Council of Community Living Ontario

To have an inclusive community starts with us. We must possess the courage to make it happen!

The Council of Community Living Ontario consists of 12 self-advocates from across the province that come together to make a difference in the lives of people who have an intellectual disability by making sure their voices are heard. They work together with Community Living Ontario’s Board of Directors to find solutions and share information, opinions, knowledge, and experience on important issues such as poverty, safe and affordable housing, human rights, and barriers to quality health care.

The Council members are elected at Community Living Ontario’s conference and consist of at least one representative from each of the following geographical areas: North East, North West, South East, South West, and Central. If you are interested in learning more about Council, contact Meaghan Mitchell, Council Engagement Coordinator at or 519 362-1633 or the Chair of the Council, James Taylor, at

Council Profiles

James Taylor has been on Council for five years and has been President of the Council of Community Living Ontario for four years. He is also the Chair of New Vision Advocates, a self-advocate group in his hometown of London. James is active in the community, giving presentations to groups and schools, such as Fanshawe College, on how to advance equal citizenship, acceptance, and belonging.  James works full-time as a receptionist at Community Living London and enjoys playing sports in the Special Olympics.

Nicole Flynn is enrolled in the General Arts and Science program at Loyalist College, where she’s a member of the women’s cross country team. Her long-term goal is to be an advisor to the government on behalf of people who have a developmental disability.

Nicole stands up for people’s rights around inclusion, education, employment, housing, and health care, and she’s very excited  to be on the Council to expand her knowledge and experience.  In her spare time, she likes to be outside in nature and hang out with her boyfriend, Kai Freeland.

Niko Pupella is from Uxbridge and he’s a part of Community Living Durham North. He enjoy volunteering for various groups, helping others, bowling, hanging out with his friends, spending time with family, and he loves animals, including dogs and horses. He rides every week and absolutely loves it. He hopes to one day own his own horse. Niko likes learning about technology and how it’s changing.  A part of A-team Self-Advocates and the Rights Review Board Committee, Niko helps to fight for fair rights of people supported. He hopes to continue that fight while working with the Council on a Provincial level, and he also wants to make sure people are heard when it comes to issues with ODSP, fair rent, work wages, and the many issues related to poverty, and how we can make sure everyone is being treated well.

Theresa Somerton, a Belleville resident, joined Council in 2017. She is passionate about breaking down barriers related to disability and making sure the voices of self-advocates across the province are heard.  Theresa’s hobbies include dancing, listening to country music, and crafts. 

Raina Flexhaug is from Pembroke. As a Council member Raina is passionate about advocating for inclusion, despite limitations. She sits on a self-advocate committee for her association, which promotes inclusion, being goal-oriented, and being an active member of the community.

She enjoys dancing, cooking and baking, art, and being a successful business woman.

Ashley Stekel is a member of Community Living Durham North’s self-advocate group, the ‘A-Team’ and feels strongly about equality and inclusion. She has been a part of Council since 2016.

Crystal Wales works at Community Living Walkerton and District in the kitchen. She is a member and secretary of the Walkerton Action Committee, the organization’s self-advocate group, and Wingham Lions Club; this allows her to help many people through community service. She is happy to be a member of the Council of Community Living Ontario.

Mark Anderson is a strong advocate for people with developmental disabilities living in London, and has served on Council for two years. He’s been a member of New Vision Advocates for the past decade, currently serving as the secretary of its Executive Board. Mark is also active in giving presentations to college students, community groups, and staff of Community Living London.

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