logo for Access Information and Referral (AIR)

Access Information & Referral (AIR) at Compass Community Services acts as the single point of access to developmental services for children and youth in Guelph and Wellington County. As such, AIR will collect information and determine eligibility for children and youth under the age of 18 for Ministry of Child, Community & Social Services (MCCSS) funded developmental service programs.

We provide information and assistance in accessing developmental services to parents and care providers of children between the ages of birth and 18 years. We also provide information to community members and professionals regarding developmental supports and services in our regions.

When you contact us, we will:

  • Determine your child’s eligibility for MCCSS developmental service programs within Guelph and Wellington County
  • Provide you with information on community supports and services that may be of assistance to you
  • Facilitate referrals where appropriate

Eligibility Criteria:

Must have one of

  • Diagnosis of an intellectual disability confirmed and signed by a psychologist.


  • Diagnosis of an autism spectrum disorder confirmed and signed by a physician or psychologist

AIR requires evidence of a DSM V diagnosis and reports must include commonly accepted instruments and assessment tools in determining the diagnosis

The eligibility criteria described above applies to Access Information & Referral.  The DSO has different eligibility criteria. Having been confirmed eligible by AIR does not imply that the individual will also be eligible for adult services via the DSO at the age of 18

How is Eligibility for Children’s Services Determined?

Eligibility and access to MCCSS funded developmental services for children is based on psychological and/or medical assessment documentation as well as the individual must live within Guelph / Wellington County.

It is important to note that the applicant must provide proof of immigration status or citizenship in Canada.

Access Information & Referral aids children and their families in accessing MCCSS funded supports with the following diagnoses:

  • Intellectual disability (further information and consultation may be required for those with a Provisional and Unspecified diagnosis)
  • Autism spectrum disorder, with or without an intellectual disability

In determining eligibility for an intellectual disability, AIR requires evidence of a DSM-5 diagnosis as provided within a psychological assessment. These reports must include commonly accepted instruments and assessments tools in determining the diagnosis.

In determining eligibility for an autism spectrum disorder, AIR requires evidence of a DSM-5 diagnosis as provided within a medical or psychological assessment report/letter specifying level(s) of severity.  *Please note that medical letters that only include a diagnostic statement are not sufficient to confirm a child’s eligibility for AIR services.  Medical documentation must include commonly accepted instruments and assessments tools in determining the diagnosis.

A diagnosis of Global Developmental Delay (GDD) does not meet criteria for AIR eligibility. The one area of exception is/are children who present with severe/profound delays in their development. Please visit Kids Ability at www.kidsability.ca/referrals for further information if a GDD diagnosis is present.

Referrals may come directly from the individual, their family, or a substitute decision maker. Referrals will be accepted on behalf of the person, from a third party, such as a family doctor or service agency, if consent to facilitate the referral has been obtained.

AIR Referrals may be submitted in one of three ways – electronically or by mail or fax.

Upon receipt of your completed referral form and supporting documentation verifying eligibility for services, you will receive a referral confirmation letter, either by mail or -email within 3 – 5 days (please check your e-mail spam folder).

The referral confirmation letter serves to inform you of the outcome of the eligibility determination process. It will specify whether the individual has been deemed eligible for AIR or if there are any outstanding documents required to make this determination.

Should the applicant have requested a follow-up action item (listed in AIR Referral Form, under ‘reason for referral’) that requires scheduling of an appointment with the AIR Service Coordinator, the anticipated wait time is from 3 to 5 months.

If you would like to initiate access to funding supports independently, please see the link on this page titled “General Supports for Children with Developmental Diagnoses”

To obtain a paper copy of the Referral Form, contact AIR directly at 1-800-307-7078 option 4, or click on the link below to complete a pdf fillable form that can be printed and mailed, or alternatively completed electronically and emailed directly to AIR. Please remember to include copies of necessary assessments and consent forms as applicable.

We are here to help!

Need information or a referral? We’re happy to help in any way we can — just call or email our office!

Phone: (519) 824-4015
Toll-Free: 1-877-216-1116
Fax: (519) 824-3598
Email: AIR@compasscs.org

Support for adults

To access all adult developmental services in Wellington County, contact Developmental Services Ontario (DSO), for general information enquiries contact dso@sunbeamcommunity.ca or toll free at 1-888-941-1121, website: www.dsocwr.ca

Developmental Services Ontario logo

Other Resources

Below are some resources that maybe helpful to families as they look for additional support