2024 Conference Schedule

Changing the Status Quo

 April 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th, 2024; Four Points by Sheraton, 3530 Schmon Parkway, Thorold, ON

SCHEDULE AT A GLANCEPlease note: the on-line schedule is the most up-to-date

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

GLS Seminar Day

Tuesday, April 9th, 2024 – Clinical Programs in a Changing System

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


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

Advocacy in Action: Evidence of Success in Wrap Around Clinical Services

Presenters: Carol Blaind and Marnie McDermott

Navigating various service systems can be very challenging for persons with complex health and mental health needs. Many times, it is hard to understand the day-to-day supports and environment that persons with developmental disabilities need to be safe and healthy. The coordination and advocacy from professionals are the key elements in developing a comprehensive transition care plan for persons to be properly supported. This presentation will highlight a unique story of support and strength in numbers. Participants will hear the story of an individual with complex medical and mental health needs, the long painful journey to access lifesaving support, the challenges, and successes in working with specialized disciplines and the medical community.

10:15am 10:30am Break
10:30am 11:30am

The Dual Diagnosis Collaborative Clinic: A Multidisciplinary Clinical Approach for Persons with a Dual Diagnosis

Presenters: Cindie Evans, Tanya Makela, Dr. Jennifer Martins, Melanie Powell and Patricia Warner

The Dual Diagnosis Collaborative Clinic (DDCC) consists of a multidisciplinary team that provides comprehensive assessments to persons with Intellectual Developmental Disabilities (IDD) and comorbid mental health issues. Utilizing a biopsychosocial approach, the clinic aims to provide prompt access to specialized mental health assessment and treatment recommendations. The DDCC provides a space that is inclusive, accessible, compassionate, and safe for patients and their caregivers. This session will outline the history of establishing the Clinic and how the DDCC is building capacity to better support persons with IDD. The DDCC focuses on patient-centred care by incorporating psychoeducation, mentorship, support, and collaborating with caregivers. Case examples will also be shared to demonstrate this collaborative clinical approach to support.

11:30am 12:30pm hosted lunch
12:30pm 1:30pm

Inclusive Justice for Individuals with Complex Needs: Innovation, Adaptations, Collaborations

Presenters: Courtney Hutson, Vicky Simos, Marnie Lye and Samantha Airhart

The Clinical Justice Program (CJP), established in 2018, is a collaboration between Centre for Behaviour Health Sciences (Mackenzie Health) and Community Networks of Specialized Care-Central East (CLH Developmental Support Services). This solution-focused Clinical Justice Program supports individuals with a dual diagnosis who are involved in the criminal justice system as a victim, witness or accused to ensure they experience the justice system in an inclusive manner. The CJP encompasses five separate pillars of clinical support focused on bridging service gaps, client-centered innovation, and collaboration with community partners.

Participants will be provided with an in-depth understanding of the hybrid, collaborative service delivery model and how it continues to evolve to meet the needs of service sectors, agencies, and vulnerable individuals. Attendees will be offered the opportunity to download the CNSC-CE Justice App 2.0 and printable resource sheets focused on building capacity in an ever-changing world.

1:30pm 1:45pm Break
1:45pm2:45pm

A Collaborative Approach in Designing and Implementing a Robust Transition Plan for Complex ALC Patients with a Developmental Disabilities

Presenters: Gerald Nganjue, Erin Servello and Otto Ebomteneh

According to research, adults with intellectual or developmental disabilities who demonstrate severe, complex and challenging behaviours experience extended stays or waits in Ontario hospitals before transitioning to their next level of care. In hospital parlance, these individuals are referred to as an “Alternate Level of Care Patient:” There is a plethora of reasons why people with intellectual and developmental disability are experiencing an extended stay in hospitals in Ontario.
Mindful of their extended stay in the hospital’s acute inpatient unit, a clear pathway and high-quality discharge and transition planning process must be developed to support these individuals to their appropriate level of care in the community. This presentation will focus on the fundamentals of enabling people to move successfully from the acute hospital settings to the community. We will delve into specific case studies, highlighting the critical components to be included in a robust transition plan. Participants attending this presentation will walk away with tangible resources for planning and engaging stakeholders in developing and implementing a successful transition plan.

2:45pm 3:00pm Break
3:00pm4:00pm

Central West Specialized Developmental Services Partners with the Registered nurses Association of Ontario. Collective Strength and Effective Collaboration: Falls Prevention Deserves Your Attention!

Presenters: Jhanvi Kothary, Thaaniya Theivendiran and Michelle Thurgar

With advancements in health and social conditions, people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) are now living longer than in previous years. This highlights the need for health and allied health experts alongside direct support professionals and persons supported to collaborate and leverage their expertise and experience to adapt and implement evidence-based practices to enhance the quality of care and improve health outcomes for adults with IDD and complex needs.

In 2021, Central West Specialized Developmental Services (CWSDS) partnered with the Registered Nurses Association of Ontario (RNAO), and began its journey to become the first developmental services congregate care setting internationally to be designated as a RNAO Best Practice Spotlight Organization (BPSO). BPSO’s use evidence-based guidelines to improve care and health outcomes for persons supported, as well as creating a culture of quality improvement. In becoming a BPSO, CWSDS adopted and implemented a series of RNAO’s Best Practice Guidelines (BPG) and utilized their Leading Change Toolkit to engage with staff across the organization. BPG’s are credible and rigorous evidence-based documents that provide recommendations for health professionals, policy -makers, and leaders on how to improve outcomes for people supported and their caregivers.
The presenters will share how CWSDS’s partnership with RNAO helped us develop innovative tools, improve service delivery, and disseminate knowledge both internally and externally with our community partners with a focus on falls preventions for persons with IDD in congregate settings. The interactive presentation will highlight:
• How CWSDS’s organizational values of Accountability, Adaptability, Collaboration, Inclusion, Innovation and Respect provided a solid foundation in the development and implementation of our person-centered Falls Prevention Program
• How using RNAO’s evidence informed resources and guidelines, CWSDS’s multi-disciplinary clinical team adapted RNAO’s falls prevention practice recommendations to meet the specialized needs of persons with IDD and complex needs, ensuring that appropriate assessments, interventions and resources were developed, implemented and sustained
• How momentum was built across CWSDS by fostering a climate of learning, collaboration, and inclusion of our multidisciplinary teams, empowering them to take on the important role of supporting the implementation of the Falls Prevention Program
• The process and development of our phased roll-out approach of the Falls Prevention Program, to include the piloting of resources and assessment tools at an identified supportive living home and
• The strategies utilized for education and training of our new Falls Prevention Program.

The presenters will also share falls prevention tools and resources with participants.

In CWSDS’s overall pursuit of learning and leading together, we look forward to sharing our experience and knowledge with you as we continue to promote an evidence-based culture and adapt Best Practice Guidelines to elevate the quality of life of the people we support.

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

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 10th and Thursday April 11th, 2024 – In-person and Virtual

Program for Wednesday April 10th

8:00 am 9:00 am In-person attendees: Breakfast and registration; Virtual attendees: Please join the conference at 8:15 a.m. to test your connection
9:00am 9:30am Opening Remarks – OADD Board
Guest speakers to be announced
9:30am 10:30am

Keynote Presentation
 Addressing Current Service Gaps for Black African Caribbean Adults and Caregivers with Developmental Disabilities

by Marty Lampkin

This presentation will highlight the importance of an intersectional approach to address the experiences of Ableism and Anti-Black Racism experienced by individuals and caregivers with Developmental Disabilities, Autism Spectrum and Neurodiversity. It will identify the differences between a Eurocentric and Afrocentric Service Model to the delivery of services and support in the sector. Additionally, it will address the complex ongoing issues of racial trauma, stigma and shame as presenting barriers to service while highlighting Black resilience and protective factors. Lastly it will highlight my work in developing the program RacismAffectsmetoo which focuses on the impacts of Anti-Black Racism on self-identified Black, African Caribbean individuals living with Developmental Disabilities/ Autism.

Sponsored by CARF

10:30am 11:00am Break
11:00am 12:15pm Concurrent Sessions “1”
1A

Canadian Guidance for Community Care and Supports for Adults with IDD and Dementia

Presenters: Sandy Stemp, Tracey Berman

Reena presented the current (2013) guidelines at the November event in Kingston. This presentation will provide the finished adaptive guidelines highlighting the changes as well as adjunct resources as part of the National Dementia Strategy.
Overall, the general population is aging. Adults with Intellectual disabilities may be facing physical, emotional and cognitive changes as part of the aging process; families, caregivers, and organizations may be seeing the need for additional specialized training/information in order to provide the best quality of care related to supporting a person with intellectual disability and dementia.
This presentation will provide guidance to help families, caregivers, and organizations recognize the stages that a person may show from functional changes to the change indicators and what action can be done at each stage of the disease’s progression.
It will provide tools – National Task Group- Early Detection and Screen for Dementia (NTG-EDSD) and how this can be used to record observations of changes in function.
This presentation will consist of a brief poll at the start and end of the session as part of the project’s data collection, followed by a PowerPoint lecture style presentation, with Q&A prior to the final poll.

1B

Collaborating with Adults Labelled/with Intellectual Disability to Develop Support Staff Training Materials

Presenters: Danny Pryke

This session will discuss co-produced recommendations stemming from a Master of Social Work thesis project regarding changes in how disability support services are provided to adults labelled/with intellectual disabilities. This project was influenced by the idea of “nothing about us without us” as well as increased attention to equity, diversity, inclusion, and access in academic and community-based research projects. The project aimed to answer the question “what do people labelled/with intellectual disability want support staff to know about how to facilitate more respectful, equitable, and consistent support experiences?” To answer this question, the student researcher facilitated three focus groups and two individual interviews with six co-researchers labelled/with intellectual disabilities to create a series of infographics that convey what they felt was important for disability support staff to know. In this session we will share both the materials created through this collaborative process and how it was undertaken. The speakers of this session, the student researcher and one of the co-researchers, will discuss the rationale for these recommendations. The speakers will also consider what kinds of organizational and/or policy changes might be necessary in order for these recommendations to be realized, in addition to some of the barriers to doing so. We look forward to engaging with session attendees in discussion about the process of collaboration as well as the ways these recommendations may be incorporated into organizations.

1C

Emotion Regulation Group for Justice Involved Clients with Developmental Disabilities

Presenters: Melissa McMillan, Kristina Dobosz

The presentation will focus on an adapted Dialectical Behaviour Therapy group for clients with developmental disabilities (DD), which was implemented due to a recognized service gap in mental health supports for justice involved clients. The group ran for 12 weeks; each group member had the opportunity to meet one-on-one with a clinician on a weekly basis to get support with homework, as well as problem solving related to skills development. Participants were recruited from the Downtown East Justice Centre resolution court, as well as from the Community Networks of Specialized Care Toronto Region. We will present data on the implementation of this pilot emotion regulation group, as well as outcome data from pre- and post-measures. We will discuss feasibility of implementing group-based mental health supports for this population and we will discuss recommendations regarding emotion regulation supports to reduce recidivism for justice involved adults with DD

12:15pm 1:15pm Hosted lunch and opportunity to visit vendor tables

1:15pm 2:30pm Concurrent Sessions “2”
2A

Life Planning: How We’re Changing the Way We Think about Advanced Care Planning

Presenter: Karine Diedrich, Merry Parkinson

Who are the trusted people in your life? What does quality of life mean to you? What are your values, wishes, and hopes? These are some questions that Advance Care Planning (ACP) aims to address before a health crisis or decline. Historically, however, ACP has focused on future care and end-of-life wishes for a very specific segment of the population. Join members of the Advance Care Planning in Canada team to learn about the changing landscape of ACP in Canada as we shift to a Life Planning model. Your life, wishes, and healthcare choices are important to discuss, now. ACP is also not a one-size-fits-all; nuances and considerations of working with self-advocates, families, caregivers, and chosen families will be discussed highlighting the importance of intersectionality and universal design.

 

2B

Pronouns 101 – Empowering A Positive Workspace

Presenters: Deanna Djos, Andrew Scott

This workshop will provide everyone with the confidence to address people and their gender identity with respect through learning about what it means to be transgender, why the pronouns are important and what resources and tools are available to support others in the work environment and community. The presenters will be providing resources and tips for practicing people’s pronouns, how to navigate situations where you misgender someone, and what to do if you hear someone misgender someone else.

2C

Panel Presentation
Taking Connection and Loneliness Seriously: 5 Creative Tools – Part One

Presenters: Pamela Cushing, Jennifer Shields, Callie Giffin

The presentations in this panel aim to address the shift in the field post-pandemic to realizing that we need to take loneliness and its counterpoints -connection and relationships more seriously as we seek to support the well-being of those we serve. Each presentation showcases one innovative, constructive and tested approach or tool for building connections and a sense of belonging for people with Intellectual and/or Developmental disability (IDD). These practice-based examples built from Disability Studies concepts such as centering the voices, choices and creativity of people with IDD, as well as digging into the social mechanics of inclusion beyond the mere physics of access.


a. Creating Integrated Co-Learning Opportunities in University with People with Intellectual and Developmental Disability

This presentation showcases a new variation on inclusive education in the post-secondary education (PSE) sector. A common approach to PSE inclusion of individuals with intellectual and developmental disability (IDD) labels has been to facilitate their taking courses with curriculum adaptations and a support person specifically for them. Our approach had a different objective and that was to ensure that the Disability Studies (DS) students get to know them and learn together at the same time in a mutuality-focused way that jointly builds interpersonal and communication skills
b. Re-Imagining Staff Training and Programming to build a more Inclusive Camp Community

This presentation shares best practices I have developed and implemented as Inclusion and Accessibility Coordinator at an Ontario summer camp over three years. I explain how I adapted various aspects of the camp’s approach by applying Disability Studies concepts (from classes and a literature review of inclusion in camps) to foster an environment of inclusivity and belonging. Due to being small and closed settings, sleep-over camps can allow for significant cultural and systemic innovation around environmental changes to promote a greater sense of belonging that may be transferable to other settings. Camp X is a mainstream camp for all campers with approximately 20 inclusion campers (mostly IDD) each summer. The changes I designed and ran began with the Social Model principle of ‘fixing’ the environment not the disabled person. I share the 3 primary ways we’ve changed how we do inclusion and how D.S. underpins it all.

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

Absence of Objection is Not Sufficient – Incorporating Assent Based Clinical Practices in Supported Living Settings

Presenter: Chantelle Farruigia, Elissa Moretto, Erin Pankerichan

Limited research and education exists on incorporating assent-based practices into clinical programing for adults in supported living settings. Typically, practitioners of ABA place great importance on obtaining informed consent, however, there are few resources or studies on how to define, obtain and/or practice assent-based clinical programing. It can also be challenging to determine assent from someone with limited verbal behaviour, or high rates of challenging behaviour. This presentation will focus on the journey from educating, to actively incorporating assent-based practices within Kerry’s Place Support Living clinical services. This presentation will also focus on practical applications and case studies which demonstrate the success of assent-based programming in different domains.

3B

Aging with IDD: Exploring the Physical Causes of Behaviours

Presenters: Dasha Choitova, Tara Resnick, Paula Green

Those aging with Intellectual Developments Disabilities (IDD) express themselves through various behaviours as a form of communication. For example, this population may convey their everyday needs such as hunger or pain with behavioural expressions.
As care providers working with these individuals it is our responsibility to look for the meaning behind the behaviour in a way that allows the individuals to be supported from a client-centered, holistic lens.
Individuals with IDD age at a different pace than the neurotypical population. and historically have had a shorter life expectancy. With increased medical interventions and advances in technology, adult with IDD are living longer.
As people age, their physical support needs increase naturally. For aging adults with IDD, these changes are more prevalent and happen earlier in life due to the comorbidities of their conditions.
As such, it is imperative that as care providers we focus on optimizing health and consider the physical causes for responsive behaviours.
Unfortunately, missing this step leads to an increase in pharmacological or more intrusive interventions, which can cause care providers to miss the underlying physical issue.
This workshop will support care providers and leadership teams in building capacity to better identify and address physical conditions in individuals aging with IDD.

3C

Panel Presentation
Taking Connection and Loneliness Seriously: 5 Creative Tools – Part Two

Presenters: Grace Reid, Liza McClelland, Mel Quevillon, Caroline Blumer

The presentations in this panel aim to address the shift in the field post-pandemic to realizing that we need to take loneliness and its counterpoints -connection and relationships more seriously as we seek to support the well-being of those we serve. Each presentation showcases one innovative, constructive and tested approach or tool for building connections and a sense of belonging for people with Intellectual and/or Developmental disability (IDD). These practice-based examples built from Disability Studies concepts such as centering the voices, choices and creativity of people with IDD, as well as digging into the social mechanics of inclusion beyond the mere physics of access.

a. Connections: A Board game that promotes relationship-building skills

This presentation introduces a board game that can be played in various ways to promote interpersonal awareness and connections in a care setting. The game began as a joint project on how to elicit richer, more wide-ranging life story details when partnered with a community member with IDD in an integrated Disability Studies (D.S.) class: Narratives and IDD. This course was fully integrated with individuals with IDD with the purpose of genuinely creating space to lift up and listen to their voices and choices per the DS social model. I have since evolved and adapted the game to be a tool that helps encourage players with IDD to reflect on and communicate about a range of questions and listen to others’ answers. It is a fun, engaging way to practice various skills that help initiate and sustain friendship. The game is called: “Connections: A Boardgame that Promotes reflection, communication, and connection.”


b. Key Practices for building Inclusive spaces for Transitional-aged Youth

This presentation addresses a shift post-pandemic in the offerings at L’Arche London towards specialized curriculum and programs that are inclusive spaces for Transitional-Aged Youth (TAY). Based on the Social Inclusion literature and direct experience, we identified how important relationships are to disabled youth facing the uncertainties of transitioning to adulthood and created two new initiatives to support them to meet such challenges together. In Summer 2022 and 2023, we created and ran a summer camp that blended skills development, lessons, and activities supported by a grant and donations. “TAYke Off!” is a new weekly program focused on life skills and communal cooking, and recreational activities that built from what camp participants told us they wanted more of. The culminating community dances are organized by TAY participants, providing the chance to practice life skills such as leadership, planning, listening to others and hospitality as they also invite others to it. We share their comments about how this promotes their sense of connection to a community, reinforces and sustains friendships and reduces loneliness. Both programs are rooted in our Disability Studies (DS) backgrounds, beginning with the principle of listening to the voices of those with IDD right from step one of dreaming up new programming to respect their desires, hopes, and diverse choices


c. Making room for relationships in Musical settings: from access to belonging and self-understanding

According to Block (2018) “the opposite of belonging is to feel isolated and always (all ways) on the margins, an outsider”(p. xvii).
This presentation shares a set of practices and examples I found while observing two inclusive musical programs based in London, ON, in a way that reflects the shifted emphasis in our field from just “access” to recognition of a need to support individuals’ voices and well-being as well. These findings flow from my recent doctoral research (Blumer 2023) conducted in 2 Ontario music programs: L’Arche London Virtual Open Mic (VOM) and Dreams Come Treu Music Studio (DCT). Both programs promote the involvement of people of all ages and abilities in music-making contexts. During observation and interviews, participants shared that the collective sense of belonging they felt there, was a key element fostering their meaningful participation.
To illustrate how various creative structures, philosophy, and practices can contribute to this aspect of inclusion, I share a case example of persons from each of the organizations. I trace their view of the difference between ‘just having access’ to a sense of how to be fully themselves, and experience genuine belonging.

5:30pm 7:00pm

OADD Awards Dinner


In-person attendees: Join us for dinner and the annual OADD Awards
Virtual Attendees: Conference resumes Thursday April 11th
 

7:00pm 11:00pm OADD Networking Event sponsored by MedPro 

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 11th

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

Sensory Loss – Aging, Medical Needs and Challenges in the Medical Field

Presenters: Amanda Mesko, Sarah Nevett

Those with sensory loss have unique challenges when navigating the health care system. We will look at some of those challenges that they face and discuss some tools and techniques to assist with navigating the system. We will discuss barriers, team perspective and supports that were utilized to ensure a more successful outcome for those supported. Topics discussed include dementia, dual diagnosis, sensory loss, and complex care needs. We will review and share the resources created that not only benefited those requiring the services, but those advocating alongside them.

4B

Walk the Talk: Confronting the Status Quo by putting the EDI Workplans in the Heart of Organizational Strategic Plans

Presenters: Mansoora Qazi, Alison McLean, Dwayne Milley, Nadia Sukhram, Ron Trajano

Developmental Services Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Community of Practice (DS-EDI CoP) consists of professionals from various DS service provider agencies. We recognize that EDI is not a one-day workshop, rather it is an ongoing process that needs to be embedded in an organization’s culture and practices. To be consistent with the Journey to Belonging, we believe that the DS agencies need to bring the EDI workplans in the centre of their Strategic plans.
Our panel discussion and presentation intend to examine the concept of “Walk the Talk” in the context of confronting the status quo and promoting an inclusive and diverse workplace. The major focus will be on integrating equity, diversity, and inclusion workplans in the core of the organizational strategic plans.
In this discussion we will explore various domains and effective strategies for fostering inclusive environments. With a focus on both theoretical perspectives and practical applications, this session aims to bring together experts from diverse backgrounds to share their insights and experiences.
Combining the panel discussion with a presentation, we will delve into specific case studies and success stories highlighting organizations who have successfully implemented EDI initiatives into their strategic plans.
Attendees will gain practical knowledge and actionable strategies to drive positive change with their own spheres of influence. Furthermore, the session will provide an opportunity to participants to engage in meaningful dialogue, exchange of ideas and build networks to further collaboration in promoting equity, diversity, and inclusion within their agencies.

4C

Panel Presentation
Taking Connection and Loneliness Seriously: 5 Creative Tools – Part One

Presenters: Pamela Cushing, Jennifer Shields, Callie Giffin

The presentations in this panel aim to address the shift in the field post-pandemic to realizing that we need to take loneliness and its counterpoints -connection and relationships more seriously as we seek to support the well-being of those we serve. Each presentation showcases one innovative, constructive and tested approach or tool for building connections and a sense of belonging for people with Intellectual and/or Developmental disability (IDD). These practice-based examples built from Disability Studies concepts such as centering the voices, choices and creativity of people with IDD, as well as digging into the social mechanics of inclusion beyond the mere physics of access.


a. Creating Integrated Co-Learning Opportunities in University with People with Intellectual and Developmental Disability

This presentation showcases a new variation on inclusive education in the post-secondary education (PSE) sector. A common approach to PSE inclusion of individuals with intellectual and developmental disability (IDD) labels has been to facilitate their taking courses with curriculum adaptations and a support person specifically for them. Our approach had a different objective and that was to ensure that the Disability Studies (DS) students get to know them and learn together at the same time in a mutuality-focused way that jointly builds interpersonal and communication skills
b. Re-Imagining Staff Training and Programming to build a more Inclusive Camp Community

This presentation shares best practices I have developed and implemented as Inclusion and Accessibility Coordinator at an Ontario summer camp over three years. I explain how I adapted various aspects of the camp’s approach by applying Disability Studies concepts (from classes and a literature review of inclusion in camps) to foster an environment of inclusivity and belonging. Due to being small and closed settings, sleep-over camps can allow for significant cultural and systemic innovation around environmental changes to promote a greater sense of belonging that may be transferable to other settings. Camp X is a mainstream camp for all campers with approximately 20 inclusion campers (mostly IDD) each summer. The changes I designed and ran began with the Social Model principle of ‘fixing’ the environment not the disabled person. I share the 3 primary ways we’ve changed how we do inclusion and how D.S. underpins it all.

10:45am 11:15am Break
11:15am 12:30pm Concurrent Sessions “5”
5A

Lifebook: A Communication Strategy to Understand and Process Grief

Presenters: Annette Piggott, Katrina Paddley

This presentation will highlight a resource tool that can be created with the person supported who has limited functional communication. This will provide them the opportunity to identify and work through the impact of grief on their mental health.
The training resource is in a PowerPoint format, with step by step instruction on how to create a Lifebook collectively with the person supported. A Lifebook is intended to foster conversation, and share their life events with others using pictures, drawings, smells, music, objects, etc.
There are several benefits for creating and utilizing a life book with a person supported:
• It is used as a communication tool
• Shares history and perspective on life pasts events
• Enables the person supported to recognize their emotions
• Develops trust and build self-esteem
• Identifies when outside medical professionals are needed to support the grieving process
The PowerPoint includes parameters of environment to complete it, materials needed as well as modifications required depending on the person supported visual needs.

5B

Surveying Stakeholder Experiences: Strategies for Gathering Insights

Presenters: Heather Dawson, Patty Neufeld, Sharon Magor

A key focus of Journey to Belonging is to ensure that agencies are effectively delivering on quality and outcomes. Introduction of a performance measurement approach to measure outcomes for people and gather feedback on their service experience is part of the strategy of Journey to Belonging.
This session will explore the experiences of three agencies in the development, implementation, and sharing results phases of Experience or Satisfaction surveys to get feedback from families. We will share our different approaches to developing survey questions, implementing the survey, communicating results, and use of the information. Attendees will gain valuable insights into the pros, cons, challenges, and successes encountered by these agencies. The session will present ideas for consideration by other agencies who may be embarking on use of a survey to obtain feedback on family experience.
Drawing on insights from inquiries to OADD members, we know that agencies are using a variety of survey and other engagement processes to get feedback from stakeholders. Many surveys are developed in-house based on examples from other agencies or research-based question sets from other sectors. They range from short ad-hoc SurveyMonkey tools to multi-year surveys with robust communication strategies. Response rates are low – but the information gained is valuable. We also know that there is a desire to learn from other agencies by using questions/or surveys with validated question sets (including net promoter score), with a view to being able to compare our results with those of other agencies.
As part of our session we will present a vision for agencies to collaborate by sharing question sets and results so that we are well-positioned for the Ministry’s introduction of a performance measurement approach. The aim would be to effectively measure outcomes for people and get feedback on their service experience. Attendees will be encouraged to consider these collaborative strategies as they embark on similar survey initiatives, fostering a community dedicated to enhancing the overall quality of services.

5C

Panel Presentation
Taking Connection and Loneliness Seriously: 5 Creative Tools – Part Two

Presenters: Grace Reid, Liza McClelland, Mel Quevillon, Caroline Blumer

The presentations in this panel aim to address the shift in the field post-pandemic to realizing that we need to take loneliness and its counterpoints -connection and relationships more seriously as we seek to support the well-being of those we serve. Each presentation showcases one innovative, constructive and tested approach or tool for building connections and a sense of belonging for people with Intellectual and/or Developmental disability (IDD). These practice-based examples built from Disability Studies concepts such as centering the voices, choices and creativity of people with IDD, as well as digging into the social mechanics of inclusion beyond the mere physics of access.

a. Connections: A Board game that promotes relationship-building skills

This presentation introduces a board game that can be played in various ways to promote interpersonal awareness and connections in a care setting. The game began as a joint project on how to elicit richer, more wide-ranging life story details when partnered with a community member with IDD in an integrated Disability Studies (D.S.) class: Narratives and IDD. This course was fully integrated with individuals with IDD with the purpose of genuinely creating space to lift up and listen to their voices and choices per the DS social model. I have since evolved and adapted the game to be a tool that helps encourage players with IDD to reflect on and communicate about a range of questions and listen to others’ answers. It is a fun, engaging way to practice various skills that help initiate and sustain friendship. The game is called: “Connections: A Boardgame that Promotes reflection, communication, and connection.”


b. Key Practices for building Inclusive spaces for Transitional-aged Youth

This presentation addresses a shift post-pandemic in the offerings at L’Arche London towards specialized curriculum and programs that are inclusive spaces for Transitional-Aged Youth (TAY). Based on the Social Inclusion literature and direct experience, we identified how important relationships are to disabled youth facing the uncertainties of transitioning to adulthood and created two new initiatives to support them to meet such challenges together. In Summer 2022 and 2023, we created and ran a summer camp that blended skills development, lessons, and activities supported by a grant and donations. “TAYke Off!” is a new weekly program focused on life skills and communal cooking, and recreational activities that built from what camp participants told us they wanted more of. The culminating community dances are organized by TAY participants, providing the chance to practice life skills such as leadership, planning, listening to others and hospitality as they also invite others to it. We share their comments about how this promotes their sense of connection to a community, reinforces and sustains friendships and reduces loneliness. Both programs are rooted in our Disability Studies (DS) backgrounds, beginning with the principle of listening to the voices of those with IDD right from step one of dreaming up new programming to respect their desires, hopes, and diverse choices


c. Making room for relationships in Musical settings: from access to belonging and self-understanding

According to Block (2018) “the opposite of belonging is to feel isolated and always (all ways) on the margins, an outsider”(p. xvii).
This presentation shares a set of practices and examples I found while observing two inclusive musical programs based in London, ON, in a way that reflects the shifted emphasis in our field from just “access” to recognition of a need to support individuals’ voices and well-being as well. These findings flow from my recent doctoral research (Blumer 2023) conducted in 2 Ontario music programs: L’Arche London Virtual Open Mic (VOM) and Dreams Come Treu Music Studio (DCT). Both programs promote the involvement of people of all ages and abilities in music-making contexts. During observation and interviews, participants shared that the collective sense of belonging they felt there, was a key element fostering their meaningful participation.
To illustrate how various creative structures, philosophy, and practices can contribute to this aspect of inclusion, I share a case example of persons from each of the organizations. I trace their view of the difference between ‘just having access’ to a sense of how to be fully themselves, and experience genuine belonging.

12:30pm 1:30pm Hosted lunch and opportunity to visit vendor tables

1:30pm 2:45pm Concurrent Sessions “6”
6A

Fostering Emotion Resilience

Presenter: Claudia Ferryman

This workshop provides a holistic approach to cultivating emotional resilience, empowering individuals to navigate life’s challenges with increased self-awareness and adaptive coping strategies. Grounded in evidence-based practices, this presentation will explore seven key tips to enhance emotional well-being, drawing from concepts such as emotional check-in, thought watching, personal beliefs, cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), identification of personal triggers, and effective management of negative self-talk.
The workshop will commence with an interactive exploration of the importance of emotional resilience, emphasizing its role in promoting mental health and overall well-being. Participants will be guided through practical exercises, fostering a deeper understanding of their emotional states and promoting a proactive approach to self-care.
The session will delve into the concept of emotional check-ins, encouraging participants to regularly assess and acknowledge their emotional well-being. Attendees will gain practical insights into developing a mindful awareness of their emotions, laying the foundation for effective emotional regulation.
Key tools include thought-watching and cognitive behavioural therapy techniques, providing participants with tools to identify and reframe unhelpful thought patterns. Through real-life case studies and interactive discussions, attendees will learn how to apply CBT principles to challenge and modify negative thinking, promoting a more resilient mindset. The significance of identifying personal triggers and their impact on emotional responses will be explored. Participants will engage in self-reflection exercises to pinpoint specific triggers and negative self-talk, enabling them to develop tailored strategies for managing stressors in their daily lives. By reviewing positive psychology principles, attendees will be equipped with techniques to foster constructive inner dialogue, enhancing their emotional resilience.
Participants will walk away feeling empowered with a robust toolkit for enhancing emotional resilience, practical insights, and actionable steps to navigate life’s challenges with greater emotional and mental fortitude. Our presentation aligns with the OADD’s commitment to promoting mental health and well-being, offering a valuable resource for personal growth and resilience.

 

6B

Increasing Community Capacity to Respond to the Complex Needs of Adults with Developmental and Intellectual Disabilities: Follow-up Evaluation

Presenters: Laura Mullins, Kayla Cormier

Many adults with developmental disabilities supported in residential services engage in challenging behaviour that interferes with their quality of life and can negatively affect their support systems. Effective training in positive behaviour support is crucial for direct support professionals supporting adults with developmental disabilities with complex needs. The Community Capacity Development Initiative (CCDI) is a train-the-trainer initiative aimed at increasing community capacity to complete functional behaviour assessments and develop positive, proactive behaviour support plans. This follow-up research evaluated perceptions of the effectiveness of the CCDI from former participants from nine agencies using a survey (n = 21) and follow-up interviews (n = 13). Results suggest that participants maintained their knowledge and continued to apply the skills with others they supported. Further, the initiative was reported to improve the quality of life of the service users involved in the process and agencies engaged in meaningful organizational change that enhance services capacity to support those most in need. This presentation will review some of the factors that contributed to and impeded success, which was consistent with the model for fostering community capacity to support adults with intellectual disabilities who engage in challenging behaviour (Mullins & Scott, 2022). Attendees will have the ability to reflect on their experiences and challenges, and we will provide recommendations for how to improve the effectiveness and impact of training programs within the developmental service sector.

6C

Integrated Community Collaboration for an Individual with Complex Needs in Northeastern Ontario

Presenters: Angela Bellaire, Sabrina Belanger

This presentation will be a case study that really describes the wrap around supports APSW services can create. The case involves a 20-year-old female of Indigenous, Cree descent, FASD Mild ID who has experienced Human Trafficking and remains at high risk of human trafficking. The case will also describe some of the barriers this individual has faced accessing services in Northeastern Ontario and the intergenerational trauma she experiences.

2:45pm 3:15pm Break
3:15pm 4:30pm Concurrent Sessions “7”
7A

Forming the Circle

Presenters: Dr. Kendra Thomson, Louis Busch

Drawing upon the knowledge shared at the 2023 Gathering on Indigeneity, Neurodevelopmental Disabilities, and Mental health, this presentation will explore Indigenous views on neurodevelopmental differences, emphasizing a unique perspective of neurodiverse individuals as bearers of unique gifts. Indigenous care for neurodevelopmental disability is rooted in holistic well-being, including spiritual, mental, physical, emotional and relational elements. We will discuss the impact of colonization and current inequities in social and healthcare systems, as well as potential short- and long-term actions which may lead to positive change.

7B

Complex Transitions: An Ethical Imperative for Collaboration between the Healthcare and Developmental Sectors

Presenters: Ana Santo, Andria Bianchi

Many people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) have complex care needs and/or dual diagnoses, for which acute care hospital admissions may be essential. There exist several challenges associated with care provision and people with IDD in hospital settings. An example of these challenges can be seen in hospital discharge-related dilemmas. When someone with an IDD is medically stable while in hospital, though continues to present with behaviours that challenge, facilitating an ethically defensible discharge can be complex. Hospitals have a responsibility to ensure a safe discharge plan, and medical stability is often used as a determining factor as to whether a person can be discharged. However, questions exist around whether the definition of “safety” or conception of a safe discharge should be different for a person with IDD given the additional challenges that may be present with this particular population.
This presentation will examine some de-identified case examples in order to demonstrate that it may be helpful to reconceptualize what a “safe” hospital discharge may entail when working with people with IDD, highlighting both successful and unsuccessful experiences. More specifically, this presentation will argue that meaningful and intentional collaborative efforts amongst the healthcare and developmental sectors are a necessary part of care provision and discharge planning so people with IDD can lead healthy and fulfilling lives upon post-hospital admission.

7C

Development of Quality Councils at the micro, meso and macro level: A Unified Approach to the Implementation of Journey to Belonging through Quality Improvement

Presenters: Cecile Recto, Terri Hewitt

The Journey to Belonging (J2B) calls for an urgent unified approach focused on the operationalization and measurement of quality to ensure readiness in the developmental sector.
The J2B commits to reform across the different domains and principles of quality: Putting People First (person-centered), Improving Service Experience (efficiency, timeliness, safety, and equity), and Improving Quality and Accountability (evidence-based decision-making, continuous improvement, outcome measures). Data collection across the quality domains will help track social inclusion, provision of high-quality services, and quality of life of people with developmental disabilities. The J2B is about to enter its transition and implementation phase wherein new approaches will be tested from 2024 through 2027. It is crucial for our sector to collect high quality data to support the Ministry’s policy development and program decisions.
The time has come to address the current state of fragmented information and draw upon the gains of the health sector (e.g., Waypoint) in developing quality networks. This will stimulate and sustain collection of standardized data and build capacity to start tracking and reporting the different quality domains of J2B before the roll-out.
Agencies committed to re-organizing their quality councils (at the micro level) can form the prototype network of quality councils at the sectoral (meso) level that will then provide representation to the provincial (macro) level. Adopting this approach will ensure the capacity to implement J2B; track quality indicators; and support comparison, learning, and enhanced outcomes. The quality councils can be incorporated to existing networks, sustained by voluntary hours and grant funding.

We would also like to thank the following sponsors:

  • MedPro Direct – Networking Event sponsor
  • PMB – Welcome Event Sponsor
  • CARF – Keynote sponsor

and vendors (in alphabetical order):

  • Bethesda’s Community Response Program
  • CARF
  • MedPro Direct
  • Ontario Caregiver Organization
  • Rainmaker Solutions
  • Trillium Support Services
  • Therap
  • WM&A

Information on the April 12th, 2024 RSIG seminar day is posted on their web-pages.