Recipients 2017

OADD Awards & Scholarship Recipients – 2017


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. Robert Hickey

Dr. Robert Hickey is an outstanding professional who has contributed tremendously to the field of developmental disabilities over a number of years. Dr. Hickey lives in Kingston, Ontario with his wife, Erin Sheldon, and their two daughters, Maggie (13) and Ella (10).

Dr. Hickey is the volunteer President of Community Living Kingston and District and has been in this position since 2012. He further led a comprehensive strategic planning process for this organization in 2014—a process which has resulted in much change and many positive directions for this already progressive organization.

Dr. Robert Hickey has had significant involvement with the field of developmental disabilities through the DSHR Strategy since it began in 2008. Through his work at Queen’s University, as Professor in the Master of Industrial Relations program in the School of Policy Studies, Dr. Hickey has linked into and led significant research in labour relations and HR practices in developmental services.

Dr. Hickey has been involved in many initiatives over the past nine years:

  • Critical role in development of formal partnership with Queen’s University and the Provincial Network/MCSS/HR Strategy – 2008
  • Model of Evaluation for the HR Strategy Committees – 2009
  • Core Competencies Pilot Evaluation – 2011
  • MAPS – Benchmark Survey of HR Capacity and Practices – 2011
  • Forum presentation – “MAPS – Supporting Evidence- Based HR Practices in DS” – 2013
  • Forum presentation – presenter for Core Competencies Survey Results – 2013
  • Forum presentation – co-presenter for The Shared Interest Conversation – 2013
  • Logic Model for Succession Planning and Talent Mgmt – 2013
  • Forum presentation – co-presenter for HR Metrics and HR Checklists – 2014
  • Forum presentation – co-presenter for Talent Management and Succession Planning – 2014
  • Forum presentation – Co-presenter for Intro to HR Metrics Tracking Tool – 2015
  • Forum presentations in 2016 and 2017
  • Led development of project outcomes for an HR Metrics Project 2017
  • Membership and advisory role on all Strategy committees and many sub-committees

Underlying all of Dr. Hickey’s work is his lived experience as the father of a child with special needs and the manner in which he shares all that he has learned along the way at conferences and events to help support improvements and to advocate for needed change in Ontario.

Dr. Robert Hickey’s work has made a profound difference to those who work in Ontario Developmental Services and is even more importantly impacting the quality of services received by people who are living with a developmental disability.


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.


Dr. Kerry Boyd

Kerry Boyd is a psychiatrist with over 20 years of experience working with teams that serve people with intellectual and developmental disabilities across the lifespan. She currently works at McMaster Children’s Hospital and Bethesda Services. She has served as Bethesda’s Chief Clinical Officer for the past decade. She is committed to improving the care of persons living with developmental disabilities through education. She is an Associate Clinical Professor for the Department of Psychiatry & Behavioural Neurosciences at McMaster University. As a 2013-2015 AMS Phoenix Project Fellow, Dr Boyd lead the development of the Curriculum of Caring for People with Developmental Disabilities with web-based resources found at


Dr. Xudong Liu

OADD is pleased to present Dr. Xudong Liu with the Award of  Excellence for his  leadership  in  research  on  Neuro- developmental Disabilities that is contributing to a better understanding  of  people  with  developmental  disabilities with  particular  focus  on  autism  and  associated  Neuro- developmental conditions such as ID, ADHD, OCD, etc. His research work has yielded over 40 peer-reviewed journal articles, multiple book chapters, and numerous conference abstracts, posters, and presentations.

Dr. Liu’s research is focusing on four important components:

  • a better understanding of the underlying biological and etiological mechanisms,
  • identifying genetic and environmental risk factors contributing to predisposition to these neurodevelopmental disability conditions, developing an early screening and identification tool that will support early diagnosis and early treatment and Intervention; and
  • developing biomarkers to support more tailored treatment/ intervention for individuals.

With undergraduate study in Biology, Dr. Liu received his Masters’ degree in Community Health and Epidemiology and PhD in Genetics. He is currently a faculty member of the Center for Neurosciences and the Department of Psychiatry at Queen’s University.

Since March 2012, Dr. Liu has also served as co-Director for the Autism Spectrum Disorders-Canadian American Research Consortium (ASD-CARC), continuing to lead the collaborative effort on autism research by an interdisciplinary research team across multiple research institutions in Canada and the US. In 2014, he led the establishment of a new interdisciplinary team, Queen’s Partnership on Neuro-development (Q-POND), and became one of five centers of POND (Province of Ontario Neuro-developmental Disorders) Network. Currently Dr. Liu is working closely with Wade Durling, the CEO of Ongwanada and Dr. Muhammad Ayub, the Chair of Developmental Disability Division at Queen’s University, in establishing an accredited clinical trial centre for neuro-developmental disabilities, an essential part of the POND Clinical Trial Network.


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.

Sarah Davis  –  Graduate Level Scholarship
Sarah is a highly motivated Graduate Student pursuing an Honours Bachelor of Arts with Specialization in Psychology and a Minor in Criminology, followed by an Advanced Diploma in Behaviour Science Technology.

Sarah is currently building on her knowledge within the Master of Arts in Applied Disability Studies with specialization in Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) at Brock University.

In June 2013, she founded a business, Successful Development Therapeutic Behavioural Services, on the premise of providing a wide range of outstanding ABA- based service to those in need.

Sarah’s dedication to the field is shown through her work and interests. Sarah plans to use the Kay Sansom scholarship, to assist with future research endeavors to directly benefit individuals with developmental disabilities by investigating the necessary and sufficient components of BST (i.e., instructions, modeling, rehearsal, and feedback) to teach motor skills to individuals with developmental disabilities.

There were no successful candidates for the College or Undergraduate level scholarships in 2017


NADD-OADD Scholarships

The OADD received one-time funding from NADD Ontario on its’ dissolution December 2016 to provide 3 new scholarships for people working and studying in the field of developmental disabilities. There are a maximum of four (4) scholarships awarded per year as:

  • Up to two (2) Continuing Education bursaries (maximum of $435 awarded annually)
  • One Student Research Scholarship $1,000 and
  • One Participation Scholarship $1,000

Beatrice Kaiser- Student Research Scholarship
Beatrice will be using the scholarship for her 4th year BSc thesis project. The project will be focusing on examining the genetics of large families with multiple children with a neuro- developmental disability from different relationships. She will be examining mental health issues as part of the family’s health history and looking into their association with the presence of neuro-developmental disabilities. Research that provides further knowledge on the association between mental health and neuro-developmental disabilities may provide future benefits to individual treatment and diagnoses

Kelly Coons – Participation Scholarship
Kelly’s doctoral research surrounds the prevention of FASD, an umbrella term that is used to describe a continuum of effects associated with prenatal exposure to alcohol. This research will be a next step for her previous work with families raising children with FASD which revealed that parents often do not feel supported by those from whom they expect help, particularly physicians, nurses, and midwives.

No successful applications for the Continuing Education Scholarship  were received for 2017