Bringing People Together

ISSN 1180-503X

Winter 2018-2019

A Holiday Message

Heather Lacey, Executive Director

The Holiday season is upon us and as we take time out to enjoy time with family and friends, I can’t help but reflect on how privileged I am to have been invited into Citizen Advocacy. Since becoming the Executive Director four short months ago, what has stood out for me is the passion and commitment that our Advocates, Friends, families, staff and board have for the organization and the community in which they live and work. As well, it has been an honour to hear from families and Friends about the positive impact the organization has had on their ability to fully participate and be valuable members of our community.

It has been a busy time since I arrived here at Citizen Advocacy: getting to know the staff, Advocates, Friends and families, learning about the programs and services, and planning for 2019. What was especially exciting was attending, for the first time, “In the Spotlight” (an event highlighting the talents of people living with disabilities), Celebration of People (an event that honors the contributions of people living with disabilities) and our Annual Christmas Party (an event for all our program participants, staff and board).

As we go into 2019, I am looking forward to the opportunities that the new year will bring – meeting more of our families and individuals, exploring new funding and partnership opportunities and finding new ways to enhance and build on the great work that has always been done by Citizen Advocacy.

On behalf of the staff and board here at Citizen Advocacy, we wish all of you a Holiday Season filled with warmth and happiness.

Laura Grunder

September 15, 2018 was a hot day. It was the day of the Richmond Fair parade. A day made cooler, sweeter and friendlier by Kyram’s Lemonade Stand!

Several months before, I was looking for a way to meet people who are Kyram’s neighbours. I knew there were families in his residential area. Could there be potential friends among them? As his Lifetime Networks Community Connector, my priority is helping 12-year-old Kyram to make friends, and to build a supportive network of people around him and his father Myles. Kelly Howson of Citizen Advocacy suggested the idea of a lemonade stand. His father, Myles, built on it by making it Fair weekend and suggesting it be in an area with maximum foot traffic – the Village Shoppe gift shop, just a 3-4-minute walk from Kyram’s home.

It was a jovial, sweaty and smiling time that we had and a whole lot of people stopped by! Fairgoers, children with their parents, and local business owners. Most were new faces – but there were some pleasant reunions such as a worker from Kyram’s former school. It was good for Myles to see familiar family friends’ faces as well.

“Richmond Village is my home”, “Would you like to buy a cup of lemonade for 50 cents?” and “I hope you enjoyed the Richmond Fair” were some of phrases Kyram called out, using his Dynavox computer. About 22 litres was sold! The refreshing drink had people smiling, as did the cookies. We made over $100, so unprecedented. We decided to donate it to the Richmond Youth Centre, a bi-weekly recreational group for kids that Kyram attends.

We also hoped this lemonade stand would have people see Kyram participating in the community life of his neighbourhood and I think it worked. Out of the many kids passing by, there were a few who were curious, take time to pause and stand next to him and ask questions. We all hope that friendships will grow from these meetings over time.

Thanks to Citizen Advocacy’s loan of a table and a tent shelter, and to Blair and Sue of the Village Shoppe for welcoming us into their parking lot.

PS: We foisted some lemon themed jokes on the customers too:

“What did the lemon say to the lime?”

“Sour you doing!”

Advocacy in Action

Barbara Stewart

I have volunteered at many organizations over the past 30 some years. I was drawn to Citizen Advocacy (CA) because my daughter Jessica is an Advocate there and has been a friend to a woman named Linda for about eight years. After meeting with a social worker at CA, I was paired with a woman named Carolyn Bryson.

Carolyn and I have been friends since June 2015. It’s been a great relationship and we’ve done lots of things together. In the first year of our friendship, we met on a weekly basis to make sure that we were a good match and that we got on well. We did indeed, and we’ve been getting together on a regular basis ever since. We do lots of things together.

Carolyn has a passion for teddy bears and she belongs to a Teddy Bear Club at Abbotsford House. The Teddy Bear Club meets weekly to make Teddy Bears, and Carolyn has made about a dozen of the cutest little bears!

Carolyn is also a movie buff and we have shared many an afternoon at local cinemas watching a very wide variety of films!  We also sometimes share an afternoon watching videos at my place. And we really enjoy having breakfast together at McDonalds. We have been to the Cumberland Museum and we also do a bit of shopping every now and then as well. Since our friendship began we have attended the Citizen Advocacy Christmas Party.

Carolyn loves the water and we have spent some pleasant afternoon at my pool – pizza and pool days! She also visits the local City of Ottawa pools and sometimes takes part in Aquafit classes, where I have joined her on occasion.

Carolyn is a very social person and loves to be busy all the time. We have spent many great times together, sometimes just the two of us, or participating in activities that involve others. She has met my family and enjoys keeping up with what is going on in my life. She also keeps me up to date on what is going on in hers.

We have developed a strong bond and I believe we both benefit from the relationship we share. I look forward to continuing this special friendship.

G1 Study Group

Dana Notarandrea

Stacey has had the goal of getting her G1 drivers license for a couple of years now. Last spring, she had the opportunity to join our G1 Study Group held at Citizen Advocacy. It was an opportunity to learn in a group setting with others, talk about each chapter regarding road rules and traffic signs, do practice tests, and have ongoing support. The group came to its end in the summer of 2018.

Stacey set a date for her G1 test on November 22nd. She studied on her own, downloading interactive applications on her phone and practicing on her own before we went together to her test.

On the day of the test, I picked up Stacey and she knew she was going to get her G1. She was so positive and certain that today was the day. Stacey was ready to go when we arrived, wrote her test, and was in tears of joy when she was told she passed. She is now awaiting her blue drivers licence identification in the mail. We celebrated her success with a Starbucks coffee, labelled “someone’s getting their blue ID card”.

Stories like this show how far support and determination go. Stacey felt supported by her facilitator, co-facilitator, family and friends. She had the tools she needed to learn the material. Congratulations to Stacey from the Independent Facilitation and Person-Directed Planning team and all of Citizen Advocacy!

Fetal Alcohol Resource Program

Nancy Lockwood

The FARP team are excited to let you know about the three days of special impact last month. On November 1st and 2nd we hosted an FASD education and knowledge exchange event for the Province’s Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) workers. The Farpies (as we call ourselves) provided information on FASD facts, diagnosis, common strengths and challenges, and strategies for support at home, school and in the community. All participants received cultural competency training from leaders in the First Nations, Metis and Inuit communities. A local youth with FASD and his parents talked to the group about his experiences and what he finds helpful. On November 3rd, Citizen Advocacy Ottawa and a group of community partners hosted the second annual Eastern Ontario FASD Symposium, focused this year on mental health across the FASD lifespan. The Symposium was held at the stunning Wabano centre for Aboriginal Health. Renowned expert Brenda Knight provided the keynote address, and six breakout sessions were provided by area experts. The event ended with a panel made up of individuals with FASD and caregivers. One hundred and eighty people attended the event, including caregivers, professionals, agency staff, the provincial FASD workers, and people with FASD. Free childcare was offered by FASD informed staff, and a group for youth with FASD.

Is it winter already?  Time is flying by and we have had a busy fall! Lots of information sharing and learning about new resources throughout the city at the WIMS Parent Group evenings.

This winter, social workers from Service Coordination will join us in January to talk about children’s case management, adult case management, accessing various types of funding and respite services. All children with disabilities should be receiving services from this agency. It is a great support to families and individuals with disabilities.

Having a circle of support and friendship is important for those with a disability and for their family. Join us to hear strategies and tips for creating a circle for life with Kelly Howson, Coordinator for the Lifetime Networks Program at Citizen Advocacy Ottawa.

There is a lot lined up for the coming year, and the winter spring flyer will be out soon for the full line up. It’s looking like another great year for WIMS!  Join us to share ideas and information and learn something new.

Children’s Sibling Groups

Kelly Howson

This month we decided to have a holiday celebration for the children in attendance at the Saturday morning groups. Each group had a unique holiday-themed session and made treats to share.

The groups are all at capacity and it can be a wild place at 1 Community Place when groups are going on. The feedback from parents so far, is that their children love to come to their groups and look forward to the weekends when groups are happening!  Some have expressed that they want to come every weekend!

Parents also enjoy staying in the staff kitchen for Coffees On, while their children attend group. They like the chance to chat with other parents in a relaxed setting, while they sip coffee and snack on a light breakfast. Resources are shared, connections are made, and the room is always full. 😊 It’s wonderful to see families becoming less isolated and having the chance to talk with others who understand their celebrations and challenges.

Families interested in learning more about the program can contact me for more information.

Kara Barrier

Hi, my name is Kara Barrier I’m 23, turning 24 on December 22nd.

I like working with children, especially young children with disabilities because I was in the same boat when I was a kid. I can help them fulfill their dreams, be less isolated and to succeed. I want them to be happy and do good in the world.

I started volunteering at the Ottawa Children’s Treatment Centre (OCTC) at CHEO working with pre-schoolers with disabilities. My job coach from LiveWorkPlay helped me start there. I love playing with the kids, pushing them in their wheelchairs, walking with them, and making them snacks. I wanted to be able to work more with children with disabilities so Kimiya, my facilitator from Citizen Advocacy helped me start volunteering at Roger Neilson House with kids who are sick and have disabilities. I read stories to them and make sure they feel comfortable. I like making them happy and giving them hope that they can do what they put their minds to. I hope that my experiences working with children with disabilities will help me eventually to get a paid job. If I put my mind to it, anything is possible.

When I went through the training at Roger House they told me I was doing a wonderful job. It felt good to be able to do it on my own, and over time did not need any prompts. On the first day having Kimiya with me at the training helped me get comfortable and after that I was okay on my own. I talk to the families. Sometimes it’s good and sometimes it’s bad because they might be going through a hard time. I just want to try to be there for them. I feel for them. I’ve had similar experiences – getting assessed when I was six, and I know it’s not easy to go through.

Volunteering at OCTC and Roger’s House opened doors for me and told me that this is my career, this is what I want to be doing.

My facilitator and I looked at different programs for me after high school because it was important for me to continue my education. We looked at a bunch of programs, but they just weren’t a good fit. They focused a lot on job preparation, but I already have a lot of skills. Or they were online classes and I know that I learn best when with other people or in person. It didn’t feel right to me. Finally, I found the Childcare Assistant program, this felt right because I wanted to work with kids.

At first, they wanted to make sure I would succeed so they asked my old teachers about me and they recommended me. I had to wait several months on the waitlist but finally I got in. They asked me to come in for an assessment and an interview.

For my assessment and interview I was really nervous beforehand. I didn’t know what they would ask me, and I was really shy. Having Kimiya with me helped me feel comfortable because I could ask her questions. After the assessment I was formally accepted to the program!!! I couldn’t believe it. When I told my family, they were so proud of me and happy because they know I’m shining. It feels good to know everyone is proud of me.

Classes started September 11th, I remember the date. The program is for five months. What we do is we switch between classes at school and then placement at a daycare. School ends January the 25th. At school I have been learning about child behaviour, why toddlers bite, cognitive learning, and how some kids learn faster and slower. We learned some people have disabilities some people don’t. Differences are okay, no one is perfect. We also had diaper training and procedure. I got my first aid certification. I’m getting my food handling certificate after the holidays, and at the end of January I graduate. After that I want to get a paid job and figure out what I want to do next.

My teacher, Denise has been very, very helpful and has helped me succeed in the childcare assistant program. She is so polite and nice and supportive and does step by step with me. If I’m shy she doesn’t leave me at the placement, instead she advocates for me and helps me get more comfortable. She has helped me build my confidence to get readier for daycare placements. She is good at advocating for me and is patient with me. This was not the case when I was younger, then people put me down because I had a disability. Denise, my current teacher, is positive and there for me.

I have made so many friends in my class. They’re all nice and sweet. They don’t look at my disability. They think of me as everyone else and it’s nice to see that every once in a while because I’m different. I feel accepted in my program and accepted by all my friends. It feels really good. My friends help me with my work if I’m behind and they are always there for me. They don’t label me with a disability, I’m just one of their friends.

In middle school, I was in a different classroom, same with high school. I was always in adaptive programs for people with disabilities. I like being in a class with everyone. I like it so much, it’s the best. Everyone is so nice and treats you like everyone, alongside each other. I was nervous on my first day because this was my first time in a classroom for everyone not just one for people living with disabilities. I wasn’t sure how they would react to me because I have disabilities and they do not. This was my first “normal” class. I was asking myself if I was normal.

I like being in a program for everyone and not just for people with disabilities. In other programs with disabilities I found things too easy and I was just being grouped in with others. I already know how to draw two scoops on a cone. It was so basic and easy for me, really really easy. Now this program is awesome. I am trying new things like tests and multiple choice and the skills I am learning are helping me to work better and learn more about children.

The childcare program has changed my life because I have more opportunities to find a job. I have my First Aid certificate and I’m getting my food handling. I can work in childcare and there is so many opportunities. I found that I’ve gained so much more confidence. I am talking more, engaged with children, participating in class and with friends. I’m not in a corner anymore. I feel like I can do anything now because I did this, and now so many doors will open for me.

I’m so excited to get a job so I can make money for myself and I can teach children. I want to be on my own and one day have my own home and car. I feel like I can now try things I’ve never tried before. I can work with people with disabilities or people that need help like children. I can do things for myself now that I never had the confidence to do because teachers were always doing things for me. Now I can be on my own and start my own life, it’s really nice.

I’m really happy Kimiya helped me. I did a lot, but she helped me with all the behind the scenes works, supporting me and helping me to reach my full potential. If I never had Kimiya I would probably be with other kids with disabilities doing the same thing I’ve been doing since I was little, like drawing two scoops on a cone. It was so easy. Learning 1+1, that’s easy. I was never moving up. It was so helpful to know she was there for me. She called the principal to get me accepted to the program and found me my tutor Aatik (sometimes I call him Arctic 😊). He helps me succeed so I can pass the program.

To other people like me, if you want to learn something with everyone else, if you put your mind to it, you can achieve anything. It really helped me, and I hope it can help other people too. It built me up and showed me that it’s okay to be the way you are. You can achieve anything in life and do things like everybody else in life.

I hope that this article inspires you to do anything in life.

Holiday Dinner & Dance

On Sunday December 9th was Citizen Advocacy’s annual holiday party at the Hellenic Centre. This year we had 295 guests, including a surprise appearance by Santa! We host this dinner and dance party every year to bring our community together and celebrate the season while looking back on all the successes of the previous year. We would like to thank our board member Mike Murphy for emceeing the event! We’d also like to thank Dave Sangster for his fantastic photos of the evening. The Hellenic Centre staff did a fantastic job as always and we were thrilled to celebrate D.J. James Virgin’s 83rd Birthday! James has been providing Citizen Advocacy with great music for over 30 years.

We’d also like to say a special thank you to the Gloucester’s Lions Club. Every year the Lions of Gloucester supports Citizen Advocacy’s Holiday Party with a generous donation. You can say thank you to them in turn by buying your Christmas tree from one of their tree lot locations: 3798 Bank Street at Capital Golf Course; 1875-1877 Innes Road between Apple Saddlery and Wholesale Outlet; 4590 Bank Street at Peter Knippel Garden Centre. 100% of the proceeds are donated to charity.

After the delicious dinner our Friends, Advocates and community members danced the night away with our new Executive Director Heather Lacey. We look forward to seeing you all again next year, Happy Holidays!

Seeding Innovation Through Knowledge

The new Seeding Innovation Through Knowledge Workshop Series has delivered some amazing events in 2018 and we have many exciting opportunities to learn and connect planned for 2019 as well.

We launched the series October 27th in Pembroke with ‘Me in My Community’. This workshop about community participation focused on using the gifts and strengths of our loved ones to develop valued social roles within the community. Keynote speaker Lucinda Hage eloquently shared her story as Paul’s mother and facilitator and how she never stopped working with him to develop his skills and grow his network.

We hosted ‘The KEYS to my Home’ in Ottawa on the topic of Independent living November 24th with keynote speaker Janet Klees from Durham Association for Family Resources and Supports. We had self advocates Stéphane, Stacey and David share their stories. Martha Beach, DSOER’s Housing Coordinator and Gillian Keefe, Crime Prevention Ottawa’s Home Takeover Project coordinator also presented on important community resources. This workshop was full of information, ideas and inspiration to help participants living with a developmental disability think differently about moving out of their parents’ home.

This series is being delivered in both languages, our first French event was on December 2nd in Embrun in collaboration with Valor & Solutions. “Moi dans ma communauté” saw keynote speaker Caroline Granger deliver a fantastic presentation on the history and practice of social role valorization. We had parents, self advocates and Citizen Advocacy’s Independent Facilitation team provide context and share their lived experience as well.

If you missed these events don’t worry, we’ve filmed them! In the new year you will start to find all our filmed workshops posted online, with links to resources, so you can get the information you need when it’s convenient to you!

Our 2019 Schedule is being finalized but we have a lot of great opportunities coming up. Seminars on ‘Wills, Trusts and Power of Attorney’ events are being held January 12th in the town of Renfrew and January 19th in Ottawa. These events will have an hour-long presentation by lawyers who will then hold small group discussions sessions so that you can ask questions unique to your situation.

We will also be hosting events on Community Resources and System Navigation in February (Ottawa and Prescott-Russell) and March (Renfrew). At these event’s you’ll have a chance to hear from the DSO as well as alternative community resources to learn what is available to you and your loved one living with a developmental disability.

Calling All Siblings! March 30th in Ottawa Helen Ries and Eric Goll will be holding an event, in association with Citizen Advocacy Ottawa, on the Sibling Journey. This event will be an amazing opportunity to connect with other siblings and hear about the importance of planning early and being part of your loved one’s life.

To learn more about these events visit our website and follow us on Facebook! Have a Happy New Year!

Ready, Set, Start Training! Run for Citizen Advocacy!

Join the Scotiabank Charity Challenge at the Ottawa Race Weekend on May 25-26! Ottawa Race Weekend is Canada’s largest running event and it provides opportunities for the community and all levels of runners, walkers and those in wheelchairs to participate. Don’t miss your chance to be part of Citizen Advocacy’s team!

Our plan is to fundraise together, give away some great prizes and enjoy ourselves on race day. No one gets left behind. Register online or the CA team will help you register. Individuals can meet other team members at the kick-off meeting and our experts will share their fundraising tips! We hope you’ll mark your calendars and get ready to run, donate, cheer or volunteer.

Questions? Comments? Join our team? Please contact scampbell@citizenadvocacy.org or 613-761-9522 ext. 243

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: a fundraiser unlike any other

Susan Campbell

November 8th, 2018 over 150 people came to support Citizen Advocacy’s Lifetime Networks program, Reach Canada and Families Matter Co-op at the Théâtre du Casino Lac-Leamy. The successful fundraiser is Ottawa’s only concert featuring the talents and capacities of local and world-renowned artists living with disabilities.

Guests enjoyed three outstanding musical performances from, Scott MacIntyre (vocalist and pianist), Brittany Clayton (flutist and vocalist with her jazz trio), and Peter Joynt (rapper and motivational speaker).

 A HUGE thank you to our guests, sponsors, donors, our Master of Ceremonies – Andrew Elliott. Also, we would like to extend a big thank you for to the Planning Committee and event-day volunteers. Together we have helped our community of people living with disabilities – we could not have done it without you!

Caregiver Retreat

Our Caregiver retreats are back!

March 2-3 join us to hear Al Etmanksi, Vickie Cammack, Susan Beayni, Gail Dawson, Hélène Courchesne and more! We are hosting these world-class presenters in one of Ottawa’s premier venues, the Brookstreet Hotel in Kanata.

This weekend, generously subsidized by the MCCSS, will be a chance for Caregivers to learn, relax and build community. We will have breakout sessions in French, sessions on caregiver compassion fatigue and on transitioning to adulthood. Plenary sessions will be hosted by Al and Vickie both days as well as Susan Beayni on March 3rd. Come to enjoy great sessions, food, amenities and musical guests for a weekend you’ll be sure to remember!

Board Member Introduction

Noëlle Caloren

How long have you been on the board?
I joined the Citizen Advocacy board this past June.

What motivated you to join the CA board?
When I was growing up, one of my siblings was challenged by a physical disability. As I got older, I became increasingly aware of the obstacles he faced, but I could also see that what he wanted first and foremost was to be treated in the community with dignity and respect. As a lawyer, I feel a deep connection to the legal profession’s longstanding tradition of giving back to the community. By joining the CA Board, and by drawing personal experience and my professional training, I think I can make a valuable contribution to the work of an organization that recognizes and supports community members with disabilities.

What is your work and/or volunteer background?
I am currently Senior Legal Counsel, Labour and Employment, at Canadian Nuclear Laboratories. Prior to that, I was in private practice with a national law firm for over 20 years. My core fields of expertise have always been labour and employment and human rights law. While I thoroughly enjoyed solving my clients’ legal problems and was able to forge meaningful relationships with a great number of them over time, I derived particular satisfaction from the pro bono work I engaged in through the firm for Pro Bono Ontario, a non-profit organization that seeks to increase access to justice for low-income Ontarians with civil, non-family, legal problems.

For several years I was also a sitting member of the Ontario Civilian Police Commission, an independent quasi-judicial agency that provides civilian oversight of police services in Ontario.

What is your education and/or training background?
In addition to undergraduate (Social Sciences) and graduate (Political Science) degrees, I hold a law degree from the University of Ottawa, having graduated in 1993. I am fluently bilingual and practice law in both official languages.

What do you enjoy most about your board involvement?
Working with a group of dedicated individuals who want to make a real difference, who believe in the organization’s Guiding Principle of focusing its resources on supporting people with disabilities and their families in creating a good life.  Having just joined the Board in June of 2018, I look forward to deepening my involvement with Citizen Advocacy in the coming years.

Tell us about yourself.
I really enjoy meeting and getting to know people. I consider myself to be curious by nature and I like to know how things work. Learning about new subjects and discovering new interests has always been rewarding to me. Although time seems to be a constant challenge, when I can I engage in a wide variety of activities, including reading, gardening and hiking/biking. I particularly enjoy the arts, whether visual, musical or culinary. And anyone who knows me will tell you that I am devoted to my two dogs, so I am definitely a dog person!

Staff Updates

Joyce Hamelin – “Hi Everyone, I am the new FARPIE here in Ottawa and Region. I started with the FARP team on November 1, 2018. I am a Master’s level Social Worker with over 33 years of experience. I love to work in the community. I was born and raised in Ottawa and have worked here for most of my career, thus I am quite knowledgeable about community resources.  I have worked with people of all ages, prenatally, right through to end of life. I am a mother of six children ranging in age from 33 years of age, right down to 9 years of age. Five of my children are adopted and each of them have one or more exceptions. Thus, I also share lived experience with raising children, youth and supporting adults with exceptions. I am a grandmother to three adorable grandchildren. I am a lifelong learner. I love to laugh. I am a people-person and I love animals too!   I am excited to join this dynamic organization. I look forward to getting to know each of you.”

Charlotte Langevin – “I am pleased to have joined the Citizen Advocacy team as a Social Worker with the Matching Programs and I am super excited to dive into this role. I bring with me a background in working with adults with developmental disabilities and with women living on low-incomes. I hope to translate these skills into making lasting matches! Thank you to everyone, you have all been so welcoming and I look forward to getting to know everyone better!”

Other new team members are Azra Alibhai, Social Worker – Matching Programs and Sabrina Peacock, FASD Coordinator.

Do you have an hour or two a week to be a good friend?

Max has been waiting nine years for a volunteer Advocate, someone with whom he can develop a friendship and do activities together, such as shopping, movies and meals out.

As a friend to someone with a disability you can have a profound effect on their life by reducing loneliness and isolation; helping to achieve hopes and dreams; developing personal networks and relationships; decreasing vulnerability; and increasing self-confidence, mental and physical health.

Join our team of more than 250 volunteer advocates who are enriching the lives of someone in their community. You will gain a wonderful new friendship – someone to share activities that you love. You need to be over the age of 18 and to make a minimum commitment of 12 months to this role [Note: your status in Canada may affect your ability to make this commitment e.g. visitor visa, student visa, refugee claimant]. Preparation and ongoing support are provided.

Change Two Lives

INTERESTED? CONTACT US DIRECT AT mredpath@citizenadvocacy.org or 613-761-9522 ext. 222 or come along to one of our information session held at our office (312 Parkdale Ave).


Day Start Time

January 10


6:00 pm

January 29


6:00 pm

February 15 Friday

12:30 pm

February 28 Thursday

6:00 pm

Match Anniversaries

Everyday Champions


13   Lucia Van Oordt & Maria G.
11   Loren Bekeris & Donna Lee H.
9   Jackie McKenna & Lang T.
9   Jessica Mei Stewart & Linda H.
7   Rob Meredith & Ted L.
7   Kathi Subramaniam & Bruce U.
4   Michele Tennant & Aisha H.
3   Debra Roberts & Carina M.
3   Parissa Davtalab & Noor G.-E.-B.
3   Christopher Simpson & Harold T.
2   Farida Kerrouche & Trudy C.
2   Ashley Martin & Holly M.
2   Alexandra MacKinnon & Sharon H.
1   Amy Piché & Camila D.
1   Leslie Poon & Eryn D.
1   Kinda Alkattan & Mary R.


34   Shelley Ann Morris & Marcella K.
28   Alan Cohen & Lee W.
17   Richard D’Addese & Robert W.
9   Kevin Clinton & Duncan S.
7   Omar Kazmi & Duc T.
7   Kimberley Hyslop & Glenn S.
7   Rick Burns & Andy G.
6   Brad Campeau & Jean-Marie D.
5   Allie Wright & Suzanne H.
5   Cassandra Taylor & Analisa K.
4   Elena Pankova & Louise M.
3   Andrea Hitchon & Brenda S.
2   Erika Ferrarin & Jackie R.
2   Cynthia Throop & Sharon R.
1   Marie-Christine Naud & Aida A.
1   Dan Williams & Peter W.
1   Saskia Morin & Natalie G.
1   Beth Montgomery & Ingrid B.
1   Darwin Gould & Robert H.


29   Maggie LeMay & Madeleine H.
15   Noelle Grosse & Kristen H.
12   Jennifer Acres & Suzanne St. J.
9   Kyla Rafuse & Dana B.
8   Cara O’Connell & Amber W.
5   Sarah Casagrande & Van D.
5   Jean Murray & Gerda M.
5   John Kwak & Parteepan R.
4   Dominique Patnaik & Trisha L.
4   Sandra Berry & Ava T.
4   Bill Clelland & Damon L.
3   Richard Geiger & Russell C.
3   Hailey Mercier & Jasmine S.
3   Mary-Lou Saikaley & Lise C.
2   Jacob O’Leary & Joseph L.
1   Remo Zambonin & Chris M.
1   Kurt Touchan & Saman F.
1   Sarah Velho-Bellavance & Marina G.
1   Marcel St. Jean & Yves C.


24   Bob Stevenson & Glenn F.
21   Pui Wah So & Christine C.
16   Elaine Butcher & Shannon M.
14   Robert Adolfson & Rockey W.
13   Bill Dolan & Daniel B.
9   Anna Bilsky & Veronica A.
9   Milena Gibson & Liette T.
8   Amanda Graham & Pat S.
7   Colleen Richards & Sheena Y.
6   Robert Killens & Keith M.
4   Bara Al-Gafari & Ashley K.
3   Olivier Dagenais & Christopher G.
3   Aviva King & Judith M.
2   Hélène Courchesne & Pierre A.
1   Chris Petersen & Luc P.
1   Kristina Hamilton & Katrina W.

Chance for Choice


10   Anna Bilsky & Marjorie U.


8   Pauline Kinsella & Doris K.


3   Victoria Alvarez-Ude & Rachelle L.

New Matches

Everyday Champions


Nathan Ashmore & Brian R.
Yener Gerdan & John D.
Amal Aramouni & Marie G.
Shelby Bergeron & Gordon W.
Matthew Silins & Dario K.


Laura Little & Malinda C.
Erin Delmage & Sabrina L.
Jay Makhoba & Linda G.


Russ Barry & Vaughn B.
Aidan Feuerherm & Aaron M.
Ron Warren & Mario L.
Kelly Howson & Chantal M.
Dan Lafleur & Jack M.


Janet Stearns & Willis P.
Dina Kutziubas & Molly K.
Amanda Meliambro & Ruby Anne N.
Andrea Pierce & Julie Eileen C.
Mira Al Bishtawi & Sama M.


4 + 12 =


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

Help someone with a disability in your community today! DONATE online at Canada Helps.  Exit disclaimer

 Aidez une personne handicapée de votre communauté! Faites un don en ligne à CanaDon.org.  Exit disclaimer


Friends helping Friends

ISSN 1180-503X

Summer-Fall 2018

Goodbye Brian Tardif

After 33 amazing years as Executive Director of Citizen Advocacy Ottawa (CAO), I will be retiring effective September 28, 2018. It has been my honour and pleasure to serve CAO and the thousands of people with disabilities, families with a member who has a disability and volunteer advocates over those years. I have been blessed to have had so many wonderful teachers that contributed to and sustained my passion for my work and longevity with this organization including the many people with disabilities I have come to know and very much appreciate over the years. Over 33 years, I have worked with and received tremendous support from hundreds of outstanding board members, many of whom continue to support CAO today. I have been witness to the amazing changes and personal growth of people who have been supported by volunteer advocates, or are participating in the range of offerings we provide. And, I have had the pleasure of meeting people who have intentionally made a commitment to include in their lives someone with a disability. These people represent some of the most outstanding and principled volunteers in our community.

Citizen Advocacy Ottawa has experienced astounding growth and is broadening its immense impact. This growth and subsequent impact is due to so many factors. We have an amazing staff of dedicated people who are committed to the core values and vision of CAO. I have been blessed to lead an organization that includes thousands of people including hundreds of volunteer advocates, thousand of donors, hundreds of event volunteers and businesses who contribute to the success of CAO. This extensive network contributes to the solid community ownership of CAO and its vision and mission.

I am excited to welcome my successor Heather Lacey to CAO. As you will read in this issue of Rapport, Heather joins CAO with a great deal of solid and valuable personal and professional experience to bring to the position of Executive Director. I encourage all of you to take advantage of the numerous opportunities in the next few months to get to meet and know Heather. I can assure you that I will be assisting Heather to ensure a smooth and successful transition. I hope you will join me in offering your support to ensure success as CAO enters a new chapter in its evolution while protecting its core values and principles to support the inclusion of people with disabilities to exercise choice in our community and take up their full citizenship.

Our new Executive Director, Heather Lacey, introduces herself

Originally born in Ottawa, where I raised two amazing children into adulthood, my life’s journey has taken me to South Korea, remote First Nation communities in northern Ontario, Bella Bella, British Columbia and inner-city Edmonton, Alberta.

During my years in Ottawa, while raising my children, I completed a Bachelor of Arts degree majoring in Psychology and Law. After completing my studies, I worked for 12 years with children with special needs and developed an expertise working with children/youth living with autism. This interest was cultivated when my oldest child was diagnosed with autism and developmental delays at the age of four.

Searching for a new direction in my life, I studied computer programming and worked in high tech (interactive voice recognition). But I was drawn to fulfill my dream to work overseas. After completing my certification to teach English as a foreign language, I lived, worked and travelled in South Korea for five years.

In 2007, I returned to Canada to work with the Ontario government (Ministry of Children and Youth Services) in Aboriginal child welfare and mental health. Here I was gifted with teachings that expanded my understanding of, and deep respect for, Aboriginal cultural and tradition. I gained valuable insights in to the history of the Aboriginal people’s experiences within Canada that would shape my perspective and practice going forward. In addition, I was given the opportunity to represent the region at several provincial policies and initiatives tables focusing on autism or Aboriginal services.

In 2012, I accepted the challenge to work as the Executive Director for a Delegated Aboriginal Child and Family Service Agency in British Columbia. The First Nation community, located on Campbell Island and accessible only by ferry or plane, is a community steeped in Heitsuk culture and tradition. A community impacted by the trauma of residential school and the sixties scoop. The Heitsuk have restored many of their cultural practices and revived and expanded the use of their language. It was an honour to live and work in the community, participating in community potlatches, festivals and events and most importantly developing strong and lasting relationships with the staff of the agency and the families with whom we worked.

After a brief stop in Edmonton, I am now back in my hometown of Ottawa and excited to start a new adventure with Citizen Advocacy.

My philosophy, perspective and practice has been shaped by my personal and career experiences. I believe that no challenge is too great that it can’t be overcome through working together; that you should genuinely love what you do; and that everyone’s opinions and ideas have value. It is my hope that together we can continue to enhance and expand on the work and contributions that Citizen Advocacy makes every day to the people we support and the community at large.

Thanks for giving me this wonderful opportunity.

Advocacy in Action

My name is Andrea Dixon and together with my friend, Theresa Mayer, we’d like to tell you about our time as friends.

Theresa and I have been matched for about five years. We watch movies, go out for coffee and breakfasts. But the thing Theresa likes best is coming to my house for dinner. We prepare a healthy meal together. Theresa is an expert vegetable chopper!

I asked Theresa what she likes about being friends with me. She replied, “I just like being friends.” I asked her if she remembered how long she was waiting for a match and what her life was life before we met. Theresa said “A long time, I think. It was not good at all!”

I remember when we met and how excited I was to meet to meet her! Now though, I’d like to tell you about how I got involved and what her friendship means to me.

When I first got involved with Citizen Advocacy, I was in school, having gone back to university at what I thought was the ripe old age of 30 years old. I had worked in the government for six years and took early retirement because I had worked too long in an unhealthy workplace. I was depressed, and anxious. I needed to find a new path. But here’s the funny thing about depression and anxiety – they often don’t just magically go away if all you do is change your setting. At school, I still felt isolated and lonely. I wasn’t sure what to do, so I decided to try volunteering (and medication and counselling, of course).

I looked for volunteering close to where I lived in Orleans. Something that did not need a huge time commitment, since I was a student and working part-time. There were lots of admin jobs and one or two places looking for after-school help, but then there was this ad. “Do you like movies?” Well, who doesn’t? “And coffee?” I was a student – I practically lived on coffee. So, I called up Citizen Advocacy and one Wednesday met with one of their social workers for a learning conversation. The social worker asked me what seemed like some pretty personal questions at the time. Although I realized that they were all part of the process to find the best match for me and for the person with a disability.

First the usual ones. What are you looking for in a match? What do you do with your free time? But then there were some questions that can be hard for anyone to answer. What is important to you in a friendship? What is your support system like? Who do you turn to in times of need? When you’re sad, or upset, how do you deal with that?

I replied that conversation is important to me in a friendship, and that sometimes when I get tired or sad, it can be hard for me to be the person who reaches out to friends and sets up plans or checks in with everyone. That I had a pretty good support system of people I loved, and that they knew about how I planned to bring a new friend with a disability into our circle, and they supported that as well. And I told her that sometimes I didn’t deal well with being sad or upset, and although I’d done a lot of work on my own mental health, I still found it difficult to be vulnerable and tell people about what I was going through.

The social worker found me the perfect match! I’ve already mentioned some of things we do together – movies, dinner, meeting for coffee – now I want to tell you how much Theresa brings to our friendship.

Theresa makes sure to keep in touch with me, often calling just to say ‘hi’. She shares her news with me – what she’s excited about, how her love life is going, who she had an argument with – and listens to my news too.

She cares about the people I care about. She wants to know how my husband’s sometimes frustrating job is going, how my parents’ health scares turned out. When I was dealing with my dad’s health issues last year, and sad because his cognitive issues meant that he wasn’t the dad I needed right then, Theresa told me “That’s sad, but he still loves you.” It was a good reminder for me that difficulties in expressing thoughts and emotions don’t mean that the emotions aren’t still deeply felt.

And when I went through a period of depression recently, Theresa was still there, asking if I wanted to go out, making plans for us, and understanding when I said “Theresa, I can’t go out today. I’m too sad and tired right now.” She’s been there, and just like I told her when she had her own difficulties, we are still friends; and when I was feeling better we picked up right where we left off.

She is one of the most supportive and accepting people I know. And I’m grateful to have her as a friend, and to have Citizen Advocacy supporting friendships like ours.

Andrea Dixon & Theresa Mayer

Walking in My Shoes

This fall, WIMS has a great line up of speakers for caregivers who support loved ones of all ages.  Join us for some interesting insights, conversation and learn more about topics of interest to you.  We meet every third Tuesday of the month, starting September 18th when Kim McLeod, parent educator and advocate, will discuss ‘Parenting Children with Disabilities – Separating the Caregiver/Therapist from the Parent’.  She will share strategies to build on your parenting and caregiving strengths and how to balance them both.

October 16th will be an Informal Information Sharing and Discussion Session with the first 30-40 minutes with John Anderson from Spectrum Insights, which offers programs for youth and adults with Autism, Aspergers, NLD, ADD and Mild Cognitive Delay.

Pina Giovannitti, Behaviour Consultant with CISS will join us November 20th to talk about visual strategies that can support communication while reducing behaviours, supporting transitions, routines, and daily activities.  She will share strategies on using visual schedules, choice boards, social scripts and PECS to facilitate purposeful communication with your loved one.

Make sure to book your space for WIMS parent nights as at times, nights get full!

Email: wims@citizenadvocacy.org or call (613) 761-9522 ext. 236 to book your space.

Sibling Groups

The Children’s Sibling Group is gearing up for the 2018-19 year.  Registration was opened early this year and we already have 11 children registered. Register now to ensure your spot.

New this Fall is a Teen Sibling Group (ages 15-17 years).  This group was requested by those teens who were aging out of our 12-14-year-old group.  We were also contacted by other teens in the community were interested in a group. This group will take place on Wednesday evenings from 6-8 pm, once per month. Registration is open now.

Families interested in learning more about the programs can contact the Program Coordinator, Kelly Howson for registration details or to get more information at khowson@citizenadvocacy.org

Independent Facilitation and Person-Directed Planning

Meet Tiffany

Tiffany is an independent young woman with a good sense of humour, sweet tooth and the soul of an artist. She has shown great strength and resilience over the years as she struggled to make her way in the world. Along the way she has been helped by many and as you will see she is paying that help forward.

Growing up in the 1990s with a developmental/learning disability was hard. Teachers at the elementary level didn’t understand her disability, in fact she was given multiple diagnoses. Things got easier when she transitioned to Sir Guy Carleton High School where the culture there is to work at the individual student’s pace. Since high school Tiffany has been working part-time and is now living in her own apartment.

Tiffany learnt about independent facilitation and person-directed planning in April 2016 and had her first meeting with her facilitator in July of that year. Her first goal was to move from the YMCA into her own apartment. With the help of her facilitator she found a bachelor apartment the following year and applied for Passport funding.

Passport funding is administered by the March of Dimes and those receiving are routinely set up with a third party to manage the funds on their behalf. Tiffany and her facilitator lobbied successfully for her to manage her money on her own. Tiffany uses her Passport funding for her bus pass and to pursue her interests. She has also decided to use some of her funding to set up a Lifetime Network through Citizen Advocacy and has plans to hire someone to accompany her to her activities such as cooking and art programs. Tiffany has also applied to the Everyday Champions program to find a volunteer Advocate.

Another goal is to secure a different job. Tiffany is an artist at heart, she writes and draws, and her ideal job would be working in a bookstore. Together with her facilitator she is working on updating her resume, application letter and contacting book stores in the area.

Tiffany believes that it is important that there are programs in place in the school and work environments for all levels of ability. It was this passion that led her to be invited to speak at a meeting with the province to show the impact of the independent facilitation and person-directed planning program on individuals with developmental disabilities, especially those who are not lucky enough to have family support. Because of testimonials like Tiffany’s the province agreed to continue funding the program.

We are certain that the future is bright for Tiffany with the support of our programs – independent facilitation and person-directed planning, Lifetime Networks and Everyday Champions. We also know that she can be relied upon to keep us laughing and to speak up for others.

Lifetime Networks

The program has grown again! We welcomed three new Community Connectors and are discussing the program with four new families who has expressed interest.  We are also delighted to share the great news that at this moment there are no families are waiting for a Community Connector.

This summer we have been speaking with families to gauge their interest in participating in a family-led “think tank.”  Their involvement will help us to better understand the families in the program, their needs around workshops, social activities and community building. Also, this will return the program to its grass-roots beginnings and we believe naturally lead to increased community-building for their family member.

The Safe and Secure Book Club we hosted earlier in the year was well attended and received very positive feedback, so we plan to offer this again in the Fall. Stay tuned.

Any families who are interested in learning more about the Lifetime Networks Program can contact Kelly Howson, the Program Coordinator, at 613-761-9522 X 223 or send her an e-mail at khowson@citizenadvocacy.org.

Fetal Alcohol Resource Program

September 9 is International FASD Awareness Day!

Do you know someone with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD)? Odds are you do, though you may not realize it. A recent study conducted by the Centre of Addictions and Mental Health (CAMH) found FASD prevalence rates of roughly 3% among Toronto school children (although many were undiagnosed or misdiagnosed with disorders such as Autism and ADHD). In addition, the national research organization CanFASD cites prevalence rates among Canadians as 4%!

Did you know that FASD is something that can effects every part of the body and that the effects last throughout the person’s life? FASD is associated with over 400 medical conditions that can occur at the same time (CAMH, 2016). Common signs of FASD are learning disabilities, memory issues, mental health challenges, and difficulty understanding the results of behaviour or actions.

Did you know people with FASD have many, many strengths? Each person with FASD is unique but some common strengths are being friendly, caring, verbally advanced, resilient, skilled at sports and/or the arts, and gifted with animals.

How did International FASD Day get started? The first FASD Day was celebrated on 9/9/99.  This day was chosen so that on the ninth day of the ninth month of the year, the world will remember that during the nine months of pregnancy a woman should abstain from alcohol. Events are held around the world to build awareness of this permanent physical disability; increase prevention; decrease the stigma too frequently associated with FASD; and to celebrate the strength and resilience of those living with FASD and their loved ones.

What is happening in Ottawa on September 9, 2018? Great question! A group of dedicated and inspiring parents raising children with FASD have organized an FASD Walk from Parliament Hill to City Hall from 1-4:00. Everyone is welcome! If you have red shoes, please wear them because *RED SHOES ROCK! No red shoes? No worries. Join the group as we proudly celebrate the strength and beauty of our families living with FASD.

*RED SHOES ROCK? WHAT’S THAT ABOUT? RJ Formanek is an adult with FASD who founded the Facebook page “Flying with Broken Wings”.  He wears red shoes to “stand out, be noticed and have some fun starting the FASD conversation with strangers” while:

  1. Turning invisibility into visibility
  2. Creating conversation
  3. Changing stigma into understanding and acceptance

Join our FARPIES on September 9 to show your support for individuals with FASD and those who care about them.

Celebration of People

Don’t miss the Early Bird Nomination Deadline for Celebration of People

Celebration of People honours individuals with disabilities who are great role models, and individuals and organizations that promote the inclusion of people with disabilities by their personal or corporate example. Celebrate the people who make our community strong and nominate them today.

Nominate a friend, colleague, client, employee, business, event, or employer who deserves to be celebrated. Consider nominating individuals or organizations whose accomplishments have yet to be publicly acknowledged.

Nominate Early!

Nominees who submit all required forms and nomination information by midnight September 24th will be entered in to a draw for two free tickets to the Celebration of People event.

Final Nomination Deadline: Midnight October 5th

​Celebration of People would like to thank our event sponsors.

Evening in the Maritimes

More that 650 people joined Citizen Advocacy on Wednesday, May 23rd for the 24th Evening in the Maritimes fundraising gala at the beautiful Hilton Lac-Leamy. Billed as Ottawa’s largest kitchen party, this year’s event didn’t disappoint. Master of Ceremonies, Graham Richardson, ably took us through a fun-filled evening. Highlights included the MacDonald Highland Dancers, The Ramblin Fiddlers, Ottawa Police Pipe Band, amazing silent and live auctions and the much-anticipated balloon raffle. At the end of the night, guests went home with some great items, including an 11-day cruise to the Antarctica Peninsula, and Citizen Advocacy’s Everyday Champions program received an incredible $150,000 to help more than 600 people living with disabilities find friendship and support.

2019 marks the 25th anniversary of Evening in the Maritimes. Plans are already underway to make next year’s event even bigger and better. Don’t miss your chance to join us. Tickets are on sale now at 2018 prices – don’t delay this offer won’t last long.

Annual Picnic

The sun was shining on Saturday August 25th for the Citizen Advocacy Annual Picnic. Approximately 150 people joined us for good food, friends and fun! A special thanks to Krackers Katering for the fantastic food, DJ’s James and Alysha from Virtronics for the amazing music and MedVent for providing the First Aid services! We would also like to thank Morning Owl Coffeehouse + Parlour who donated Gift Certificates as prizes to all our Lip Sync competitors and East India Company Restaurants for donating coffee. It was also wonderful to see Mayor Jim Watson, and councillors Jeff Leiper and Tobi Nussbaum, come out to show their support for Citizen Advocacy! Looking forward to seeing you all again soon!

Board Member Introduction

Karen Jensen

How long have you been on the board?
I joined the Board in June 2018.

What motivated you to join the Citizen Advocacy Ottawa board?
I was an advocate in the early 90’s before I started having children. It was truly one of the most rewarding experiences of my life and I saw firsthand how Citizen Advocacy (CA) changes lives and promotes social inclusion.  The power and simplicity of friendship as an agent of change really hit me then.  With work and four kids, it took a while for me to have the time to get involved with CA again.  And now, I’m raring to go…

What is your work and/or volunteer background?
I’m a human rights and labour lawyer but my most important job is mother to four children.  In terms of volunteer work, I have been a volunteer in my community pretty much all my adult life. Most recently, I was on the Board of Directors of Centre 507, which is a centre for homeless people and I was also Vice-Chair of the Human Rights Committee for the Canadian Association of Counsel to Employers.

What is your education and/or training background?
I have a Masters’ degree in Counselling Psychology from the University of Toronto and worked for years as a psychotherapist with women in conflict with the law.  I also have a law degree and have been practising human rights, labour and employment law for 24 years.

What do you enjoy most about your board involvement?
I love the people on the Board. I find everyone really friendly and interesting.

What other ways are you/do you hope to be involved with Citizen Advocacy (e.g. Committee work)?
I hope to be able to put my human resource and legal skills to good use for Citizen Advocacy on the Human Resources Committee.

Tell us about yourself.
I have a passionate interest in the process of reconciliation with our First Nations people in Canada.  I do pro bono (free or reduced cost) legal work to promote reconciliation and hope to do more in the future. I think one of the most important opportunities we have as a country is to heal the relationship between Canada’s First Nations and the settler Canadians.

Aside from that, I put a lot of time and effort into my relationships with my family, both immediate and extended. Family is hugely important to me.

Volunteer Profile

Anna Przednowek

I have been volunteering with the Citizen Advocacy for a year and a half now in an advisory committee capacity for Lifetime Networks. I participate in advisory meetings about the Lifetime Network program and help interview applicants for the Community Connector positions.

I trained as a social worker and have worked in the developmental services field for over 13 years prior to coming back to graduate school at Carleton University to complete my doctoral degree. My doctoral research focuses on families who provide support to adult family members with intellectual and developmental disabilities. I have recently accepted an Assistant Professor position, so I look forward to continuing to centre issues facing families in my teaching and future research.

I have over 10 years of experience volunteering in Ottawa and in my home community in Southwestern Ontario in various positions including board of directors for a developmental services agency, chair of fundraising activities for children’s educational programming in Tanzania and a community advocacy group advocating for public accessible toilets.

My biggest motivator for engaging with Citizen Advocacy was to support families who have a family member with an intellectual and developmental disability.

I was pleasantly surprised at how the Lifetime Networks program has helped me to think about care and support within families in a much different way. I found this very exciting – I am always learning a lot from the folks around me.

Help expand Suzie’s horizons

Suzie is an active woman in her 20s. She enjoys walking, swimming, music, shopping and helping with cooking. She is looking for a volunteer Advocate who enjoys cooking and walking. Someone she can spend time with outside her home.

As a friend to someone with a disability you can have a profound effect on their life by reducing loneliness and isolation; helping to achieve hopes and dreams; developing personal networks and relationships; decreasing vulnerability; and increasing self-confidence, mental and physical health.

Join our team of more than 250 volunteer advocates who are enriching the lives of someone in their community. You will gain a wonderful new friendship – someone to share activities that you love. You need to be over the age of 18 and to make a minimum commitment of 12 months to this role [Note: your status in Canada may affect your ability to make this commitment e.g. visitor visa, student visa, refugee claimant]. Preparation and ongoing support are provided.

Change Two Lives

INTERESTED? CONTACT US DIRECT AT mredpath@citizenadvocacy.org, 613-761-9522 ext. 222 or come along to one of our information sessions held at our offices – 312 Parkdale Ave:


Day Start Time

September 10


6:00 pm

September 27


6:00 pm

October 12 Friday

12:30 pm

October 29 Monday

6:00 pm

City of Ottawa Inclusive Recreation Programs for Persons with Disabilities

Integrated recreation programs are offered throughout various community centres giving children, youth and adults with special needs the opportunity to participate in community recreation. Discover the programs available and how to register on the City of Ottawa’s website.

Match Anniversaries

Everyday Champions


28   Louise Crone & Margaret C.
14   Chris Walters & Réjean R.
11   Lorraine Yorke & Esther C.
10   Erica Zwicker & Elsi M.
9   Carol-Ann Deveau & Barbara R.
7   Ron Warren & Anthony D.
6   Colin Fyfe & Ian B.
5   Craig McCall & Kristian G.-W.
5   Chris Walters & Daniel A.
4   Patrick Thibeault & Joel A.
4   André Demers & Randy D.
3   Ray Chodura & Mark E.
3   Kara Houston & Jennifer C.
2   Michael Bastianelli & Jeremy A.
2   Michael Ryan & Robert S.


21   Stacey Norris & Dennis F.
11   Dan Paquette & Philip D.
9   Angela Wagner & Debra A.
6   Elaine Stephens & Lorraine B.
4   George Georgewill & Donald K.
3   Barbara Stewart & Carolyn B.
3   Véronic Renaud & Jocelyn W.
2   Sylviane Lacasse & Diane P.
2   Madeleine Brochu & Diane C.
2   Savi Narayanan & Kat T.


26  Allan Lewrey & Michael C.
22   Robert Lukshis & Tom S.
14   Mavis Mason & Lois R.
14   Adrian Raghunandan & John R.
13   Neena Kushwaha & Debby A.
10   Patricia Smith & Sophia T.
9   Lisa Gibson & Karine L.
9   Harry Beatty & Donald D.
9   Lisa Suzanne Fitzpatrick & Frances W.
7   Kate Johnson & Shelly B.
3   Jean Boutin & Marc G.
2   Megan Waldron & Renee C.
1   Drew Charkavi & Fiaz H.
1   Aisha Abdunnur & Deborah K.
1   Samantha Drouin & Trisha C.
1   Kayla Robillard & Joanna P.
1   Ana Ideias & Jacquelyn W.
1   Susan Merpaw & Helen C.


21   Sheila Robertson & Monique P.
12   Jocelyne Moran & Jackie W.
9   John Weir & Guy P.
9   Elizabeth Young & Francine L.
7   Tim McCarthy & Jason T.
5   Rob Meredith & Fred V.
5   Jessica Hughes & Eva I.
5   Kerry Wright & Sonya V.
2   Maria Doria & William K.
2   Krystal Valencia & Jamie S.
2   Pilar Moreno Arco & Sue D.
1   Alex Solski & Paul S.
1   Rowan Christie-Day & Natasha B.
1   Trina Alps & Françoise L.

Chance for Choice


12   Marcel St. Jean & Gordon G.


1   Mason Fleguel & Ajith S.


2   Scott Falconer & Sundance S.
2   Sakhar Sobka & Andreas D.

New Matches

Everyday Champions


Roberta Sherman & Karen K.
Paula Kielstra & Martine V.
Catherine Côté & Jennifer L.
Ma Khin Than Tin & Connie O.
Jacques Lévesque & Anthony G.
David Stewart & Isaac B.
John Neto & Dan M.


Salma Ismail & Carol L.
Tess Frémont-Côté & Meredith C.
Janet Pickup & Stephanie H.
Michelle Massart & Julie F.
Zheren Mark Hu & Benedict H.
Beatriz Muniz Ramos & Helena G.
Sebastian Mol & Simon I.
Aubyn Baker & Kris C.
Nathalie Legault & Capucine L.
Karen Thriepland & Dorothy H.
Daniel Dube & David W.
Maryrossie Vergara Estrada & Sarah V.
Beverley Allaire & Evelyn F.
Cassidy Beers & Johanne L.


Dina Jaber & Sherry B.
Adrian Davila & Nicholas C.
Rachel Vandertol & Cheryl L.
Ryan Iverson & David L.
Emma Demers & Andrew U.


Mary-Lynn Gallant & Laura A.
Anna Vanderveen & Tiana T.
Jackie Scheffel & Lesley M.
Fenel Sanon & Dickens P.

Chance for Choice


Mira Razran & Sandra B.

Staff Updates


Corey Fortier

“I am thrilled to be joining the Citizen Advocacy team as their Knowledge Transfer Coordinator. I will be creating a series of workshops and conferences supporting adults with developmental disabilities to live independent, safe and person-directed lives. I will be bringing my events background, non-profit work and my passion for supporting people to the work Citizen Advocacy already does. I’ve been deeply involved with the autism community in Ottawa over the past three years and am excited to meet and connect with new people. If you see me, don’t be shy to say Hi!”


Janet Carioni

It’s with mixed emotions I say farewell to my fellow colleagues, especially the FARPies. The past three years has taken the FARP team on a tremendous journey as we reached out to our community and spread the word about FASD. FARP is influencing change across Canada and opened the door for my next journey.  I look forward to continued collaboration as I head off to the Catholic District School Board of Eastern Ontario to help build capacity and develop programing for students with complex trauma histories, including FASD.

Rachel Levine-Katz

We were sad to hear that Rachel would not be returning to Citizen Advocacy after her maternity leave but happy to know that we’ll still see her from time to time through her work supporting seniors in Ottawa.

Tracy Stocks

Tracy has decided to direct her energies to seeking new opportunities and we wish her all the best.


11 + 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

Help someone with a disability in your community today! DONATE online at Canada Helps.  Exit disclaimer

 Aidez une personne handicapée de votre communauté! Faites un don en ligne à CanaDon.org.  Exit disclaimer


Bringing People Together

ISSN 1180-503X

Spring 2018

Evening in the Maritimes

Tickets selling quickly!
24th Annual Evening in the Maritimes
Presented by Lundbeck

The highly-anticipated, authentic East Coast kitchen party is taking place at the Hilton Lac-Leamy, on Wednesday, May 23, 2018, and promises to sell out very quickly!

More than 650 guests will celebrate in true maritime fashion, all while demonstrating their vital support for reducing the isolation of people living with disabilities. For more information, visit www.eveninginthemaritimes.com.

With Honorary Co-Chairs Senator Vernon White and David Cork, Director, Scotia McLeod, Evening in the Maritimes showcases a fabulous dinner (with fresh North Atlantic lobster as the star, but also superb steak and vegetarian options available), exceptional silent and live auctions, splendid raffle, and down-east fun and entertainment – a show stopping evening to remember!

Book now, before we sell out – this is an event you don’t want to miss!

Individual tickets are $175 ($75 tax receipt)
Corporate tables for ten people, with amazing benefits, are only $1,900

To reserve your space, contact Mikhela Jason at mjason@citizenadvocacy.org.

Independent Facilitation and Person-Directed Planning

Melissa’s Magic

Facilitation with Melissa has been an honour. She is thoughtful, fun-loving, wise, and resourceful. When Melissa makes a decision, there is little to sway her from her goal. Our facilitation has taken several interesting turns, both with successes and new learnings. In March of 2017, Melissa decided it was time to finish her high school education. I knew it was time to fasten my seatbelt, things were about to happen.

We consulted with our Board office and learned that Melissa had only one course left to complete. Wow! Not only was our goal achievable, we could almost taste the finish line. Melissa determined that she did not want to do an academic course. Her previous experiences had shown her that that was not the best direction. The other option was a co-op placement.

The key to success is to understand your strengths and acknowledge your weaknesses. The first placement we explored was in the food service industry, and even though there were several very positive aspects of this work, we quickly came to realize that this was not the best fit for Melissa.

We worked together with the co-op placement teacher, and came across a little gold nugget of a placement. Melissa was wanted and needed to assist with a senior’s program within her community. She would be assisting in the set up for various events, cleaning, as well as speaking and interacting with patrons. They had the opportunity to be blessed with the warm laughter, hard-working spirit, and dedication of a very motivated co-op student. The coordinator of the program was calm, understanding, and flexible; some very key qualities that expanded success upon success.

Melissa graduated in June 2017. Her co-op teacher wrote this very beautiful tribute about Melissa.

“…Long story short, the best student I have had all year is Melissa. She has taught me more than anyone about perseverance, patience, and kindness. She made me laugh every day, and brought me to tears more than once in every way. She is profound and perceptive in such a simple and honest way. She has a great sense of humour…”

Melissa has since conquered another goal, a home of her own, and is setting her sights on her next achievement. I have a feeling it’s time to get buckled up again.

Ruth Ann Moore – Facilitator

Advocacy in Action

Michael lives in an assisted-housing facility in Vanier. He is not employed and has a lot of time on his hands. I meet with Michael once a week, usually on Tuesday afternoons, and we do a variety of activities, including: bowling, billiards, films, swimming, museums, and occasional trips out of town. I am retired and I have time to spend with someone who may not have a network for social and recreational activities. We talk about a variety of topics including his family history, hockey (Michael is a big Montreal Canadiens fan), life at his residence, and any other topic that he might raise. Often, I do not know where the conversation may go, but it gives him an opportunity to express his thoughts and feelings. I enjoy spending time with Michael because, selfishly, I feel I am doing something worthwhile for someone else, but also, he seems truly appreciative of my interest in him and my commitment to seeing him on a regular basis.

Richard Johnston – Advocate

Fetal Alcohol Resource Program

The Fetal Alcohol Resource Program (FARP) is thriving and growing! The Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) community across Ontario is busy with the recent announcement by the Ministry of Children and Youth Service of a provincial FASD strategy. One component of this strategy is to establish an FASD Worker program aimed at providing education and supports to parents and caregivers of children with FASD. In our region, the funds for the FASD Worker initiative were allocated to the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario-Ottawa Children’s Treatment Centre (CHEO-OCTC). FARP was invited to partner with CHEO-OCTC to build the model and facilitate implementation of this program for Ottawa, and the counties of Stormont, Dundas, Glengarry, Prescott and Russell. As a result, we are in the process of hiring staff to provide support to families in these areas.

In anticipation of the FASD Worker program launch and equipping the FASD workers, FARP was identified as one of the leaders in delivering evidence-based FASD training to agencies not only within Ottawa, but across Ontario and Canada. Two-day training has been provided at KidsInclusive in Kingston and the team will be heading to Sault-Ste-Marie in May to deliver training at Thrive.  Our team recently returned from Sydney, Nova Scotia where the feedback was glowing – “… Everyone I have spoken to was very pleased with the clear and concise information and commented on how your delivery kept them engaged and interested. In addition to this, the fact that you have the personal experience of parenting a child with FASD only added support to the information you were delivering. Often, as social workers, we can empathize with our clients and gain, as best we can, an understanding of their situations while recognizing that we can never truly “know” what they are going through. Without a doubt, as a mother of a child with a diagnosis of FASD, your personal perspective was valuable in helping us understand the day to day challenges and some of the difficulties that can be experienced by parents when trying to navigate the “system”.”

FARP is proud to be accepted as presenters at the 8th International Research Conference on Adolescents and Adults with FASD in Vancouver. FARP will illustrate our innovative model of community capacity building and service navigation.  Inspired by the success of FARP, three regions in western Canada are replicating a similar model of service delivery to support their local neurodevelopmental disability communities and FARP has been invited to collaborate with the teams in British Columbia, Alberta and Yukon.

FARP hasn’t forgotten our roots in Ottawa and continues to provide training to local community organizations and service providers. To date, FARP has provided training to over 3000 individuals.

Lifetime Networks

Lifetime Networks is growing!  We have more families onboard, and more workshops and educational events are being offered.

In March, we ran a workshop on Creating an Emergency Plan, and in April, Donna Thomson will show us how families can use TYZE Personal Networks. TYZE is a secure website for those involved in the care and life of an individual with a disability. It allows common documents to be stored and accessed by the network and is a place for those involved in a loved one’s life to chat, and volunteer to help in an individual’s care and social activities. Upcoming workshops are planned on Wills, Estate and Trust Planning, and Financial Planning for Families.

The Pilot Project, in conjunction with the Mental Illness Caregivers Association (MICA), officially wrapped up in February. Based on our learnings we have developed a mental health strategy to work with families who have an adult child living with a mental illness and a training module for Facilitators who are, or will be, working with a family with a loved one living with a mental illness. In addition, we look forward to educating mental health agencies about Lifetime Networks and the benefits that may help people living with a mental illness become more active and included members in their communities.

Lifetime Networks is also working to offer more family events. We are currently working with Propeller Dance to run an inclusive dance event. We are also planning a potluck and an accessible bowling night. Our hope is that families will become more engaged and plan other social activities for all network families. Our Facilitators will be there encouraging and planning with them to make this happen.

Any families who are interested in learning more about the Lifetime Networks Program should contact Kelly Howson, Program Coordinator, at 613-761-9522 X 223 or send her an e-mail at khowson@citizenadvocacy.org.

Children’s Sibling Group

The Children’s Sibling Groups are winding down for the 2017-18 year. Our final group will take place on May 12th, where we will be celebrating the work done by all the groups’ participants. Cake and personalized certificates will be part of this celebration as we officially end the 4th year of the Sibs.

The program added a new feature this year for the parents – Coffee’s On. We have learned that parents often put themselves last and tend to leave the house on the morning of groups without eating any breakfast. Coffee’s On is held every month when groups are running. Parents can sit and chat while having a light breakfast and coffee or tea. This also offers parents the chance to meet each other, share resources, challenges and celebrations. The Program Coordinator is always on hand at Coffee’s On to answer questions and to hand out flyers for upcoming events at Citizen Advocacy.

Families interested in learning more about the program can contact Kelly Howson, Program Coordinator, for registration details or to get more information at khowson@citizenadvocacy.org.

Walking in My Shoes

Walking in My Shoes (WIMS) is a monthly meeting for parents of children with special needs, of all ages, to meet, greet and share experiences through facilitated discussions and guest speakers.

There are two meetings left before the summer break. On Tuesday, May 15 our focus will be Estate Planning for a Loved One with a Disability. Natalie A. Sanna is an associate lawyer at Persona Law Group. She is dedicated to helping clients and their loved ones plan for, and deal with, disabilities, incapacity, illness and death. She has been drawn to the areas of Wills, Estates, and Trusts, since 2003.  Natalie will share how to access, manage and support you, and your loved ones, to obtain a secure future and peace of mind.

Our final meeting of the year on Tuesday, June 19 will be an Informal Discussion and Information Sharing event.

We look forward to seeing you at the meetings. For more information contact our Facilitator, Darlene Donnelly at wims@citizenadvocacy.org or 613-761-9522 ext. 236.

Ottawa Race Weekend

Join the Scotiabank Charity Challenge at Ottawa Race Weekend on May 26-27. Ottawa Race Weekend is Canada’s largest running event and it provides opportunities for the community, all levels of runners, walkers and those in wheelchairs, to participate. The sense of accomplishment and community inclusion that comes from participating in Ottawa Race Weekend is richly rewarding for all.

Don’t miss your chance to be part of Citizen Advocacy’s team! Our plan is to fundraise together, give away some great prizes and enjoy ourselves on race day. No one gets left behind.

Unable to make it to Race Weekend but still want to support the Citizen Advocacy team?
Please consider pledging one of our participants who all work so hard to help raise important funds for Citizen Advocacy. http://www.runottawa.ca/torw/charities/scc-charities

We hope you’ll mark your calendars and get ready to run, donate, or cheer. Register online or the CA team will help you register. Contact scampbell@citizenadvocacy.org or 613-761-9522 ext. 243.

An Opportunity to Go Hiking Together

One of our Advocates has offered to lead an accessible 2 km walk/hike on May 5th in Gatineau Park. The plan is to meet at 11 am, hike and then retire to the Chelsea Pub for socializing, drinks and snacks. The intent is to keep the group hikes going during summer if there is interest in doing so. All are welcome to join. Hikes will always have an easy and more challenging route option with views and snacks along the way. For full hike details please contact Kurt direct at trailpeak@rogers.com.

Kurt is the organizer and creator of trailpeak.com, a Canadian trails database used by hikers from coast to coast.

NEW DATE! Annual General Meeting

You are cordially invited to attend the
2018 Annual General Meeting of
Citizen Advocacy Ottawa

An organization’s annual general meeting (AGM) is the most important meeting of the year, with the Board of Directors, Executive, and general membership all in attendance. At the meeting, the Board details agency performance and outlook, and all members vote on key issues relating to the organization including the election of Board members.

Monday, June 4, 2018
Citizen Advocacy of Ottawa, 312 Parkdale Ave.,
Free parking, close to Tunney’s Pasture
5:30 pm –7:30 pm – Light refreshments

With the new Bylaws for Citizen Advocacy Ottawa that were adopted at the Annual General Meeting in 2015, membership requirements have changed and are now required to be more explicit. As such:

If you are a Volunteer Advocate, a Friend or a participant in the Independent Facilitation and Planning program your membership fee is $5.
If you are a WIMS member, a Sibling Group parent, an Independent Facilitation and Planning family member, a board member or a committee member it is $25.
If you are a Lifetime Networks member, your membership fee is included in the annual membership fee for the program.

IMPORTANT:  To be able to exercise your right to vote at the Annual General Meeting you will need to purchase a membership no later than May 21st, 2018. A purchase of membership after May 21st will not qualify you to vote at this year’s AGM.

Please RSVP by May 28th, 2018 by calling the office at 613-761-9522
or by email to info@citizenadvocacy.org.

Safe & Secure Book Club

The Safe and Secure book club has been a hit with parents and caregivers and we are in the planning stages of deciding what this will look like for the second round.

At last month’s Safe and Secure Book Club, Rob Meredith from RBC was our speaker. We discussed and had our questions answered about RDSPs (Registered Disability Savings Plans) and financial planning. There was lots of learning and note taking going on!

G1 Study Group

The G1 study group began through listening to the voices and interests of our participants in the Independent Facilitation and Person-Directed Planning Program who have goals of getting their drivers licence in the future. The group’s purpose was to offer individuals alternative ways of learning and studying The Official MTO Driver’s Handbook. This group runs every second Monday and includes studying each chapter, discussion, visual examples, trivia and G1 practice tests. The group offers resources as well and knowledge of the basic information they need about learning to drive in Ontario, safe driving practices and how to get a licence to drive a vehicle. There has been great interest in the group and we welcome newcomers each meeting. The plan for the G1 Study group is to offer it in the future and to pass on our learnings and successes to community agencies who may want to offer it as well.

G1 Study Group members taking a surprise practice quiz. Learning within a group is fun when there is trivia involved!

Board Member Introduction

Ron Warren

How long have you been on the board?
I have almost completed two full years with the Citizen Advocacy (CA) board.

What motivated you to join the CA board?
After having been an advocate for several years, and also serving on several work committees, I felt I may be able to contribute to the CA board.

What is your work and/or volunteer background?
I am a project manager related to business transformation and technological advancement for the Canada Border Services Agency. I have volunteered for both the Ottawa Mission and CA since moving to Ottawa from Toronto approximately 11 years ago.

What is your education and/or training background?
I have a degree in Political Science and have taken several courses in project management and am currently working towards my Project Management Professional designation.

What do you enjoy most about your board involvement?
I thoroughly enjoy hearing about all the meaningful initiatives and programs that are administered by Citizen Advocacy and which provide immeasurable benefit for our clients and the community.

Please describe the other ways in which you are involved with Citizen Advocacy
I was involved with the Marketing & Awareness committee for a short period of time but unfortunately could not continue due to work commitments. I would like to be able to join another committee this year (or re-join the Marketing & Awareness committee) moving forward.

Tell us about yourself
I am keenly interested in raising the profile of Citizen Advocacy as I sincerely believe in its mandate and have witnessed firsthand, as an advocate, the positive impact that this organization makes to the lives of those that want nothing other than to live full, meaningful, lives and be active members of society. Oscar Wilde famously opined that, “to live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all”. I feel proudly that as a member of the board I am contributing to ensuring a strategic direction for CA that will continue to promote programs and initiatives that strive to ensure that those with physical or mental disabilities aren’t simply existing, but actually living.

Volunteer Profile

Helena Sonea

I have been involved with the Children’s Sibling Group program since its inception in summer/fall 2014. I initially joined the advisory committee to provide the lived experience of a sibling who has siblings with disabilities to the committee. As time went on my desire to join this committee and to facilitate the siblings’ group program, was driven by my personal experience of disability. I have two brothers on the autism spectrum, and as a child there were little to no supports for siblings to help sort through the sibling experience. I knew when I began my professional career, that I wanted to see significant change to the disability population and to provide greater supports to families. Supports that did not necessarily exist when I was growing up.

I am involved in the sibling group program as both an advisory committee member and facilitator. In my role on the advisory, I support the staff at Citizen Advocacy in the annual planning and development of the program. For example, helping develop comprehensive evaluations for all stakeholders to complete annually. These evaluations are invaluable as they help ensure the program is meeting its strategic objectives and breaking down barriers for families who have children with disabilities. In my role as facilitator of the program, I actively develop an age appropriate curriculum that provides a safe space for individual learning and sharing of experiences of siblings with disabilities.

Currently, I am the manager of operations and strategic initiatives with the Health Charities Coalition of Canada.  I work directly with the Coalition’s membership in identifying areas for strategic engagement and advancing health policy priorities with public policy officials. I am a graduate of the Masters of Critical Disability Studies program at York University.

I enjoy being able to help the children in the siblings’ program through scenarios that I experienced as a child. I love being able to empower the children and show them that they are incredible people, who will do incredible things, and that disability is a part of their lives, but not their whole lives. I enjoy being able to help the children create new friendships with their peers with other people “who just get it.”

I am an adult sibling of people with disabilities who is still figuring it out.

Mick has been waiting 14 years for a friend

Mick has been waiting 14 years for a volunteer Advocate. He is in his early 60s, uses a wheelchair and has a developmental disability. He would love to be matched with someone who shares his love of sports and is comfortable with Mick’s limited conversation style. He’d also just love spending time with you going for a coffee or a walk outside.

As a friend to someone with a disability you can have a profound effect on their life by reducing loneliness and isolation; helping to achieve hopes and dreams; developing personal networks and relationships; decreasing vulnerability; and increasing self-confidence, mental and physical health.

Join our team of more than 250 volunteer advocates who are enriching the lives of someone in their community. You will gain a wonderful new friendship – someone to share activities that you love. You need to be over the age of 18 and to make a minimum commitment of 12 months to this role [Note: your status in Canada may affect your ability to make this commitment e.g. visitor visa, student visa, refugee claimant]. Preparation and ongoing support are provided.

INTERESTED? CONTACT US DIRECT AT mredpath@citizenadvocacy.org or 613-761-9522 ext. 222

Or come along to one of our information sessions:


Day Start Time

May 7


6:00 pm

May 25


10:30 am

June 11 Monday

6:00 pm

June 28 Thursday

6:00 pm

Staff Updates


Hélène Courchesne

We are delighted to welcome back Hélène as the Team Leader for the Independent Facilitation and Person-Directed Planning program. She has an extensive background supporting children and adults with developmental disabilities to help increase their quality of life.

Louise Cayer-Deslauriers

Louise has joined us part-time to cover Sara Rafiei’s maternity leave. She has been working in the social services field for over 30 years with adults living with developmental and intellectual disabilities.


Andrea Podruski

Andrea was a highly-valued employee with Citizen Advocacy Ottawa for more than 14 years. She was part of the growth and evolution of this organization and its work supporting people with disabilities. More broadly, she has had an impact on the local disability sector and its evolution in supporting people with disabilities and their families. She was an instrumental member of our team, and the development of the Independent Facilitation offering and the evolution of our work providing person-directed planning and support to people and families. She has also provided valuable leadership in the Lifetime Networks and the Everyday Champions programs. Andrea left us to join the Office of Disability Issues at the Federal Government as a Policy Advisor, bringing her vast experience and knowledge to benefit public policy at a broad level. A very good move for Andrea and a definite loss for Citizen Advocacy.

Lynne O’Connell

In A.A. Milne’s words “how lucky I am to have something that makes saying good bye so hard!” It has been an honour and a privilege to conclude my career as an Independent Planning Facilitator with Citizen Advocacy Ottawa. The ties that bind the Citizen Advocacy Team together, under a visionary leadership, are because each of you believe and are passionate about what you do – enhancing the quality of life for all!

Sara Rafiei

Sara will be on maternity leave for the next 12 months. We look forward to hearing about the safe delivery of her baby and, of course, to meeting the little one and enjoying some baby cuddles.

Celebration of People Nominations

Join us at the Infinity Centre on Monday December 3rd, 2018 for the Celebration of People’s annual awards. These awards recognize the achievements and contributions of individuals, businesses and organizations promoting accessibility, inclusion and full community participation by citizens with disabilities.

Award recipients include individuals with disabilities who are advocates for others with disabilities and/or whose personal example of excellence demonstrates the potential of all members of the community. They also include companies, agencies, government and other organizations which have created opportunities for people with disabilities to participate more fully in their workplaces, schools and volunteer organizations—for example, through projects to enhance physical accessibility or inclusive hiring practices and policies.

The vision of Celebration of People is to create a community that embodies the principles of inclusiveness and acceptance in all aspects of life for people with disabilities.

Who inspires you? Nominate someone now at: www.celebrationofpeople.com

Celebration of People Academic Bursary

The success of the Celebration of People Awards event has led to the establishment of the bursary fund aimed at providing financial assistance to students living with a diagnosed disability who wish to pursue post-secondary education in Ottawa.  Introduced in 2017, the bursary is awarded annually, to four students. The four recipients must be accepted to, or enrolled at one of the following local institutions: Algonquin College, University of Ottawa, Carleton University or La Cité Collégiale.


The selection committee will choose four successful candidates based on the following criteria:

  • Part‐time, full‐time, mature students and high school graduates must be accepted or enrolled in one of the four eligible institutions; Algonquin College, University of Ottawa, Carleton University or La Cité Collégiale.
  • Must be in need of financial assistance and in good academic standing
  • Must have a diagnosed disability

To see the full criteria and to download the Bursary Application please go to:


 Bursary Deadline Monday May 31, 2018

Match Anniversaries

Everyday Champions


33  Arne Haaland &.Norman P.
27  Allan Dolenko & Maurice G.
22  Richard Kastler & Greg R.
11  David Murrell-Wright & Garry H.
10  Peter Roorda & John L.
9  Jennifer Forbes Walker & Nancy N.
9  Diane McGuire & Jenny G.
7  Tom Murphy & Gilles D.
4  Mike Weir & Philip M.
2  Geraldine Esparza & Julienne W.
1  Pascale Robillard & Angela D.
1  Kristen Copeland & Meenu S.
1  Cat Czyrnyj & Nicole P.
1  Jennifer Hubbard & Kadeem P.
1  Nadim Hammoud & Petr V.
1  Naga Lakshmi & John M.


12  Gerald Lalonde & Dan M.
12  Brian Joynt & Jeffrey B.
9  Ellen Dettman & Mary G.
9  Chris Judge & Michael B.
5  Andrea Dixon & Theresa M.
5  Helen Wong & Renee C.
3  Heather Astle & Heloise B.
3  Laura Boutin & Michèle G.
3  Bruce Jutzi & Brian S.
3  Kathleen Stephenson & Marwa T.
3  Simone St-Cyr & Carole M.
2  Ruby Puni & Molly K.
2  Ron Warren & Richard P.
2  Bruce Burwell & Peter H.
1  Sarah Thayer & Catherine B.
1  William Wells & Jorge D.
1  Peter Kaiser & Ronald L.
1  David Cork & Ian M.
1  Richard Johnston & Michael L.
1  Stephane Houle & Philip B.
1  Chris Jokel & Warren M.


17  Blaine Chessie & Gareth P.
17  Veronica Petro & Stefania I.
14  Viji Sundaram & Rachel W.
12  Jenna Elizabeth Swan & Katie P.
9  Chris Andrews & David R.
8  Carlos Nunes & Roger T.
5  Lourdes Rojas & Maria A. C.
4  Mike Murphy & Anthony T.
3  Jenna Neerhof & Ashley L.
3  Tuong Kuwabong & Christine B.
2  Jessica Murphy & Melanie D.
2  Helen Barrette & Mireille D.
2  Sebastien Vaive & Jack M.
1  Francine Burdick & Chantal C.
1  David Stewart & Andrew B.
1  Stephanie Gibson & Alexandra D.
1  Katrina Byrd & Bonnie V.
1  Julie Nero & Tereza C.


19  Cynthia Throop & Nancy D.
17  Lori Streefkerk & Jane M.
17  Philip Hogarth & David F.
8  Justin Mensen & Ryan B.
6  Patricia Collette & Caroline J.
4  Meltem Tuna & Alanna M.
4  Erin Gauthier & Yves V.
3  Mac Hiltz & Robert N.
3  Denise Curtis-Power & Mandy Jane W.
3  Todd Collings & Glen K.
3  Laurena Nash & Marilyn P.
2  Winn Lambert-Meek & Margaret C.
2  Line Miner-Pilon & Dalila B.
2  Deborah Rowe & Kimberly H.
2  Paul Gould & Travis R.
2  James Hale & Atinc E.
1  Preet Brar & Margaret L.
1  Mike Murphy & Joseph D.
1  Barbara Milne & Colette G.
1  Amanda Brisson & Lisa G.

Chance for Choice


2  Orisha Yacyshyn & Marie S.


5  Maryse Cote-Singer & Grace D.
4  Mary Walker & Martha T.
4  David Walker & Sheldon M.


9  Helen Wong & Frances H.
8  Mike Francis & Richard D.

Group Home Project


7  Sheela Mallya & Christian Horizons Kimball Crt
1  Dimitrios Toncu-Chirita & Christian Horizons Kimball Crt

New Matches

Everyday Champions


Joel Boisvert & Patrick L.
Chris Petersen & Luc P.
Kristina Hamilton & Katrina W.


Peter Bradley & Scott F.
Genevieve Taylor & Brittany G.
Laura Kosmaci & Esther C.
Patricia Taylor & Glen R.
Tania Pagliarello & Shantel G.
Taylor Anderson & Kelli M.


Maria Tao & Monika R.


Trudy Rink & Gerry L.
Vennila Murugesan & Tracy T.-D.
Sherida Harris & Mary Frances G.
Susan Goods & Susan T.
Gurnain Kaur Pasricha & Sonia G.
Patrick Bedford & David D.

Chance for Choice


Julia Correa & Lorna D.
Candy Gaudet & Georgette S.


11 + 13 =


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