Government Supports & Services

Disability Services Contacts

Eastern Region

  • St. John’s (709) 752-4800
  • Rural Avalon (709) 759-3354
  • Bonavista (709) 468-1001
  • Clarenville (709) 466-5700
  • Marystown (709) 279-7900

Central Region

  • Gander (709) 651-6241

Western Region

  • Corner Brook (709) 634-5551 ext. 0
    Stephenville (709) 643-8700

Labrador-Grenfell Region

  • St. Anthony (709) 454-3054
  • Happy Valley-Goose Bay (709) 897-3127
  • Labrador City (709) 282-5064

 

Intervention Services

If you have any questions or concerns please contact ASNL Navigation Manager, Ashely Gosse 709-722-2803 ext 226 agosse@autism.nf.net

Direct Home Services Program

  • What is it? A government-funded program that is delivered by the regional health authorities. It is a voluntary, home-based early intervention program that is provided at no cost to the family. This program includes Applied Behavioral Analysis and Community Behavioral Services.
  • Who is it for? The program is offered to families with infants and pre-school aged children who display symptoms of, or are at risk for, significant developmental delay.
  • What is its purpose? The goal of the program is to develop and implement individualized skill teaching and behavioral strategies with the family to achieve positive gains in the child’s development.
  • How do we get started? A referral for the service can be made to the regional health authority by the family or a service provider (with the consent of the family) as soon as a developmental delay is suspected or identified.
  • How does it work? A regional health authority staff person known as a child management specialist (CMS) visits the family within one month after receiving the referral to explain the program and determine eligibility. When a program space becomes available, the CMS will visit the family home on a weekly basis for the first six months of service and then every second week thereafter, depending on the individual needs of the child and family.
  • What else do I need to know? The parent(s) or primary caregiver is required to be present during home visits and committed to working on the program suggestions. Children are re-assessed every six months to determine developmental gains, identify new skills to be mastered, or to graduate the child if the need for the service is no longer required.

Intensive Applied Behavioral Analysis Program (ABA)

  • Who is eligible? Any child with a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) by a qualified professional, pre-school aged to Grade 3.
  • What is it? Applied behavioral analysis is an evidence-based, best-practice approach to early intervention for children with ASD. Applied behavioral analysis utilizes well-studied learning principles in a systematic way to teach skills that are meaningful for the child and the family.
  • What is the goal? There is a focus on increasing positive behaviors and reducing or eliminating challenging behaviours through the use of positive programming principles.
  • How does it work? Eligible pre-school aged children may receive up to 30 hours per week of intensive intervention, and children in Kindergarten and Grades 1-3 may receive up to 15 hours and 10 hours per week, respectively.
  • Who implements it? Regional CMS staff that are assigned to deliver the Intensive ABA Program are known as senior therapists. These staff receive considerable training in ABA (skill teaching and principles of behavior modification) and autism spectrum disorder. A senior therapist provides direct home-based training to families and home therapists, who will implement the individualized intensive skill teaching and behavioral programming.

JASPER Intervention Summary

What is JASPER?

  • JASPER (Joint Attention, Symbolic Play, Engagement, and Regulation) is an evidence-based social communication intervention for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) prior to age 9 developed by Connie Kasari, Ph.D. at the University of California Los Angeles.
  • This intervention targets the foundations of social-communication: joint engagement, joint attention skills, imitation, and play.
  • The treatment is a short-term targeted approach that shows positive long-term results, meaning children start showing lasting improvements within a short period of time.
  • JASPER can be implemented in home or clinic by a trained clinician (or clinician in training).
  • Sessions are typically twice a week for 12 weeks.

What are the main targets of JASPER?

JASPER targets four main areas for improvement:

  • Joint Attention – Joint attention is the coordination of attention between objects and people for purpose of sharing. While joint attention develops naturally in typical children, this is a core challenge for children with autism who must actively learn these skills. Our studies show that when we systematically program opportunities to teach joint attention skills, children with autism show more initiations of joint attention skills. This leads to increased opportunities for social engagement and learning.
  • Symbolic Play – Play is an important context for learning cognitive and social skills. A primary target of JASPER is to increase children’s repertoire of play skills at increasingly higher levels of play, by modeling appropriate play skills and responding to all of the child’s functional play acts. The overall goal is to help the child increase their diversity and flexibility in play and to reach higher play levels.
  • Engagement – JASPER utilizes a number of strategies to improve the child’s engagement with others while playing. The goal is to help the child spend longer periods of time where they notice both their partner and a shared activity (joint engagement). We view joint engagement as the context to communicate socially and learn new skills.
  • Regulation – Our approach also stresses the importance of emotion and behaviour regulation. A series of strategies are employed to handle self-stimulatory behaviors, lack of engagement, and regulation, so that the child has the best chance to learn.

What are the main strategies in JASPER?

JASPER has a number of strategies and step-by-step procedures to address the goals above, including:

  • Environmental Arrangement: Setting up the room, picking developmentally appropriate toys, orienting yourself and the child, etc.
  • Supporting Engagement and Regulation: Modulates pacing, affect, and additional environmental strategies to support the child’s engagement and regulation.
  • Balancing Imitating & Modeling: Responding to the child’s JA, language, and play acts by replicating their actions. Models an appropriate action or skill when the child needs more support to add a new step
  • Establishing Routines: Develops play routines where both child and adult have equal and active roles developing the shared story
  • Expanding Routines: Adding new steps to increase flexibility, diversity, and complexity of play
  • Programming for Social Communication and Language Strategies: Explicit opportunities to shape the development of nonverbal and spoken requesting and joint attention skills. Responding to and expanding children’s nonverbal, spoken and augmented communication. Shaping communicative attempts. Talking at the child’s developmental level and giving children space to communicate.

These strategies are used to improve joint attention, symbolic play, engagement, and regulation within the context of play routines. http://www.kasarilab.org/treatments/jasper/

For more information regarding this service please contact a Child Management Specialist, Speech Language Pathologist, or Occupational Therapist with your Local Health Authority.  They will gladly help direct you to the appropriate contact person.

Community Behavioral Services Program

  • Who is eligible? This program is available for individual’s school-aged and older who have significant behavioral concerns. A referral to the program can be made by the family or a service provider (with the family’s consent) or the individual (if they are an adult). Individuals will undergo an assessment by regional health authority staff known as behavior management specialists (BMS) to determine eligibility.
  • What is it? A voluntary, community-based behavioral support program provides intervention and support to individuals with a developmental disability and significant behavioral concerns.
  • What is the goal? It is a strengths-based program guided by a set of ideals that promote community inclusion, positive programming and least restrictive treatment principles
  • How does it work? The intervention is provided within the home and community environments in which behavioral difficulties occur. A BMS will visit the individual on a regular basis to complete a functional analysis/assessment and to develop and monitor a suitable approach to address behavioral concerns. Individuals in receipt of this program are re-assessed every six months to determine progress and service eligibility.
  • Who implements it? Behavior management specialists implement the program and participation of the individual’s parents or caregivers and the consistent implementation of programming are integral to the success of the program.

Provincial Home Support Program (Respite Care)

  • Who is eligible? Home support services may be either purchased privately by an individual or subsidized from public funds to a maximum financial ceiling. To be eligible for a financial subsidy, the individual must undergo a functional and financial assessment by professional staff from the regional health authority.
  • What is it? Home support services include the provision of personal and behavioral supports, household management and respite at the minimum level to maintain individual independence.
  • How does it work? Home support services are intended to supplement, not replace, service provided by the individual family and/or support network. Services are non-professional in nature and are delivered by an approved home support agency or by a home support worker hired by the individual or family.
  • How do we get started? Referral for publicly funded home support service is through the Regional Health Authority (RHA) and can be initiated by anyone, including the individual who is requiring service.

A list of approved home support agencies can be found by clicking here 

Therapeutic and Professional Services

  • What is it? Professional staff at the RHAs provides a range of therapeutic and professional services in a variety of settings which support persons with disabilities.
  • How does it work? Staff may include social workers, nurses, behavioral and child management specialists, dieticians, occupational therapists, physiotherapists and laboratory technicians
  • Who is eligible? To learn more about eligibility for individual services contact your regional Disability Services office (contact numbers on inside cover of this booklet)

 

Residential

If you have any questions or concerns please contact ASNL Navigation Manager, Ashely Gosse 709-722-2803 ext 226 agosse@autism.nf.net

Cooperative Apartment Program

  • What is it? This program offers a private residential setting operated by an incorporated community board of directors and staffed by a live-in supervisor and relief staff. The private residences are usually rented houses and are shared by up to three adults with intellectual disabilities and ASD. The main emphasis is on skill teaching and support to enable more independent living rather than providing a permanent residence.
  • Who is eligible? Individual must be older than eighteen (18) years of age, and have an intellectual disability (IQ below 70). The individual must require extensive supervision, and behavior management. Continued residence in the natural home setting or alternate family home is not possible even with the required support services.

Alternative Family Care Home Program

  • What is it? This program offers private homes which have been approved by the Regional Health Authority for providing room and board, supervision and personal and social support for up to two unrelated adults with intellectual disabilities and ASD in a family atmosphere. Supports and services are available as necessary. Monitoring and supervision is provided by the social worker assigned by the Regional Health Authority.
  • Who is eligible? Individual must be is eighteen (18) years of age or older, and have an intellectual disability (IQ below 70). They must require the supports and supervision typically provided in a natural family environment because continued residence in the natural home setting is not possible even with the provision of support services. Individuals will undergo an assessment of the resources of the family and needs of the individual indicating that this placement is the preferred option. The individual service plan indicates that an alternate family care environment is required

Board and Lodging Supplement

  • What is it? A Board and Lodging Supplement is a funding supplement that is available, for individuals who have identified needs and require a higher board and lodging rate to live in these arrangements than is usually allowed. A basic rate of board and lodging is available through the Regional Health Authorities.
  • Who is eligible? Qualification is based on assessed need, to an adult with psychiatric, physical and/or intellectual disabilities, 18 years of age and older, who reside with relatives or non-relatives.

Individualized Living Arrangements

  • What is it? An individualized living arrangement (ILA) is established when no other service option is available or appropriate for an adult with an intellectual disability and ASD who meets home support criteria and is unable to reside with their natural family. While this program usually supports one client per home, there may be situations approved where the living arrangements are shared by individuals who wish to reside together.
  • How does it work? The funding for basic income support is provided by the Department of Advanced Education, Skills and Labour with additional funding for home support and other related costs provided by the RHAs. Once established, the ILAs are managed by the individual, family, or operations committee.
  • Who is eligible? An adult with an intellectual disability and ASD, meeting home support criteria and unable to reside with their natural family.

Shared Living Arrangements

  • What is it? In some instances, individuals with disabilities who require high levels of home support may choose to share the cost of a living arrangement and home support staff.
  • Who is eligible? Funding may be provided from several sources such as the Department of Advanced Education, Skills and Labour (AESL) and the Regional Health Authorities (RHAs). As in an individual living arrangement, all benefits of income support, including rent and heat and light supplements, and any other benefits available, are obtained from AESL and supplemented as per policy by RHAs.

 

Employment

If you have any questions or concerns please contact ASNL Navigation Manager, Ashely Gosse 709-722-2803 ext 226 agosse@autism.nf.net

Job Trainer Support

  • Eligible individuals who have a developmental disability may avail of this support to help them obtain employment. Individuals wishing to access this support should contact Advanced Education, Skills and Labour.

Community Partnerships

The Department of Advanced Education, Skills and Labour provides funding to community agencies across Newfoundland and Labrador to deliver employment support services for eligible clients of the department. For the names of agencies offering this service in your area contact the Advanced Education, Skills and Labour office in your area.

Who to contact:

  • Avalon
    Department of Advanced Education, Skills & Labour
    Toll-free: 1-877-729-7888
    TTY: 1-877-292-4205
  • Central
    Department of Advanced Education, Skills & Labour
    Toll-free: 1-888-632-4555
    TTY: 1-877-292-4205
  • Western
    Department of Advanced Education, Skills & Labour
    Toll-free: 1-866-417-4753
    TTY: 1-877-292-4205
  • Labrador
    Department of Advanced Education, Skills & Labour
    Toll-free: 1-866-449-3144
    TTY: 1-877-292-4205

Opening Doors Program

  • What is it? An employment equity initiative of the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador. The Opening Doors Program comprises full time, permanent Opening Doors positions throughout the Provincial Public Service in various locations of the Province. PositionsPositions have been designated for persons with disabilities and may be filled only by members of this employment equity group who have been accepted for inclusion on the Office’s Client Registry.
  • Who is eligible: Opening Doors positions are filled based on merit. Those persons, who have the education and experience requirements – as identified in the position competition poster/statement of qualifications – are identified by the registry system and “screened into” the competition, i.e., they are referred to the hiring department for the interview process. The candidate who best meets the qualifications for the job – and who demonstrates this in the interview process – is then offered the position.
  • Who to Contact:
    (709) 729-5881
    Toll Free: 1-800-950-4414 openingdoors@gov.nl.ca  

Career Development Initiative for Agencies, Boards, Commissions and Crown Corporations

  • What is it? The Office of Employment Equity for Persons with Disabilities offers a career development initiative that provides wage subsidies to Agencies, Boards, Commissions and Crown Corporations that hire persons with disabilities in positions related to their education and training.
  • What is the goal? To provide work experience to those individuals who have completed post-secondary training but, due to their lack of job experience, are unable to secure employment related to their field of study. The purpose of these work assignment opportunities is to provide persons with disabilities the training-related, on-the-job, mentorship work experience that will make them more competitive in the labour market. Career development opportunities are a minimum of six months, after which time extensions can be negotiated.
  • Who to contact: (709) 729-5881

Wage Subsidy Initiative

  • The Office of Employment Equity for Persons with Disabilities can provide wage subsidies to Provincial Government Departments that hire persons with disabilities in positions related to their training. These contractual work experience opportunities enhance clients’ resumes, making them more competitive in the labour market. The positions may be up to a maximum of one year to provide participants with valuable work experience.

Student Summer Employment

  • What is it? This provides career-related work experience in the public service for post-secondary students with disabilities. Summer employment opportunities provide students with practical skills and knowledge to prepare them for their future entry into the labour market. Summer placements are generally 10 weeks in duration and run between June and September.
  • Eligibility Criteria: Currently attending a post-secondary educational institution. Returning to school in September. Registered with the office of Employment Equity for Persons with Disabilities
  • Who to contact: (709) 729-5881

 

Financial

If you have any questions or concerns please contact ASNL Navigation Manager, Ashely Gosse 709-722-2803 ext 226 agosse@autism.nf.net

Child Care Subsidy Program

  • What is it? This program helps eligible parents or guardians pay for child care in a licensed child care centre or a regulated family child care home.
  • Who is eligible? Some or all of the cost may be covered depending on family income and service eligibility requirements (require child care for reasons of work/education, child development and/or family support)
  • How does it work? Families select the child care service they wish to access and the subsidy is paid directly to the licensee or provider on behalf of the family.

Who to contact:

  • Metro Region
    Telephone: (709) 729-4331
  • Central East Region
    Telephone: (709) 292-6283
  • Western Region
    Telephone: (709) 637-2763
  • Labrador Region
    Telephone: (709) 896-3591

Disability Tax Credit

  • What is it? The disability tax credit (DTC) is a non-refundable federal tax credit that helps persons with disabilities or their supporting persons reduce the amount of income tax they may have to pay.  The purpose of the DTC is to provide for greater tax equity by allowing some relief for disability costs, since these are unavoidable additional expenses that other taxpayers don’t have to face.
  • Eligibility Criteria: You are eligible for the DTC if approved on Form T2201. A medical practitioner has to complete and certify that you have a severe and prolonged impairment and must describe its effects.
  • Who to contact: Tax Information Phone Service 1-800-267-6999

Click here for more information

Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP)

  • What is it? a savings plan that is intended to help parents and others save for the long term financial security of a person who is eligible for the disability tax credit (DTC).
  • What do I need to know? Contributions to an RDSP are not tax deductible and can be made until the end of the year in which the beneficiary turns 59. Contributions that are withdrawn are not included in income for the beneficiary when they are paid out of an RDSP. However, the Canada disability savings grant (grant), the Canada disability savings bond (bond), investment income earned in the plan, and rollover amounts are included in the beneficiary’s income for tax purposes when they are paid out of the RDSP. A beneficiary can only have one RDSP at any given time, although this RDSP can have several plan holders throughout its existence and more than one plan holder at any given time.

Eligibility Criteria: You can designate an individual as beneficiary if the individual:

  • is eligible for the disability tax credit (DTC);
  • has a valid social insurance number (SIN);
  • is a resident in Canada when the plan is entered into; and
  • is under the age of 60 (a plan can be opened for an individual and contributions can be made to it until the end of the year in which he or she becomes 59 years of age).The age limit does not apply when a beneficiary’s RDSP is opened as a result of a transfer from the beneficiary’s former RDSP.

Click here for more information

Child Disability Benefit

  • What is it? The child disability benefit (CDB) is a tax-free benefit for families who care for a child under age 18 with a severe and prolonged impairment in physical or mental functions.
  • Eligibility Criteria: To be eligible for the CDB, the child must have a severe and prolonged impairment in physical or mental functions. An impairment is prolonged if it has lasted, or is expected to last, for a continuous period of at least 12 months. A medical practitioner has to complete and certify that the child has a severe and prolonged impairment and must describe its effects on Form T2201, Disability Tax Credit Certificate. Once the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) receives a completed Form T2201, the CRA will advise you if the child is eligible for the disability tax credit and the CDB supplement.

 

Regional Health Support Program Contacts

Eastern Health

  • St. John’s and surrounding area (incl. Bell Island and Southern Shore) 752-4835 (over 65)752-4717 (under 65), Rural Avalon 227-3641
  • Bonavista 468-1001
  • Clarenville 466-5700
  • Marystown 279-7900

Central Health

  • Gander 651-6324

Western Health

  • Corner Brook 695-6263

Labrador Grenfell Health

  • St. Anthony 454-0129
  • Happy Valley-Goose Bay 897-3121
  • Lab. City 285-8172