DDC Graduation

Announcing the Graduation Celebration for the 17th successful session of Reena’s Developmental Disabilities Counsellor (DDC) Program in partnership with George Brown College.  This will be our 14th graduating class with partnering developmental service agencies (*see our partners listed below).  We sincerely appreciate your ongoing support of the DDC Program. 

You are cordially invited to attend the Graduation Celebration on Thursday Feb 8th, 2018 at 7:00 pm at Reena’s Toby and Henry Battle Developmental Centre located at 927 Clark Avenue West, Thornhill, Ontario. Registration begins at 6:30 pm.

Light refreshments will be served prior to and following the graduation ceremony.  This is a semi-formal event.  In order for us to best prepare for this event, please RSVP by Friday January 19th, 2018 to Abhijeet Manay at (905) 889-2690, ext. 2064 or by e-mail:  amanay@reena.org

We look forward to seeing you on February 8th!

On behalf of our partners:
* Kerry’s Place Autism Services & Montage Support Services

Let not-for-profits take over some Toronto Community Housing units

Article from the Toronto Star | January 17, 2018

Some 1,000 units in single-family homes and rooming houses currently operated by Toronto Community Housing should be transferred to the not-for-profit sector, city staff say.

And tenant representatives should continue to be appointed to the corporation’s board, “ensuring a tenant voice in the governance of TCHC,” a new staff report reads.

Those recommendations are part of an ongoing transformation of the public housing corporation, the largest landlord in Canada. They will be considered by Mayor John Tory’s executive committee on Jan. 24.

The staff report says the homes currently operated by TCH should be managed by agencies with experience working with vulnerable residents and with the supports needed to handle complex needs.

A separate report on a new entity that will focus solely on seniors’ housing will be ready in the second quarter of 2018, staff say.

There has long been a back-and-forth over what to do with TCH’s standalone properties, which are separate from the townhome and tower complexes that make up the bulk of the corporation’s portfolio.

There are currently 1,170 units in what’s called the “scattered housing” category, including 26 buildings leased to outside agencies for housing purposes, 22 rooming houses operated by TCH and 660 single-family homes owned by the corporation.

The city solicited expressions of interest from not-for-profits and heard back from current agency house operators interested in taking over the properties they currently lease, as well as supportive housing providers and community land trusts interested in obtaining properties.

A plan outlined by staff would see, if council approves the strategy, the complete transfer of agency houses in 2020 and of rooming houses in 2021. It’s unclear by what date the city hopes to have transferred the single-family homes.

Bryan Keshen, president and CEO of the charitable organization Reena, said they have for years been looking to take over the two-storey, detached home they lease from TCH in midtown.

Serving as a home for 14 people with developmental disabilities at risk of being on the street or hospitalized, Keshen said they estimate the space needs $500,000 worth of repairs that TCH hasn’t prioritized. He said the organization can’t commit to investing that amount of money themselves while still on a month-to-month lease.

“As an organization we have a range of models and in that location we’ve been leasing and really looking at an alternate model because a lease model has been really ineffective,” Keshen said. “We’ve been seeking for a while to have that asset transferred to us to give us greater control.”

He said needed repairs leave the property “below anyone’s acceptable standards,” and that Reena has the financial capacity to take control of the space and do that work.

After Tory took office in 2014, he directed an independent task force to make recommendations on the future of the beleaguered corporation, which is facing a massive repair backlog and unprecedented wait list for subsidized housing.

The transfer of standalone properties, staff say, would alleviate $6 million in annual repairs and a $33.9 million backlog. Those repair costs would become the responsibility of not-for-profit agencies.

Anne Woolger, founder of Matthew House, which serves refugee claimants arriving in Toronto who would otherwise be homeless in three downtown homes, including one leased from TCH, said they see the transfer of property as a potential opportunity for expansion.

“Especially if the extra vulnerable ones could be housed in home-like settings, it really can make a world of difference for their whole lives,” she said of the refugees they shelter.

Councillor Gord Perks, who represents Ward 14 (Parkdale-High Park), where there are several single-family homes owned by TCH in gentrifying areas, said council must also be looking to expand the amount of affordable housing in Toronto.

“This doesn’t grow it. This just moves the deck chairs around,” he said, adding that ensuring services are available and that there is a mix of market and units subsidized for low-income households is essential.

Council will have a final say on the plan at a meeting that begins Jan. 31.

Province Expanding Residential Services For Adults with Developmental Disabilities

Ontario Improving Living Spaces for People with Developmental Disabilities in York Region

Dr. Helena Jaczek, MPP Oak Ridges – Markham, is happy to announce Ontario is investing in repairs, renovations and improved living spaces at residential properties across the province that serve adults with developmental disabilities.

In York Region, Reena, Christian Horizons and Vita Community Living Services will receive a combined total of $435,400 in funding.

This funding, delivered through the Multi-Year Residential Planning Strategy, will help approximately 66 people with developmental disabilities by improving existing living spaces and creating more capacity, helping to reduce waitlists for residential services and supports across the province.

Residential supports for adults with developmental disabilities provide people with an accessible, safe and comfortable home and connect them to health and social services. These supports and services also encourage people to stay active and engaged with family, friends, and their community.

Expanding residential supports for adults with developmental disabilities is part of Ontario’s plan to create fairness and opportunity during this period of rapid economic change. The plan includes a higher minimum wage and better working conditions, free tuition for hundreds of thousands of students, easier access to affordable child care, and free prescription drugs for everyone under 25 through the biggest expansion of medicare in a generation.

QUOTES

“Our government’s investment in residential supports for adults with developmental disabilities focuses on improving residential settings that serve some of the province’s most vulnerable people. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to housing for adults with developmental disabilities and we are eager to continue to work with our partners to person-centred innovative solutions to the developmental services sector in our province.” – Dr. Helena Jaczek, Minister of Community and Social Services  

 QUICK FACTS

  • Ontario is investing $3 million to conduct repairs and upgrades at the residential properties of developmental service providers across the province through the Multi-Year Residential Planning Strategy.
  • In York Region, Reena, Christian Horizons and Vita Community Living Services will receive a combined total of $435,400  for their projects.
  • This investment will create additional residential capacity and improved living spaces for approximately 66 people with developmental disabilities in agencies across Ontario.
  • The Multi-Year Residential Planning strategy is being used to deliver part of the province’s $677 million investment over four years in community and developmental services as announced in Budget 2017.
  • Through the Multi-Year Residential Planning strategy, a total of $2 million has been invested since 2016/17.
  • Ontario provides funding for residential supportsfor more than 18,000 adults with developmental disabilities.
  • Ontario is making the largest infrastructure investment in hospitals, schools, public transit, roads and bridges in the province’s history. To learn more about what’s happening in your community, go to Ontario.ca/BuildON.

 

For more information click here.

References For Your Job Search

Employment Advice For Persons With Developmental Disabilities

drawing of a person thinking about their career

Artwork provided by an individual supported by Reena.

Dear Joanna,

I have not worked in a long time as I have been dealing with other issues in my life that are related to my disability. I have not had the energy to look for work.  I’m ready now but do not have any references. I know that once I start getting job interviews, the next step could be a request by the interviewer for my references from former employers or volunteer placements.  I don’t want to lose out because I’m not ready with references.  What do you advise in this situation?

Signed: References Revival (RR)

Dear R&R,

References are a difficult challenge for job searchers.  After checking out this question with other job coaches at Reena, and based on my own research, practice and experience I have the following suggestions for you:

  1. Use social media. With today’s access to the internet, it is much easier and acceptable for you to find your old bosses from your former places of employment, and/or where you volunteered or studied. It’s great to know that many employers have told me that they are willing to check references all over the world, using emails as the main form of communication.
  2. Always double-check with the references that they are still available, and willing to provide you with a reference. Make sure you have their up-to-date contact details with a telephone number and voicemail.
  3. The Reference List should be neatly typed on a regular white sheet of 8 ½ by 11 paper. It should have the full name, current job title, position from your days as an employee or volunteer at the company, company name, address, email address, telephone and fax of each of your references.
  4. Keep in mind that the information on your Reference List is private, so DO NOT provide the list to potential employers until they have met with you in person and you are sure that you want them to contact the references. Sometimes the job posting requires three references even before the interview. If it’s a credible and recognized organization (for example universities, hospitals, telecom companies to name a few), then I would include this in my application. Again, I would double check with the references that they are available
  5. Always bring the Reference List to the interview, to present to the employer. But, make sure you provide the list only if the interviewer asks for it!
  6. After giving the Reference List to the potential employer, always make sure that you inform your references that you have given their name. Give them a “heads up” that they might be contacted — tell them about the nature of the job opportunity and the name of the employee who will be checking you out. If you can prepare them in advance, even better, as opposed to waiting until the last minute.
  7. Always keep in touch with your references, even when you don’t have a job interview. Once again, networking is the key and you should keep doing it, even if you are working. You never know when you need the references. Sometimes, they may leave the company where you worked, or volunteered, so you should constantly keep in touch. Using LinkedIn is a great solution; other social media tools are effective too.
  8. Treat your references like gold; stay in touch, send them holiday cards and show appreciation and gratitude.
  9. Speak to your references to discuss how they might answer the more challenging questions that interviewers might ask, such as giving the reasons for your departure from that job.  Although this is difficult, try to ensure that they will say only positive things about you.
  10. Ask your references to contact you after they have been called by the potential employer, to provide you with feedback. Whether or not the employer called the reference and what was discussed will give you a good clue about whether they are seriously considering you for employment.

Regards: Joanna

To submit your questions and comments to this column in confidence, please email Joanna Samuels, Employment Resource Specialist at Reena. 

Ontario Improving Living Spaces for People with Developmental Disabilities

Province Expanding Residential Services For Adults with Developmental Disabilities
Ministry of Community and Social Services

Ontario is investing in repairs, renovations and improved living spaces at residential properties across the province that serve adults with developmental disabilities.

This funding, delivered through the Multi-Year Residential Planning Strategy, will help approximately 66 people with developmental disabilities by improving existing living spaces and creating more capacity, helping to reduce waitlists for residential services and supports across the province.

Residential supports for adults with developmental disabilities provide people with an accessible, safe and comfortable home and connect them to health and social services. These supports and services also encourage people to stay active and engaged with family, friends, and their community.

Expanding residential supports for adults with developmental disabilities is part of Ontario’s plan to create fairness and opportunity during this period of rapid economic change. The plan includes a higher minimum wage and better working conditions, free tuition for hundreds of thousands of students, easier access to affordable child care, and free prescription drugs for everyone under 25 through the biggest expansion of medicare in a generation.

Quick Facts

  • Ontario is investing $3 million to conduct repairs and upgrades at the residential properties of developmental service providers across the province through the Multi-Year Residential Planning Strategy.
  • This investment will create additional residential capacity and improved living spaces for approximately 66 people with developmental disabilities in agencies across Ontario.
  • The Multi-Year Residential Planning strategy is being used to deliver part of the province’s $677 million investment over four years in community and developmental services as announced in Budget 2017.
  • Through the Multi-Year Residential Planning strategy, a total of $5 million has been invested since 2016/17.
  • Ontario provides funding for residential supports for more than 18,000 adults with developmental disabilities.
  • Ontario is making the largest infrastructure investment in hospitals, schools, public transit, roads and bridges in the province’s history. To learn more about what’s happening in your community, go to Ontario.ca/BuildON.

For more information click here.

Program Closure Notice

Due to the weather Reena’s Toby & Henry Battle Developmental Centre Day Programs, Older Adults Program and Developing Work Connections will be closed tomorrow December 22, 2017.

Pathways and Channels North will remain open for Fee for Service individuals or people that live at the Reena Community Residence.

Pathways and Channels South will remain open for Fee for Service individuals only.

Please note Reena’s Toby & Henry Battle Developmental Centre will have limited staff available for individuals who live with their families and need to attend programs.

Training’s remain open.

 

 

Tragic Loss of Honey and Barry Sherman z”l

Honey and Barry Sherman standing side by side

Reena is saddened at the sudden and tragic loss of Honey and Barry Sherman z”l who have contributed so much to the Jewish community in Canada, Israel and around the world. May their memory be for a blessing. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Sherman family during this difficult time.

We Want to Hear From You (Again)

Reena provides supports and services, including day program and outreach programs, to individuals with developmental disabilities.

Our aim is to support individuals based on their interests, abilities and strengths.

Over the last three months, we have sought feedback from various stakeholders including staff, volunteers, individuals/families and community partners. We were specifically focusing this review on program content, locations, times, structure and cost.

Our goal was to gain feedback to ensure that our programs are meeting your needs and remain cost effective. We heard from many and have a developed a framework for the development of future day options.

We want to make sure we got it right! Please read through this document and provide us additional feedback to support your future programs. Please provide your feedback by December 23rd , 2017 contact Kelly Casey, KC Professional Solutions at (289) 221.9665 or kcpsolutions2@gmail.com.

What we heard from participants and their families:

  • Most people seeking new programs were interested in weekend programs, followed by additional day options and “after hours” options.
  • The top two (2) types of program most people were seeking are Social Recreational programs (83%), which were defined as: relationships, social skills, community outings, etc.; and life skills and independence skills (83%) defined as: finance, grocery shopping, travel training and household skills (laundry, cooking, etc.).
  • Over 52% of respondents were interested in programs focusing on employment or volunteerism. Half of the respondents were interested in a program that allowed them to make their own schedule, based on goals and interests.
  • Forty percent (40%) of the respondents indicated a preference for community-­‐ based programs, while another forty percent (40%) preferred a combination of community and Centre Based options.
  • Staff knowledge, cost and location were the most important variables when choosing a program.
  • Parents felt developing a “Social Enterprise” would assist individuals in acquiring job readiness skills while providing fare-­‐wage employment.

And the staff/volunteers felt the individuals want programs that:

  • Provide access to more community-­‐based options, outings, and “weekends away”.
  • Would allow individuals the opportunity to make and keep friends.
  • Were “choice driven” programs, that provide the opportunity to pursue interests and specific goals.
  • Individuals want paid employment or ongoing volunteerism, even if they require on-­‐going staff support.

**The development of a social enterprise is addressed in the report, as it is a separate opportunity that Reena may wish to explore through various government initiatives.

Happy Hanukkah

Happy Hanukkah greeting with Hanukkah themed background

As we celebrate the holiday season with families and friends, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your commitment, dedication, hard work and continued support.

We have made significant progress in our mission as we continue to build on our values. One such success is the federal government’s recent National Housing announcement to include the development of at least 2,400 new affordable units for individuals with developmental disabilities in the housing strategy.

The individuals we support are at the heart of everything we do. Our work and commitment makes a real difference in their lives and have a lasting impact.

I am grateful for the opportunity to work with such a talented and hardworking team. Thank YOU for being part of the Reena family. We’ve come a long way and together we will continue to achieve much more for the individuals we support.

May your homes be filled with happiness, peace and joy this holiday season, and best wishes for 2018.

Bryan Keshen,
President & CEO of Reena

Providing More Choice for Families in the Ontario Autism Program

Ontario Introducing a New Direct Funding Option and Additional Supports
Ministry of Children and Youth Services

Ontario is providing families of children and youth with autism with choice, consistency and confidence in the Ontario Autism Program (OAP) by introducing a direct funding option for evidence-based behavioural services, and making program enhancements that will deliver effective services.

The new direct funding option will provide families in the OAP with the choice of receiving direct funding to purchase evidence-based behavioural services for their child or youth, or service through one of Ontario’s regional providers.

Ontario has been working closely with the community so that the needs of children, youth, and families are put first. Building on the foundation of the OAP that was introduced in June 2017, beginning on January 15, 2018, the province will:

  • Increase the maximum hourly rate for evidence-based behavioural services purchased through the OAP from $39 per hour to a maximum of up to $55 per hour, for families who choose the direct funding option.
  • Communicate new qualifications for clinical supervisors that will be phased in over time so that families feel confident that they are receiving consistent, high-quality behavioural services. This will be accompanied by the creation of an OAP provider list that will be implemented in 2018 to help families select a qualified OAP service provider.
  • Implement an Independent Clinical Review Process to give families in the OAP the opportunity to request a review of key components of their child or youth’s OAP behaviour plan by a team that includes two clinicians and a family representative, in the event that they have concerns with any clinical decisions.
  • Change accountability and clinical oversight for behavioural services. Clinical supervisors will be accountable for OAP behaviour plans. Direct service providers will no longer provide clinical oversight for evidence-based behavioural services delivered through the direct funding option.
  • Introduce a quality assurance review process in spring 2018 in which OAP behaviour plans for both direct funding and direct service options, will be assessed by a team of third-party clinical reviewers.

Ontario is committed to supporting families of children and youth with autism to enter the program as seamlessly and smoothly as possible. Families already receiving services through transitional direct funding payments will experience no gaps in services as the direct funding option becomes available.

Supporting children and youth with autism and their families is part of Ontario’s plan to create fairness and opportunity during this period of rapid economic change. The plan includes a higher minimum wage and better working conditions, free tuition for hundreds of thousands of students, easier access to affordable child care, and free prescription drugs for everyone under 25 through the biggest expansion of medicare in a generation.

Quick Facts

  • Families are encouraged to contact their regional provider to discuss what these changes mean for them.
  • Minister Michael Coteau will be hosting Tele Town Halls on January 11 at 7 p.m. and January 17 at 7 p.m. to answer questions from parents and caregivers. More details will be available on Ontario.ca/autism.
  • The OAP launched in June 2017. The program provides flexible, individualized services, and was informed by families, caregivers, advocates, clinicians and providers.
  • Ontario is making an unprecedented investment of more than $500 million over five years to expand and improve autism services and supports across Ontario for children and youth with Autism Spectrum Disorder and their families.
  • Children and youth up until the age of 18 with a diagnosis of ASD from a qualified professional are eligible for the OAP.

Background Information

Additional Resources

Quotes

“I am pleased that this direct funding option will be made available in the Ontario Autism Program, and am confident this program will meet families’ needs. Parents and caregivers have informed this program’s design every step of the way, and I thank them for their advocacy, dedication and perseverance. They have helped shape a strong program that will allow young people with Autism Spectrum Disorder to succeed in the province of Ontario.”

Michael Coteau
Minister of Children and Youth Services

“Changes being made to Direct Funding under the OAP promise to deliver real choice families want, while ensuring the most efficient use of taxpayers’ dollars. The OAC will carefully monitor the implementation of these new policies to ensure that families receive the support they need in a just, effective, and timely manner.”

Bruce McIntosh
President, Ontario Autism Coalition

“Over 3,000 parents responded to our province-wide survey about autism intervention services for their children with ASD. In addition to wanting reduced waiting lists for service, they also told us they wanted greater consistency, choice and flexibility that matched their children’s and family’s changing needs. This announcement is encouraging news as the OAP continues to evolve and implement important and positive changes that support Ontario children and youth with autism and their families.”

Margaret Spoelstra
Executive Director, Autism Ontario

“ONTABA is optimistic about the direction of ‎the Ontario Autism Program. We are encouraged that the Ministry of Children and Youth Services continues to engage key stakeholders to help guide provision of applied behaviour analytic services within the OAP and other sectors in Ontario. The ongoing commitment from MCYS to pursue regulation of behaviour analysts lays a foundation for effective and ethical services for children and youth with autism and their families. ONTABA looks forward to continued collaboration with MCYS ‎to ensure that behaviour analytic services are high quality, safe, and effective.”

Jen Cunningham
President, Ontario Association for Applied Behaviour Analysis Inc. (ONTABA)

“The Autism Direct Service Providers across Ontario support the four foundational principles of the Ontario Autism Program including Consistency, Confidence, Continuous Improvement and Choice. Choice will provide all families in the OAP the option to purchase evidenced based behavioural services for their child or youth or to receive the services offered through one of the Direct Service Providers in Ontario. The Direct Service Providers are pleased to support children, youth and their families as we move into the new OAP together. Choice will provide all families in the OAP with a Direct Funding option or a Direct Service option. The Direct Funding option will provide families with funding to purchase evidenced based behavioural services for their child or youth. The Direct Service option will provide families the opportunity to receive evidenced based behavioural services for their child or youth offered through one of the Direct Service Providers in Ontario.”

Regional Autism Providers of Ontario

The Government of Canada tables Optional Protocol

The Government of Canada tables the Optional Protocol to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

News Release From Employment and Social Development Canada
November 30, 2017

The Government of Canada is taking further action to uphold and safeguard the rights of people with disabilities and further enable their inclusion and full participation in Canadian society.

Today, the Honourable Kent Hehr, Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities, on behalf of the Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Foreign Affairs, is proud to announce that the Government of Canada tabled in the House of Commons the Optional Protocol to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (the Optional Protocol). The Optional Protocol would allow individuals in Canada to make a complaint to the United Nations if they believe their rights under the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (the Convention) have been violated.

The Convention protects and promotes the rights and dignity of persons with disabilities without discrimination and on an equal basis with others. In 2010, Canada became a Party to the Convention and committed to promoting, protecting and ensuring the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights by persons with disabilities.

Accession to the Optional Protocol would provide added protection by allowing the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities to consider complaints against Canada. The Committee is a specialised committee with expertise in disability issues.

In December 2016, the Government of Canada announced that it had begun the process toward possible accession to the Optional Protocol. Consultations were launched with provincial and territorial governments, who play an important role in Canada’s accession, as well as Indigenous governments, Indigenous organizations, and civil society. The Government of Canada thanks all those that contributed to this process for their invaluable input.

International Day of Persons with Disabilities is celebrated on December 3. This is an opportunity for Canadians to reflect on the progress we’ve made in making Canada an accessible and inclusive country and the work we still need to do.

Quotes

“This step towards accession reinforces Canada’s strong commitment to removing barriers and building a more accessible Canada where all Canadians have an equal opportunity to succeed, and live a great Canadian life. We are making real progress for Canadians with disabilities and look forward to introducing new federal accessibility legislation next spring.”
– The Honourable Kent Hehr, Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities

“Canada is committed to ensuring that all people share the same opportunities and enjoy the same human rights. The Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is absolutely essential to ensuring that this commitment becomes a reality for Canadians with disabilities. We will always push to protect and promote the rights of people with disabilities, both at home and abroad.”
– The Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Foreign Affairs

Protecting the rights of all Canadians is a priority for our Government. This Optional Protocol would build on protections that are already in place in Canada by giving persons with disabilities another way to make a complaint if they believe their rights have been violated. It would also contribute to and complement Canada’s efforts towards the full and effective implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.”
– The Honourable Jody Wilson-Raybould, , P.C., Q.C., M.P.
Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Quick Facts

  • Canada ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in 2010. Parties to the Convention are required to promote, protect and ensure the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights by persons with disabilities.

  • The Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is a body of independent experts that monitors the implementation of the Convention by States Parties. States Parties to the Convention are expected to submit reports to the Committee every four years, with an initial report due two years following ratification. Canada submitted its initial report in February 2014 and appeared before the Committee in April 2017.

  • The Optional Protocol establishes two procedures aimed at strengthening the implementation and monitoring of the Convention. The first is a complaint procedure that allows individuals and groups to bring petitions to the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities if they believe their rights under the Convention have been violated. The second is an inquiry procedure that allows the Committee to inquire into allegations of grave or systematic violations of the Convention by a State Party. The Optional Protocol was adopted by the UN in 2006 and entered into force in 2008. As of November 2017, there are 92 States Parties to the Optional Protocol. On November 30, the Government of Canada tabled the Optional Protocol in the House of Commons. Tabling in Parliament is an important and necessary next step in the federal process toward accession of a treaty, such as the Optional Protocol, and allows Parliament to review and discuss it before a decision is taken on accession. The Government of Canada continues to work with the provinces and territories, which must undertake their own internal processes prior to providing their feedback on accession.

  • The annual International Day of Persons with Disabilities is celebrated on December 3. This year’s theme is Transformation towards sustainable and resilient society for all. This theme focuses on the enabling conditions for transformative change.

For more information click here.

DD Pathways Project

Mental Health and Addictions Acute Care Alliance with H-CARDD and CAMH

The DD Pathways Project is a new initiative aimed at improving quality of care for individuals with developmental disabilities who receive emergency department and/or inpatient services in Toronto.

If you are an individual with a developmental disability, OR if you are a family member or caregiver to an individual with a developmental disability, and you have experience with emergency department(s) and/or inpatient unit(s), we want to hear from you!

Focus Groups will be held at CAMH on Monday, December 11, 2017 in the afternoon and evening.

Light refreshments will be served and an honorarium will be provided

If you are interested in sharing your experience, please call or email:

Nadine Reid
Email: nadine.reid@camh.ca
Office: 416 535 8500 ex 80883
Mobile: 416 554 1744

This is a Toronto Central LHIN-funded collaboration between the Mental Health and Addictions Acute Care Alliance, the Health Care Access Research and Developmental Disabilities (H-CARDD) program, and the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH).

National Housing Strategy 2017

November 22, 2017 – Thornhill, ON – Today the Federal Government announced its National Housing Strategy which provides solutions for affordable housing across the country. As a part of this strategy was a co-investment fund which will drive the creation of 2,400 units for individuals with developmental disabilities. Over the next ten years, Reena along with the Intentional Community Consortium, will put this strategy into action.

Reena was established in 1973 by parents of children with developmental disabilities as a practical alternative to institutions. Since that time Reena has grown to provide support for 1,000 individuals with developmental disabilities and their families. Reena has created the Intentional Community Consortium with other agencies across Ontario to pilot a series of affordable housing projects for mixed use to be scaled out across Canada.

The Federal Government is to be applauded for recognizing the importance for all citizens to have a home and implementing a National Housing Strategy that will improve the quality of thousands of people’s lives. Now we need provincial and municipal leaders to align behind this effort and create local solutions to serve communities across the country.

Reena is proud to have played a part in sharing the experience of those it serves with national leadership. The bipartisan support the organization has received to highlight this unique need is a testament to Canadian values of inclusivity of all citizens. Those with developmental disabilities are vulnerable communities that need special attention, the total of 2,400 units over 10 years, is a start and should be increased in future strategies. 

Numerous organizations contributed and are to be thanked for the plan that was put into motion today, in particular, the Center for Israel and Jewish affairs, who spearheaded online efforts that made it possible for the voices of individuals with developmental disabilities to be heard directly by Premiers across the country.

Bryan Keshen, President and CEO of Reena
“This targeted approach supports the tremendous work the Ontario Ministers of Housing and Community and Social Services have done to develop a provincial housing plan for citizens with developmental disabilities. I am confident that with the help of private supporters, families and all three levels of government we will exceed the established targets.”

Carolynn Morrison, Chair of Reena’s Government Relations Committee and Parent Advocate
“I know what having a home did for my son and am grateful that sense of worth will be experienced by others.”

David Cohen, Reena Board Member and Parent Advocate
“This housing strategy recognized the unique vulnerability and supports the experiences of people with developmental disabilities. Thank you Prime Minster Trudeau, Minister Duclos, Minister Hehr and Adam Vaughan for listening.”

To be part of the solution contact Reena by email at info@reena.org or by phone at (905) 889.6484.

 

 

Spotlight On Transformation – November 2017

The November 2017 edition of “Spotlight on Transformation” is available. This bulletin is provided by the Ministry of Community & Social Services and covers the developmental services transformation.

In this issue:

  • Ontario Seeks New Proposals for the next Phase of the Employment and Modernization Fund
  • MCSS, MOHLTC Release New Guidelines to Support Adults with a Developmental Disability when Applying to, Moving into and Residing in a Long Term Care Home

 

To view the bulletin click here
To view previous editions of the bulletin click here