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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.



Summer 2019 YEP

KW Habilitation's Youth Exploring Possibilities - YEP is offered for 9 weeks during the summer. This program focuses on exploring the community, including recreational and leisure centres and future volunteer and employment options. 


Develop your confidence by using the Grand River Transit to access Kitchener-Waterloo. Learn more about what resources and activities your community has to offer, and discover how to use them. Meet new people and experience great adventures together! 


What does YEP offer? 

Past YEP participants have enjoyed activities such as:

  • life skills
  • cooking and baking 
  • arts & crafts and music such as drumming
  • volunteering at local non-profit organizations
  • rock climbing
  • outdoor activities such as canoeing or fishing 
  • learning about community safety from local police and fire departments 
  • karate and Zumba
  • attending local events and festivals
  • tours of various employment settings

Who: Ages 16-21

Youth must meet eligibility for Developmental Services 

When: July 2 - August 30, 2019

9:00 - 3:30pm Monday to Friday

Where: 109 Ottawa St. S., Unit D, Kitchener

This is an accessible location. Activities happen in the community. 


$120 per registered 5 day week

$97 per registered 4 day week. 

Youth will be supported in a 1:4 ratio. Fees are non-refundable. 


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A Trial of Acceptance & Commitment Therapy for Caregivers

A Trial of Acceptance & Commitment Therapy for Caregivers - A research project evaluating Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT) for parents of individuals with autism. Presented by York University and Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (camh)


What is the research about?

This is a research project evaluating the benefits of Acceptance & Commitment

Therapy (ACT) for parents. ACT seeks to help individuals to struggle less with

difficult things in their lives and mindfully connect with things that are most

important in a way that is loving and respectful. With an introduction to the

concept of ‘mindfulness,’ ACT does not attempt to directly change or stop

unwanted thoughts or feelings, but to develop a new mindful relationship with

those experiences that can free a person up to being open, and to take action

consistent with what they care about. Each workshop is facilitated by a parent of an

individual with autism and a trained clinician.


Who should attend?

  • Mothers and fathers of children, youth and adults with autism. Fluency in English is required.

What does participation involve?

Participating involves attending three workshop sessions held in London, Ontario:

Workshop 1:

Friday, April 12, 5:30pm-9:00pm   

Saturday, April 13, 9:00am-4:30pm 

Saturday, May 11, 1:00pm-4:30pm

Workshop 2:

Friday, September 13, 5:30pm-9:00pm

Saturday, September 14, 9:00am-4:30pm

Saturday, October 19, 1:00pm-4:30pm

  • You will be randomly allocated to attend either Workshop 1 or Workshop 2.
  • As a participant, you will need to attend all three sessions and complete some questionnaires before the workshop, and again three times after that.
  • Participation in the workshop is free.

I’m interested! What next?

For more information, please contact Andrea Maughan, at amaughan@yorku.ca.


For more information on ACT workshops, you can check out our short video the : https://www.surreyplace.ca/caring-for-the-caregiver-through-act/

As well as these articles: http://rdcu.be/I6jT & https://bit.ly/2tSUbcZ

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Upcoming Sunbeam Centre Programs!

Sunbeam Centre has some new upcoming programs! 


Pottery Making Class

These classes will focus on making things for the garden. 

April 27 - May 4, 2019 from 1-3pm. 

Total Cost: $40

Location: Sunbeam Centre, 2749 Kingsway Dr., Kitchener 

Register online at www.MyCommunityHub.ca.  


Aqua Fit

A relaxing class led by an instructor focusing on body balance, and low impact strengthening activities that will help improve overall health and activities of daily living through range of motion exercises, stretching and low impact activities.  

Participants who require assistance with personal care or assistance in the pool are required to bring their own support person to class. 

April 3-24, 2019 from 3-4pm. 

Total Cost: $40

Location: Sunbeam Centre, 2749 Kingsway Dr., Kitchener 

Register by March 29.


If you have questions about any of these programs please contact Wendy King at w.king@sunbeamcentre.com

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Connection - An 8 Week Support Group for Mothers Who Have Experienced Interpersonal Violence

Connections - A Carizon CAPC Program in partnership with Kinbridge Community Association.

Connections is an 8-week support group for mothers who have experienced interpersonal violence (emotional, verbal, physical, cyber). Group members learn together and support one another to understand how experiencing violence impacts family life and how they can enrich their parenting skills.


Connections information, learning and sharing sessions include:

  • Healthy relationships
  • Building self-esteem in ourselves and in our children
  • Positive effective parenting
  • Strengthening our bond with our children
  • Strengthening our capacity to parent our childre

Time: Wednesday Mornings 10 am-12 noon, April 3 – May 22, 2019

Location: Kinbridge Community Association 200 Christopher Drive Cambridge, ON

Group sessions are free of charge
Space is limited
Childminding is available
Bus tickets and light snacks provided

To inquire about registration contact Sydney at Carizon: 226-808-7540 or sbell@carizon.ca.

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Career Compass Summer Jobs 2019

KW Career Compass can help you find meaningful employment!


Job Coaches are available to assist youth and adults with developmental disabilities match interests, skills and career goals to find the perfect fit.


Get help with:

  • Resume and Cover Letter Writing

  • Interview Preparation

  • Skills Assessments

  • Job Coaching

  • Goal Setting & Job Searching

  • Employment Readiness Classes

Fee for service options are available.


To apply, you MUST:

1. Complete and send in the full application and current resume by May 10, 2019 to KW Habilitation:

 Mail or in person: 99 Ottawa Street South, Kitchener, ON, N2G 3S8

 Fax: 519-884-8609

 Email: info@kwcareercompass.org

Please make each application to the Attention of Wil Candlish.

2. Have an intellectual disability (confirmed through a psychological assessment, IEP or DSO)

3. Be able to find own way to and from work and/or classes and appointments. (We can provide bus route training as needed!)

4. Commit to:

- Attending and joining all skill building opportunities.

- Working the scheduled hours/time as set by the employer.

- Only being absent from work/training if you are ill or have an emergency situation to deal with.

5. Have a Social Insurance Number – or be willing to apply for one to have it by June 15, 2018.


If you have any questions about Career Compass Summer Jobs 2019, or need help filling out the application please contact Wil Candlish, Manager at 519-744-6307 ext. 1213 OR by email info@kwcareercompass.org.

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Safety for Independent Living - Skills for Youth and Adults Learning to Stay Home Alone

Traditional gaming, digital media, video, role play and repetition are used to educate and engage students in a fun and interactive manner.
Students learn life skills that empower them to make safe, caring and respectful decisions in their everyday lives both online and offline.


Date: Sat March 23 & Sun March 24, 1-5pm
Time: 1:00 PM TO 5:00 PM Daily
Place: Kitchener

Cost: $113 (eligible for Passport funding)

WRDSS will reimburse WRDSS members 50% of the registration costs for those that

complete the course.


Learn more or register at https://www.wrdss.ca/event.




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KidsAbility 2019 Spring-Summer Program & Activity Guide

Are you looking for programs or activities for you or your child? The KidsAbility Program & Activity guides highlight some of the great programs geared toward both caregivers and children and youth with special needs. They feature KidsAbility, Firefly and community-based activities and resources. 


View the 2019 Spring-Summer Program & Activity Guide.

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Abilities United Soccer Team – New for 2019!!

Waterloo United is proud to introduce the Abilities United team – New for 2019!!  The program is fully inclusive, designed and adapted for children with any disability – we welcome all on the field!  WMSC, in partnership with KidsAbility, is at the forefront of the development of not only soccer programs, but also physical literacy programming and recreation/socialization opportunities.  This is a parent participation program – one support person per player is required. 


Date:  Sundays from June 2 – July 28 (no program June 30)

Time:  10am – 11am

Location:  RIM Park (indoors)

Ages: 4-14 yrs

Cost:  $160 (includes full uniform, ball, medal and team photo.)


For more information visit  https://www.waterloounited.com/camps-skills/abilities-united/.


To register visit https://waterloounited.powerupsports.com/index.php?page=LOGIN.


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iCan Bike

Hosted by KidsAbility, iCan Bike helps children and youth with special needs to

achieve an important life milestone: learning to ride a two-wheeled bike!


Using specially adapted bicycles, partcipants gradually transition to a regular two-wheeled

bicycle learning the skills and condifence that they need to ride independently!


Times: 75 minute sessions each day (sessions scheduled between 8 am–5 pm)

Ages: 8 Years Old – School Exit (up to age 21)

Eligibility: Your child must meet eligibility requirements and register with KidsAbility for

this event. For more informaton and details including full eligibility criteria visit kidsability.ca/icanbike.

Cost: $180 per person

To Register: Call 519.886.8886 or 1.888.372.2259 ext. 1373 or email specialized@kidsability.ca.

Registraton deadline is Friday, June 21, 2019


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Triple P Positive Parenting Group

Triple P positive parenting group starts at the CMHRT, University of Waterloo in March 2019.


What is Triple P?

  • Group program based on research evidence and used in 35 countries worldwide
  • Opportunity to meet other parents in similar situations
  • Provides tips and strategies to suit the individual needs of your family
  • Includes a handy workbook with parenting tools and information
  • Includes video and demonstrations to put ideas into practice

Who is it for?

  • Parents of children ages 3 to 11 years
  • Parents seeking strategies to manage challenging child behaviors
  • Parents wanting to learn new ideas, to reduce parenting stress, or to feel more confident in their parenting

What does it cost?

  • The group program fees are $200 for the 8 week program
  • There is an additional cost of $30 for the parent workbook
  • Subsidies are possible

Dates: Wednesday nights March 6 to May 1 2019 (excluding March 13 2019)

Time: 6:00 to 8:00 pm

Venue: CMHRT, University of Waterloo (PAS 1401)

Facilitators: Dr. Marjory Phillips (supervisor) with experienced graduate students and residents in clinical psychology


Please contact cmhrtintake@uwaterloo.ca or (519) 888-4567 ext. 33842 if you would like to participate in the program and to discuss whether it is suitable for your family.

Space is limited. For more information, please see  https://uwaterloo.ca/cmhrt/.

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Waterloo Region Family Network
April 15, 2019
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