Creating a full life is important for so many reasons.
All of us want to be full citizens, with a meaningful life. Planning for individuals with disabilities is a way to create a more satisfying and safer life. Having people who care about your welfare and see you on a regular basis creates a way for you to be safe. This includes being in places that people remember and look for you such as a neighbourhood coffee shop, club or church. Families may think about their son or daughter having a membership in local gyms or joining activities such as a yoga or hobby groups. Belonging to organizations such as Scouts, Girl Guides, Special Olympics or volunteering in an area of interest, or being a cheerleader or champion for a sports group also create connections. With time, these might be places where you eventually find employment or develop friendships.
People also need to plan ways to have a healthy break from one another in a family. Building on activities with others helps to strengthen those connections and opportunities. We have provided some links of places to explore, but this is just the tip of the iceberg- talk to others and we’re sure you’ll think of other places and resources in our community.
Planning means finding ways to make sure that these activities and connections happen regularly. Perhaps a relative, Direct support/respite support worker or volunteer could help you with this. Think about how you want to use this support and opportunity. “Individual activities often involve some positive elements – pleasant events, positive interactions, maybe even some skill development. But unless they are strategically focused on deepening connections, activities alone are unlikely to lead towards meaningful relationships and community contributions.” (David and Faye Wetherow)
Families may also wish to think about developing a group of trusted friends and supporters to form a “circle of support”. A circle or support network can help to foster opportunities for the individual with a disability, provide enriched connections to the community and ultimately lead to help with decision making. Support networks can be an important source of support and friendship throughout a person’s life, including in their school. Support networks help people to think of new ideas and opportunities, share information and decision making, join in celebration and have fun, be there during difficult times and help to ensure that the person is safe and secure. Over time the group may choose to become an incorporated group known as a “Microboard” which helps to ensure that the choices of the individual are protected beyond the life of the parents or caregivers. Vela Canada developed this concept and it is growing in Ontario. Microboard members spend time with the person, helping them to be active and contribute to the community and make decisions for a healthy life. Microboard and circle members are not paid and are there because they want to be. Information about Support Networks/Circles and Microboards is available through Windsor Essex Family Network, Windsor Essex Brokerage for Personal Supports, Community Living Windsor, Family Respite Services and firstname.lastname@example.org.
Helpful Links :
Free online community for young people with disabilities and illnesses and their families, addressing their needs of friendship, companionship, and support.
Toll Free: 1-866-650-6207
Access 2 Entertainment Card
The Access 2 Entertainment Card provides free admission, (or a substantial discount), for the support person that accompanies a person with a disability at all participating entertainment venues. The person with the disability pays the regular admission fee. The card indicates to the ticket seller that the individual requires the support of an attendant.
c/o Easter Seals Canada, 40 Holly St, Suite 401, Toronto, ON M4S 3C3
Phone: 1-416-932-8382 ext 227
Autism Ontario Windsor-Essex Chapter: Potential Programme
One of the largest Chapter in Ontario supporting families in our community. Newsletters, 4 issues of Autism Matters, information on support workers, assistance with school issues, summer support, an annual Summer Picnic & Holiday Party are provided to our members.
The Potential Programme is designed to directly support families of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Contact a Family Support Coordinator to map out your plan for support and access local resources.
1168 Drouillard Road, Windsor, ON N8Y 2R1
Autism Services Incorporated of Windsor and Essex County
This agency serves the needs of those in our community with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and the people who are close to them. ASI has a lending resource library and runs a summer camp program for children and youth.
3600 Curry Avenue, Windsor, ON N9E 2T6
Driving Evaluation and Training Centre
Individuals with disabilities related to physical, cognitive or perceptual function that either hold a valid driver’s license or have the ability to obtain a learner’s permit are encouraged to undergo an evaluation of driving skills. The evaluation is designed to assess each client’s ability to safely operate a motor vehicle and provide recommendations as needed. Referrals may be made by physician’s, therapists, individuals requiring service, insurance companies, case managers, community service agencies, etc. Referrals can be made for any individual who requires an evaluation of their driving skills or adaptive equipment needs by contacting the Program Coordinator.
Sunnyside Rehabilitation Services Inc – Tecumseh
13275 Tecumseh Road East, Windsor, ON, N8N 3T4
Harmony in Action
Harmony in Action provides day, evening and weekend activities for adults with physical and or developmental disabilities.
3335 Woodward Blvd. Windsor
Italian Canadian Handicapable Association
Offers a wider variety of sports and recreation programs for individuals of all ages.
John McGivney Centre
Transition Planning is available for youth receiving services from the John McGivney Children’s Centre and may include:
- Preparing for life transitions and the future
- Helping parents advocate for services for their child
- Helping parents and young adults access available resources in the adult sector
- Transition clinic
3945 Matchette Road Windsor ON N9C 4C2
Learning Disabilities Association of Windsor – Essex County
The main purpose of LDA-WE is to provide information and referral services to individuals, parents, professionals, and other people interested in learning disabilities and ADHD.
Herb Gray Centre for Non-Profit Excellence
647 Ouellette Avenue, Suite 101, Windsor, ON N9A 4J4
Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services- Employment Supports
Ontario Disability Support Program provides assistance to people with disabilities who want to pursue employment opportunities.
Miracle League (Amherstburg)
The Miracle League provides the opportunity for children and adults with disabilities a chance to play baseball, make new friends, and build self esteem.
3295 Meloche Rd. Amherstburg, ON N9V 2Y8
Phone Chuck Bondy at: 519-919-4641
Parks and Recreation Guides:
Student Links (Previously Passport Mentoring)(Community Living Ontario)
The Passport Mentoring initiative is an opportunity for students who have an intellectual disability to explore ideas for their future after leaving school. It is available for students between the ages of 14-21 and provides an opportunity for students to be matched with mentors who share the same interest or hold a role that the student wishes to explore. Mentors provide information and an opportunity for hand-on experience and skill development via mentoring.
Sherri Blanchard 226-344-5030
South Essex Community Council- Employment and Training Services
Provides persons with a self-identified disability, a variety of resources and interventions, to prepare for, obtain and maintain employment.
Special Olympics Ontario
Provides year round sport training for persons with intellectual disabilities. Athletes range in age from 8-80 and have the opportunity to train in in eighteen official sports.
Special Stars (Soccer for children with Autism) – Windsor/Essex County
Special Equestrians Therapeutic Riding Associaton (SpEqTRA)
We provide therapeutic horseback riding to children and adults with special needs including Autism, learning disabilities, visual and hearing impediments, cognitive challenges, ADHD, down syndrome, emotional trauma, and cerebral palsy. Working with the client’s physician and/or physiotherapist, our certified instructors provide individually designed lessons to improve balance, coordination, muscle strength, muscle tone, self-confidence and self-esteem, attention span, Independence and social integrations. Three volunteers are needed for each client’s lesson: one walks at the horses head to control the horse, and one walks on either side as support for the rider as needed. We have installed a wheel-chair lift this year which is benefitting our wheel-chair bound riders in mounting and dismounting. Designed to provide psychosocial, psychological and recreation therapy for people with disabilities; must support own trunk and head.
528 Mersea Road 7 Rr #5, Leamington ON, N8H3V8
St. Clair College
Regular programs and Community Integration through Cooperative Education Program
Windsor Essex Brokerage for Personal Supports
Provides individuals the opportunity for unencumbered planning. Through facilitation, support is provided to look at dreams, the types of supports and services needed to achieve those dreams and assistance to develop a plan to access services. The Brokerage service includes opportunities to review options for the use of funding and assist with formal and informal arrangements of contracting services with community service providers.
3357 Walker Rd., Unit 2, Windsor, Windsor, ON N8W5J5
Windsor Public Library
Windsor-Essex Therapeutic Riding Association
Committed to improving the quality of life of persons with physical, mental and emotional challenges through equine related therapy.
Work 4 All (Community Living Windsor)
Participants will be provided with in-class and on-site customer service and employment skills including:
– how to write a resume
– preparing for an interview
– handling customers and co-workers
– being professional
The ultimate goal of the Work 4 All program is to match the participant with the best suited employer in hopes of continued, paid and meaningful employment.
More information about Work 4 All: http://www.clwindsor.org/employment-support/work-4-all/
Description of the full spectrum of Employment services offered by Community Living Windsor:
Community Living Windsor’s Employment Services assists people who have an intellectual disability to find meaningful work with competitive wages.
Services for Employees: • Job Development • Job Searching • Job Readiness Skills • Job Application • Making a Resume • Interview Skills • Job Coaching • Learning the bus system to get to work
Services for Employers: • Prescreening Applicants • On-Site Job Training • Education for Co-Workers • Ongoing Support • Problem solving
7025 Enterprise Way, Windsor, Windsor, ON N8T 3N6