The following definitions are used Provincially to support common interpretation of key terms:

Capacity BuildingCapacity building refers to the knowledge, skills, participation, leadership, and resources to address relevant regional issues and concerns (adapted from Ontario Prevention Clearing House 2002).
ClientClient represents children, youth and their families, service providers, educators, community partners as identified, etc.
CollaborationCollaboration is a process for setting collective priorities and incorporating different perspectives. This is reflected in the way people commit to working together to meet their shared goals. It allows for blending of perspectives, expertise, resources and shared accountability and responsibility.
Complex NeedsComplex needs is defined according to Policy Framework for Children and Youth with Special and Complex Needs (page 5) as children and youth that require “significant extraordinary care due to the severity of their impairment(s) and require services from more than one ministry”. Those who require such services may include children and youth:
with multiple impairments, complex mental health and health issues and/or severe behavioral needs;
- for whom all currently available resources have been utilized with limited success;
- who require fiscal and human resources that strain the capacity of any one ministry; and
- for whom there are questions about the safety of the child, youth, family, or public.
Regions may use other terms such as “Enhanced Services” to describe their service delivery model.
Low IncidenceLow incidence disabilities include:
- blind/low vision;
- deaf/hard-of-hearing;
- deaf-blind; or
- significant communications disabilities requiring the use of a speech generating communicating device.
IndividualizedIndividualized supports encompass a wide range and varying levels of expertise, as they directly relate to meeting an individual’s need. There may also be a need for highly individualized direct supports for specific individuals or groups of children and youth.
TargetedTargeted supports focus on strategies or interventions for children and youth who need more scaffolded and/or research-based learning opportunities because their needs cannot be addressed through universal supports. Collaborative teaming and problem-solving, as well as specialized expertise, might be required. For example, to fully embrace the diversity, expertise (e.g., Elders, cultural brokers, professionals with expertise in learning disabilities) may be required to work with children and youth who come from different cultures, face poverty issues, or have disability-related needs.
UniversalUniversal supports focuses on differentiation and broad-based strategies to benefit all children and youth. Strategies have a system-wide focus. Given the diversity of children and youth, the need for assistance will depend on individual abilities, skills, talents, and personal circumstances. For many children and youth, high-quality programs will be the only assistance that they require (in some areas or domains) to be successful. Universal supports are incorporated into the environment and must be readily available at the outset, versus relying on a ‘trigger’ (e.g., event, crisis) to access the supports. Universal screening strategies can be the key in the early identification of those who may need specific interventions.