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LiveWorkPlay News APRIL 2010 (Archives)

LiveWorkPlay News APRIL 2010 (Archives)






It’s that time again – one of the most popular annual LiveWorkPlay celebrations will take place on Thursday, June 24 when the Engines of Success Recognition Banquet roars down the track at the Hampton Inn Ottawa Conference Centre.

The evening will include TOMORA presentations and other awards for youth and adult members, plus highlight videos, and our famous photo memories with musical score. Engines of Success provides a unique opportunity to recognize key supporters, including families and volunteers, as well as partners in the public, private, and non-profit sectors.

Stay tuned for news of this year’s celebrity MC! Our guest speaker will by Kory Earle, President of People First of Ontario. Don’t delay, register today – available for a short time, receive a 25% earlybird discount.


It’s no big secret that LiveWorkPlay has been very focused on growing and supporting our volunteer team this year, and National Volunteer Week provided an opportunity to draw some public attention to the importance of their work.

Thanks to Volunteer Ottawa, LiveWorkPlay was featured twice on A-Channel Morning Ottawa. First came an April 22 in-studio live interview by Lianne Laing with CEO Keenan Wellar and Coordinator of Volunteers Fran Childs. Later than same day Kurt Stoodley spent time with LiveWorkPlay member Shelby Penny and volunteer Sam Ellis, and discussed the footage on the next morning’s show. It was a great job by all concerned!

Even though he was sharing the camera with two beautiful rescued Golden Retrievers (another of Sam’s passions) Shelby may have stolen the show with his insightful comments about why he and Sam enjoy spending time together (see video).

The next Volunteer Orientation is on June 12. If you or someone you know is interested in joining LiveWorkPlay to change our community and support a good life for people with intellectual disabilities, contact Fran at 613-235-9550 x 231 and learn more about the opportunities.Next up is the Welcome Back Family Feast on September 2!


LiveWorkPlay can’t be a leading-edge organization without leading-edge staff, and that means offering quality opportunities for professional development. It has not always been easy to find the time to make this happen, but 2009-2010 has been a good year.

This month the entire full-time staff team completed three days of intensive training in Dialectical Behavior Therapy. DBT builds upon existing staff knowledge and training in Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT).

Trainers Beth Fier from SEED Professional Counselling and Adria Trapani from DBT Centre of New Jersey did a terrific job and had many kind words for LiveWorkPlay and the team.

As Manager of Mental Health Supports for LiveWorkPlay, Allison Moores is very excited to implement many of the concepts explored in the training. “People with intellectual disabilities deal with invalidating attitudes and experiences on a daily basis, and DBT techniques have been proven to be one of the most effective therapies for helping people learn to better manage their negative emotions .”

Most of the staff team and board member Pennie Styan attended a two-day workshop with Dave Hingsburger hosted by Terry Kirkpatrick of Lanark Community Programs. What Dave had to say touched many people in different ways, but his point about “dreamocide” quickly connected with all 40 people in the room. When a person with an intellectual disability has a dream, staff and family members often react with the best of intentions by smashing that dream down into “realistic goals.” Dreaming is part of being human, and we don’t need to deny the right to dream in order to help people be successful in life.

Dave Hingsburger was also a featured speaker at the YAI International Conference in New York City, which was attended by Julie Kingstone and Keenan Wellar. There were many interesting workshops and seminars, with a strong emphasis on paid employment and community housing. “All of the leading agencies are focused on the same things,” says Julie. “It’s not about providing programs, it’s about supporting people to find a job, a home of their own, and loving relationships – the services and supports we provide need to stay focused on making all of that happen.”


Two youth and two adult member representatives are off to Peterborough on May 12 to the second annual Regional Self-Advocate Conference. John Cholmondeley, Caroline Matte, Daniel Sexton, and Emily Menard will spend the night on Wednesday and then attend the full-day conference on Thursdday. The agenda for the day will include a series of short workshops including “Discover How You Can Take Charge Of Your Life” featuring Life Coach Michele Caron. This is yet another opportunity for LiveWorkPlay members to make connections with People First members, including Peterborough’s own Steph Paul plus People First of Ontario President Kory Earle, who will be the opening speaker.

Caroline has been building an impressive self-advocacy portfolio that recently included representation at a major event on Parliament Hill to celebrate Canada’s ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. At the invitation of the Canadian Association for Community Living, Caroline was joined by LiveWorkPlay board member Marlene Floyd at the event. They communicated directly with Minister Finley and her Chief of Staff, as well as Minister McKay, MP Mike Savage, MP Gerard Kennedy, and MP Yves Lessard, with whom Caroline spoke en français!


LiveWorkPlay youth members are getting ready for their upcoming trip to New York City! They will spend three days in preparation and then they will travel by plane from Ottawa through Billy Bishop Toronto City airport and then on to Newark International Airport. They will be staying at the HI New York Hostel and will be making as many of their own decisions as possible about what to see and do.

This is the first time that LiveWorkPlay youth members (those who are still in high school) have been supported on a trip across international borders, and there are sure to be some exciting and stressful moments, but that’s what it is all about! To enjoy life, you need to take risks and learn how to cope when things don’t necessarily go as planned. There were some difficult moments, but last year’s youth group trips to Toronto where a huge success, and more of the same is expected for this year!

The youth group has also been having a blast on Friday nights, be sure to drop by the LiveWorkPlay fan page to and check out photos and videos (see below) of all the fun!

As announced at the Spring Fling Family Feast, adult members are choosing between three trips in 2011 and the registrations are in – Las Vegas (12), Caribbean (14), and New Hampshire (6). The trips will be supported by staff, and there may also be members of the volunteer team coming along for the ride. The more the merrier! The idea behind the three different trips is to offer a range of styles as well as a range of affordability. This has been well received and some members have even chosen to go on more than one trip!

This is all about people with intellectual disabilities gaining the skills, confidence, and experience for independent travel, which many of our members already enjoy. As our volunteer matching initiative continues to expand, the potential for increasinly individualized travel supports will also continue to grow!


Professional development goes both ways – LiveWorkPlay staff are not only attending conferences and training sessions, but are also giving back by sharing skills and experiences with others.

Next up is the annual conference of Community Living Ontario. Fran Childs will be presenting the LiveWorkPlay volunteer matching initiative, sandwiched between Julie Kingstone who will talk about the shift from social services to social change, and Keenan Wellar, who will talk about social marketing and social media (see his recent article in Dialect Newsmagazine).

LiveWorkPlay will make a similar presentation to the United Way Ottawa Sharing our Strengths Community Conference on Tuesday, June 29. This presentation will be shared by Allison Moores and Keenan Wellar, while Fran Childs and Julie Kingstone will be in New York City for the 2010 National Conference on Volunteering and Service, the world’s largest gathering of volunteer and service leaders from the nonprofit, government and corporate sectors.


Continually listening and responding to the changing needs of our members and the community is what makes LiveWorkPlay Ottawa’s leading organization for people with intellectual disabilities. Visioning Day is an important annual event that helps our staff, Board of Directors, members, and family members work together to support a good life for people with intellectual disabilities.

Registration is free, but that doesn’t mean you don’t need to sign up – we will be ordering breakfast snacks and we don’t want to order more than we need and waste money or food, and of course we also need to know how much to bring for the pool party that starts 30 minutes after Visioning Day wraps up about 12:00!

This year’s Visioning Day is at St. Anthony’s Banquet Hall and the Harris household will once again host the pool party. A map to both locations is available on the event registration page.


The Ron Kolbus Lakeside Centre was jam-packed on April 8th for the LiveWorkPlay Recipe for Success Culinary Adventure and Charity Auction. Presented once again by Bank of America/MBNA, the event raised $44,000, just slightly more than last year. This was a remarkable total given that cash sponsorships were significantly down, which meant the silent and live auctions set all-time records There were also some late contributions including a silver sponsorship from the Harris family that actually bumped the total closer to $45,000!

Special thanks to Alastair McAlastair for two exhausting hours of auctioneering and MC duties, and to all of our major sponsors which you can find on the event home page.

This was an amazing night not only for the money raised but a demonstration of the power of grassroots community organization – all food was provided by our members and their families, and more than 30 volunteers (most of them from Bank of America) who did everything from blowing up balloons to processing credit card transactions!

LiveWorkPlay staff and placement students also put in a great team effort, with Julie Kingstone somehow figuring out in a matter of days how to organize over 130 silent auction packages that were for the most part bundles of several different contributions. The show was stolen this year by the youngest bidder in the nine year history of this event (see video).

To LiveWorkPlay families, you recruited like you have never recruited before! You brought friends (lots of friends!) who got caught up in the spirit and we know many of them will be back for more – as volunteers, as donors, and as connectors that will help our members find jobs and enjoy a good life in their own communities.Continually listening and responding to the changing needs of our members and the community


LiveWorkPlay played host to the eastern regional meeting of Community Living Ontario, which is known as Les Vallées. Regions/associations represented at the meeting included Glengarry, Stormont, Dundas, Lanark, Upper Ottawa Valley, Brockville, Gananoque, Mills Community Support, Association pour l’integration sociale d’Ottawa, People First of Ontario, and Community Living Ontario.

There are major challenges facing people with intellectual disabilities and their families throughout Ontario. This includes 19,000 people on waiting lists for residential and other critical supports, and 1,500 parents providing primary care to their adult children on waitlists for residential services (80 % of these being parents over the age of 70). To draw attention to these and related issues, Community Living Ontario cancelled the annual “Day at the Legislature” celebration in Toronto.

Community Living Ontario hopes to soon meet with Minister of Community and Social Services Madeleine Meilleur to discuss these challenges. Last year Minister Meilleur helped to conclude the closure of Ontario’s mass institutions ahead of schedule and has proposed sector transformations that if implemented will help people with intellectual disabilities enjoy an improved quality of life.

Economic conditions are posing barriers and there are hard choices to be made – this is an important time to ensure that the public and its elected representatives are aware that there is already a crisis in developmental services and we cannot afford the further deterioriation of already scarce resources.

LiveWorkPlay is particularly concerned that there has been very little attention given to the needs of young adults with intellectual disabilities who are graduating from high school. LiveWorkPlay recently met with a group of concerned parents from the Ottawa Technical Secondary School who are trying to prepare their sons and daughters for a successful future, but are in fear about the lack of available support options. These concerns have been voiced by LiveWorkPlay to Community Living Ontario as an issue that should be pressed not only with the Minister but to the entire legislative assembly. Community Living Ontario has also created a petition to advocate for the reinstatement of promised funds.


LiveWorkPlay is able to offer its members and their families much more than the supports and services funded by government sources. That is thanks to our ability to come together and raise money so we can continually do more than expected – everything from affordable housing to international trips to Family Feast events is made possible thanks to grassroots fundraising.

Next to the auction, the annual golf tournament has become our biggest fundraising event. This year it will be on Tuesday, August 31, once again at the ClubLink GreyHawk Golf Club. Jack Murphy has already started work on developing sponsors for the event. The registration fee will be a flat $150 and Jack is on a mission to increase sponsorships “I would like to see a sponsor on every hole. It’s time to sign up! We all want to give Jack a successful golf tournament for his birthday.


If you would like to make a donation to LiveWorkPlay, please click here to donate online or use our new PDF donation form, which now has options for credit card and pre-authorized withdrawals. You may also specify how you would like your donation to be used.

We are no longer in United Way Ottawa/Centraide campaign season (but of course donations are appreciated throughout the year) and this is a great time to contribute to LiveWorkPlay and any other charities that you support. You can download a United Way donation form that already has the LiveWorkPlay information included. The United Way supports LiveWorkPlay youth services!

We hope you have enjoyed this 41st edition of the LiveWorkPlay Blog. If you have received an email about this blog in error and/or you would prefer not to receive future LiveWorkPlay blog messages, simply click here and follow the simple instructions. Click here for the web page that can be used by newcomers who would like to receive LiveWorkPlay Blog email notifications. You can also subscribe using Networked Blogs. Please your friends, colleagues, and family membes to subscribe. Send story ideas to Keenan Wellar.