COMMUNITY FIRST – Effective Approaches for Supporting the Social Inclusion of People with Intellectual Disabilities

A presentation to family members of students with intellectual disabilities in the Ottawa Catholic School Board, February 22, 2018. The focus was to support parents to have “community first” expectations from service agencies and the community itself. People with intellectual disabilities are not lesser citizens, they have the right to the same opportunities as others for living in homes of their own, paid jobs, and relationships with people and places in their community.

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The Role of Advocacy for Non-Profit Organizations

I’m looking forward to speaking as a member of this panel on October 10, 2017.



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Legislating Safety – Are Lives Getting Better?

On September 14, 2017, I hosted a talented group of panelists for “Legislating Safety – Are Lives Getting Better” to a packed house at the Community Living Ontario annual conference. There were three panelists drawn from the From Presence To Citizenship project: Maurice Voisin, Chris Grayson , and Lisa Foster as well as Barb Simmons from MCSS and Yvonne Spicer an experienced advocate and past chair of the Council for Community Living Ontario.

The at times intense 90 minutes covered a range of critical topics for ongoing legislative changes that are needed to promote person-centred outcomes while at the same time ensuring appropriate – but not stifling – oversight. The panelists combined expertise with heartfelt passion for more inclusive communities where working in this sector is a source of pride based on the ability to focus most on what matters to supported persons.


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LiveWorkPlay Annual General Meeting 2017

It was my pleasure to present a portion of the Report on Operations and to help celebrate a new employment campaign, Hire for Talent. With special permission, we provided a sneak preview of two of the videos which featured several people in attendance. I even make a small appearance myself!

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1310 News Power Lunch: Lady Di, Vanier, Airlines, Math, More! (and Moore)

My second appearance! Once again the time flew by. Thanks to Mark and Michele for helping me through, these two are pros. Click here to listen!


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The Power Lunch, July 20th on 1310 News

Look out world, I went on the radio and I was not limited to talking about LiveWorkPlay and the Ottawa RedBlacks (although we did start with a lot of football chatter!). I joined host Mark Sutcliffe and former MP Paul Dewar on The Power Lunch on 1310 News. I was four days short of my 49th birthday, so this is off the bucket list! We talked about Royal protocols, outer space, Ontario energy, OJ Simpson, and more!


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Sharing with Service Coordination

It’s a little known fact that back in the day (early 1997) Julie and I went to visit various executive directors in the Ottawa area to talk with them about our start-up of LiveWorkPlay and to figure out how we could best work together with other agencies to build a more inclusive city. We were not always welcomed, and somewhat hilariously, the head of Service Coordination responded to our overture with “It’s nice when young people have ideas.”

Well, times have changed: new leadership and new ideas! I had a great morning contributing (I hope!) to the Service Coordination staff retreat, who invited me to talk about person-centred support. Despite a very busy schedule and I am sure a great deal on their minds, it was a very attentive and enthusiastic group, and I am very encouraged by the work they are doing to help individuals and families better understand not only the challenges they are facing but also the opportunities for a good life in the Ottawa community. My presentation featured a few twists targeted to the audience, but it was not radically different from this presentation.


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