2020 OADD Conference Program

Individualizing Supports & Services

After careful consideration of the concerns about public gatherings in light of the precautions for COVID 19 the OADD Board has decided that the 31st annual Conference April 6th – 9th, 2020 will be cancelled.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause but feel this course of action protects not only the conference participants, presenters and vendors but the populations they serve.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact the OADD office at oadd@oadd.org  Administrative staff will be working from home until April 5th but messages and emails will be returned.

Below is the schedule that had been planned for general information. If you would like more information about the presentations please contact the OADD office at oadd@oadd.org

PLEASE NOTE: This program is for information purposes only, the conference has been cancelled.

Monday, April 6th, 2020 – Pre-Conference Seminar hosted by GLS

8:00 am 9:00 am Breakfast Chelsea 1&2
8:00 am 9:00 am Registration Chelsea 1 & 2
9:00 am 9:10am Welcoming Remarks and Introduction to the Day (GLS Board)
9:10am 10:30am

Clinical and Responsiveness Training (CART)

Presenters: Tanya Makela, Cindie Evans

This presentation will focus on a specialized clinical training called Clinical and Responsiveness Training (CART) which was developed by the Community Networks of Specialized Care – Central East. The CART training was developed to provide staff in developmental services agencies an enhanced skill set to increase their capacity to support persons with a developmental disability and high support and complex care needs (HSCCN). The Curriculum was originally developed in 2014 and has now been implemented, evaluated, updated and published in 2019.

The CART training ensures staff supporting adults with developmental disabilities and HSCCN are receiving training that is evidence based and aligned with the principles of transformation. The main component of the CART training highlights that any person with a developmental disability has the right to choose the type of support they need though the development of their Person Directed Plan. CART is based on using Person Directed Planning as a foundation for providing positive and proactive support. This training inspires Support Professionals to make a knowledge and practical skills to support a person in their environment through the use of Positive Behaviour Support and by creating habilitative environments to support quality of life and social inclusion.

10:30am 10:45am Break
10:45am 12:00pm Session Continues
12:00pm 1:00pm Hosted Lunch
1:00pm 2:15pm

Facilitating Effective Debriefing

Presenter: Carol Blaind – Access Community Services, Marnie McDermott – CNSC

Debriefing is an effective method that allows staff members to reflect upon their recent experiences in supporting persons with complex needs; openly discuss the facts and feelings about the event; and identify opportunities for improvement. The debriefing session is a powerful tool that enables a staff to do a check-in; explore healthy ways of dealing with the stress that results from a crisis intervention and develop skills to enhance the day to day supports for persons with high support and complex care needs. The presentation will identify the importance of debriefing, the process, and how to facilitate an effective session with staff through a nonjudgmental restorative approach. A training video will also be shown to provide an overview of a structured debriefing session with staff.

2:15 pm2:30 pmBreak
2:30 pm4:00 pm

Our People / Our Community

Presenter: Rick Foley OPP Staff Sargent, Nancy Wagner OPP Constable

The OPP has recognized that there are great strengths in integrating Our People and Our Communities into a broader Mental Health Strategy.
The aim is to ensure the OPP’s response to mental health is consistent and efficient, mitigating risk and victimization by improving outcomes for Our People and Our Communities.
Above all, the OPP Mental Health Strategy: Our People, Our Communities is about improved outcomes for people whether they are members of the OPP or members of our communities
The presentation will show that Our People/Our Community are linked by shared values and objectives, two important examples of this are, “Building Awareness” and “Reducing Stigma”. It will also identify the importance of trained Peer Support and the difference between Diffusing, Debriefings and Grief/Information Sessions.

4:00 pm 4:15 pm Closing Remarks & Evaluation
7:00 pm 10:00pm Welcome Reception hosted by MedProDirect

Drop in and connect with friends in the Chelsea 1 & 2

Tuesday, April 7th, 2020 

8:00 am 9:00 am Breakfast Crystal Ballroom
8:00 am 9:00 am Registration Lobby
8:45am 9:00am Opening Remarks – OADD Board Chair Crystal Ballroom
9:00am 10:15am Keynote Presentation 

Unlocking the Mystery of Change

Spoiler: It’s all about resiliency

Presenter: Andrea Johnson, Centre for Applied Human Dynamics

From organizational changes to new legislation, from fewer funding dollars to increased areas of need, any agency or business operating today must learn to deal successfully with change. In fact, learning to do so has become an essential survival skill. In the information age of speed and technology the pace of change has never been greater.

While some people thrive in environments of change most of us do not. As Darwin teaches us, it is not the strongest or the most intelligent (organizations) that survive, but the ones that are the most responsive to change.

Being resilient and learning how to adapt to change isn’t about getting comfortable with change, it’s about getting comfortable with being uncomfortable.

Andrea Johnson has been a coach for over 20 years. As a certifies Human Behaviour Specialist, Andrea delivers material that is engaging and relevant towards improving our connections with others. Audiences are entertained as they learn through story-telling, humour and reflection of their own perspectives while exploring new strategies for making impactful and lasting change.

Crystal Ballroom
10:15am 10:30am Break
10:30am 11:45am Concurrent Sessions “1”

2000 Stories: Developing and Supporting Plans for an Exciting Life

Presenters: Allan Mills, Courtney Horowitz, Liz Flewwelling

Extend-a-Family Waterloo Region (EAFWR) supports nearly 2000 people in the community through the Special Services at Home and Passport Program. As an organization built on the premise that everyone is entitled to the life of their dreams – whatever those dreams may be – supporting 2000 people means 2000 individual plans, with 2000 individual budgets that must be managed with transparency and accountability. The number 2000 also represents a nearly 50% increase in people served from just a few years ago.

This means that EAFWR has had 2000 reasons to get as efficient, effective and creative as possible when it comes to working with people to plan for their dream life.

This session will cover the ways in which EAFWR has developed their small staff team to support big dreams which includes (but is not limited to) changes to organizational structure, staff development and the creation of new and flexible models for support. We’ll share how we continue to develop innovative solutions to meet people’s needs, within the more rigid guidelines of the PassportONE invoicing system, and will talk about some of the more “outside the box” ways EAFWR coordinators have worked within the system to make the system work for people. Much of our flexibility is made possible by our software system, which will empower families and direct support people to have real-time access to information about their available funding. We’ll make sure to include the successes (and many challenges) we ran into along the way while developing that as well.


Individualized Behavioural Healthcare for Adults with Genetic Disorders

Presenters: Louis Busch, Aamir Khan

Individuals living with genetic disorders have unique psychiatric, biomedical, and behavioural healthcare needs. Given these distinct clinical profiles, an approach focused on developing creative solutions and implementing customized supports may lead to the best outcomes for adults with rare disorders. Some genetic disorders come with behavioural phenotypes which include characteristic presentations in cognitive, communication, motor, and psycho-social impairments. Behavioural health treatments, including those adapted from the science of applied behaviour analysis can make an important contribution to the interprofessional care provided to adults with genetic disorders. We will examine the individualized supports and behavioural health treatments of five adults living with Sturge Weber Syndrome, Prader Willi Syndrome, and 22q11.2 Deletion Syndrome.

Respecting Rights: Evaluating Supported Decision-making Rights with Self-Advocates Leading the Way
Presenter: Sue Hutton, Kerry Joffe, Shineeca McLeod Self-Advocate

Respecting Rights is an innovative rights education project led by people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) at ARCH Disability Law Centre. Integrating the voices of law, social work and self advocacy, we call our united approach “Triple Scoop”: self-advocates working alongside rights lawyers, and advocacy-minded social workers together.

Respecting Rights brings accessible legal rights education to adults with IDD across the province, using the arts, role play and video.

In this workshop, we will share with you updates on our currently running evaluation project on supported decision-making rights for persons labelled with intellectual disability.  This province-wide project is taking place over a 3-year period. We are examining how peer supported advocacy helps people labelled with intellectual disabilities to advocate for change in their decision-making rights when needed. With regular access to ARCH lawyers and social work supports, participants are learning about their rights in a way that we have not seen before.

Covering topics of consent and capacity law, we will share our journey of training self-advocates in assisting peers to advocate when their decision-making rights are taken away.

Come learn about our work and get involved in the project

M1 – Management

Team Based Performance Coaching

Presenters: Lina Baccarella, Cheryl Farrugia

In today’s fast paced environment, having functional, high performing, focused teams is crucial to the success of organizations. Conflict, often lying just below the surface can disrupt cohesiveness and successes.  Issues such as trust, communication, values and vision are key to building on success yet rarely discussed.

Using team coaching principles, facilitators will guide participants through a number of activities designed to bring out those uncomfortable issues that are often not discussed in teams.

Participants will be provided with tips and strategies to begin to address these blockers to productivity. This workshop is designed to be interactive and easily transferable to every workplace.

11:45pm 1:45pm 12:00pm Opening Address
12:05pm – 12:30pm OADD Awards Presentation
12:30 – 1:30pm Buffet Lunch
1:30pm OADD Annual General Meeting
Crystal Ballroom
2:15 pm 3:30pm Concurrent Sessions “2”

From Homeless to Housed: The Bridges Housing Project

Presenters: Subrata Saha, Glen Snyder, Judy Verseghy

In 2016 a number of organizations (Inner City Family Health Team, the City of Toronto, DSO-TR, CL Toronto, and Family Service Toronto) came together as the Bridges to Housing project to identify and house individuals with developmental disabilities who were experiencing homelessness.

Adopting a modified ‘housing first’ philosophy, Bridges to Housing seeks to provide individualized supports to 25 clients via a multidisciplinary team including an adult protective service worker, occupational therapist, behaviour therapist, peer support worker, DSO application assessor, Passport coordinator, case managers, and a primary health care team.

Previous evaluations indicated improvements in quality of life and reduction of needs (Kron et al., 2018) and proposed expansion of the clinical team to include behavioural and occupational therapy supports (Lamana et al., 2017). Now that Bridges is well established, Surrey Place is working on evaluating the program by:

– Building comprehensive client profiles

– Clarifying the program logic

– Assessing if the previous client gains are being maintained, and

– Assessing if outcomes not addressed in the previous evaluation are being achieved in the areas of functioning, health and mental health.

In this session we will describe the Bridges to Housing Project and its clients in detail, present on the evaluation, and discuss issues related to DD and homelessness. Participants can expect to leave with a more robust understanding of the intersections of homelessness and developmental disability, and ideas regarding addressing the needs of this vulnerable client population.


Supporting Parents with Intellectual Disabilities

Presenter: Deborah Bluestein, Lisa Malcho, Janet Vogt

The Surrey Place Parenting Enhancement Program (PEP) started in 1980 as a research project, under the direction of Dr. Maurice Feldman.  For four decades, PEP therapists have provided support to parents with intellectual disabilities.  The initial focus of the program was on parent education and acquisition of essential parenting skills to support their child’s development.

In response to changes in the developmental services sector, and society at large, the program’s mandate has expanded to include advocacy, assistance in accessing resources and services, crisis intervention, provision of intensive supports, and case management; all delivered in a way that considers the unique learning needs of each parent and the complexity of each family’s situation.

In 2019, Surrey Place received a three-year Ontario Trillium Fund Grow Grant to expand the program.  With the addition of two full-time therapists, PEP currently supports 36 families and over 70 children.  Under the grant, PEP is exploring new models of service delivery to address some of the service gaps for these parents.  We are also engaging community stakeholders to identify ways to build community/sector capacity and increase knowledge about parental skill development for our population.

This presentation will take a retrospective look at PEP, describe the current program and the families it serves, and discuss new models being considered to address gaps such as the lack of ongoing support for families, lack of perinatal support for women with intellectual disabilities, and lack of training for allied health professionals and community workers to help them support these parents.

Ethics in a Complex Case Presentation: A Multidisciplinary Approach
Presenters: Marty Lampkin, Angela Gonzales, Bob Park

The Community Network of Specialized Care (CNSC) and Surrey Place strives to create individualized supports and services for each complex client, their families and providers of care. Our goal is to ensure that each individualized plan provides a foundation to help our clients meet their potential. Our work also upholds the ethical value which sees the dignity and worth of each individual and the social context in which they live.

Our presentation will illustrate how the innovation and integration of a bioethics service, including a bioethics integration from organizational level to the clinical level of care at Surrey Place has benefited clients, their caregivers and staff. We will do this in multiple ways:

  • By highlighting how the expertise of our multidisciplinary team made up of a Behaviour Facilitator, a Health Care Facilitator as well as a Complex Support Coordinator contributes to successful care planning even though each disciple involved is governed by a different college and standard of practice/codes of ethics. Motivated by our personal and professional values we are enabled to create optimal care plans for our clients.
  • We will further illustrate how at the organizational level bioethics helped the organization to ensure its values are realized in meeting client’s needs. In addition, at the clinical level the presentation will show how bioethics support ensured that due diligence has been done in the creation of care plans. Lastly, through regular clinical ethics committee meetings, staff have a forum to present and receive support with complex cases.

As a team we look forward to presenting and engaging with our colleagues about how a multidisciplinary approach, including the innovation of bioethics, can create an individualized care plan that meets the needs of our clients.

M2 – Management

Building Resilient Teams

Presenter: Lina Baccarella, Cheryl Farrugia

Workplace stress and fatigue are common in every workplace and when not addressed cause an increase in employee health concerns, absenteeism and burn-out. Using evidence-based approaches, the facilitators will guide participants through a number of activities designed to:

  1. build awareness and response to signs and symptoms of stress
  2. increase our abilities to cope with and manage stress
  3. build resilient teams

Facilitators will use principals of adult learning, Liberating Structures and interactive activities to ensure participants will leave with practical strategies to incorporate into their day to day work.

3:30pm 3:45pm Break
3:45 pm 5:00pm Concurrent Sessions “3”

An Evaluation of an Innovated Model of Living Arrangements for Adults with DD

Presenters: Laura Mullins, Greg Bechard

Given the importance of self-determination, the desire to live independently and the changing context of support, continued effort is required to develop appropriate community living options for adults with intellectual disabilities (ID). Accordingly, Elmira Developmental Support Corporation (EDSC) has built the Field of Dreams Intentional Housing Community. The project includes a 4-plex and a four-building, seven-unit apartment complex for tenants with ID.  As an intentional community, one of the units in each building is allocated for a good neighbour.  Good neighbours (e.g., students, seniors, single-parent families) are looking for affordable housing within a safe and supportive environment. This presentation will review the development of these communities and the results of the research evaluating the program to date. The study represents a community-engaged scholarship between Brock researchers, EDSC and community members. The research aims to examine what it is like to live in the community, whether the community has been beneficial for the people living in the community, and the factors contributing to and/or limiting these benefits. Interviews, measures of quality of life, focus groups and Photovoice are being used to explore the success of this innovative, intentional community. This presentation may be relevant to other organizations struggling with developing appropriate and affordable housing options.


Introduction to Supporting Individuals with Sensory Loss

Presenters: Connie Russell, Kelly Patterson

This presentation is facilitated by Connie and Kelly (see info below). The session includes a power point presentation, interactive simulation exercises and an American Sign Language (ASL) Interpreter.

Objectives of the presentation include the following:

  • Provide an overview OASIS Sensory Partners and purpose of the sub-committee of OASIS.
  • Participants will have a better understanding of the unique needs of Deaf, hard of hearing and Deafblind individuals linguistically and culturally.
  • A simulation will offer participants the opportunity to understand the role of an “intervenor” in terms of orientation, mobility and communication from the perspective of an individual who is deafblind.
  • One of the presenters (Connie) is Deaf and will discuss linguistics and cultural norms and values within the Deaf Community via an ASL interpreter and will also discuss the role/use of ASL interpreters.
  • Discuss environmental enhancements required to support individuals with sensory loss(es) safely.
  • How community inclusion can be enhanced and isolation reduced
  • Overall benefits to dedicated supports, knowledge, and resources for individuals with a sensory loss(es).


Strengthening Family Relationships

Presenters: Deanna Djos, Linda Ger-Walters

Strengthening Family Relationships is a workshop that was designed through the collaborative efforts of the Relationship Group and Montage Support Services. The Relationship Group wants to strengthen working relationships between supervisors/managers, direct support staff, and the families they support.

Strengthening Family Relationships is an interactive workshop that is facilitated in a way to help reinforce family and staff interactions through resolution, solutions and understanding. The objective is to identify, discuss, and acknowledge concerns and then provide solution-based outcomes.  Through informal conversations about the challenges relationships can encounter, strategy building, validation and communication styles, the group finds ways to ensure there is a reduction in work fatigue and frustration.

The workshop explores the concept of ‘planting a seed’ which mirrors the phases of growing and nurturing a fresh mindset; a belief that you can expand your talents and abilities through hard work, good strategies, and support from other people. The tree, its branches and leaves illustrate the stages of growth that are vital to strengthening and sustaining the foundational relationship between the families of the people we support and our teams.

M3 – Management

Mindfulness Across the Spectrum – Our Inclusive Approach to Teaching Copying Skills to Caregivers and Autistic Adults

Presenters: Sue Hutton, Brianne Redquest, TBA

In this workshop we will share our inclusive approach researching Mindfulness as a tool for autistic adults and their caregivers led by Dr. Yona Lunsky at CAMH. This research project has evolved from the original work of Mindfulness interventions for parents, then expanded to include groups of dyads of a caregiver and a son or daughter on the autistic spectrum, then grew to develop modified programs for autistic adults over the age of 18. We now have curriculum for all three groups, and we continue to study the effectiveness and benefits of these modified Mindfulness programs.
We know from research that caregivers of autistic individuals experience higher rates of stress and burnout. Our initial research focused on an intervention exploring the difference between two programs for parents of autistic children over the age of 18: Mindfulness for parents, and a Workshop series on information and supports available for the autism community. Findings showed that parents had greater response to the Mindfulness program.
Our work has taught us the great importance of caring for caregivers in a system that does not prioritize this. It has also taught us the need to individualize clinical programs like Mindfulness to honour neurodiversity in a way that traditional mindfulness programs do not. Our adult autistic participants have told us that doing the program with us is the first time they have felt truly understood by health care professionals as autistic people. Our program delivery includes advisors on the autistic spectrum or parents of an autistic adult.

7:30pm 10:00pm Networking Event hosted by NucleusLabs
This event is planned as a perfect way to end the day, relaxing with friends, old and new.
Chelsea 1 & 2

Wednesday, April 8th, 2020

8:00 am 9:00 am Breakfast Crystal Ballroom
9:00am 10:15am

The Reclamation Project

Presenter: Sherrill Boyes, Cathy Lawrence

For many people with Intellectual Disabilities, much of their lives were spent in institutions. At the time, this was considered the best option for those born with a disability. Families were often forced to make a difficult decision on the advice of doctors, family members and the community at large.

The Reclamation Project is a multi-media presentation developed by Community Living Kingston and District that offers a reflection of the experiences that a cross section of individuals had when they lived in institutions. This project was made possible by a grant through the Special Projects Initiative, a fund resulting from the class action settlement against the Ontario government for abuses in Ontario’s three biggest institutions. This funding was secured with the belief that it is imperative to document these stories so that current and future generations have first person accounts of the experiences of institutionalization and the effect it has had on the lives of these individuals. Like many other agencies, Community Living Kingston and District strongly advocated for and supported the closing of institutions in favour of community services, however, the stories in The Reclamation Project belong to the individuals telling them. It is through listening to these stories that future generations can assist others in knowing what it truly means to live life at the helm, and with this understanding, can effectively advocate for individualized supports moving forward.

Crystal Ballroom
10:15am 10:30am Break
10:30am 11:45am Concurrent Sessions “4”

Capacity Building through Cross-Sector Collaboration for Persons with Complex Needs

Presenter: Tara Hyatt, Lisa Holmes, Tom Archer

In April 2018, the Community Networks of Specialized Care changed their mandate of services they provided provincially.  The CNSC’s are now providing more individualized support to persons who have high support and complex care needs. They are now coordinating support and service within and across sectors by providing capacity building, mentorship and support with other professionals and service agencies.

By acting as a resource to individuals, families, service agencies, and local tables they are maintaining and reinforcing long term collaboration and cross sectoral relationships.

Through the review of case studies and multi region data we will show how provincially the CNSC’s continue to create capacity and build partnerships.


Creating a Person-Centre Housing Plan

Presenters: Martha Beach, Alexandra Shannon

Fully launched in late 2019, the Developmental Services Ontario (DSO) Housing toolkit is a library of resources put together by DSO Housing Navigators, with input from housing experts, service agencies, families and adults who live with a developmental disability. These resources are organized into segments to assist you with the creation of an individually tailored housing plan.

Join us to experience live navigation through the resources, tips on how to best utilize the toolkit, and guidance on creating an individualized housing plan for those you support. You will be guided through housing plan development that is based on Helen Sanderson and Associates “Just Enough Supports: model. First starting with creating a housing vision, discovering strengths and needs, accessing technology to build housing independence and finally building a support team that includes both natural and formal supports.

Beyond navigation, inspiration will be offered to attendees through the sharing of success stories across the province.


IF Library Website

Presenters: Barry Isaacs, Terri Hewitt, Frances MacNeil

The new IF (Individualized Funding) Library, launched September 2019, is a website that provides easy access to information, resources and tools to help people with developmental disabilities use their Individualized Funding effectively: https://iflibrary.ca/

Over the past two years, Surrey Place along with project partners Community Living Toronto, Developmental Services Ontario-Toronto Region, and Family Service Toronto have worked with adults with developmental disabilities, families and agencies across Ontario to develop the IF Library. This project was made possible through funding of the Ontario Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services.

Previous research and the IF Library project’s findings have shown that accessing and using Individualized Funding to purchase services and supports can be a complicated process. Evidence has shown that IF is most effective when used in conjunction with ongoing, in-depth planning and resource coordination. The IF Library addresses the need for continuous planning through its interactive Planning Guide tool that identifies important steps to take and things to consider at each life stage.

This presentation will provide a demonstration of the IF Library website and an overview of its tools and resources. A summary of findings from formal website evaluations, including user testing, surveys and focus groups, will be shared to highlight the IF Library’s successes and opportunities for change. The presenters will discuss next steps to further develop the website, create resources and improve accessibility with an aim to increase the IF Library’s potential for enhancing choice, self-determination and social inclusion.

R1 – Research

Towards a Best Practice Model of Behavioural Supports for Individuals with Developmental Disabilities: Ethics and Application

Presenters: Aamir Khan, Ana Santo

The Professional and Ethical Compliance Code for Behavior Analysts (2016) provides a framework which guides clinical decision making for behaviour analytic practitioners. The code outlines considerations when conducting functional behavioural assessments (FBA’s). Despite robust literature on the application of specific methods of completing FBA’s and guidance from an ethical code, these methods remain underutilized (Saini & Cox, 2019).  This presentation will outline how these best practices can be adapted to support people with developmental disabilities in a variety of contexts.  Conflicts within the Professional and Ethical Code for Behavior Analysts (2016) that may lead to underutilization of best practices will be discussed. The broader context with respect to behaviour analytic practice in Ontario and its possible impact on behaviour assessment and treatment models will also be discussed. Case examples that outline how to navigate these barriers will be used to demonstrate that the widespread use of best practices in assessing and treating problem behaviour is possible in Ontario.

12:00pm 12:45pm Hosted Lunch
Crystal Ballroom
1:00pm 2:15pm Concurrent Sessions “5”

The Ontario Ombudsmans’ Report

Presenters: TBA

The Ontario Ombudsman’s office helps hundreds of families every year who have complaints about the provision of provincial and municipal services for adults and children with developmental disabilities and special needs, including young people in care. Ombudsman Paul Dubé will outline how his office resolves issues by helping people navigate the complex funding and treatment bureaucracy, as well as conducting investigations and making recommendations that can prompt systemic change. He will also discuss developments since his landmark 2016 report, “Nowhere to Turn,” and his office’s new oversight of child protection services.


New Research on Individualized Models for Care

Presenters: Tracy Paiva, Esther Ng

Over the last 65 years, Community Living York South has been a pioneer in developing innovative and exceptional supports and services that enhances the lives to people who have an intellectual disability and their families in our communities of Richmond Hill, Markham, Thornhill, Stouffville and Vaughan.

We are a culturally diverse, heart-centered innovative organization with strong values of equity, respect and inclusiveness for all people.  Within this in mind, we have developed Three (3) unique personalized models of residential and day supports to address the changing support needs.

  1. Cantonese Speaking Group Living
  2. Cantonese Speaking Day Program
  3. The Hub

In 2004, we opened the first one of a kind Cantonese speaking home.  This initiative came to light when the Ministry proposed funding for a unique “home design”.  A “Wok Kitchen” with a separate exhaust fan for cooking Chinese foods, was proposed and was chosen as the unique idea.  Ultimately, this transformed into an idea for the first run Cantonese language speaking home. (all people supported and all employees speak Cantonese). To complement this unique residential model a Day Program that address the cultural needs of the Cantonese speaking community, was developed -Vision Quest fee for service day program was established.  These two initiatives have received immense support within the community and continues to thrive.

In March of 2016 CLYS in partnerships with March of Dimes Canada, Central LHINS, and MCCSS developed “The Hub” a unique and unified person-centered community living option with young adults with an intellectual disability and complex medical needs.

The success of each model of supports and services is due to the passion and dedication of our employees to help create services that promote and encourage independence and exercise citizenship and self-determination in their community.


Introducing Technology as a Support Mechanism: Challenges and Solutions from a Community-based Project

Presenters: Courtney Bishop, Lisa Whittingham, Deanna Flagg

Social inclusion is a primary determinant of quality of life outcomes for persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) and the focus of many individualized and person-centered supports (Cobigo, Ouellet-Kuntz, Lysaght & Martin, 2012).  Despite this focus, persons with IDD continue to be the targets of stigma and discrimination, resulting in social exclusion (Hall, 2016). Barriers to social inclusion have been identified and include personal factors such as adaptive living skills and level of functioning, and systems concerns such as staff involvement, limited community access, and constrained resources (Abott & McConkey, 2006).  Technology can provide an innovative and creative solution to many of the barriers associated with social inclusion and consequently to the lower QoL outcomes experienced by persons with IDD (Owuor et al., 2018).  The current project used iPad and/or iPhone technology and specialized apps to successfully increase the independence and community participation of 14 adults with IDD living a community-based agency.  Target skills associated with increasing community participation were identified and matched to technology and specialized apps.  Principles of applied behavior analysis were used to teach individuals with IDD and their support workers how to use the technology and specialized apps. Using the experiences of the researchers and community partners, this presentation aims to identify some of the difficulties and creative solutions to introducing technology to persons with IDD living in a community-based agency.  Ethical considerations and agency responsibility, modifications to technology, staff resistance, improving buy-in, and the best practices for integrating technology into system supports will be discussed.

M2 – Management

Innovative Approaches for Special Populations: Dual Diagnosed Adults in Ontario’s Forensic Mental Health System

Presenters: Dr. Radek Budin, Louis Busch, Michelle Anbar Goldstein

Individuals living with dual diagnoses are over-represented in Ontario’s forensic mental health and criminal justice systems. They often face barriers in accessing appropriate clinical care and may struggle to transition back to community settings following periods of detention or incarceration. The Forensic Dual Diagnosis Specialty Service at CAMH provides individualized mental health services and supports to help mitigate risk and encourage safe and successful community living for forensic or justice involved adults with dual diagnoses. This presentation will review the FDDSS model of care, will provide an overview of successes and challenges of psychological assessment, social work, nursing, and behavioural health supports. Two complex case examples will be provided to outline the innovative solutions required to provide wrap-around interdisciplinary care to dually diagnosed individuals within these challenging systems.

2:15am 2:30am Break
2:30pm 3:45pm Concurrent Sessions “6”

Generating Ideas and Enabling Action

Presenters: Bonnie Heath, Alan Mills

After 4 years of research and 18 pilot projects, the Ontario Developmental Services Housing Task Force submitted a Final Report to the Minister of Children, Community and Social Services. The report, entitled, Generating Ideas and Enabling Action: Addressing the Housing Crisis Confronting Ontario Adults with Developmental Disabilities made 13 recommendations to move housing and supports for Ontarians with developmental disabilities. With awareness, innovation, and commitment, we believe we can overcome the current housing crisis. Core principles include person-directed and person-centred approaches, diversity, equity and the promise of partnerships. We recognize the importance of whole of government and whole of society approaches to ending the housing crisis.

The project may have broken some rules along the way and that is where much of the learning happened. The presentation will highlight the recommendations and encourage engagement in solutions that ensure Ontarians with developmental disabilities have access to the suitable and affordable housing solutions they need to thrive.


Navigating the Justice System for Persons with Developmental Disabilities 

Presenters: Marnie McDermott, Vicky Simos, Courtney Hutson

In response to the 2016 Ombudsman of Ontario report, the Community Networks of Specialized Care set out to create a refreshed mandate with a goal to provide individuals with high support and complex care needs access to effective and timely supports. As a result of this, the role of the Dual Diagnosis Justice Coordinator (DDJC) was improved by strengthening cross-sector partnerships; and providing more education across all sectors on how to better support individuals with developmental disabilities.  The role of the DDJC is to assist the individual to prepare for all aspects of their court matter using a biopsychosocial approach and principles of Applied Behaviour Analysis when needed. The DDJC works with other court support staff, justice professionals and the individual to ensure they receive the supports they require to experience the justice system in a fair and equitable manner. This process will be explained by reviewing case examples.


Supporting Youth Transitions

Presenter: Sara Ropp, Jess Notwell, Lourdes Toro

Supporting Youth Transitions: Respecting Dignity, Fulfilling Dreams is a research project, facilitated between four support agencies and the University of Guelph.  It focuses on a vision of moving forward in best practices in supporting youth as they transition from Children’s Services to Adult Services.  In this session you will learn about the background of the project, as well as the results spoken directly from youth and those supporting them.  You will also hear the recommendations and suggested best practices that came from those involved in research project.  Come and learn about this community centered initiative that brings service providers together in a wrap around model of support to meet the youth where they need it most.

R3 – Research

Optimizing Individualized Care

Presenters: Alison Cox, Autumn Kozluk

There are three common intervention approaches to treating challenging behaviour in persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) including: behavioural, psychopharmacological and combined interventions (Sheehan, Hassiotis, Walters, Osborn, Strydom & Horsfall, 2015; Tsiouris, Kim, Brown, Pettinger, & Cohen, 2013). Psychopharmacological studies evaluating medication impact on challenging behaviour typically rely on indirect measurement systems (Snyder, Turgay, Aman, Binder, Fishman, & Carroll, 2002; Matson & Mahan, 2010), even though direct assessment options exist and may better reflect actual client changes in response to intervention (Thompson & Iwata, 2007). Indirect measurement systems, often in the form of caregiver report, continue to dominate in the clinical realm when medication impact is being evaluated. Given up to 50% of adults with IDD and 25% of children with IDD are prescribed psychotropic medications, it may be important to examine the convergent validity between indirect and direct assessment strategies. Doing so may lead to improved evaluation strategies and could facilitate better individualized models of care for individuals with IDD who engage in challenging behaviour and are taking psychotropic medication.

We will describe existing literature on individualized evaluation systems in the context of psychotropic medication evaluation, as well as preliminary outcomes of a research study exploring agreement between two indirect assessment tools commonly used in psychopharmacology: the Aberrant Behaviour Checklist (ABC) (Aman, Singh, Stewart, & Field, 1985) and the Behaviour Problems Inventory-R (BPI-R; (Rojahn, Matson, Lott, Esbensen, & Smalls, 2001) and experimental functional analysis. Finally, we will discuss the clinical implications of an improved understanding of drug-behaviour mechanisms.


Information on the April 9th, 2020 RSIG seminar day will be posted on their web-pages.