How AccessOAP Works
Our role is to help Ontario families connect to autism services and supports and manage their OAP accounts. Through the family portal, each family can see what services are available to them. They can also contact care coordinators for help navigating the system and for answers to their questions.
The Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services (MCCSS) will continue setting policies and funding autism programs and services. The ministry established AccessOAP as the independent intake organization, and they fund our work.
Network of Care Coordinators
Building on successful models that exist across Ontario, AccessOAP care coordinators support families in their local communities. They are experts who have knowledge about what services and supports are available locally. They are specifically trained to help families understand the types of services available, so they can support family decision-making without bias toward any particular service.
Family Portal and Dashboard
Families who have created an AccessOAP account will access a unique online dashboard to see what service options are available to each child in their family. They can see what programs they are already registered in, keep track of OAP spending, and communicate securely with a care coordinator.
The portal is available for desktop, tablet and smartphone use in English and French for all families who have set up an account.
Protecting and Sharing Information
In order to receive services from AccessOAP, families must agree to allow AccessOAP to collect, share and use their personal information. MCCSS is authorized to collect, use, and disclose your, and/or your child’s personal information as authorized under section 283 of the Child, Youth and Family Services Act, 2017.
The family portal is secure and only accessible to registered families and relevant OAP staff. Information is protected and only shared as required to administer functions related to the administration of the Ontario Autism Program.
Within families, one person has full access to a child’s record. They can designate others (other family members, teachers, care providers, etc.) to have read-only privileges so that others can see the information, without being able to make any changes.
Where We Are Today
We know that families with children on the autism spectrum face real challenges in finding and accessing the services they need.
Our role is to:
- help eligible families connect to the supports and services that are available to them,
- make the system easier to navigate,
- contribute to increased capacity, and
- identify ways to strengthen the network of services.
“We need to have all hands on deck, and use evidence-based approaches, combined with the engagement of all stakeholders, especially families.”
As we work with families, we are gaining insights and collecting data that will shape AccessOAP moving forward. Our partners at McMaster University will help us:
- assess how well AccessOAP is meeting the needs of families,
- contribute to capacity building, and
- make recommendations on how to improve AccessOAP.
Just getting started
AccessOAP launched in April 2022 and we will connect with over 50,000 families in our first year. We are building as we go. We are committed to continuing to make improvements and our first priority is to ensure every family currently registered with the OAP has a smooth transition to AccessOAP.
When you receive an email or letter from the Government of Ontario asking you to create an account with AccessOAP we ask that you set up an account promptly, get used to the family portal, and connect with your care coordinator. Please let us know what is working for you, and what changes we should consider going forward.
Concerns, Questions, and Compliments
Your experience with AccessOAP is important to us. Your compliments and feedback remind us why we work hard every day to help families access autism services across Ontario.
If your comment is related to a complaint, a member of our team will get back to you within five (5) days to better understand the issue and take steps to resolve your concern by working with you, stakeholders, and the government as appropriate.
We are also in the process of establishing an Independent Third-party Review Office to handle unresolved concerns or complaints related to the determination of needs process. More details on the third-party review process will be available soon.
When will my child receive needs-based services?
Needs-based services are already available to all families through the Ontario Autism Program. The needs-based OAP includes a range of services and supports, including foundational family services, caregiver-mediated early years programs, entry to school programs, urgent response services, and core clinical services. For more information on services available through the OAP please visit www.ontario.ca/autism
Will we have access to care coordinators?
Yes, families will have access to care coordinators who know what services are available in their communities. Regardless of which care coordinator you connect with, once you are registered with AccessOAP they will always have access to your information and be able to answer questions and help you make informed decisions that are best for you and your family.
Will families have input into AccessOAP?
Your experience with AccessOAP is important to us. Your compliments and feedback are always appreciated and will help us continually improve AccessOAP. In addition to any feedback you choose to share with us, from time to time you might be asked to participate in surveys. As well, as families use the family portal and work with care coordinators, data will be automatically logged into our system to help us understand what features are most popular with families, which are producing the best outcomes, and how long interactions with care coordinators take. So just by using AccessOAP services, families are influencing our future decisions.
How is the family portal kept secure?
AccessOAP is committed to protecting the data in our care. Our system meets all applicable legal and regulatory requirements and is further aligned to meet International Organization of Standards (ISO) 27001, Information Security Management System (ISMS) and National Institute of Standards (NIST) security control objectives. Regular Privacy Impact Assessment, Threat Risk Assessment and Penetration Tests are performed on our systems and necessary remediations are undertaken in a timely manner.