The Welcome Back Family Feast and Annual General Meeting was a special evening with more than 160 LiveWorkPlay members, family supporters, volunteers, board members, staff, special guests, and community partners in attendance to enjoy a meal and conduct essential AGM business.
The evening began with the presentation of $10,000 from Fundchange and Telus, the outcome of LiveWorkPlay victory in the Summer Challenge. Financial reporting followed with auditor Ross Holmes and co-leader Julie Kingstone. Julie also welcomed new staff members Natasshia Lee and George Kranitis, and recognized new partnerships with United Way Ottawa and Families Matter Co-op.
Staff reports from Allison Moores, Jen Bosworth and Mat Nadeau, Grace Hudson, Daniel Harris and Anthony Stratton, and Fran Childs provided details on 1) welcoming and supporting members and families, 2) employment supports, 3) community connecting, 4) living in the community, and 5) LiveWorkPlay volunteers.
This information helped support a special presentation “Being the Change” by co-leader Keenan Wellar, which ended with a standing ovation for LiveWorkPlay members “in recognition that every day they go out into the community as trailblazers.”
The board of directors presented on the 2010-2011 year, emphasizing in particular the hard work and processes underlying proposals for new guiding statements in the form of vision, mission, and values. This included consultations with eminent figures like Al Condeluci and Dave Hingsburger, extensive surveys of guiding statements from local, provincial, national, and international organizations doing similar work, the World Health Organization Report on Disability, and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
A draft proposal was then shared with LiveWorkPlay members as well as representatives from Community Living Ontario affiliates and other partner organizations.
The feedback was overwhelming positive and included suggestions for inclusion of the word “barriers” in the values statements, which was inserted into the revised draft as presented to members at the AGM. You can read the vision, mission, and values statements at the bottom of this email.
There were strong emotions in the room and even some happy tears as members voted on three separate motions to adopt the proposed vision, mission, a
nd values. All three motions passed with a unanimous vote. Kory Earle, President of People First of Ontario, was present as an observer along with Mike
Coxon, Executive Director of Mills Community Support. While meeting with local candidates for the upcoming provincial election, Kory and Mike too
k a brief time out and recorded their impressions of the AGM. Their enthusiastic comments closely reflect other feedback
received that night and in the days that followed.
Krista Davidson-Flint, a popular speaker and inclusion advocate based in Calgary, posted her reaction to the new guiding statements on
Facebook: “Brave, compelling, and uncompromising. Love it!” Disability advocate Jen who was following on Twitter (@AbilityWarrior) all the way from Kensington, Maryland, posted a similarly enthusiastic “Don’t you just love it? Putting the emphasis on the community, not the disability! SUPERTASTIC!”
The most important reaction was that of people with intellectual disabilities who have a direct relationship with LiveWorkPlay. Most of them were in the room the night of the AGM as voting members, and moved or seconded all of the motions. There was some whooping and hollering that might have broken protocol, but outgoing chair of the board Marlene Floyd found it was all a part of the moment. “A group of members met to discuss these proposals early in this process and gave us important feedback,” says Marlene. “It was wonderful to see that this critical piece of AGM business had meaning for our core members and that we could all celebrate this important moment together.”
Marlene was herself the object of some special attention, in recognition of her planned retirement from the board which took effect at the conclusion of the meeting. Vice-Chair Cecelia Taylor paid tribute to Ms. Floyd and capped it off by bringing member Caroline Matte to the stage to present an original piece of artwork that she created especially for Marlene.
Returning to the board: Mitchell Leitman, Cecelia Taylor, Dan Patton, Al Mackey, Tamara Gomes, and Pennie Styan. New to the board: Joshua Amiel. Retiring from the board: Marlene Floyd (who will remain connected in other ways) and Alan Ednie (Alan has moved to British Columbia – we thank him for his service and wish him all the best!).
UNITED WAY OTTAWA CAMPAIGN LAUNCH
The United Way Ottawa campaign is underway!
The goal of $33.5 million was announced in front of an audience of more than 1000 supporters. This included Melissa Cunningham, a LiveWorkPlay member who participated in the event in support of the Belonging to Community focus of “Connecting people with disabilities who want to work with meaningful employment opportunities.”
LiveWorkPlay is one of the community partners that helps make this change happen, and Melissa is one of the beneficiaries.
With LiveWorkPlay support Melissa interviewed for a position with The WORKS Gourmet Burger Bistro in Orleans, where she has become a highly valued employee.
There are many ways to donate to the United Way Ottawa campaign. The most popular is through workplace payroll deductions. You can also donate online. Whatever your method, remember that you can also direct some or all of your donation to LiveWorkPlay. You can do this in “Section C” (Other Charitable Giving Choice) of most United Way Ottawa donation forms. Just enter our charitable registration number 896222775RR0001.
LIVEWORKPLAY GUIDING STATEMENTS
Adopted by Members at the LiveWorkPlay Annual General Meeting 2011
September 23, 2011, Ottawa, Canada
VISION: A COMMUNITY WHERE EVERYONE BELONGS
MISSION: HELPING OUR COMMUNITY WELCOME PEOPLE WITH INTELLECTUAL DISABILITIES TO LIVE, WORK, AND PLAY AS VALUED CITIZENS.
CORE: PEOPLE WITH INTELLECTUAL DISABILITIES ARE VALUABLE CONTRIBUTORS TO THE DIVERSITY OF OUR COMMUNITY AND TO THE HUMAN FAMILY.
LIVE: WITH RESPECT TO HOMES, HEALTH CARE, EDUCATION, PERSONAL DIGNITY, AND PERSONAL PRIVACY, PEOPLE WITH INTELLECTUAL DISABILITIES HAVE THE RIGHT TO THE REMOVAL OF BARRIERS PREVENTING THEM FROM EXPERIENCING THE COMMUNITY ON AN EQUAL BAISIS WITH OTHER CITIZENS.
WORK: WITH RESPECT TO PAID WORK AT MINIMUM WAGE OR BETTER, SHORT-TERM UNPAID WORK, AND VOLUNTEER POSITIONS, PEOPLE WITH INTELLECTUAL DISABILITIES HAVE THE RIGHT TO THE REMOVAL OF BARRIERS PREVENTING THEM FROM EXPERIENCING THE COMMUNITY ON AN EQUAL BASIS WITH OTHER CITIZENS.
PLAY: WITH RESPECT TO CULTURAL AND SPIRITUAL LIFE, SPORTS AND RECREATION, POLITICAL LIFE, AND THE FULL RANGE OF HUMAN RELATIONSHIPS, PEOPLE WITH INTELLECTUAL DISABILITIES HAVE THE RIGHT TO THE REMOVAL OF BARRIERS PREVENTING THEM FROM EXPERIENCING THE COMMUNITY ON AN EQUAL BASIS WITH OTHER CITIZENS.