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From time to time, the Waterloo Region Family Network (WRFN) is asked to distribute information on behalf of third parties. WRFN provides general information to self-advocates and families of children with special needs. The information provided on this website is not a recommendation, referral or endorsement of any resource, therapeutic method, or service provider. WRFN is not responsible for any information or services provided by third parties. You are urged to use independent judgment when considering any resource.



Nominations for the Maria deBoer Changemaker Award now being accepted!

About the Award

Maria de Boer had been the Executive Director of Extend-A-Family Waterloo Region (EAFWR) for nearly 35 years. She retired in October 2017. Maria worked hard to put inclusion and belonging first at EAFWR. She encouraged people to be curious and thoughtful. Maria asked questions like, “Who makes inclusion happen?” and “How do we truly welcome and value all members of our community?”

EAFWR believes that people who have been left out or treated differently by others understand better than anyone what we need to do to make everyone feel like they belong. We need to work with other groups who help create belonging - especially the true leaders, people who are disabled/have a disability. People who have been left out from areas of community life really understand why everyone needs to feel like they belong and why every person’s voice matters.


For this reason, EAFWR wants to honour someone who identifies as disabled/having a disability who makes a positive impact for others in some way, and is looking for nominations for the fourth annual Maria de Boer Changemaker Award. The award winner will receive $500.

The nomination deadline is November 14, 2022. 

Learn more and nominate here.


Eligibility Criteria

(You must be able to say ‘yes, this is true’ about all four of these following sentences, or else we can’t accept your nomination package)

  • The person you are nominating must be comfortable being described as disabled/having a disability (developmental, physical)
  • The impact of the person being nominated must be mostly in Waterloo Region
  • If you are nominating yourself, you must also include a letter, video, or audio recording describing your positive impact from someone else
  • The person being nominated is okay with being nominated




How to Nominate

We recognize that stories come in all different formats!

Please see the nomination package for more information and to find out some of the ways you can submit your nomination.

The nomination deadline is November 14, 2022. 

If you have any questions, to learn more about the nomination criteria, or to talk about whether a nominee might be a good fit, please contact Courtney at 519-741-0189 ext. 220 or courtney.horowitz@eafwr.on.ca.


Leah Bowman at 3:46 PM
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