04/11/2014 10:21 EDT | Updated 06/11/2014 05:59 EDT

$810 million to fund services for Ontarians with developmental disabilities

TORONTO - Ontario's Liberal government plans to spend $810 million over the next three years to shorten the huge waiting lists to help people with developmental disabilities.

There are 21,000 people with developmental disabilities in the province waiting for direct funding that allows them and their families to customize services and supports to meet individual needs.

The government says the largest ever funding increase for the sector will help eliminate the waiting lists for children in two years and for adults in four years.

The money will also fund what the government calls urgent residential needs for about 1,400 people, and support young adults through "key life transitions" such as going to school or getting a job.

More than 15,000 of the estimated 62,000 adults with developmental disabilities in Ontario — and 12,500 of the 28,000 children — are supported through the direct funding program.

The province currently spends about $1.7 billion a year on developmental services.