LiveWorkPlay Blog - Edition 50 - 10/APR/2011

LiveWorkPlay is a Canadian charitable organization supporting people with intellectual disabilities to have a good life in the Ottawa area community. LiveWorkPlay is an affiliate of Community Living Ontario. You can subscribe to the LiveWorkPlay Blog using Networked Blogs. We also invite you to visit us on our Facebook Fan Page, follow us on Twitter @GetBuzzed, and check out our channel on YouTube.






How fitting is this? 10 years after Mayor Jim Watson (from pre-amalgamation Ottawa) opened Recipe for Success 2001 by unfurling the banner and announcing the re-naming of Special Needs Network to LiveWorkPlay he returns as Mayor of Ottawa a decade later to open the live auction on April 14! Back in 2001 we raised an amazing $24,000 but with your help we will double that in 2011!

Also helping out will be two fresh and exciting co-auctioneers! Derick Fage from the Rogers 22 Daytime television show will be joined by Sandy Sharkey from the morning show on 93.9 BOB FM radio as our co-auctioneers! Derick is well known to the LiveWorkPlay community from his many interviews of members and staff. This is Sandy's first official involvement with LiveWorkPlay but she's one of Ottawa's leading supporters of charitable causes like the popular FurBall.

Also new for this year is our venue, St. Anthony's Banquet Hall and Conference Centre. We've taken over the whole place (reception hall and two banquet rooms) so you'll have room to move like never before! St. Anthony's chefs will provide delicious appetizers and LiveWorkPlay volunteers scrumptious homemade desserts!

We are pleased to announce that despite all of these improvements, our event remains accessible to all with an earlybird price of just $20 (and only $25 after April 8). We are out to raise money, but also to have a good time, so get a ticket, come on out, and have a blast for a great cause!


LiveWorkPlay is developing new and meaningful partnerships like never before. As promised to People First of Ontario president Kory Earle back in the summer of 2010, LiveWorkPlay has moved ahead in providing strong support to the development of a People First of Ottawa chapter. It started with a launch event in November, a fundraising effort with Telus and Fundchange, and next up is a membership drive event that will be hosted by the People First of Ottawa board of directors. The LiveWorkPlay role in the event is providing infrastructure support like online registration and meeting space.

LiveWorkPlay has partnered with the United Way of Ottawa to tackle one of their priority goals "Increase opportunities for meaningful employment for people with disabilities." This includes participation in the Employment Accessibility Resource Network (EARN) since its inception in 2010. And to be announced on April 8 at United Way Ottawa headquarters, LiveWorkPlay will also be receiving funding support to help more people with intellectual disabilities find and keep paid employment. Special thanks to member Lucas Rodgers for acting as LiveWorkPlay spokesperson!

Sometimes a first impression makes a lasting impression. Entertainer Carlo Lombard hosted a LiveWorkPlay New Year's Eve party over 2 years ago, but he never forgot about it. Now his company Progressive Shift has started Laugh with the Staff, an opportunity to "rediscover laughter in the workplace as an innovative way to fight stress, improve morale, and
increase camaraderie and team spirit." Carlo has decided that a portion of all proceeds will go to support LiveWorkPlay!

Last but not least, LiveWorkPlay is also partnering with the Ottawa Rape Crisis Centre to offer a Sexual Violence Group for Women with Intellectual Disabilities. The group encourages healing, skill building, and provides support for women with intellectual disabilities who are survivors of sexual assault to share their stories in a safe group setting.

2011 has already been a great year for partnerships, but we aren't done yet. Hopefully there will be more exciting announcements in the months to come!


When people think of developmental services they might picture "day programs" (places where adults with disabilities go to spend their time in segregation from others in the community) "group homes" (a living arrangement where people with disabilities are congregated together in staff-directed housing) and "sheltered workshops" (work-like environments where people with disabilities are congregated and receive little or no pay).

That's not any of what LiveWorkPlay does, and we are trying hard to show that people with intellectual disabilities belong in the community with real homes, real jobs, and real relationships. In the early months of 2
011 we have focused on sharing stories about included social and recreational opportunities: people with intellectual disabilities enjoying sports and hobbies through a shared interest with other members of the community.

The three featured stories include Ashley Hiscott receiving her black belt in Tae Kwon Do, Ryan Nevitt's curling team and the Nepean Sportsplex curling league, and last but not least, Linda Gray and her Yarn Forward crochet class. These stories are all very different but they have several themes in common. In each story, individuals who happen to have a disability are (as they should be) respected as fully valued citizens. And in each story there are "community ambassadors" - individuals or groups of individuals who have made inclusive thinking and actions part of who they are. These stories have all been posted to our Facebook page, after you read the PDF versions from the links above, we invite you to stop by and comment!

Another story that is still being written is participation of LiveWorkPlay volunteers and members in the Ottawa Race Weekend! The brainchild of volunteers Andrea Saldanha and Andrew Waye, the idea was quickly developed into a LiveWorkPlay Facebook group, and soon small groups were meeting every Wednesday to train together. More on this story on our Facebook fan page as it develops!


It's been quite a year for LiveWorkPlay events, and the two months were no exception! On February 10 Cooper Gage joined LiveWorkPlay staff at a City of Ottawa volunteer fair in the busy St. Laurent Centre mall. On March 2-3, five LiveWorkPlay constituents including member Ryan Nevitt, board member Cecelia Taylor, and family member Marilyn Curry took part in the Citizenship and Inclusion retreat. Ryan also joined with staff members Keenan Wellar and Fran Childs for a presentation about how LiveWorkPlay is pursuing social change.

The retreat had barely ended and then on March 5 it was time to host a workshop with Dave Hingsburger! The room was totally packed and the audience did a great job participating in safety and assertiveness training activities.

On March 26 various members of the LiveWorkPlay community volunteer team came together with the board of directors to talk about th
e volunteer experience. The feedback was very uplifting and included comments like "I decided to volunteer with LiveWorkPlay because they made it easy" and "I feel that the time I give is respected and that I am respected."

Then on April 1 came what may have been one of the best Family Feast events in history! The annual Holiday Family Feast events in December are tough to beat, but clearly the good people of LiveWorkPlay enjoy getting a little silly. The Foolish Family Feast had a simple theme: wear a foolish hat! There was tremendous participation and everyone looked great, even if they felt a little foolish after most of them flunked out on the Foolish Quiz!


It's always a challenge when a LiveWorkPlay staff member goes on leave. It's a small team so people are missed when they are gone, and it's not always easy for the replacement to get used to the unique staff culture. On the plus side, it's an opportunity to meet somebody new, and you never know what might happen!

And so it is in April 2011! Jennifer Bosworth has returned from maternity leave and has jumped right in to share the Employment Supports load with her contract replacement, Mathieu Nadeau. Mathieu has fit in very well, and pending the details of a United Way Ottawa funding announcement due out by April 15, he'll be invited to continue with LiveWorkPlay, hopefully in a full-time capacity, effectively doubling our Employment Supports capabilities!

Meantime, the business of the Employment Supports team is finding jobs and volunteer opportunities for our members, and business is good! For example, Amanda Manuel as started her new job at Tim Hortons, and Ryan Nevitt has started volunteering at the Ottawa Food Bank!


You may have heard, there's a Canadian federal election on Monday, May 2. There are a lot of great resources on the web to help prepare! For example, if you go to the Elections Canada website and type in your postal code, you'll find out where you have to go to vote, what identification
is required, and more!

If you want to think about what election issues are important to you, and particularly topics relevant to people with disabilities, the Canadian Association for Community Living has prepared facts sheets on poverty, employment, and rights, and even some suggested questions you can ask the candidates!

For those looking to get more involved, candidates are always looking for volunteers. LiveWorkPlay member Jennifer Harris has decided to work for the Green Party in Carleton Mississippi Mills. She was recently welcomed to the
team by Green Party representative Scott Simser, a two-time winner of the National Award from the Council for Canadians with Disabilities. As a board member with People First of Ottawa, she has lots to talk about with Scott!

LiveWorkPlay would like to hear from other members who are getting active in the federal election. It doesn't matter which party or which candidate!


We can't say. What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. End of story!

OK, maybe we can share a little bit about the LiveWorkPlay trip to Las Vegas. Just the information that's already on Facebook! There were 14 members and 4 staff in support. The group stayed at the Excalibur, arriving on the evening of March 13 and returning on March 17. There was swimming, shopping, and shows shows shows: The Beatles LOVE by Cirque de Soleil, America's Got Talent winner Terry Fator, and Cirque de Soleil "0" the aquatic masterpiece!

Learn more about the trip with the many photo albums or this short video! The next LiveWorkPlay travel is a road trip bus tour to New Hampshire and the mountains and malls of North Conway!


If you would like to make a donation to LiveWorkPlay, please click here to donate online or use our new PDF donation form which now has options for credit card and pre-authorized withdrawals. You may also specify how you would like your donation to be used.

You can always contribute through the United Way. Download a United Way donation form that already has the LiveWorkPlay information included. The United Way has in the past supported LiveWorkPlay youth services, and may support other LiveWorkPlay initiatives in the future.

We hope you have enjoyed this 50th edition of LiveWorkPlayNews. If you have received an email about this blog in error and/or you would prefer not to receive future LiveWorkPlayNews messages, simply click here and follow the simple instructions. Click here for the web page that can be used by newcomers who would like to join LiveWorkPlayNews. Feel free to share the address with friends, colleagues, and family who might like to subscribe. Send story ideas to Keenan Wellar.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.