#A Better Serve: Enabling Mental Health Accessibility in Ontario’s Physical Activity Field
Join us for a free public forum to celebrate the launch of our new mental health accessibility training resource.
Thursday, December 3, 2015, 7:00-9:00 pm
(International Day of Persons with Disabilities)
Nancy’s Auditorium, YWCA Elm Centre
Speakers’ Panel, Networking, Light Refreshments
The event is free, but space is limited.
» REGISTER ONLINE
Funded by the Ontario government, the website – enablingminds.ca – aims to provide online training resources for physical activity organizations across the province. It also seeks to help directors, managers and frontline staff offer more inclusive and accessible customer service for people with mental health disabilities.
Celebrate the launch of enablingminds.ca with refreshments, networking and a lively round of panel presentations. Plus, get a sneak preview of our January 2016 social media campaign for #abetterserve. Learn how you can get involved to help us promote positive mental health and make Ontario’s physical activity field more accessible to people with mental health disabilities.
Network Correspondent, Global News
Doubles Tennis Parapan Am Bronze Medalist 2015, Ontario Wheelchair Sports Association Ambassador
Parks and Recreation Ontario
Accessibility Directorate of Ontario
Kaola Alison Baird
Peer Support Facilitator
Ann Marie Mac Donald
Mood Disorders Association of Ontario
Ryerson University Disabilities Studies
Miles Nadal JCC
About the Host
Allison Vuchnich is Network Correspondent for Global News. For her investigative, health and enterprise reporting, Vuchnich garnered a Gemini award, numerous RTDNA awards and other accolades. Currently health reporting, Vuchnich’s stories appear on local and national newscasts, 16×9 – Global’s current affairs program and Globalnews.ca. Her in-depth coverage has included testing for chemicals in clothing sold in Canada, an inquiry into Atrazine, a pesticide that can end up in drinking water, and the debate surrounding GMOs and labelling. She has also reported several series on mental health, most recently focussing on youth. Vuchnich holds a Master of Science in Journalism degree from the Medill School of Journalism, at Northwestern University in Chicago.
About the Speakers
Joel Dembe is a 4-time Canadian National Wheelchair Tennis Champion and a London 2012 Paralympian. He has reached as high as #29 internationally in singles and #28 in doubles. In 2011 and 2012 he was named Tennis Canada’s Wheelchair Tennis Athlete of the Year. He was also named Canada’s Top Male Wheelchair Athlete by the Canadian Wheelchair Sports Association in 2011. Joel has traveled to 4 different continents competing for Canada in wheelchair tennis. He won Canada’s first-ever international medal in wheelchair tennis with his doubles partner, Philippe Bedard – winning over Team USA for the bronze medal at the Toronto 2015 ParaPan Am Games. He attends tonight as an Ambassador with the OWSA, and their Bridging the Gap program.
About OWSA: Ontario Wheelchair Sports Association (OWSA) is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the development and promotion of amateur wheelchair sport programs, including Wheelchair Athletics, Wheelchair Basketball, Wheelchair Rugby and Wheelchair Tennis programming in the province of Ontario.The OWSA also runs education and awareness sessions for able-bodied individuals (EnAbling Change Program) and introductory sport sessions for individuals with disabilities (Bridging the Gap Program).
Through our Bridging the Gap and Enabling Change programs, we facilitate “Have a Go” days which give participants the opportunity to try wheelchair basketball, wheelchair tennis or a modified version of wheelchair rugby. We have an inventory of sport chairs that we bring out to rehabilitation centers, schools or community events. We can also arrange to have athlete ambassadors facilitate these interactive sport sessions. The OWSA also has a wheelchair loans program where our members can rent a sport chair for a low monthly fee in order to try out a new wheelchair sport. Our goal is to eliminate barriers and encourage individuals to get involved in our sports.
Scott Mitchell is the Director of Knowledge Transfer at the Canadian Mental Health Association, Ontario Division. He is the project lead for “Enabling Minds,” “Mood Walks,” and “Minding Our Bodies: Healthy Eating and Physical Activity for Mental Health” among other CMHA-led collaborative initiatives. Scott is a co-founder and coordinating committee member of the Canadian Knowledge Transfer and Exchange Community of Practice, and a board member for the Ontario Healthy Communities Coalition.
Alfred Spencer is Director of the Outreach and Strategic Initiatives Branch at the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario (ADO). As Director, he is responsible for educating Ontarians about the advantages of inclusion, and developing a network of strategic partnerships that helps Ontario organizations become accessible by 2025.
He has overseen the implementation of over 50 community projects related to creating awareness of accessibility issues including programs for early childhood educators, elementary school teachers, and post-secondary-students and professionals. His approach to community development has touched all aspects of social inclusion from places of faith, to workplaces and sporting events.
Larry Ketcheson is Chief Executive Officer of Parks and Recreation Ontario, a provincial not-for-profit membership-based organization that works closely with all orders of Government in the development of policies and resources to improve the quality of life of individuals and communities in Ontario. His work and education experiences over 35 years include: 14 years as CEO, Parks and Recreation Ontario; 11 years as a Policy Advisor in the area of Sport and Recreation with the Ontario Government; 8 years as National Coordinator with Canadian Parks and Recreation Association; A Fitness and Amateur Sport Program Consultant with Health Canada and Executive Director of the Dartmouth Boys and Girls Club, Nova Scotia. He holds an MSc. Degree from Dalhousie University and BSc. from University of Guelph. Volunteer and Leadership roles have included: Board of Directors of the Canadian Parks and Recreation Association representing Ontario and chair of National Policies; Board of Directors of the Lifestyle Information Network (LIN); President of Leisurability Publications; and Bronze Medalist, Ontario Team, First Canadian Winter Games (1967).
Kim Charteris is the General Manager of Association Support Services for YMCAs across Ontario. During her career with the YMCA she has been involved in a variety of areas from children’s services to aquatics, health and fitness and national and provincial programs focused on youth at risk. Through her educational background Kim has an interest in adolescent development and helped develop the national YMCA framework, Healthy Adolescent Development. In her current role, she is responsible for supporting staff and senior management in local YMCA associations as they work to meet the needs of their communities.
Kaola Alison Baird is a former fitness instructor, current yoga teacher and Peer Support Facilitator. Her Testimonial as “Carmen” in the Enabling Minds online Resource Library provides a personalized angle on dealing with her own mental health challenges while a fitness instructor and, then, as a person in recovery seeking resources in the physical activity sector. She currently teaches yoga to youth living with serious mental health challenges.
Ann Marie Mac Donald is the Executive Director of the Mood Disorders Association of Ontario (MDAO). Previously, Ann Marie served on the MDAO board for eight years and was elected Board Chair in September 2011. During her tenure, she led a number of key initiatives, including a major organizational change design project together with the development and implementation of Human Resources policies and programs. Ann Marie brings extensive corporate experience as a Senior Manager and HR Professional. A passionate advocate for those suffering from depression, anxiety and bipolar disorders in the workplace, Ann Marie speaks across the country to managers, employees and HR professionals to promote early intervention in pursuit of a healthy, engaged and productive workforce.
About MDAO: The Mood Disorders Association of Ontario (MDAO) leverages its expertise to strengthen mental illness awareness, education and screening across diverse workplaces, aligning with various benefits providers and organizations to enable employees and employers to implement earlier mental health interventions in the workplace. MDAO takes a holistic approach to helping individuals obtain control of their recovery and continue their journey to wellness, borrowing from both medical and recovery models. As a leader in peer support programs and strategies, MDAO facilitates a province-wide network of several types of peer support/self-help groups to meet the diverse needs of families and individuals.
Charles Silverman has been in the accessibility field for almost 30 years. He is an Instructor with Ryerson University’s School for Disability Studies, and has taught the Community, Access, and Technology course for the over 12 years, focusing on accessibility, assistive technologies, and Inclusive/Universal Design. He is also the co-director of Inclusive Media and Design Inc, a startup that has been providing captioning, video description, and sign language for web media, web accessibility audits, AODA Information and Communication consulting and training. He is the author of CapScribe, the free captioning and video description editor for web media. Previously, Charles managed SNOW, a special needs/assistive technology student and teacher focused information website at the Adaptive Technology Resource Centre at the University of Toronto (now the Inclusive Design Research Centre at OCAD University). Charles has presented on accessibility issues at a number of international conferences, including CSUN, Closing the Gap, Computers Helping People With Special Needs, the SMC/IEEE International Conference on Systems, Man & Cybernetics and others. He serves on the Boards of the Centre for Independent Living in Toronto (CILT) and the Abilities Arts Festival. Charles has a severe to profound hearing loss, which gives him a strong sense of the need for connection, as well as the passion and advocacy of captioned media, real time captioning, smart hearing devices, and many other technologies. He understands all too well the need for a fully accessible world.
Liviya Mendelsohn, Accessibility and Inclusion Manager, Miles Nadal JCC and Inclusion Specialist UJA Federation of Toronto
Liviya holds a M.A. in the history of Public Health, and an M.Ed. in Counselling Psychology, and is completing a post-graduate certificate in Disability Studies. Liviya spent a decade working in post-secondary settings as a facilitator, counsellor and advocate for students with disabilities, and became engaged in systemic organization-wide efforts to remove barriers and embrace universal design in learning. At the Miles Nadal JCC in downtown Toronto, Liviya is facilitating an ongoing initiative to assess and improve the accessibility of MN JCC facilities, programs and services, guided by community advisory committees and a robust staff accessibility committee. The JCC has been recognized as by the Ontario Non-Profit Network as a provincial accessibility best practice case study organization. Liviya coordinates a Toronto Community of Practice group on equity and inclusion, and coordinates an Inclusive Synagogues Working group. She also coordinates Jewish Disabilities Awareness and Inclusion Month and Reel Abilities Film Festival Toronto. Liviya consults on creating a culture of inclusion in non-profit and arts organizations.
This is a free event but space is limited. REGISTER ONLINE.
Enabling Minds is a project of CMHA Ontario in partnership with YMCA Ontario and Parks and Recreation Ontario, funded by the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario’s EnAbling Change program.