The funding for Independent Facilitation and Person-Directed Planning (IFPDP) from the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services (MCCSS) ends on March 31, 2019. This means that more than 300 individuals and families currently receiving IFPDP in the Eastern Ontario Region are losing this subsidized support. This also impacts the more than 200 individuals and families waiting for subsidized IFPDP.

Have your voice be heard by joining the advocacy efforts led by individuals and families to maintain subsidized Independent Facilitation. Exit disclaimer

MCCSS states that Independent Facilitation and Person-Directed Planning is available using Passport funding  Exit disclaimer(page 9). As a result Citizen Advocacy will be offering Independent Facilitation and Person-Directed planning as a fee-for-service model. More information will be published on this website after March 15, 2019.

Questions? Or to join our wait list. Contact Hélène Courchesne – or 613-761-9522 ext. 229.

Independent facilitation and person-directed planning is a process which develops a community-based network of supports for individuals living with a disability. The essence of independent facilitation and person-directed planning is to support people with varying abilities to exercise their rights, to express their choices and have their decisions respected throughout the entire process.*

Independent facilitation and person-directed planning is about creating and implementing a blueprint for future action: the predominant focus is on the nature and quality of the planning process that is undertaken and not solely on the resulting written plan.*

*Adapted from Ministry of Community and Social Services Person-Directed Planning and Facilitation Guide 2013  Exit disclaimer

When Julie finished high school she spent most of her days alone at home in the apartment she shares with her mother. This caused her to feel frustrated, unhappy and vulnerable. Things changed when the family was offered independent facilitation and person-directed planning.

One of our Independent Facilitators met with Julie and took the time to listen to her hopes and dreams for the life she wanted to lead. Over the course of the next few months Julie, her family and our Independent Facilitator worked together to bring about change.

Julie learnt about and registered in various local programs and activities. She was also taught how to use the bus system. Today, Julie is taking public transit on her own and taking part in activities of her choice.

Independent Facilitation & Person-Directed Planning

Citizen Advocacy has assembled a talented team of skilled, curious and nurturing Independent Facilitators.

The independent facilitation team have well-developed skills as “community connectors” including community mapping, identifying community options as a first resource and connecting people to community-based resources and networks.*

To further hone their skills and develop their practice, the team meets regularly to deepen their learning and share tools, strategies and techniques they have gained while working with individuals, family members and support circle members.

You are encouraged to review the biographies of our Independent Facilitators.  We are confident that you will find one that best fits your needs and personality.

*Adapted from Ministry of Community and Social Services Person-Directed Planning and Facilitation Guide 2013

Kimiya Missaghi: I feel privileged to work as an Independent Facilitator at Citizen Advocacy Ottawa, which allows me to contribute to more inclusive communities and empower others to build their capacities. I studied psychology on the west coast and I am currently pursuing a Master’s of Law and Legal studies. I am focusing my research on how minority groups that are systematically oppressed can practice constructive resiliency as a form of peace-building. This is an area which I think many individuals with disabilities have a lot of wisdom and insights on, and I am grateful to be surrounded by the resiliency in so many individuals and families.

I have a diverse background and have lived in several countries, all of which have helped me thrive in diverse environments. My experiences have taught me to embrace differences and that everyone has their unique strengths, talents, and contributions. I am grateful that at Citizen Advocacy Ottawa I can advocate and support individuals to pursue meaning, independence, and stability in their lives.

Some of my interests include travelling and learning about different cultures, and going on hikes to Gatineau Park with my fiancé and sweet puppy, Joonie. 

Emerald Pringle: I am very excited to be part of the team at Citizen Advocacy Ottawa as an Independent Planning Facilitator. I moved to Ottawa—the unceded territory of the Algonquin Anishnaabeg people—from Victoria, British Columbia, to pursue my Masters of Social Work at Carleton University. The opportunity to work in such a person-centred and flexible program alongside individuals and their families and support networks is very meaningful to me. Everyone has goals in diverse areas of life and has the right to explore what those are and make their own decisions. I love connecting with people of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities. As an Independent Planning Facilitator, I want to find creative ways for everyone to fully participate in their community. Using an anti-oppressive framework, I also want to challenge the imbalances of power in society which create barriers to individual well-being.

My work experience includes years at an employment program for youth with disabilities, suicide prevention and crisis intervention; volunteer coordination of a university peer support program on sexualized violence prevention; and workshop facilitation. While I have spent most of the time with people under 30, I am keen to work alongside people of all ages. I speak French and am working to improve my bilingual skills in Ottawa! I enjoy spending time outdoors, visiting new places, and trying new activities. In the summer I love hiking and, in the winter, skating is my favourite! I also like cooking and baking, reading, and singing (in the shower or karaoke with friends).

I am grateful to work on this team and look forward to connecting with you to explore what is meaningful and exciting in your life.

Claude Beauchamp: During my career of 20 years in social services in the Ottawa and Eastern Ontario regions, I have had the chance to work with people who live with a developmental disability, seniors, people who live with mental health issues, at risk youth, and people at risk of becoming homeless.

My roles have been varied: direct support worker, clinical coordinator, consultant, trainer, project coordinator, service broker and facilitator.

Each of the roles required a level of planning, either at the systemic or organisational (services and programs) level and planning around the strengths, needs, wishes and skills of individuals.

My different employers permitted me to facilitate person-centered planning with: people leaving Rideau Regional Centre moving back to their communities; young people in transition between school and post secondary life; people who have a dual diagnosis; people who have a developmental disability who wish to explore an alternative to their present living arrangements; and individuals and their families/natural support network who simply wanted to have a discussion around the future and interest of the person beyond the services offered (or lack of services).

I facilitate within a person-directed planning perspective. The multitude of training opportunities, my experience, as well as positive feedback I received from individuals, their families and their natural and professional supports, have helped me develop a variety of tools and skills to facilitate person directed planning.

I am someone who is dynamic, has integrity, who has the well being of others at heart and believes that healthy communication is a must.

I’m looking forward to meet you! 


Ruth Ann Moore: One of the aspects of facilitation that resonates deeply with me is walking along beside someone on their journey through life; to help, care, or share their burden. It is a principle that I intrinsically carry into all aspects of my life; whether that be at home, work, church, or in my community. It is where going the extra mile is the rule, not the exception. My family and I have been the recipients of such care when one of my children faced cancer. It was at that critical junction in life when having a fellow traveller’s presence was an encouragement and gave reassurance during a difficult time.

                      Other values I have grown to appreciate reflect simple core truths I hold dear.

  • I like to take time to listen and really hear what a person is saying; there is often a story or truth under a statement.
  • I am always willing to learn, as there is much wisdom to be discovered from others through their experiences and personal knowledge.
  • I enjoy looking at a situation from a fresh perspective and find collaborative effort can yield surprising results to make a good idea remarkable.

Ultimately, it is all about taking the time to care about the person first. I live in the heart of the Ottawa Valley with my husband and our three children. I have had the privilege of teaching literacy and numeracy, working as support staff, and helping individuals accomplish personal goals through Passport Funding. I have thoroughly enjoyed seeing the successes and accomplishments that come through hard work. I also volunteer within my church community, organizing events, developing and leading programs, as well as teaching. I make it my goal to create opportunities for people to maximize their skill set, and to be involved to the level which they are capable. I am honored to be an Independent Facilitator with Citizen Advocacy. I look forward to having the opportunity to walk along beside individuals and their families within the Ottawa Valley; to help and be an encouragement to them as they develop a new path to achieve their personal goals or dreams.


For more information contact Hélène Courchesne or 1-866-222-2138



Sara Rafiei: As a child, I grew up with an uncle who was developmentally disabled. He lived with us and my mother was his guardian. All my life, I’ve grown up with individuals that have had some type of developmental disability. My mother has always advocated for individuals that weren’t heard and that became something that I wanted to do. I have seen and experienced the difficulties that my mother and uncle have had to face. I knew that I wanted to do something that helped and enriched the lives of others. I am very happy and excited to join the team of independent planning facilitators and to join the Citizen Advocacy team.


I attended Carleton University and graduated with a degree in psychology. I’m motivated and dedicated to help the people I’m working with. I’m always looking to help others. Since graduating, I have worked in a group home, as an educational assistant and even as a child and family worker. I live in the S, D & G area with my husband and my son and enjoy my spare time embracing the outdoors. I look forward to helping individuals reach their goals and to overcome obstacles along the way. Always seeing the positive in everything and strengths in individuals. I look forward to working with you.


Holly and I got to know one another, enjoyed some meals out, did some art and listened to music together.  Together we created a one page profile that identified what people appreciated about Holly, what is important to her and how to support her well.  Through this process she named many things she was interested to do. In February, Holly received word that she would have her Passport funding increased.  Because of the planning, Holly had some solid ideas about things she wanted to do and where she wanted to do them.  Today she makes jewellery or pottery one day each week, does fitness another day, works at the cafe at Y’s Owl Maclure for a day and works at Tim Horton’s on Edgewater each Thursday.   On Friday mornings she is enjoying Zumba and pool exercises at the Kanata Wave Pool.  Holly and her mom are very happy to have participated in the planning process.  It helped Holly realize some of her dreams.

Independent Facilitator

Contact Information

For more information please contact

Team Leader

613-761-9522 ext. 229

Weaving a Story of Change … learnings so far is available on the home page  Exit disclaimer, and in the resources section of articles  Exit disclaimer, where you can download a web version and/or a higher resolution print version.

Frequently Asked Questions
Vision, values and principles

Independent facilitation and person-directed planning is rooted in the following vision, values and principles, which steer the approach and the direction of the work of our Independent Facilitators.


Community inclusion


  • belonging
  • contributing
  • sharing
  • being respected
  • ·     choosing


  • visioning
  • strengths-based
  • person-driven
  • sustainability
  • accountability

*Adapted from Ministry of Community and Social Services Person-Directed Planning and Facilitation Guide 2013

Why does someone need independent facilitation and person-directed planning?
Independent facilitation and person-centred planning is a set of approaches designed to assist someone to plan their life and supports. The ultimate aims are to expand a person’s community engagement and social inclusion.

Working with each person we discover what is most important to them, what opportunities they want to pursue and how to achieve them. This is an ongoing process and it does not end once a written plan is developed, the process can carry on through someone’s life. The intensity of the planning will vary depending on the needs of the person.

What is person-directed planning?
Person-directed or person-centred planning is a process of continual listening and learning. It is focused on what is important to someone now and for the future and acting upon this with the individual’s family and friends. There are five key features of person-centred planning:

  • A person is at the centre.
  • Family members and friends are partners in planning.
  • The plan reflects what is important to the person, their capacities and what support they require.
  • The plan results in actions that are about life, not just services and reflect what is possible, not just what is available.
  • The plan results in ongoing listening, learning and further action.

*Adapted from Ministry of Community and Social Services Person-Directed Planning and Facilitation Guide 2013

What do Independent Facilitators do?
Independent Facilitators work for the person living with a disability, also called the focus person. They take time to understand the wishes, dreams, interests and abilities of the focus person so they can develop a personal plan that meets their particular situation.

What are the benefits of working with an Independent Facilitator?
To help the focus person identify their:

  • strengths
  • interests
  • capabilities
  • dreams
  • goals

To develop:

  • strategies to achieve goals
  • an outline of tasks and schedules to accomplish the goals
  • a circle of support and to maintain it
  • knowledge of services both community-based and government-funded.

How can I get involved in independent facilitation and person-directed planning?
There are three different options for you to consider:

Funding by Developmental Services Ontario [for those with a developmental disability]

Contact Developmental Services Ontario to check if you have already registered an interest in person-directed planning. People already on the list are being contacted on a first-come, first-served basis. If you are not already on the list ask to be added to it. You may be considered for participation if space becomes available before March 2017.

Use your Passport funding [for those with a developmental disability]

Individuals who have Passport funding but have not already expressed an interest in person-directed planning can purchase independent facilitation and person-directed planning with their Passport funding (up to $2,500 per year).

Purchase through personal funding [for any type of disability]

Individuals may purchase independent facilitation and person-directed planning through personal and/or family financing. Contact the team leader by email or by phone 613-761-9522 ext. 229.



3 + 2 =

Tel/Tel. 613-761-9522
TTY/ATS: 613-725-6175

Toll Free/Sans Frais: 1-866-222-2138
Fax/Télécopie: 613-761-9525

312 av. Parkdale Ave.,
Ottawa, ON, K1Y 4X5

Charitable Registration Number/Numéro d’enregistrement d’organisme de bienfaisance
13036 2817 RR0001