We have yet to celebrate our 1995-2015 history at Engines of Success on June 4 (see story below) but LiveWorkPlay is already making moves – in more ways than one – to ensure a successful future. Effective June 1, our headquarters is now located in the Pebb Building at 2197 Riverside Drive (near the corner of Bank Street and Billings Bridge Shopping Centre). We are moving the contents of our old office (pictured below) this very day! The physical move is directly connected to changes the organization is making to better fulfill our mission, vision, values and pursue our theory of change.
The staff team is expanding to serve more individuals, recruit additional volunteers, build new partnerships, and connect with citizens and organizations for a more inclusive community in Ottawa and beyond. Here are some of the immediate operational priorities for LiveWorkPlay:
- Support more individuals with complex labels who are being poorly served by traditional Developmental Services approaches and who could benefit from our person-centred planning, thinking, and actions; we can help with fresh approaches to housing, employment, and community engagement
- LiveWorkPlay is having remarkable success matching employees who have intellectual disabilities with employers who appreciate the business case and other benefits of including them in their workplaces; currently LiveWorkPlay has no source of renewable Employment Supports funding and we need to find a way to partner with the Ministry of Community and Social Services to make our supports sustainable
- The new emphasis on individualized funding via Passport presents a capacity-building challenge in attempting to align variable demand for service with available human resources; LiveWorkPlay has a responsibility to work with individuals and families and do our best to make it work
TRAVEL LOG: SIGHTS SEEN, FRIENDS MADE
The last two LiveWorkPlay supported travel experiences of 2015 took place in rapid succession, with a 5-day trip to Boston and Cape Cod followed by a weekend excursion to Niagara Falls and Toronto. Both trips were hosted by Ottawa Valley Tours, and the reviews are in: it was the best of times!
There were many highlights from the Cape Cod tour, but there was no denying that the whale watching was on everyone's list. Even the seasoned crew remarked on the exceptional day, with humpback whales that spent more than an hour just inches away from the boat. Another highlight was an evening spent in a former sea captain's house for dinner and entertainment. From a ghost story that was interrupted by a live bat (yes, really) to some impromptu dance numbers by our bus driver and a passenger, it was truly a night to remember.
The Niagara tour yielded the obvious highlight: the glory of the falls. Looking at the trip photos, braving the wind and the mist to approach the falls by boat certainly appeared to be the most memorable moment of the trip.
But in both cases the opportunity to meet new people and get into the spirit of motor coach travel is what everyone continues to talk about. These were not all fleeting relationships either! Several travelers have made it known they want to travel with LiveWorkPlay members in future, and some have also taken the step of becoming volunteers!
GOLF SEASON, JOB SEASON!
Networking is four seasons of fun, but golfing in the Ottawa area has about a 6 month window. Why not combine them on June 17 at the Business Networks International (BNI) Eastern Ontario/Western Quebec golf tournament for LiveWorkPlay? It's a ton of fun and a great opportunity to connect with local business leaders who support LiveWorkPlay with everything from donations to helping make employment connections for our members.
Jen Bosworth was recently invited to speak in front of huge crowd at "Creating Energy: BNI 212o Network Night" hosted by Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton and it is already paying off with leads for summer jobs and permanent positions.
LiveWorkPlay is already celebrating summer positions like Ryan's cool new job at the Ottawa Champions Baseball Club!
WE HAVE TO DO BETTER
Many stories are emerging about individuals with intellectual disabilities who are ending up in hospital environments because the right options are not being made available to them. The answers are far from easy, but the Developmental Services system needs to learn to respond more quickly and more effectively to avoid these situations.
CBC journalist Julie Ireton has been exploring these issues in detail, and recently connected with Keenan Wellar via Twitter before developing an article featuring the LiveWorkPlay perspective on this issue. The Ministry of Community and Social Services has established a Housing Task Force to explore new solutions, and LiveWorkPlay has made an application for a model of support that can be a part of the answer to preventing these harmful outcomes.
ENGINES OF SUCCESS IS RIGHT ON TRACK!
Another familiar face with a long track record of supporting LiveWorkPlay is Derick Fage, host of Daytime on Rogers 22. Derick has conducted many interviews with LiveWorkPlay staff, members, and partners over the years, but is perhaps even better known for his co-auctioneer duties with Sandy Sharkey from Boom 99.7 and other co-hosts at the annual Recipe for Success auction every April ($40,000 raised on April 9!). Derick has agreed to be our MC for the evening, and the event will be recorded by Rogers and will air in the future on the Podium program.
Condeluci will not be resting during the rest of the day on June 4. Instead he will be joining Keenan for a whirlwind tour of local media, starting with Derick on Daytime, followed by the Homepage with Rick Gibbons on CFRA and All In A Day with Alan Neal on CBC 91.5. Last but not least, he'll be spending time in a learning conversation with available LiveWorkPlay staff members prior to speaking at Engines of Success. How's that for a productive day?
JOIN IN THE FUN