New ODSP denial intake interview release

A new ODSP denial intake interview in A2J Author had been released to 15 community legal clinics. The release is the culmination of many months of work, including pilots in Simcoe, Rexdale and Durham; consultations in Grey Bruce, Peterborough, Hamilton, Northumberland, Renfrew, and Guelph Wellington; and plain language guidance from CLEO.

How it works

This is an interactive online tool for interviewing people denied ODSP. The interview produces file opening documents. These include typically include the following:

  • intake record
  • various letters (SBT, DAU, client etc., as specified by clinic)
  • draft Social Benefits Tribunal appeal form
  • internal review request
  • retainer
  • consents (government, doctors, hospitals etc., as specified by clinic)

The outputs are sent to an email address set by each clinic. It is up to the clinic to decide how to use the new interview, including what documents it produces. The tool has options designed for use by staff, students and volunteers, and agency partners. Each clinic has its own version of the interview, so it can be customized to meet local requirements.

Different ideas for use

Interested partner clinics envision different uses for this tool. The most popular idea is to use it to support students or volunteers to collect information from people denied ODSP. A couple clinics are thinking about support staff using the tool to prepare file opening documentation from caseworker interview notes.

Several clinics have opted to configure the interview so that staff users can access a wider selection of options than students. In Simcoe, where early versions of this tool have been used since 2010, Ontario Works transition workers are piloting a limited version of the tool to refer people to the clinic.

Getting started

Each clinic has its own password-protected page to access the interview. Clinic IP is preparing a short training video and user checklists that will also be available from the start page. Users can provide feedback on interview forums set up on the KnowledgeNOW wiki. The process of customizing each interview is also supported by this wiki.

Setting up the local version

To begin using the interviews, each clinic must complete a process during which the different options and any customizations are specified.

Clinic caseworkers can request local customization by posting instructions or attaching information to the question page on the wiki.

Over time, it is imagined that the wiki will facilitate collaboration across participating clinics by allowing clinics to compare the different versions of this tool.

Team effort

Credit for progress-to-date is due to the Clinic IP project team of Jacquelyn Birr, Rob Routh, Moazzam Hossain, Chris Zeiba and John Clements who have collectively worked very hard and demonstrated considerable dedication in making this happen. Much credit is also due to Kim McCutcheon of CLEO, who provided extensive plain language guidance to the final edit of the interview. The project continues to be suppored by its technical partners, Principle Inc. For more information, please contact the writer at