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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.

 


 

Family Pulse-July 2021

Welcome to July! 

 

Inside this issue:

Evening of Elegance @home - WRFN's Signature Event
SEAC Updates
Of Joy and Sorrow
What's Happening at WRFN
Steph's Corner
Community Information, Resources and Opportunities

 

You can read the online version of Family Pulse here or download a pdf copy. 

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Afro News! Newletter

Check out the lastest edition of the Afro News! Newletter here.

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HCARDD Newsletter

Check out the latest HCARDD Newsletter. You will information on:

  • Getting Ready for Summer

  • Assessing the Impact of COVID-19 on Direct Support Professionals

  • Virtual Health Care for Patients with Developmental Disabilities

  • IDD: Get to Know Me

  • Kitchen Table Talk

  • and read about New Publications

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Family Pulse-June 2021

Welcome to June! 

 

Inside this issue:

SEAC Updates 
New Seasons

What's Happening at WRFN
Steph's Corner
Community Information, Resources and Opportunities

 

You can read the online version of Family Pulse here or download a pdf copy. 

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More often than not, I use "exceptional"

By Cristina Stanger, Self-Advocacy Liaison, WRFN
*This article was originally published in the Family Pulse Newsletter May 2021*


Semantics can be a tricky thing. Language is constantly evolving in all facets of society. But words also carry a lot of weight, and I try to be very deliberate in how I choose them.
 
Exceptional. Special needs. Disability. Disorder. Difference. There are so many options used in the space surrounding the individuals and families we support; it can be intimidating, and sometimes confusing, as we strive to respect the rights, needs and values of others as we speak.
 
It is also important that the words we use communicate our intended meaning. I once saw an “Abilities Office,” and while I appreciate the effort to highlight the positive, it was not particularly clear to me who that office was meant to serve, and that can be problematic too. So I thought I would share my take on the terminology of the day; when do I use what term, and why.
 
My neurology will always be different from the average person. Physiologically speaking, I am the exception to the rule. Thus, I am exceptional. For a lot of my day-to-day life, I don’t really think about this fact. It doesn’t come up, it’s not relevant, or I’m just busy being me and living life. This difference is there, underlying many aspects of my person and my experience, but it is not really an issue.
 
When I am in an environment or situation that conflicts with my exceptionality, then some accommodations are required. From my perspective, this is when I have a special need. I need accommodations to help me better operate in a world that wasn’t really designed with me in mind. By meeting this special need, I am able to participate, to be included, to feel valued.
 
If my special need in a given situation is not or cannot be met, that can feel debilitating. I am disabled because I am not able to participate in the activity, event, or the environment. It is at these times that I feel like I have a disability. And it’s okay to say that. Some people are afraid to use the word disability for fear of causing offense. Conversely, other people use the term disability very freely, not always considering the weight of the word. I fall somewhere in the middle. Perhaps, it’s easier for me to use the word disability in reference to my own self, rather than using it in the context of someone else, so that may be a consideration too.
 
Generally speaking, I don’t mind what words others use, as long as they are coming from a genuinely well-intentioned place. If there is a blatant misstep I try to politely educate on why a different choice of words might be preferred.
 
So in summary: I am always exceptional because I am “built” differently. I will have a special need when my exceptionality and environment are not inherently compatible. I feel disabled when this special need goes unmet, or simply cannot be accommodated.
 
It’s impossible to find one word that will make everyone happy and that will be universally understood or adopted. And I sometimes wonder, what language will we be using 20 years from now? But for right here, and right now, I choose “exceptional” more often than not.

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Family Pulse-May 2021

Welcome to May! 

 

Inside this issue:

  • SEAC Updates 
  • Evening of Elegance @home
  • More often than not, I use "exceptional"
  • What's Happening at WRFN
  • Steph's Corner
  • Community Information, Resources and Opportunities

You can read the online version of Family Pulse here or download a pdf copy. 

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Toronto Family Network Newsletter

Toronto Family Network

===========================================

Toronto District School Board Policy Consultation on Human Rights Deadline: April 30, 2021

https://www.tdsb.on.ca/About-Us/Policies-Procedures-Forms/Policy-Consultations

Please share this link widely and encourage participation.  Toronto Family Network has made a submission that was addressed to the Senior Human Rights Policy, Education & Org Change Specialist listed as the contact person for this consultation, as well as to the Director of Education, Chair of the Board, Special Education Advisory Committee, Parent Involvement Advisory Committee and Chief Commissioner of the Ontario Human Rights Commission.

===========================================

TDSB Special Education Advisory Committee (SEAC) Meeting

Next Meeting: April 19, 2021

https://www.tdsb.on.ca/Community/How-to-Get-Involved/Advisory-Committees/Statutory-Advisory-Committees/Special-Education-Advisory-Committee

Link to Human Rights at TDSB Page: https://www.tdsb.on.ca/About-Us/Human-Rights

FYI Other consultations include Parent and Community Involvement Policy, Specialized Schools and Programs Policy and Workplace Harassment Prevention.  

==============================

Toronto Catholic District School Board SEAC Meeting

Next Meeting: Wed, April 21, 2021

https://www.tcdsb.org/board/trusteesoftheboard/boardmeeting/Pages/BoardMeeting.aspx

https://www.tcdsb.org/ProgramsServices/SpecialEducation/SEAC/Pages/default.aspx

==============================

Government of Ontario News Release Ontario Extending Temporary Wage Enhancement for Personal Support Workers

March 18, 2021

https://news.ontario.ca/en/release/60798/ontario-extending-temporary-wage-enhancement-for-personal-support-workers

==============================

From Family Alliance Ontario

Social Hour:  Sunday April 11, 2021, 8:00-9:00 pm. Who has questions about gardening?  Do you have knowledge that you can share? RSVP by Sat April 10, 2021:

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScbQabxhpeovZTkljUef3ZFLhK1eanne64QTLFAnwi_7I8zoA/viewform?usp=pp_url

Family Knowledge Share:  Wed April 28, 2021, 7:00-8:00 pm.  Rosanne Purnwasie, Organizer, Durham Sibling Group and FAO Board Member, will share information about their group.RSVP by Mon April 26, 2021: 

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeAosghgGSXFN__JUy3rFufAYvOnzsKqbqCVuLpcwIP7mncew/viewform?usp=pp_url

Family Knowledge Share on Wed May 26, 2021, 7:00-8:00 pm.   Topic:  Supported Decision Making: Community-based initiatives to advance the equal right to decide by Michael Bach with the IRIS Institute (www.irisinstitute.ca).

Family Alliance Ontario Annual General Meeting on Sat June 5, 2021 from 9:30 am.-12:00 noon.  Speaker:  Rupert Gordon, Assistant Deputy Minister will be sharing information about the Developmental Services Reform.

===================================

Family Alliance Ontario (FAO) ODSP Survey

https://forms.gle/2DExh8RiwDso84Tq5

Family Alliance Ontario wants to find out what families and people across Ontario experience when they interact with their local ODSP office. 

==================================

Family Alliance Ontario (FAO) and People for Personalized Funding (PFPF) Surveys 

Both surveys close April 16, 2021

Ontario SSAH Survey: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeRkYhhETMbTM8OYsdWOFhqp2Cfq0nv1UK2yuIqP8-VJquLkQ/viewform

Ontario Passport Survey: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSc-ILApMbaVGSn_Nv-eIS4O5_ZOvaWs4rWKdniRy-75Kb2SlA/viewform

===================================================

Developmental Services Ontario (DSO) Housing Navigation and Housing Toolkit Survey

Survey: http://bit.ly/HNSurveyEN

Responses collected until May 14, 2021

================================================

From Marilyn Dolmage

CTV investigation into class actions aired Saturday March 20th.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m6XzHE3aW8Q

==============================

Advocacy Kit from People for Personalized Funding (PFPF) formerly called the Special Services at Home/Passport Coalition

Revised kit found on site: https://www.pfpf.ca/

==================================================

Families for a Secure Future (FSF) April Family Gathering

April 8th from 7:00 - 8: 00 pm Eastern Time 

Zoom login details posted on FSF website: https://www.familiesforasecurefuture.ca/

===============================

Toronto Star Article

Reva was interviewed for this article and quoted.

https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2021/03/02/most-ontario-children-are-faring-worse-during-covid-19-but-some-are-doing-better-sickkids-study-says.html

====================================

From Jason Weppelman Client Program Manager Toronto Companies Looking to Recruit/Hire People with Disabilities/Autism/Neurodiversities

www.rangam.com

www.sourceabled.com

==============================

Community Living Ontario Feature Story: Provincial Budget Announces New Funding for People with Disabilities, Developmental Services

Find on website in Update Friday: March 26, 2021

https://communitylivingontario.ca/en/

==============================

The OHRC at 60

Toronto Family Network received an invitation to this 15-month commemoration and celebration. 15-month.

On March 29, 2021, the OHRC marked its 60th anniversary with a virtual celebration to mark the start of a 15-month period of commemoration and celebration of both the OHRC’s 60th anniversary and the 60th anniversary of Ontario’s Human Rights Code in June 2022. http://www.ohrc.on.ca/en/ohrc-at-60

======================================

From Amanda Bartlett-Hindley, Ontario Community Services Coalition (OCSC)

Overview of the COVID-19 vaccine in a 30 minute info session with Q&A available on OCSC website: www.ocsc-ontario.ca under “Family Forums & Links.” Also found on the website is Dr. Patricia Spindel's Advocacy Workshop Presentation.

==========================================

Ontario Human Rights Commission Right to Read Public Inquiry

We have no new info to share. Last Post on the OHRC website seems to have been October 26, 2020. Please let us know if you hear anything new.

http://www.ohrc.on.ca/en/right-read-public-inquiry-on-reading-disabilities

===========================================

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Family Pulse-April 2021

Welcome to April! 

 

Inside the April issue of Family Pulse you will find information on:

SEAC Updates 
Save the Date
Always Hope
What's Happening at WRFN
Steph's Corner
Community Information, Resources and Opportunities

 

You can read the online version of Family Pulse here or download a pdf copy. 

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Health Care Access Research & Developmental Disabilities Newsletter

Click here to read the March 2021 HCARDD Newsletter.

Topics include:

  • Doctors Answer Self-Advocates Questions about the Covid Vaccine
  • Protecting People with Disabilities:TELUS talks
  • If We Don't Count, They Don't Count
  • IDD: Get to Know Me-Perspectives on the Pandemic
  • IDD: Get to Know Me-IDD on the Frontlines
  • Developmental Disabilities in Ontario's Criminal Justice and Forensic Mental Health Systems
  • Virtual Health Care for Patients with Developmental Disabilities
  • The Welling and Mental Health Care Experiences of Adults with Intelluctal & Developmental Disabilities during Covid-19
  • Mental Health during Covid-19: A virtual course for family caregivers
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Disability Advocacy Network of Eastern Ontario-March Newsletter

To read their newsletter, click here.

To learn more about Shared Connections, click here for English and click here for French.

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