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Community Living Ontario Policy Forum Links from Keenan Wellar, May 18, 2021

Keenan’s contact information:

Key resources and links that Keenan mentioned or referenced:

Al Condeluci (grow relationships to improve physical and mental health, change the community by showing inclusion in action)

John and Connie O’Brien (we have to be careful about words like choice and safety, which both sound like positive words, but can be harmful and dishonest)

Michael Kendrick (non-disabled people don’t want to live in one, why do why think people with intellectual disabilities like it)

Bruce Anderson (the importance of supporting people to know and use their gifts)
Helen Sanderson (person-centred practices and free tools)

Beth Mount Person Centred Planning (capacities, growth)

LiveWorkPlay Just Enough Support (finding the right balance, it’s a journey)

Neurodiversity (people with disabilities don’t need fixing, people and institutions who devalue them need fixing)

These three links below show the evolution of how LiveWorkPlay as an organization sought to “solve the housing problem” – every step along the way is made with the best of intentions, but we “get better” at what we are doing by listening and learning – we only knew what we knew. Much of our early thinking was based on what we assumed was not possible – these assumptions included doubts about the individuals we support as well as the community and neighbourhoods in which they now live.

A change of mindset has meant more that we have been able to help more than 50 individuals move to a home of their own in just ten years! This many not sound like a lot, but remember, LiveWorkPlay is a small organization, with a budget half the size of agencies serving small towns like Alexandria, Goderich, and Hanover. If an average of more than 5 people with intellectual disabilities moved to a home of their own each and every year in one of those towns, it would be a very big deal, and we celebrate that this has happened in our part of the world, even if we would always like to find a way to do more.

On Our Own Together (LiveWorkPlay Carleton University Project)

On Our Own Together Two (LiveWorkPlay Transitional Housing Project)

Housing Task Force Project / LiveWorkPlay Partnership with Multifaith Housing Initiative (MHI)

As a final note, in addition to the many famous thought leaders in the list above, so much of what we have learned and continue to learn comes from daily interactions with families, and also with peers in communities across the province. We have formalized this type of relationship with a small group of agencies known collectively as From Presence To Citizenship, learn more with the video below!