2023 Conference Schedule

Resetting, Reconnecting and Reimagining: A New Way Forward

 April 18th, 19th and 20th, 2023 Best Western Lamplighter Inn, London ON


If you would like more information about the presentations or the conference please contact the OADD office at oadd@oadd.org

GLS Seminar Day

Session Sponsor for GLS Conference

Tuesday, April 18th, 2023 – Organizational Trauma

Pre-Conference Seminar hosted by GLS In-person and Virtual

8:30 am 9:00 am In-person registration – virtual attendees please join the conference via Zoom
9:00 am 9:15am Welcoming Remarks and Introductions  (GLS Board)
9:15am 10:30am

Organizational Trauma: A Clinical Journey to Health and Wellness

Presenters: Marnie McDermott, Sandra Martino, Marnie Lye

Organizational trauma can impact the whole culture of an agency. Staff become emotionally overwhelmed and their self-protective structures become penetrated. The trauma can impact staff both psychologically and culturally developing a sense of helplessness and vulnerability. A full overview of what organizational trauma is will be highlighted in this session. Clinical resources and tools will be provided to help staff and senior leaders build their resiliency and wellness through the application of the Coaching Approach from the Clinical and Responsiveness Training (CART) Manual developed by the Community Networks of Specialized Care – Central East (CNSC-CE) hosted by CLH Developmental Support Services (CLH DSS)

10:30am 10:40am Break – time is approximate
10:40am 12:00pm

Presentation Continues

12:00pm 1:00pm hosted lunch
1:00pm 2:15pm

Understanding and Implementing Organizational Trauma Informed Care

Presenters: Tracy Erb and Leah Jeffery

People with developmental disabilities experience mental health issues as a result of physical, emotional and sexual abuse and neglect in greater numbers than the general public. Behaviors are often mistaken as non-compliance, manipulative, and attention-seeking when in actuality they may be a response to earlier experiences of trauma. Through understanding the neurobiology of trauma, participants will begin to reshape their view of behaviors and develop a toolbox of evidenced-based strategies to effectively support those in their care. Research has shown that organizations providing Trauma-Informed Care have higher service user success rates and higher levels of workplace satisfaction. Participants will be introduced to an evidenced-based framework that guides the implementation process of beginning the journey of becoming a Trauma-Informed organization. Through examples and shared learnings, participants will have an opportunity to begin forming their own implementation plan of Trauma-Informed Care.

2:15pm 2:30pm Break – time is approximate

Presentation Continues

7:00pm 10:00pm OADD Welcome event sponsored by MedProDirect 

A casual drop in event to re-connect and get into the “conference” mood.
Pre-registration for the OADD event will also be available

OADD Annual Conference

Wednesday April 19th and Thursday April 20th, 2023 – In-person and Virtual

Program for Wednesday April 19th

7:30 am 8:30 am In-person attendees: Breakfast and registration; Virtual attendees: Please join the conference at 8:15 a.m. to test your connection
8:30am 9:00am Opening Remarks – OADD Board
Jody Hendry, Director, Developmental and Supportive Services Branch
Sponsor Dalikoo Welcome
9:00am 10:00am

Keynote Presentation
By  Sara Westbrook

Emotions Change Choices

Being able to rebound from the tough emotions triggered by challenging circumstances is the key to professional and personal success. If you don’t invest the time to acknowledge your emotions and triggers, it not only impacts your choices, it also affects your ability to have compassion and kindness, be resilient and communicate effectively.
In this interactive and meaningful keynote, I share strategies that strengthen: Emotional Awareness, Emotional Management and Emotional Resilience.
Acknowledging emotions is crucial to enhancing relationships, productivity, motivation and well-being.

Sponsored by Dalikoo

10:00am 10:30am Break
10:30am 11:45am Concurrent Sessions “1”

Co-Creating a Culture of Mental Health and Well-Being in Developmental Services: Learning Together through a Community led Initiative

Presenters: Sara Collyer, Jeanny Scantlebury, Nicole Bobbette

One in three direct support professionals in Ontario are experiencing moderate to severe psychological distress. Supporting the mental health of Ontario’s Developmental Services workforce is critical to ensuring the well-being of staff, and providing high quality supports to people with developmental disabilities. In this presentation, authors will first share what is known about the mental health of this essential workforce and the people they support, from the perspectives of direct support professionals and agency leaders in Ontario. Authors will then introduce and explore experiences with ‘Cultivating Community Wellness’, an interprofessional province-wide initiative co-developed with staff to respond to the specific mental health needs of this sector. A large focus will be on how agencies are working to gather and implement the tools and resources they need to foster a culture of positive mental health for all. Practical examples will be provided and then we will work together to discuss and create real-time strategies to support mental health in our daily lives, for ourselves, our teams, the people we support and our workplaces.


Reimagining Recruitment and Retention Strategies

Presenters: Claudia Ferryman, Ursula Rehdner

According to StatsCanada, over the past 10 years in Canada, employment has increased by 10% while the labour force has grown by only 1%. In the second quarter of 2021, Canada had nearly 732,000 vacant positions.
Hit especially hard is the non-profit sector “where staff have been leaving in droves” according to the Ontario Non-profit Network 2022 survey. In this workshop we explore the existing challenges in recruitment and retention in the Developmental Services sector and the latest strategies and tools to help you navigate these difficulties. We will cover information and a road map for international recruitment as well as tactics for recruiting domestic talent. Finally, we will review some of the important trends in staff retention.


Utilizing an Interdisciplinary Approach within Developmental Services

Presenters: Sarah O’Donoghue, Frances Moore, Jesse Ropat and Nicole Martindale-Coke

Subject matter experts (SME) are often scattered throughout organizations and are relied upon heavily for supports and resources, while typically working separately with different access points. To address this gap, Community Living Toronto has formed an internal interdisciplinary team comprised of Behaviour Services/Consultation, Health and Wellness Services, Transition and Social work services. Over the past decade, the increased need for an interdisciplinary approach can be linked to several factors such as supporting an aging population, the need for increased skilled professionals to support complex needs and enabling continuity of care across the lifespan (Nancarrow et al., 2013). The interdisciplinary team works collaboratively, using a biopsychosocial, person-directed approach to set goals, make decisions, and share resources and responsibilities. Interdisciplinary services are accessed through the submission of an integrated online referral system that is reviewed by each service within the team. A lead from the team is then determined and assigned, based on presenting concerns. A centralized electronic information system has also been created, which allows progress notes and updates to be accessed and updated by all team members. In addition to the development of the interdisciplinary team, an online incident reporting tracking system has been designed to ensure automatic notifications are delivered to appropriate services with a focus on crisis prevention through a proactive, coordinated approach. The objectives of the new systems are to break down silos, improving quality of services to the people supported, streamline processes to improve user experience, increase collaboration, and use data to inform decisions.

11:45am 1:15pm Lunch break and choice of Lunch and Learn Sessions:

Caregiver Peer Mentorship

Presenters: Danica Cross, Liz Phipps, Sharon Shelton, Judy Verseghy, Monica Richardson

Peer support programs have been shown to be an effective way to build caregivers’ network of support, enhance their coping reponses, and improve sense of fulfilment and achievement in their role (Bray et. al, 2017). Although extensive research has been done with regards to the benefits of peer mentorship in the areas of mental health, diabetes, and breast cancer (Peers for Progress, 2022), it has not been well examined in the area of developmental disability, despite holding promise for positive outcomes for caregivers of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD).
Surrey Place is currently in the process of co-designing a caregiver peer mentorship program. Backed by a literature review, environmental scan, and narrative data from within Surrey Place, staff and family advisors are coming together to build the program and engage in a series of probes, with the goal of continual evaluation and refinement. This presentation will focus on the steps that the team has taken thus far, the philosophy behind the work, and the practical elements of launching and managing such a program.

Reconnecting and Maintaining Relationships through Technology

Presenter: Arik Dalikoo
Does your organization currently use Microsoft 365? Have you ever wondered how technology can:
A) Manage scheduling for all employees?
B) Keep remote employees connected in real time to important forms?
C) Manage your documents – be QAM compliant
D) Build individualized profile connecting resources to the person

Would you like to know more about how technology can be customized to enhance the lives of people with lived experienced and can be used to promote independence? Let Dalikoo show you the possibilities of keeping you in control of your own data with Microsoft Office 365 cloud.
With the sector’s transformation with Journey to Belonging Choice and Inclusion – changes to how you manage operations may change- be ready to meet these changes seamlessly.
Scheduling and workforce challenges:
– Real time access to location(s) schedules from any device anywhere.
As more employees will be working off site or working split shifts in the community
– Know if your employees are reaching their maximum work hours. Helps you manage overtime.
– Know which employees are available to work – cut down on call times for employee shift replacement.
Document Management Systems – Get rid of binders and stay up to date in real time.
– Lean how to manage important documents in one place and have easy access from anywhere.
– Learn how employees’ important documents can be distributed and signed off by your workforce – keeping track of when documents were signed (Meet QAM compliance).
– Learn how HR Onboarding of new employees can be done in less time and involve less hard copies of important documents.

My Music and Me

Presenters: Claude Kennedy, John Jamieson (Soundhouse Studio), Jakin Cadieux
In a world of service providing, how does one remain creative, relevant and successful as it relates to the impact our services should have on the lives of the individuals we support?
How do we walk into the lives of those individuals and then walk out leaving them with a better sense of belonging as a result of having come into contact with them? Music, I’ve learned is one of those ways!
I will spend time sharing the profound way in which the conception and building process associated with developing one’s talent and creating a song positively impacts self-esteem, self-worth, self-confidence and garners a strong sense of self and belonging.
We will explore the massive impact music has on the human brain, human behaviour and has had on human beings over centuries. We will further demonstrate this with the aid of role play and live performance.
The takeaway is that there are creative ways (such as music) in which we can learn to encourage the further development of the individuals we serve, and provide them with programs and outcomes that will facilitate a deeper sense of belonging.

1:15pm 2:30pm Concurrent Sessions “2”

Rediscovering the Workplace – Creating an Employee Centred Culture

Presenter: Penny Gagnon

This interactive presentation will provide an overview of what it means to be employee centred and how leaders can build upon ten central themes evidenced in current research and best practices that create the foundation for an employee centred culture. The presentation will include an opportunity for the participants to complete a self-evaluation centred on the discussed themes, identify areas of strengths, recognize opportunities for improvement, and begin to develop priorities and action steps towards an employee centred culture. The importance of people and culture will be showcased through the ten foundational themes with a message that organizations need to seek for a future that holds employee-centered cultures in high regard.



Medical Stabilization in Non-Traditional Spaces: Integrated Cross-Sector Responses to Adapt Developmental Services Home Setting and Deliver Accessible, Innovative and Inclusive Rehabilitative Care

Presenters: Angela Gonzales, Lee Simpson and Jennifer Altosaar

People with intellectual/developmental disabilities (IDD) may have support needs that are perceived as barriers to accessing traditional settings for convalescent care or rehabilitation programs. This workshop describes collaborative medical stabilization through a non-traditional, transitional-stay in Developmental Services home setting. It demonstrates what could be achieved for supporting specialized, innovative, and inclusive rehabilitative care with a Person with IDD in very complex circumstances.
Audience Engagement: Audience members will be engaged with questions and discussion via digital platform tools. Discussion of practical experiences, examples of successes and challenges in this unique collaborative model of transitional rehabilitative care will provide further contexts for audience engagement.
Lived Experience Voice: This workshop will include live or video participation or quotes directly from a Person with IDD and their service providers, describing lived experiences related to this specialized, non-traditional example of medical stabilization utilizing a transitional-stay opportunity within a developmental services home setting.


Striving for Less Intrusive Supports in Supported Living Settings

Presenters: Emily Wykes, Elissa Moretto

Historically, supported living environments relied heavily on the use of intrusive measures to manage challenging behaviour. Changing standards of care, through quality assurance measures, and ministry guidelines have ensured that all intrusive measures are monitored, reduced and appropriately faded. At Kerry’s Place Autism Services (KPAS), there has been a deeper examination of all restrictive procedures used in internal behavioural supports, and further gains have been made in decreasing these intrusive measures. This presentation will share an overview of strategies used with the focus of decreasing intrusive measures. Examples include systems to categorize support plans, implementation of treatment adherence, as well as enhanced staff education. A case study will also describe the results of a collaborative multi-disciplinary approach to decreasing the use of a specific intrusive restraint across one region.

2:30pm 3:00pm Break
3:00pm 4:15pm Concurrent Sessions “3”

Resilience in Challenging Times

Presenter: Claudia Ferryman

In these difficult and uncertain times, we recognize how vitally important it is that everyone pay close attention to their mental health and wellbeing by finding ways to enhance resilience and manage stress.
Rainmaker Strategies Group believes in supporting individuals who support others, to safeguard their wellbeing by providing them with effective resources that are essential in building a high level of resilience to navigate these challenging times.
Claudia Ferryman, an award-winning facilitator and coach has created a powerful learning and development workshop which focuses on tools for enhancing personal resilience, as you learn about Mindfulness, compassion fatigue, self-care planning, emotional intelligence & self-regulation. This workshop features interactive group exercises, tools and techniques to enhance individual resilience, plus free access to a post-training Podcast packed with Mindfulness meditation tools for boosting emotional resilience. The workshop is based on a book written by Claudia called Emotional Resilience book.


A Cross Sectoral Approach to Supporting People with Complex Exceptional Support Needs

Presenters: Cindie Evans, Whitney Faragher, Samantha Airhart

The Community Networks of Specialized Care-Central East (CNSC-CE) has developed a variety of programs to support adults with Developmental/Intellectual Disabilities with high support and complex care needs. Cross sectoral planning is frequently essential to provide linkages to specialized services to stabilize persons with complex care needs. Often individuals become so dis-regulated that they need support through various service systems such as: justice, health, mental health, and developmental services. The CNSC-CE has specialized professionals that provide this cross sectoral support through specialized transition coordination, health care facilitation, complex support coordination, clinical justice coordination and clinical Applied Behaviour Analysis programming.
This session will provide a cross sectoral approach through the use of case studies, to demonstrate how collaborations are effective to develop comprehensive clinical care plans. Coordination and support for persons with complex care needs, requires flexibility through the use of a hybrid model of service delivery.


Racismaffectsmetoo: the Impacts of Anti-Blackness in the Developmental Services Sector

Presenters: Marty Lampkin, Joanne Marcano, Alicia Gonen

Many people are aware of how discrimination exist in our society, organizations and services against individuals and families living with Intellectual/ Developmental Disabilities (IDD) and autism spectrum disorder. In the Black Community, research shows that 38.3% of Black Canadian residents (’Shining a light’, 2021) say that they have received poor or fair mental health supports. However, gaps exist in understanding on Anti-Black Racism impacts Black individuals living IDD/ASD as stated by Kresh-Nash ” Racism and ableism are often thought of as parallel systems of oppression that work separately”. This presentation will highlight this intersection that continues to be neglected in service provision and delivery by outlining the impacts of Anti-Black racism on the lives of Black individuals living IDD/ASD.
It will highlight the importance of utilizing Afrocentric perspectives in the development of services for the Black individuals living IDD/ASD spotlighting a culturally responsive program called Racismaffectsmetoo. Racismaffectsmetoo is a 6- week program focusing how Anti-Black racism impacts Black individuals living with IDD/ ASD. The program includes weekly lessons, activities to promote Black cultural identity and community belonging.

4:15pm 7:00pm In-person attendees: Dinner on your own; Virtual Attendees: Conference resumes Thursday April 20th 
7:00pm 11:00pm OADD Networking Event sponsored by CARF 

This casual event is planned as a perfect way to end the day, relaxing with friends, old and new. Join us for finger foods and a cash bar

Program for Thursday April 20th

7:30 am 9:00 am In-person attendees: Breakfast and registration; Virtual attendees: Please join the conference at 8:45 a.m. to test your connection
9:00am 10:15am Concurrent Sessions “4”

Workplace Psychological Safety and Congregate Workers Quality of Life

Presenter: Dr. Claudine Cousins

Participants will learn about mental health effects of vicarious trauma on DS sector employees (e.g., organizational productivity and employee performance).
Congregate care organizations employ workers across various environments from shelters, group homes, long-term care homes, and correctional facilities. Congregate care workers in the developmental services sector face numerous risks that affect their quality of life due to workplace stress from daily interactions with individuals with intellectual disabilities and organizational demands. Workers’ perception of the support received from their organization may further impact their quality of life. The purpose of this quantitative study, guided by organizational support theory, was to examine the relationship among the independent variables of workplace psychosocial factors (defined as vicarious trauma, compassion fatigue, mental stress, or burnout), perceived organizational support, and the dependent variable of congregate workers’ quality of life. A census sampling approach was used to select a sample of the workforce (N = 1,400), and the Copenhagen Psychological Questionnaire and the Professional Quality of Life Scale were used to collect data. Analysis of covariance showed that there was no statistically significant interaction between workplace psychosocial factors, support from supervisors, and congregate care workers’ quality of life (p = .34). A linear regression showed that the type of workplace psychosocial factor and employment status of employees did predict utilization of organizational wellness interventions (p < .001). Results from this study contribute to the literature on congregate workers’ quality of life. The development of wellness strategies should focus on improving supports and workers’ use of interventions. The contribution to positive social change from this study includes fostering proactive policies and human resources practices.


Creating Independence Summer Camp

Presenters: Eliza McClelland, Melanie Quevillon, Laura Vanos

Over the summer of 2022, L’Arche London launched and hosted its first annual Independence Summer Camp. This camp was geared toward disabled high school graduates ages 18 to 35. The goal of this camp was to reinforce life skills learned in high school while introducing a set of new skills needed for independent living. Furthermore, summer camp served as a site for connection and relationship building. This initiative was abundantly important, especially after the intense isolation and lack of programming that came along with the COVID-19 pandemic. We took this as an opportunity to imagine and create a new program at L’Arche London to welcome a younger population while addressing a need to support the transitional-aged population in our community. The end of high school should be filled with excitement and hope, but this can be overshadowed by the daunting dramatic decrease in services for this population – exacerbated by pandemic regulations and realities. Independence Summer Camp was created to address this complex combination directly. Our presentation will include impact statements, reflections from the camp staff team, and data collected from a survey completed by campers and their families. As this presentation will highlight, facilitating learning in an informal setting with disabled young adults proved to have its benefits and challenges; however, a summer camp proved to be a very effective opportunity for reinforcing and introducing life skills after high school.


What’s Going On?

Presenters: Paul Fleming, Janeen Halliwell

Your instincts may be telling you that the DS Sector is changing in substantial ways, that what worked for the last few decades will need to change going forward. You are right. This informative session will look at ‘Journey to Belonging’ and how current and emerging trends in the Developmental Service sector interact with each other. These changes, which have already started, represent a fundamental evolution of how the province, TPRs, communities and families will be supporting people with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities for decades to come. As this evolution accelerates over the coming decade it will impact funding for people and organizations, the supports organizations provide, the ‘customers’ they will provide them to, and the choices that the people supported will be making. The presenters are hoping that participants will engage in a lively discussion post presentation.

10:15am 10:45am Break
10:45am 12:15pm Panel Discussion

How to Use the Modernized Core Competencies to Build a Strong Workforce

Presenters: Christine Kuepfer, Holly Duff, Ann-Marie Binetti, Indu Radhakrishan, Mark Benner and Elizabeth Foreman

The Developmental Services Workforce Initiative was formed with the focus to address one aspect of Journey to Belonging, Choice and Inclusion, Namely, Planning for a skilled workforce. This part of the plan is about supporting a skilled, diverse and professional workforce that will help people participate meaningfully in their communities and live good lives. …. Modernizing the DS Core Competencies is one component to support this outcome.
This session will provide an overview of the recently launched digitized Core Competencies with a focus on giving participants tips and strategies on how to embed the modernized Core Competencies in their work environment.

Sponsored by People Minded

12:30pm 2:00pm

OADD Awards and AGM

12:30 p.m. Opening Address – OADD Board Chair
OADD Awards Presentation
Dr. Bruce McCreary Scholarship

1:00 – 2:00 p.m. Lunch

2:00pm 2:30pm Break
2:30pm 3:45pm Concurrent Sessions “5”

Your Mood Makes My Day: Adjusting Attitudes for Success

Presenters: Lenore Philion and Sam Byers

We all want to be the person who provides high-quality service with a smile on a day-to-day basis, but what happens to the quality of service we are able to provide when we are working while we are feeling fatigued and unwell?
When supporting persons, it is important to remember that the caregiver’s mood, attitude and approach establishes the tone for any task, experience, or activity.
In order to set others up for a successful experience, we need to pay attention to how our mood, mindset and preconceptions can affect the success of these supported individuals as well as making or breaking our own feelings of self-efficacy.
During this presentation, participants will be invited to share their own experiences changing their attitudes in the moment in order to create a more positive outcome for those supported. We will examine causes and triggers of fatigue, overload and burnout as well as exploring ways and methods of preventing and responding appropriately to these causes and triggers.
With these skills and techniques in mind, participants will be guided to each create their own individualized wellness strategy plan so as to better support themselves while providing support to others.



Technology as a Tool to Support Autonomy and Choice

Presenter: Corey Dalgleish, Shelby Pillon

Abstract to come


How a Microboard can give Families and Agencies Peace of Mind

Presenters: Karen Bell, Xavier Voordermeet, Kathleen Gifford

The DS sector is about to experience a huge generational shift as primary support for people with an intellectual/developmental disability transfers from parents to siblings or other family members. This provides a challenge for siblings trying to fill their parents’ role, and agencies/support workers, in continuing to provide person-directed supports. Microboards are an option that can provide seamless transition from one generation to the next, and also support agencies/support workers in ensuring a person continues to be supported at every stage of their life by a committed group of friends and family.
As more and more families choose direct funding and create a Microboard to provide management and long-term support, agencies and Direct Support Professionals need to understand how a Microboard works, the values and benefits, and how it is a sustainable option in the continuum of supports. This session will cover how a Microboard supports future planning for families, support staff and the next generation of support, and will provide a first-hand family experience.

4:00pm 4:15pm Raffles, Prizes and Vendor Bingo!! 

In-person and virtual attendees are included but you must be there to win so don’t disconnect

We would also like to thank the following sponsors:

  • CARF
  • MedPro Direct
  • HJ Group
  • PMB
  • Dalikoo

Information on the April 18th, 2023 RSIG seminar day is posted on their web-pages.