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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.



Help get our Budget message the Federal Government

Participate in the On-line Budget Consultation process and support us by asking the federal government to fund research into the creation of a medicare-type disability insurance plan for Canada.
Here's how:
Step 1: Go to the Let’s Talk Budget website: https://letstalkbudget2021.ca/pre_budget_consultations
Step 2: Go to questionnaire Button or link – a very short scroll down
Step 3:  Click on the Next Button “Take Questions”
Step 4:  There are 7 questions on this page and each one might be addressed as follows:

Question 1  - Click “Other”
Question 2 – this is a comment section, the comment might be (Copy and paste)

The creation of a national disability insurance plan would create thousands of jobs, particularly in rural and remote communities prospects while improving the employment for persons with disabilities and their families by supporting care needs. But first, we need the research.

Question 3 -  Again, go to and check ‘Other’
Question 4 – In the comment box a suggestion would be  (Copy and paste)

The economy will show real signs of improvement when persons with disabilities are employed at the same rate as other Canadians.  But for this to happen they must have the essential supports they need to be guaranteed by a Medicare type disability insurance plan.  It begins with research and public discussion.

Question 5 – Again choose ‘Other’ – NOTE: If you choose this, it will only let you make 2 selections, not 3.

A second choice here that is compatible with our message is either ‘Invest in Training’ or “Improve access to and affordability of High-Speed Internet”

Question 6:  Choose ‘Other’ - NOTE: Here too it will only let you make 2 selections, not 3.

A second choice compatible with our message might be “Provide accessible and affordable early learning and child care for all families” or “Continue to invest in affordable housing” or “Improve income support programs…”

Question 7 – Again “Other” NOTE: Here too it will only let you make 2 selections, not 3.

A second choice compatible with our message might be “Affordable Housing”

Question 8 – A possible answer might be “Research into the design and implementation issues of creating a National Disability Insurance (Medicare type) Plan”.

Question 9 – A possible answer might be “Engage persons with disabilities and their families in a discussion about what they would want a national disability insurance program to do for them by way of meaningful services and supports”.
It will then move to the next page.

Question 10 – Again “Other”
Question 11 – (only comes up after you answer ‘Other’)  The answer might be “Lack of disability supports (for family members that need it)”. This could be specified. “I need ________”

Question 12, 13, 14,  15, 16, 17 - These can be answered on its own


The closing date for the survey is Feb. 19.

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Autism Research Centre is researching a group virtual anxiety intervention for children and teens with Autism

We are currently studying whether a group therapy program called Facing Your Fears will help to reduce anxiety in children and youth with Autism Spectrum Disorder. 

For more information or get invovled, click here.

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The Coalition of Muslim Women of KW survey

The Coalition of Muslim Women of KW is conducting a survey to learn how our community organizations and service providers can improve services and create new programs to better serve Muslim women and their families in our region.
The survey is anonymous and takes approximately 20 minutes to complete. There is also a chance to win three $75 Grocery Gift Cards!

If you are a Muslim woman / community member, please fill the survey and forward this email to your friends and family.

If you are a service provider in Waterloo region, please share / forward this email to your colleagues and your clients. 

If you have any question, please email fauzia.mazhar@cmw-kw.org or call 519-576-0540 ext 3565

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Town Hall - MCCSS Survey

We hosted a Town Hall on Saturday December 5 with about 19 participants. What an event and great conversation.   


We thought we could share the information that was collected and if you could share with your networks and contacts.  Please find attached the following documents:

1.  Key Words from Town Hall

2.  Town Hall Jam Board

3.  Word document with questions (can use this to complete the survey and then copy and paste)


The survey links are in the document but I have attached in this email also:

Plain Language Version

English:  https://www.mcss.gov.on.ca/wp/en/programs/developmental-services/making-ds-better-in-ontario/

French:  https://www.mcss.gov.on.ca/wp/fr/programmes/services-ontario-personnes-deficience-intellectuelle/ameliorer-spdi-en-ontario/


Full Version

English:  https://www.mcss.gov.on.ca/wp/en/programs/developmental-services/discussion-guide-ds-reform-engagement/

French:  https://www.mcss.gov.on.ca/wp/fr/programmes/services-ontario-personnes-deficience-intellectuelle/guide-discussion-consultations-reforme-spdi/



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MCSS-Improvement and Reform of DSO survey

The Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services (MCCSS) has put out a survey asking what they can do to improve and reform Developmental Services in Ontario. This is an opportunity to help shape the future of developmental services and provide your feedback on how it looks for you right now.  Your input is very important.

MCCSS is asking for ideas, feedback, and comments that will help them improve supports for people with developmental disabilities and the survey provides opportunities for people to share their thoughts on:

  • Making funding fair and transparent
  • Better Assessment and planning
  • Delivering supports that meet people’s changing needs
  • Improving service quality
  • How technology can be used to improve services

There is both a plain language version and full version with discussion guide that will take about 45 minutes to complete. 

Plain language Version

Full version

Open for feedback until December 31, please take some time to answer some or all of the questions. Ensuring that MCCSS hears from people in our community is so important in ensuring that places like Waterloo Region Family Network can continue to provide supports and services for people with developmental disabilities.

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Community & ACTIVE Living Programs in our secondary schools

WCDSB is in the process of reviewing the current Community & ACTIVE Living Programs in our secondary schools.  Please see the link below to our website which contains information about the current programs:



We are soliciting input from numerous stakeholders (e.g., WCDSB Special Education Advisory Committee, WCDSB Special Education Visioning Committee, Secondary Special Education Teachers, Educational Assistants, Secondary Administrators, Secondary Guidance Department, community partners, parents/guardians, students…).  The focus question being:


“As we review the WCDSB Community & ACTIVE Living Programs, in your opinion, what are the KEY student learning needs and/or overall desired student goals/outcomes of this program?”


Your voice is crucial as we address the above question.  You are encouraged to participate in the anonymous Thought Exchange at the link below.




By participating in the Thought Exchange you will be able to share your input as well as view/comment on the input of other participants.  The Thought Exchange will stay open until December 14th, 2020.  We value your input and appreciate your time.


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Integration Action for Inclusion School Experiences Survey

This is aimed at learning about peoples' experiences in the school system both during COVID-19 and more generally. It is a longer survey (33 questions) aimed at trying to understand peoples' views and thoughts about schooling during COVID-19 and inclusive schooling in general. It also includes an opportunity for you to let us know your thoughts about a possible name change and if you have any time to spare as a volunteer. It should take no more than 15 minutes to complete. 


Complete the survey here.

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Ontario Government survey for Developmental Service Reform

While some of you may already be aware, we wanted to bring to everyone's attention the Government of Ontario's new web-page dedicated to engagement on Developmental Services Reform.


The web-page can be found here.  


The page includes a survey that asks for ideas, comments and feedback on how to improve supports for people with developmental disabilities across Ontario.


They will be accepting submissions until Friday, December 4th.


Given the significance of this consultation, we encourage everyone to participate in this survey and to also share this information with others who may be interested in participating.


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Racial Trauma & Healing

Are you a therapy client or therapist that self identifies as a person of colour?

Would you like to discuss your experiences in a research study?


Very little is known about the experiences of people of colour in psychotherapy practices in Canada. In this qualitative study, we will explore the experiences of therapy clients & therapist (RP & MSW) who identify as people of colour.


For more details on the study, click here.

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COVID-19 Disability Survey – Very Different than others

Researchers at the Centre for Chronic Disease Prevention and Management at UBC Okanagan have teamed up with Ontario-based Abilities Centre to launch a national COVID-19 disability survey. 


So, what makes this survey different from everyone else’s survey happening right now? The disability community will have access to the information from these surveys. This survey is not a snapshot in time, or used for any purposes other than to identify the needs of our community. The information collected will help develop meaningful advocacy, strategies and actions that will work towards meeting these needs. This survey will address needs over the long term, and questions will be informed directly by our disability community.


All Canadians who have a disability, or have a child or family member living with a disability in their household, are asked to share their unique experiences and concerns while navigating COVID-19. The survey is fully accessible. 


The information collected from the survey will directly impact policymakers, businesses and organizations across Canada as they develop accessible and inclusive policies, processes and services. 


To participate in the COVID-19 Disability Survey, visit abilitiescentre.org/disabilitysurvey


For more information, contact: disabilitysurvey@abilitiescentre.org or call 1 866 639 1858. 

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Blog Contributor Portrait
Leah Bowman
February 23, 2021
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Waterloo Region Family Network
November 12, 2019
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