Recipients 2016

OADD Awards & Scholarship Recipients – 2016


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.


Dr. William Sullivan

William F. Sullivan, MD, CCFP, PhD, FCFP works as a family physician and medical ethicist.  His clinical work is based in the Department of Family and Community Medicine, St. Michael’s Hospital, and Medical Services, Surrey Place Centre, which are University of Toronto Affiliated teaching sites.

He is the founding director of the Developmental Disabilities Primary Care Initiative (DDPCI, 2009 – 2015), an Ontario-based initiative jointly sponsored by Ontario’s Ministry of Community and Social Services (MCSS), Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC), and Surrey Place Centre (SPC).

Based on the success of the DDPCI and working with colleagues at SPC and DDPCI associates, in 2014 Dr. Sullivan led the development of a proposed new entity called the Developmental Disabilities Primary Care Program (DDPCP).  The proposed aim of the DDPCP would be to continue and expand upon the work begun by the DDPCI in supporting primary care providers in providing guideline-informed health care for people with IDD and ASD.

Since 2006, Dr. Sullivan has provided weekly consultations regarding the health care of adults with IDD or ASD for their primary care providers, SPC colleagues and caregivers.  His research interests in IDD and ASD include developing consensus clinical and ethical guidelines (2006, 2011, 2015) and related clinical tools.  With the DDPCP, Dr. Sullivan’s research will focus on ways to promote successful key life-course transitions and on complexities regarding the optimal assessment and care of people with IDD or ASD who exhibit behaviours that challenge or compromised mental health and wellness.

Dr. Sullivan has ongoing research interests in ethical issues associated with all aspects of being with and caring for people with IDD or ASD, such as assessing capacity to consent to proposed interventions and shared decision-making within various models of the caregiver-patient relationship.


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.


Michelle Palmer

Michelle graduated from Fanshawe College in the Developmental Service Worker program in 1983, and then completed the Human Resource Management Certificate in 2003.  She has also completed the Queen’s University Executive Leadership Program and the Ontario Leadership Consortium on Developmental Services through the University of Delaware.

Michelle has worked for Community Living London since 1983.  She has held the positions of part time support worker, full time support staff, Supervisor, Senior Manager and is currently the Executive Director.

In December 2015, Michelle became the interim Executive Director at Community Living Elgin, while maintaining her role with CL London.

Michelle is also a Family Home provider for the VON, and has shared her home with Brian, a man with Down syndrome, since 1994.

Michelle has held several past volunteer roles, including the Chair of the Ontario Association on Developmental Disabilities and Chair of the Southwest Executive Directors group.

She currently participates in the following committees/Boards:

  • Past Chair of the Provincial Network on Developmental Services
  • Member of the Developmental Service Worker advisory committee at Fanshawe College
  • 2014 Cabinet Member for the United Way of London Middlesex


Kay Sansom Scholarships

3 Graduate Students received Kay Sansom Scholarships this year from the qualifying applicants. Each will receive $1,000.00 a certificate and free OADD sustaining membership. Typically there is 1 recipient from each of the following applicant categories: College, Undergraduate and Graduate.


Jacqueline MacDonald – College Level Scholarship

Jacqueline entered the field of developmental services in order to provide support to and assist young people with developmental disabilities to achieve their goals and dreams.  Jacqueline has a diploma in Visual and Digital Arts from Humber College and is currently in her second semester of the Developmental Services Worker program at Algonquin College.

Jacqueline has volunteered with St Isadore Elementary School working with children with intellectual disabilities and hopes to obtain a position as an EA with students with developmental and/or physical disabilities.

Jacqueline is passionate about encouraging people with disabilities to value themselves and work towards life-long goals. She will be using the scholarship to help with tuition at Algonquin.


Karen Black – Undergraduate Level Scholarship

Karen is in her final year of the Psychology Research Specialist (Hon. BSc.) at the University of Toronto. She has applied to a combined MA/PhD program in clinical developmental psychology for 2016/2017 and is applying for a summer undergraduate NSERC grant to develop a prototype of a smartphone-based application that will help teach awareness of experienced emotions to children with ASD as a first step towards the goal of significantly reducing anxiety and disruptive classroom behaviour. Karen’s long-term goal is to work in the field of developmental disabilities to help increase treatment access to all families regardless of their income education or location.

Karen will be using the scholarship funds to help with planning, designing and implementing a pilot research project to assess the impact of a 6-week trial of the smartphone-based application.

Ami Tint  –  Graduate Level Scholarship

Ami has been working and volunteering in the field of developmental disabilities since 2008 with a focus on research into Autism Spectrum Disorders. She is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Clinical-Developmental Psychology program at York University. Her dissertation focuses on the experiences of women with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Ami has published articles in several peer-reviewed journal articles, including the Journal on Developmental Disabilities and has presented research posters at the OADD Research Special Interest Group (RSIG) Research day.

Ami has been a member of the OADD Research Special Interest Group (RSIG) Conference Committee for the past 2 years.

Ami’s long-term career goal is to develop an independent program of research tailored to improving the quality of services for individuals with developmental disabilities and their families.