Keeping adults with unique and special needs living independently is the goal of a new partnership between two provincial organizations.

Father Gary Jazey knows the challenges of caring for an adult child with special needs.

“As he got older and heavier and had higher needs it was, 'What are we going to do and how is he going to do it.'”

That’s why it made a world of a difference for his son Damon, who has cerebral palsy, to be in permanent assisted living through Participation House Supports and Services (PHSS).

“Without the support that we are getting now through these services I don’t know, I mean, Damon wouldn’t be fully functioning he wouldn’t be a happy person,” Jazey says.

PHSS supports more than 200 people in the London area with a variety of services including 24/7 residential support.

But the need continues to grow. That’s why the organization has partnered with DeafBlind Ontario in order work as a team to improve services for clients.

“Wherever we can find efficiencies to work together and integrate we are going to do that and whatever savings we get we will put back into direct service,” says Brian Dunne, president of PHSS.

Dunne says the services PHSS and DeafBlind Ontario provide are a lifeline for many, but more help is needed since there is a growing wait list.

“There’s a huge number of families looking for supports and services so how do we also not forget about them and include them in the conversation. We need to do that that’s part of our commitment as a community organization to advocate for these families for supports and services.”

Both organizations are hoping the partnership with create continued supports for this vulnerable population, allowing them to keep their home independence rather than ending up in hospitals or long-term care facilities.