JOIN US FOR MAKE A BUZZ OTTAWA: THURSDAY, MAY 9, 2018!
Our next event is the Celebration of Inclusion Family Feast on March 29, and then the big one: Make A Buzz Ottawa 2019 on May 9! This event always sells out, so if you would like to attend, ticket sales are already open and we recommend you purchase them before the end of January.
The Celebration of Inclusion Family Feast incorporates the commemoration of World Down Syndrome Day (March 21) and World Autism Awareness Day (April 2). The purpose of the evening is to enjoy togetherness and to affirm our commitment to a welcoming and inclusive community for all.
EMPLOYMENT STANDARDS: A FUNDAMENTAL HUMAN RIGHT
On Friday, December 7, MCCSS Minister MacLeod hosted a round table discussion at Algonquin College with a dozen Developmental Services representatives from the Eastern Region, with Co-Leader Keenan Wellar attending for LiveWorkPlay. One of the issues that generated significant input was that of sheltered workshops, unpaid internships, and related practices including those branded as “social enterprises” or “training programs.”
These are practices that either do not meet the requirements of the Employment Standards Act, or are permissible only through the debatable use of an archaic exemption that was scheduled to expire on January 1, 2019, as part of Bill 148.
LiveWorkPlay is advocating for new employment standards that not only eliminate existing exemptions, but provide clarity for any and all supports and services for people with intellectual disabilities and/or autism.
(Pictured right, Job Connector Joshua Gray is helping to put best practices in operation by hosting a workshop with employment partners at Health Canada).
“This issue came to the table at the Employment Accessibility Resource Network years ago” says Jen Soucy, Manager of Public Sector Employment Partnerships.
“As a founding member of EARN, we wanted to make sure that all of our service providers, present and future, shared a commitment to authentic employment. After many months of work we all came out with clear guiding principles that stand the test of time, and we’d like to see them adopted province-wide, not only by Developmental Services, but also by organizations like CSED that represent the Social Enterprise movement.”
All representatives at the Minister’s round table, including those who have yet to completely phase out their own sheltered workshops, want to see the labour code loophole closed forever, a position well represented by Autistics For Autistics.
LiveWorkPlay was impressed by A4A advocacy on this issue, and invited them to the staff team meeting of January 8 to talk about employment and other topics. The A4A perspective as represented by Derick and Anne was very helpful and certainly reinforced that LiveWorkPlay is on the right track – but still learning! Some of Derek and Anne’s comments about technology and inclusive employment made a strong impression and have sparked new thinking about how to reduce and eliminate workplace barriers.
FROM PRESENCE TO CITIZENSHIP 2019: PEOPLE DRIVING CHANGE
Now in year three, From Presence To Citizenship is a provincial project that was developed by an Ontario-wide collaboration of agencies (including LiveWorkPlay) seeking to promote person-centred outcomes for people with intellectual disabilities and their families in all communities. This includes housing solutions, employment, community engagement, and friendships.
The annual Learning Exchange is targeted to the project mandate of organizational change, but has always included people with disabilities, family members, and others who support inclusive outcomes. Registration is open to all, and a limited number of spots are still available.
This year’s event (February 6-8) includes a film festival, and LiveWorkPlay is thrilled that the festival committee has chosen to feature a selection of our Just Enough Support videos! Manager of Employment Supports Anna Nelson will be joined by People Connector and Volunteer Coordinator Alex Darling at this year’s learning exchange.
“We are working hard to support purposeful professional development opportunities for all, and this event is not only a learning opportunity for Alex and Anna, but they also have a lot to offer to any organization, family, or individual who wants to learn more about our community-first and employment-first approaches” said Julie Kingstone, LiveWorkPlay Co-Leader and Director of Operations.
With a journey that starts from Thunder Bay, Julie will be taking part in a different opportunity organized through From Presence To Citizenship when she joins Keenan in an exchange with Superior Greenstone Association for Community Living the week of January 28.
“I look forward to learning more about the challenges presented for providing person-centred support in such a huge and relatively remote area” said Keenan. “The agency serves the Highway 11/17 Corridor from Dorion to White River, and from Nipigon to Caramat – the barriers to everything from employment to social relationships are going to be very different from what we experience here in Ottawa, and I think this means we’ll learn a lot from each other.”
We hope you have enjoyed this jam-packed edition of The LiveWorkPlay News. If you like what you see, why not make a donation? We’ve got a new and improved donation formthat saves you time and gives you more options!