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One place to access all adult developmental services in Ontario

We can help you or someone you care for, connect to available services

We are bilingual, and provide service in both English and French

What is Developmental Services Ontario?

Developmental Services Ontario, or DSO, is the single point of access for all ministry-funded adult developmental services. When you turn 16, contact us to see if you are eligible for services. We will help you determine the local supports that meet your needs when you turn 18 and connect you to resources.

Watch this video to hear more information about DSO, or you can read the video transcript.

How can Developmental Services help me?

Developmental Services Ontario agencies are the primary contact point for people with a developmental disability, and their caregivers, who need information about services and supports in their community. There are 9 DSO agencies in Ontario. Hands is responsible for the North East Region. This means that we help people in the following areas:

  • Nipissing
  • Cochrane
  • Timiskaming
  • Parry Sound
  • Muskoka
  • James Bay Coast

What does Developmental Services Ontario do?

As an adult, there is a set process involved with receiving ministry-funded adult developmental services. DSO is here to help you with that process. That means we will help you:

  • Confirm your eligibility
  • Understand and complete the application
  • Decide which services you want and need
  • Connect you to those services when available
  • Get additional information from your community

Contact Us

Get started by applying to Developmental Services Ontario by completing an application. We will then refer you to programs that meet your wants and needs.

Learn more about Developmental Services Ontario by contacting Hands or visiting the DSO provincial website.

Click here for a list of Hands site locations, including the one closest to you.  Please note that not all locations have a DSO representative on site.

Phone: 1-855-376-6376
TTY: 1-800-855-0511
Fax: 705-495-1373
Email: [email protected]

Please note that our phone lines and email are answered Monday to Friday, 8:30am – 4:30pm.  In-person service is available by appointment.


Find out more about adult developmental services, including forms and information on our resources page. You can also read our Client Statement of Rights.


Your Feedback is Important to Us

Tell us how we’re doing. Please share feedback about your recent experience connecting with DSO. Take the DSO survey.

What is the quality of the DSO service provided by Hands?

Following a compliance inspection in January 2018, DSO North East Region was found to be IN COMPLIANCE with Ontario Regulation 299/10 of SIPDDA (Quality Assurance Measures) and/or policy directives applicable to Ministry-funded services and supports for adults with developmental disabilities.

This means that we have a proven track record of providing high-quality, inclusive services to all our clients.