. I could no longer work and my husband’s career demands increased. As a result of these changes, we had to increase caregiving hours. Thus we used other financial means which put us into considerable debt. Upon receiving Direct Funding and becoming a Self-Manager our financial situation has become manageable. We hired a full-time live-in caregiver, which has allowed my husband to travel for business. Funding also reduced stress in the household. Our caregiver contributes significantly to our living by tending to my activities of daily living, maintaining the house, cooking, doing washing and ironing, as well as accompanying me to medical appointments. The atmosphere in our home is more positive allowing everyone involved to have an easier time of dealing with a difficult situation.

Most importantly, being on this program has allowed me to remain in my home. Without Direct Funding the financial, emotional and physical demands on both my husband and me would have resulted in my having to move to a nursing home. Now, I can still have family and friends over and remain in engaged relationships in a comfortable environment. Also, I feel I have some control over my life by directing some of the cooking and socializing.

Finally, the cost of home care is approximately half the cost of institutionalized care. Direct Funding is a win-win situation.

Randi Daniels

I’m lucky to only have the disabilities I have, and the government of Ontario has done the right thing funding programs such as Direct Funding and the Niagara Centre for Independent Living.

Walter McLeod

Great program! It's wonderful to see people able to be in their own home to enjoy life with some independence because of the assistance this program provides.

Maureen Harris
Attendant of Self-Manager Walter McLeod

I have been involved as an attendant with this program for about 10 years with three different employers. The work has always been interesting and challenging and I can't imagine doing any other job at this point in my life.

I believe this program is a great solution for those requiring some assistance, but not 24-hour care in a nursing home. Nursing home care has its place, but in my opinion would not have benefited any of the people to whom I have provided care. Speaking as a taxpayer, this program is a cost-efficient alternative for those in need of part-time care and independence, and should be operated without a waitlist. People on the waitlist might be receiving expensive nursing home care or perhaps no care at all.

Attendant of Walter McLeod

Direct Funding has given me access to more choices in my life regarding where and when I pursue my employment. It has allowed me to meet my obligations as a mother, a wife, a daughter, an employee and an active member of my community.

Meenu Sikand

Before Direct Funding, I lived in a supportive living unit (apartment) with 24-hour attendant care available but I was only given two hours per day for my care at times that I didn't choose. Often, I went without (assistance) because there wasn't enough time to meet my high care needs. Direct Funding has enabled me to receive excellent care from attendants whom I have a choice to work with at the times that I desire assistance.

Direct Funding has enabled my husband and me to have the proper assistance I need to care for our young son through the Nurturing Assistance allowance. We now live in our own house in an area which we chose. Receiving sufficient funding has enriched the quality of my life and given me a lot more confidence. I am no longer limited due to lack of attendant care, and having such a great support system means I am more than able to narrate the story of my life.

Pina Fraser

Today my quality of life is excellent; I have the freedom to participate fully in the life of my community insofar as my physical circumstances permit, whereas before Direct Funding I had to pick and choose to suit the narrow confines of a care agency.

Flexibility of service hours is a major advantage provided by the Direct Funding program. I get to choose when I get up and go to bed. This allows me to plan ahead, schedule time with my friends and family, and attend events in my community – effectively allowing me to live a full and rewarding life.

This benefits not only the individual but it also benefits the community. Many of the people living with chronic conditions that require care can continue to make a strong contribution to the fabric of the community if provided the stability that Direct Funding provides. In my own case this has allowed me to be active in community not-for-profit organizations where my skills and experience make a difference.

Jerry Ford

I used to view my disability as being in bed chained down at my shoulders and my hips, waiting for someone to free me. Well, I can honestly say that Direct Funding has come along and done that!

25-year-old man living with parents

The freedom and flexibility that I am experiencing were not imaginable in the other settings.

46-year-old man living alone

I began to create files for all the important documents and forms that are necessary, for example, employee time cards, contracts, bank statements, etc. After organizing all of these, I found it not as overwhelming as it first looked.

42-year-old woman living with spouse

Direct Funding has made my life easier in so many ways. I had a chance to go on a job training trip to Denver for a week, and my attendant came with me and was able to meet all my needs there. Without Direct Funding, I would have been unable to go.

33-year-old man living with spouse

The few hours a month I spend doing administrative work is minimal compared to the endless hours of frustration I used to spend negotiating with administrators of a managed care program.

28-year-old woman living alone

Direct Funding has allowed me to have the freedom in my life that I thought was long gone. The challenge of self-managing means financial responsibility but shopping, visiting, banking and taking part in my community are the rewards that I have achieved.

42-year-old woman living with spouse

To prepare for Direct Funding, I read through all the manuals available. Any questions I may have had after reading were answered by people at my Independent Living Resource Centre, who were very helpful.

42-year-old woman living with spouse

I highly recommend Direct Funding to anyone interested in managing their attendant care. Direct Funding has helped me to finally regain control of my life.

38-year-old man living with family

After becoming a Self-Manager, I have become more employable and can contribute more to the community. My increased independence boosts my self-esteem. My marital relationship is stronger and my family life is improving significantly. My future is more stable and promising.

38-year-old man living with family

In return for taking on more risk and responsibility, DF participants gain greater choice, flexibility and control. Why don't you see if this program is for you?

Vic Willi, former executive director, CILT
For more information on the Direct Funding program, contact CILT:

Centre for Independent Living in Toronto (CILT)
365 Bloor Street East Suite 902
Toronto, Ontario
M4W 3L4

Tel: (416) 599-2458
Fax: (416) 599-3555
TTY: (416) 599-5077
Toll Free:1-800-354-9950

"I used to view my disability as being in bed chained down at my shoulders and my hips, waiting for someone to free me. Well, I can honestly say that Direct Funding has come along and done that!"
- 25-year-old man living with parents

Program puts more people with disabilities in control

The Direct Funding Program is being expanded to allow more Ontarians with disabilities to live independently in their homes.

You can read more about this in our News Release.

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