Recipients 2007

OADD Awards & Scholarship Recipients – 2007

Staff Recognition Award

OADD’s Staff Recognition Award is presented to an individual who is employed by an agency funded to provide services to those with developmental disabilities who, as a professional, has contributed significantly to better understanding of, or enhanced the well being of, those with developmental disabilities.

Sandy Garnham

Sandy has dedicated her career to assisting people to become active, valued participants in their home community. She has also taken on a lead role in assisting with the development of Community Living London’s self advocates group New Visions. The New Vision Advocates have played an active role in the community. They have presented to service clubs, to City Hall, to students in the school systems and have met with local MPP’s to advocate for their issues. Sandy has supported the advocates throughout these initiatives and has freely given of her own time to accompany individuals to travel across the province sharing their message.


Professional Recognition Award

OADD’s Professional Recognition Award is presented to an individual who, through his/her professional interaction with individuals with developmental disabilities, has contributed significantly to their integration within the community.

Frances Owen and Barbara Vyrostko

This award is being given jointly this year to Frances and Barbara for their team work. They each have over thirty years of dedication to this field and in particular to persons with significant challenges. Their collective experiences culminated in an incredible alliance to protect the rights of the most vulnerable of our citizens, persons with intellectual disabilities who present the system with challenging behaviours. The alliance is spearheaded by these two amazing people and together they coordinate the efforts of a large multidisciplinary team that collectively works on issues of rights protection.


Directors’ Awards of Excellence

For OADD members who have made, or are making, a very substantial and extensive contribution to the direction, leadership and promotion of OADD.

Shaune Lawton

Shaune Lawton was first associated with OADD as a member of the Ontario Chapter of AAMD and a presenter at its15th Annual Conference in Ottawa in 1988. He was a founding member of OADD itself in 1989 and has remained a member for 18 consecutive years. In 1992 he presented at the OADD’s 3rd Annual Conference in Toronto speaking on ‘Managing in Turbulent Times’. He chaired the OADD’s 4th Annual Conference in Kitchener in 1993 and was a member of the conference committee for the 8th Annual Conference Share the Spirit in 1997. Since that time in 6 of the last 10 years Shaune’s staff have also been presenters at OADD conferences.

In 1993 Shaune was appointed to the Board of Directors of OADD and remained on the Board until 2002. He has served on the membership committee and executive committee and took on the role of past chair in 1997 to complete the incumbents’ term. He was elected Chair in 1998, serving as chair elect for 2 years prior and past chair from 2000 to 2002. Shaune has served the Board through some of the toughest times OADD has ever experienced. Membership and conference revenues had turned down, publication, conference and office costs had climbed and support staff infrastructure was shaky. Had Shaune not exercised a somewhat controlling hand OADD might have folded. Shaune’s support of OADD has remained strong through his professional contribution to the OADDs’ feature text Developmental Disabilities in Ontario, his agency’s ongoing sponsorship of the conference and maintenance of Gold Patron Level Membership every year.


Kay Sansom Scholarships
The awards, one each at the college, university undergraduate, and university graduate level, are granted to individuals who have a proven interest in the field. As such, the award must be used to pursue full time study in a recognized program associated with a professional discipline related to developmental disabilities.

Holly Swaga – College Award
Holly is currently enrolled in the DSW program at Georgian College, Orillia, Ontario. On graduation she plans to work in supported independent living with persons with Developmental Disabilities with a focus on facilitating leisure skills. Holly has worked as a personal attendant for an individual with MS requiring complete care and at school she volunteers as a peer tutor and note taker. Holly is described as enthusiastic, a valuable asset to the profession, accountable, and an exceptional student by her faculty. She was honored to be asked to be the student representative on the DSW Advisory Committee. As a personal assistant, she was described as a joy and a benefit to her employer as well as a person who had the ability to make you forget your disability, even if for a short time.  Holly’s long -term goal is to attend university to pursue a Sociology degree with an emphasis on Developmental Disabilities. She would like to promote stronger laws and advocate on behalf of persons with disabilities.

Ryan Hutchins – Undergraduate Award
Ryan is entering her second year of the Disability Studies Bachelors Program at Ryerson University. She has been working as a Youth 2 Work Career Development Facilitator and more recently, accepted a contract as a Youth 2 Work Program Supervisor with Community Living Toronto. Ryan received her DSW certificate prior to working at CLT. Ryan also worked as a co-op student and part time at Bloorview MacMillan Children’s Centre developing educational and orientation materials for families and outpatients. As a student Ryan also worked in a group home for adults with Developmental Disabilities and as a Program Coordinator for a social club for Youth with Disabilities. Ryan is described as a person who has always gone beyond the call of duty to support people with disabilities and a person who believes in the importance of all individuals being supported to be active citizens in their community.

Ryan’s goal is to complete her Bachelor Degree and continue to support and work with persons with Developmental Disabilities.