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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.



Wilfrid Laurier Research Study to Promote Physical Activity Among Adults with Intellectual Disabilities?

Are you an adult caregiver (parent/guardian/friend/relative) over the age of 18, free from intellectual disabilities yourself, provide care and are knowledgeable about the daily patterns of an adult aged 18-64 with intellectual disabilities (ID)?


If so, we want to hear from you!


We are conducting a survey about the barriers and facilitators to participation in physical activity among adults with IDs.


If interested, please follow the survey link:





Rachel Cave at 3:09 PM
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Health Care Access Research and Developmental Disabilities Newsletter


Autism and Mental Health Series
Webinar Presentation

Autistic People and the COVID-19 Pandemic: What Have We Learned So Far?

Thursday, April 27, 2023, 12:00-1:00 PM EDT
Dr. Liz Pellicano, Professor of Autism Research at University College London joins us for the latest in a series of monthly interactive workshops where we discuss different topics that are important to Autistic adults. The webinars are designed and hosted by Autistic adults; all are welcome. View our flyer. 

For a full list of upcoming events, visit the Autism & Mental Health Webpage.

Click here to register


Webinar Presentation

"All teach – all learn”: Lessons learned about mental health and developmental disabilities during the pandemic

Tuesday, March 28th  2:00-3:00 PM EDT
Presented by the Disability Health Equity Research Network, with guest speaker, Dr. Yona Lunsky, Director of the Azrieli Adult Neurodevelopmental Centre and the Health Care Access Research and Developmental Disabilities Program (H-CARDD) at the Center for Addiction and Mental Health.

Click here to register


Research Study Recruitment
Autistic Adults and the Experience of Psychedelics

Are you Autistic and over 18 years old? We want to hear about your experiences with psychedelics.
This research study wants to learn about the perception, opinions, and knowledge of autistic adults about psychedelics, and whether they have used them in the past.

Participation involves filling out a 20-30 minute online survey. Click here to go to the survey.

For more information, email or call us:

+1 416-535-8501 ext. 32817

Click here to go to survey


Virtual Workshop
Direct Support Professionals in Developmental Services

New Workshop starts April 4th! 
Are you a Direct Support Professional (DSP) in developmental services? Join our free virtual workshop, offered over three 2-hour sessions, to learn about Acceptance and Commitment Training (ACT) strategies. This workshop aims to support the well-being of DSPs and is part of a research study to help us to learn more about how to best support the well-being of staff in the sector.

Dates and Times:1. Mar 28 from 6:30-7:00 PM (Orientation) 2. Apr 4 from 6:30-8:30 PM 3. Apr 11 from 6:30-8:30 PM 4. May 9 from 6:30-8:30 PM

Interested? Please complete the expression of interest form by clicking here. 

Contact us for more information at PACT@camh.ca


Virtual Mindfulness Group
Leaders and Management Professionals in Developmental Services


Starts March 28th! 

Are you a leader or management professional in developmental services? Join our free 6-week Canada-wide virtual mindfulness program, led by Sue Hutton, a mindfulness teacher with 40 years of experience. This program is supported by the Canadian Centre for Caregiving Excellence.


Every Tuesday, Mar 28th to May 2nd, 2023, 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm EDT
This program is also part of the Cultivating Community Wellness Initiative. View our flyer.









Volunteer Opportunity
Caregiver Engagement Network

Join the Azrieli Caregiver Engagement Network! Open to all caregivers (siblings, parents, grandparents) of loved ones 18 years and older with a developmental disability. 

Next meeting: Thursday, March 23rd, 12:00-1:00 PM EDT
Click here for more information. 


Questions? Email Azrieli.Caregivers@camh.ca.

Click here to register


New Research
Survey on Siblings of Adults with Disabilities


Are you a Canadian Developmental Services Organization?
Please take 10 minutes to complete a survey on how your organization includes the siblings of people with developmental disabilities in the programs and services offered. The survey is part of a research study by Siblings Canada and the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health.   
Share this flyer with the person at your agency who has the most contact with the families of people with disabilities (primarily siblings) or is most familiar with the support offered to families.

Click here to go to survey



Trish Coupal at 9:45 AM
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Asian-Canadian Youth Identities in a Pandemic Era: Arts-based Research.

Looking for Asian-Canadian Youth, aged 16-24, with Ancestry/Origin from India, the Phillipines or China, to participate in arts-based youth identity study.  Click here for further details. 

Trish Coupal at 12:27 PM
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Adolescent ASD Research

Looking for children with ASD (nonverbal) or neurotypical children, age 12-18,  to participate in online emotion research.  Contact ASD@queensu.ca.The study is online. After answering a few questionnaires, participants will recieve $20 and a $10 Amazon gift card.

Trish Coupal at 11:38 AM
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Transforming our Systems: The 2022 Report of the National Advisory Council on Poverty

This year, we met with over 1,000 individuals and organizations from across the country as part of our ongoing dialogue with Canadians on poverty. We received overwhelming interest in our sessions on issues such as the future of work, grassroots responses to poverty, building a resilient social safety net, and the future of health and poverty. We also had the opportunity to meet with individuals with lived experience of poverty in small-group sessions.


We are grateful to those who took the time to engage with us. These conversations and the insights that participants shared are the foundation of our report and recommendations. Thank you.


During our engagement, we heard about the challenges facing those living in poverty, including inadequate income, difficulty accessing benefits and supports, and the racism and discrimination that permeate our systems and society. We heard that while the pandemic provided us with a real world pilot project of a more substantial and inclusive social safety net, it exacerbated inequalities that existed long before COVID-19.


In our report, we note the significant progress made in reducing poverty in Canada. While this is great news, we also note that deep inequities remain for certain populations made most marginal in our society. Reductions in poverty rates may be difficult to maintain in the years to come as we grapple with issues such as record inflation, long-term impacts of the pandemic and the phasing out of emergency supports. Sustainable poverty reduction will require a whole-of-society commitment to rebuilding and maintaining systems that leave no one behind.


We invite you to read, share, and continue the dialogue. As a Council, we will continue asking questions and learning from those with lived experience of poverty, as well as reflecting on what we heard and where we need to go from here. We hope this report can help move us closer to a more equitable and just society.


Your feedback will help us keep the conversation going. Please share with us your feedback and let us know if you would like to take part in future engagement activities, by sending an e-mail to EDSC.CCNP-NACP.ESDC@hrsdc-rhdcc.gc.ca.


You can access Transforming our Systems: The 2022 Report of the National Advisory Council on Poverty at the following links:


Transforming our Systems: the 2022 Report of the National Advisory Council on Poverty - Canada.ca

Transformer nos systèmes : le rapport 2022 du Conseil consultatif national sur la pauvreté - Canada.ca

Leah Bowman at 10:32 AM
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Blog Contributor Portrait
Name: Trish Coupal
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Last Post: May 14, 2024
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Last Post: November 8, 2022
Waterloo Region Family Network
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