Quarterly Report – Q1 – 2014/2015
Community Living Ontario is a province-wide confederation, rooted in a strong network of individuals who have an intellectual disability, families, friends, member organizations and community partners. It will be guided by, adhere to and strive to achieve its Goal and Vision in all its actions. Community Living Ontario advocates, promotes and facilitates the full participation, inclusion and citizenship of people who have an intellectual disability.
Community Living Ontario envisions a society where everyone belongs, has equality, respect and acceptance. This gives people a sense of self-worth and opportunities for growth. The gifts, uniqueness and innate value of each individual are celebrated, supported and acknowledged as essential to the completeness of the whole community.
- Lead a comprehensive advocacy initiative for reducing poverty, powerlessness and exclusion in the lives of people who have an intellectual disability.
- Strengthen the Community Living Ontario Confederation.
- Increase the voice of people who have an intellectual disability
Note: For the full strategic priorities document, refer to: http://communitylivingontario.ca/about-us/strategic-priorities-2011-2016
Quarterly Report – Q 1 – 2014/15
As part of our efforts toward increased transparency and accountability, we at Community Living Ontario are pleased to provide our Q1 report for fiscal 2014/15.
This is a new initiative for us, so the format might change over time, but the intent will remain; to give our members and other stakeholders, a snapshot of the work we’ve done over the past three months.
The first quarter was a typically busy one. I was fortunate in being able to visit with 18 of our agency members, listening, commiserating, talking and celebrating with many people, including persons being supported, Board members, staff and parents.
We initiated a work group, comprised of senior MCSS staff, ED’s from several of the DSO offices, myself, Gord Kyle, and Sherri Kroll, ED of Community Living Middlesex. The goal of this group is to examine the current structure of DSO across the province, in order to streamline the process and improve communication. We’ve met on several occasions thus far, and are very encouraged with the direction of these discussions.
Our #EndtheWait provincial election package and accompanying petition were very well received and utilized by our members. The petition has managed to attract over 2700 supporters so far.
Our Passport Mentoring program continues to connect youth with an intellectual disability, to mentors in their community who are willing to share their experience and interests with youth who are exploring who they are and what they want to do when they’re finished school.
Plans are well under way for this year’s conference, entitled “Together We’re Better” which is shaping up to be one of our best ever.
As our mission states, “Community Living Ontario advocates, promotes and facilitates the full participation, inclusion and citizenship of people who have an intellectual disability.” Everything we do needs to support our mission, values and strategic priorities.
I encourage you to get a cup of coffee or tea, read the next 7 pages and tell us what you think.
CEO, Community Living Ontario
Social Policy Department
Addressing the Crisis being faced by Individuals and Families
Community Living Ontario has been warning the government for years that a crisis is coming in the developmental services sector as thousands of individuals and families continue to wait for supports and services they need to live in the community. We have called on government for significant new funding to drive a multi-year plan to address these challenges. This spring we finally saw significant steps towards the kind of action we have been calling for. The government’s Select Committee on Developmental Services released its interim report echoing the problems that Community Living Ontario and many others have been raising with government. Additionally, the Government, in its 2014 budget promised $810 million in new funding to the sector over the next three years to begin addressing the problems identified. While the provincial election delayed the release of the final report of the Select Committee and the implementation of the promised funds, we are confident that both will proceed and we will continue to advocate for this to happen. We look forward to the opportunity to work with government to address the issues identified through the Select Committee and welcome new funding to help with this work.
Addressing Issues with Developmental Services Ontario
Community Living Ontario is committed to helping sort out the role that Developmental Services Ontario (DSO) plays in our communities. Throughout the spring we met with representatives from the DSO Provincial Network and the Ministry of Community and Social Services to explore ways of addressing the challenges being experienced in the implementation of the DSO system. We have explored mechanisms that would improve the experience of people and families who interact with DSO. We are also working to help connect DSO better to community living organizations and other community supports. We have also been exploring ways of formalizing a system of ‘Guided Personal Supports (GPS) that would ensure that people had a continuity of planning and access of supports throughout their life and would have access to the full range of opportunities and supports that our community has to offer. This change would represent a significant step towards addressing the resolution passed by members at last year’s Community Living Ontario Annual General Meeting which calls on government to ensure life-long person directed planning and facilitation as a right to all who wish it. Our progress to date has been shared with the Provincial Network on Developmental Services and we are looking to work with the government to broaden the discussion about these important matters with all stakeholders in the province and to begin to roll out positive reforms.
Seeking Legal Reform for Supported Decision Making
We have made excellent progress in recent months on our work to reform the legal frameworks pertaining to guardianship and substitute decision making. Over the past two years, Community Living Ontario has participated in two advisory groups with the Law Commission of Ontario, one looking at reforming the current legal framework for substitute decision making and the second looking at making it easier for a person to access the Registered Disability Support Plan when they are deemed to not be contractually competent to do so. The RDSP group has wrapped up its work and a report with recommendations will be sent this summer to government regarding reform. The second and broader process looking at overall substitute decision making has just completed a comprehensive public discussion paper that the Law Commission released in June. We will continue to work with the Law Commission and the government to encourage the implementation of a legal framework for supported decision making that will benefit all who are at risk of being placed under guardianship.
Administrative Justice Support Network
We continue to build our capacity for supporting people who are facing tribunals or other administrative justice mechanisms. Building on the launch last year of our comprehensive web resources that provide people information about a range of tribunals and other process, we are working now to build a network of mentors; people who have been through these processes in the past and are willing to stand beside others now facing a tribunal. We held our first gathering of mentors in the spring to begin the orientation and training that they will need to be effective. We continue to look for people who are interested in learning more about mentoring. Visit our Administrative Justice Support Network site here http://ajsn.communitylivingontario.ca/. Through the Administrative Justice initiative, we are also proceeding with a project in collaboration with Community Legal Education Ontario. Beginning with a number of organizations in Southwest Ontario, we will be working to assist front-line workers in community living associations to be better prepared to provide advice to people they support about how to access legal and rights instruments, should a person ask them for assistance in doing so. We hope to expand this initiative to other parts of the province once it has been refined through the initial project.
Doug Minty Inquest
The inquest into the shooting death of Doug Minty by police wrapped up in June. Community Living Ontario called for this inquest following the shooting in 2009 and acted as an intervener in the inquest. Recommendations coming out of the inquest focused on helping police better understand that people who have an intellectual disability, like all others people, have unique and individual characteristics and personalities. Through training and better communications, it is hoped that police will find ways of responding to calls that ensure the greatest degree of
Safety possible for all concerned. Community Living Ontario was retained and represented at the inquest by Iain Donnell of the Donnell Law Group and Orville Endicott, Legal Counsel for Community Living Ontario.
Communications & Marketing
Community Living Ontario Web Site:
As a priority vehicle for pushing out and receiving information and as a tool to better communicate with our priority audiences, we continue to revise and update the Community Living Ontario Web Site. We have entered Phase l of a major review process to make it more relevant, user-friendly and accessible. As part of this process, we’ve submitted a project proposal to MCSS to have the Community Living Ontario web site translated into French. We’re hoping to coordinate the Web site Rebuild/Redesign Project to include partnerships with some of our association members who may also be contemplating a web site redesign.
We continue to expand our social media outreach and presence via Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and new Instagram, Pinterest, and Google+ accounts. Metrics (via Klout, Google Analytics, etc.) that have been set up and designed to measure the results of our ongoing communications efforts will be compiled and shared with key internal stakeholders. We’ve also created a new Community living Ontario blog space at http://www.communitylivingontario.ca/CLO_blog ; another pathway and tool designed to help encourage people to join the conversation.
We continue to pursue sponsorship/partnership opportunities with key corporate sponsors. Moving forward, we will need to continually create new and varying opportunities/experiences for sponsors to participate with us on internal and external facing Community Living Ontario communications products (e.g. newsletter, CL Ontario Web Site, public-facing outreach campaign, Conference materials, etc.).
The redesign and re-launch of a new CEO Weekly Email Update template is to be completed by early September, 2014. The Community Living Ontario Communications Audit is completed. Results of the communications audit will be shared with key internal stakeholders including: Board, Senior Staff, and key stakeholders, etc. Launch of the new L-Soft email distribution listserv platform is in progress.
We continue to explore, develop and introduce new integrated communications and marketing strategies and promotional materials leading up to Conference 2014, including: a digitally-based Conference 2013/14 online Flyer; an integrated social media strategy; video-taped CEO introduction to the Annual Report 2013/14 for CL Ontario website; a series of themed video clips; video –taped ‘thank you’ for conference attendees; hyperlinked banner created for CL Ontario staff email signatures, among others.
We’re hoping to coordinate the Benevon fundraising program to include other Community Living association members and proceed to Phase l.
Media and News Releases:
We continue to successfully extend and expand our reach out to key media outlets in order to help us communicate key messages to our external audiences.
- Yonge Street Media
- CTV (Video)
- Toronto Star
- Toronto Star
- Tillsonburg News
- http://www.newswire.ca/en/story/1338173/community-living-ontario-applauds-new-budget-increases-for-people-who-have-an-intellectual-disability-and-their-families– April 11, 2014
- http://www.newswire.ca/en/story/1318225/community-living-ontario-thanks-provincial-legislature-s-select-committee-on-developmental-services-for-thoughtful-review-in-newly-released-interim-re– March 6, 2014
- http://www.newswire.ca/en/story/1312139/in-celebration-of-national-inclusive-education month-community-living-ontario-proudly-announces-together-we-re-better-contest-winners– February 25, 2014
The intent of the work done through our Community Development department is to design, facilitate, strengthen and build capacity in individuals, families, community groups and our local associations to build inclusive and welcoming communities, where we all belong.
The last few months our activity and efforts have focused on:
1) Supporting the Council to build their capacity as a strong advisory body to the Community Living Ontario Board of Directors. They have developed a new and more accessible election process, bylaws and protocols that address quorum, absenteeism, the relationship with the Board Liaison and the terms of the Council Appointee to the Board of Directors of Community Living Ontario. The Council has also updated its local self-advocacy group data base, and is in the process of updating its orientation binder. The Council is also expanding its networks and participated in forums such as the People First of Ontario conference, engaged in conversation with the “Freedom from Harm” working group and attended ODSP policy meetings.
2) Supports to students thinking about graduation and what’s next. Supporting students, their families and educators to explore new possibilities through the Passport Mentoring initiative. A summer newsletter recently available captures the stories of students trying new paths and looking at possible employment for the future including construction, working in a movie theatre and owning a landscaping company. We were able to match 82 students with mentors in the last few months of school this year.
3) Supporting young leader’s mobilizing for change. Our youth leadership group have been actively planning the 6th annual Re: Action4Inclusion Youth Conference. They have been working on the program that will engage youth in learning about collective and creative advocacy, self-determination and community development. They work together to understand the principles of a civil society and what they can do to affect change with and on behalf of their peers. We have also supported the youth to engage Michelle Dagnino (youth consultant) to work on a new project with them “Mobilizing Youth for Action”. The last few months have been very busy – presentations at schools, supporting them to bring the conversation of inclusion into their networks and their communities, and participating in events such as the ,”Count Me In” – Canada’s biggest youth volunteer run event – promoting volunteerism and youth engagement. Our Re: action4Inc students have engaged many more thru their new twitter handle and Facebook accounts www.facebook.com/reaction4inclusion @R4Inclusion. We continue to support local associations for Community Living with their youth efforts and recently partnered with Community Living York in hosting a brother and sisters retreat. We want to grow this area of work and are excited about the year ahead.
4) Continuing to create space and opportunity for families to grow and learn from one another. A group of parents who have participated in our family leadership weekends and a core group who we refer to as our Planning team, continue to meet and look at ways to learn from the series we have been hosting and to find ways to deepen the learning and opportunity for others
5) Working with our local associations and our national partner on new initiatives in employment. We have hired a Labour Market Development & Partnerships Manager and welcome Elisa Oncel to our team. Currently the effort is to complete and orientation, needs assessment and then to develop a model and structure for the new Ready Willing and Able employment initiative here in Ontario.
A busy few months – laying the foundation for an exciting fall and winter ahead. Stay tuned.
Connecting with Members
During the first quarter of this year I visited 15 member organizations. These visits included making presentations to Board members, attending Annual General Meetings, Anniversary Celebrations and special events and meeting with Executive Directors.
The focus of attention this quarter was visiting with members located in Northern Ontario. Chris Beesley was able to join me on two separate tours. We visited Community Living members in the towns and cities of Kenora, Fort Francis, Atikokan, Thunder Bay, Kapuskasing, Cochrane, Iroquois Falls, and Timmons. I also attended the AGMs at two additional Northern organizations; Community Living Greater Sudbury and Community Living North Bay. We are planning furthers visits this fall in order to see more of our Northern members
Additional organizations visited over this time period included Community Living members in Grimsby, Lincoln and West Lincoln, Haldimand, St. Catharines, Central Huron and Port Colborne-Wainfleet. I also attended Regional Executive Directors Meetings and participated in teleconference calls with the Provincial Executive Directors Coordinating Committee, the Monday Morning Labour Calls and the Provincial Network Human Resources Committee.
I also met with a number of our members while attending the OASIS Annual Conference in London. It was a fantastic event and I was welcomed warmly by the OASIS Board during their Gala Event.
Event Coordination and Membership Engagement
Three significant events were planned to encourage community and membership engagement. Membership assisted with logistics, promotion and hosting of the events:
- The Select Committee Interim Report that was attended by over 50 people on site and reached over 50 locations remotely through webcast.
- Day at the Jays was again very successful with over 1000 attendees.
- The Benevon Introductory Session on Sustainable funding that attracted interest on site and through webcast.
Together We’re Better
Planning is underway for the 2014 Conference and AGM being held September 24th to 27th in Richmond Hill and we are anticipating a successful event. Most encouraging is the level of participation from our membership. Community Living organizations taking part in sessions include Toronto, Elmira, Windsor, Peterborough, London, South-East Grey, Kenora, Grimsby Lincoln and West Lincoln, York South, Dufferin, Belleville, Prince Edward County and The Mills.
Additional sessions are being coordinated with New Vision Advocates, People First, Avon Maitland District School Board, The Provincial Network on Developmental Services and Community Living Education Ontario, The Council, and The Provincial Executive Director Coordinating Committee.
Strengthening the Confederation Committee
Membership has provided staff support to the Strengthening the Confederation Committee (SCC). The SCC has begun reviewing existing committees, subcommittees, and working groups of the Community Living Ontario Board including The Executive, Nominations, Finance, Conference, Awards, Francophone Affairs, By-laws and Resolutions, and the Well Being Committee. Terms of Reference were reviewed and changes made as necessary and approved. All changes and recommendations will be brought forward to the Community Living Ontario Board and if approved, shared with our members at the upcoming AGM in September.
In addition to the development of Strengthening the Confederation Committee, work continues to take place though its subcommittees including Nominations, Conference, and Awards. Further work through the SCC will focus on criteria for individual and partnership levels of membership and the development of a work plan.
Year to date results for the first quarter of 2014-15 are positive with net revenue of $571k versus a budget of $564k. The approved annual budget shows net revenue of $30k.
The significant difference year to date is the assessment fees which are recorded when billed in April, but cover expenses which are spread evenly over the year. In addition we have unbudgeted administration fee of $42k being collected on the MCSS Pilot Project which was not included in the approved budget.
All department spending is on target for the first quarter. There are no significant changes to approved budgets to be reviewed. The budget includes a salary and benefits for a fundraising position which has not yet been filled. As a result of the estates and bequests received this year, the overall targets in this department have been met.
The overall financial position of Community Living Ontario remains solid with net assets of $1.3 million versus $940k at March 31, 2014.