OADD Awards & Scholarship Recipients – 2009
Hull-Roeher Award of Merit
Presented in honour of John Hull and G. Alan Roeher to an individual who has made an outstanding contribution, or special achievement in the area(s) of education, humanitarianism, research or service for those with developmental disabilities
Agnes Samler is Ontario’s first independent Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth. Prior to this appointment Agnes was the executive director for Community Living Toronto for 12 years. Agnes has a long history, both work and volunteer, as an advocate and front-line worker helping to support programs for vulnerable children and youth. Agnes is a founding member and recent president of Defense for Children International – Canada. Agnes is deeply committed to ensuring that the voices of children and youth are heard and she is a strong supporter of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Agnes has a BA in Psychology and a Master’s Degree in Sociology and Criminology, both from the University of Toronto.
OADD Award of Excellence
To be presented to an individual who has contributed significantly to better understanding of, or enhanced the quality of life for, those with developmental disabilities.
Marg started her career in day program supports in Sudbury, ON, in the mid 70’s. Over time Margaret has taken on roles with increased responsibility within MCSS, Justice and the Ministry of Health. When she “retired” from government Margaret assumed the Executive Director’s position at Catulpa. At the same time she became Co-Chair for the Central East Regional Planning Committee along with the Ministry, a position she was invited to and continues to hold. Margaret has advocated strongly on behalf of the population she supports. At the same time she is intrinsically aware of the need to recruit, nurture and retain excellent staff. She has a great ability to approach problems from a systemic perspective. This has resulted in more responsive services to the individuals she supports. Margaret continues to raise awareness of Mental Illness and supports the development of a community service system that would provide care and treatment to allow people to manage mental illness with dignity and respect as contributing members of society. Margaret has no plans to retire.
Susan is the Clinical Director of the Dual Diagnosis Program at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) and plays a significant provincial and national role advocating for the needs of individuals with developmental disabilities and mental health needs. In addition to her role at CAMH, Susan is President of the Board for the National Association for the Dually Diagnosed Ontario and is a member of the Board of Directors for the Canadian Association for Research and Education in Intellectual Disabilities. Susan also Chairs the Toronto Network of Specialized Care and is a lecturer within the Health Systems Program, Department of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto.
Recently, Susan has brought together a coalition of individuals from across Canada to develop an advocacy toolkit on dual diagnosis and advocate to have the National Strategy on Mental Health address the needs of this population. Susan has and continues to make significant contributions to the field of developmental disabilities at a local, provincial and national level.
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.
Melissa Fleishman – Undergraduate Award
Melissa is currently enrolled at Brock University, St. Catharines, Ontario in the Bachelor of Physical Education (Honours) Disability Studies and has applied to continue her studies at the graduate level; Master of Arts in Applied Disability Studies at Brock University. Melissa’s undergraduate thesis is focused on children with Autism who present with self-injurious behaviour (SIB) when they are engaged in physical activity. She volunteers with research being conducted at Brock University with persons with OCD and high functioning Autism, she is committed to being a part of ensuring individuals with disabilities live meaningful and fulfilling lives. Melissa is described as having a passion for the field of disability and a drive and commitment evidenced by her history of dedication, volunteerism and academic achievement.
Michelle Viecili – Undergraduate Award
Michelle hopes to enter a Masters Degree program in Clinical Psychology within the area of Developmental Disability. She has a BA (Honours) in Psychology and Criminology from York University. Michelle volunteers and is a research assistant with Dr. Adrienne Perry at York University assisting in the standardized measures of assessments of children previously diagnosed with Autism/PDD-NOS. She is also a research assistant with Dr. Yona Lunsky at CAMH assisting in the piloting of an MCSS developmental disabilities service allocation package. Michelle helps organize information on data linkage for Health Services and developmental disabilities for policy makers. Her choices of employment and volunteerism have given her a strong foundation to excel in her academic and career goals in clinical psychology. Michelle is described as being dedicated and passionate about promoting the mental health and well-being of persons with developmental disabilities
Tammy Drain – Graduate Award
Tammy is a doctoral student in the School of Clinical Child Psychology (SCCP) at OISE, University of Toronto.
Tammy has a great deal of clinical, professional, research and volunteer experience with persons with acquired brain injury, developmental disabilities, behavioural challenges, and syndromes. She has worked in providing psychometric, psycho-educational and functional assessment. Tammy has co-authored two articles published in academic journal and has presented her research in academic and professional venues. Tammy is described as having outstanding research abilities, topnotch academic achievements, clinical and people skills as well as exceptional judgment in clinical/research situations. Tammy has demonstrated exceptional devotion to increasing the quality of life of children with developmental disabilities and will surely continue to contribute to this field for many years to come.