Staying Connected

We know you are receiving an overwhelming amount of information. We want to provide you a place to access to the most up to date resources and information you need to navigate these uncertain times, safely and economically.

This resources hub will be updated regularly with the latest news, tips, information and resources for people, families and agencies. Each resource includes a short description and the intended audience. Community Living Ontario has vetted these resources to ensure they align with our community philosophy. Our goal is to aggregate a variety of tools, best practices, videos, podcasts, and stories that will help you with your day to day tasks. Please feel free to share this page and its content widely with your networks.

Remember: We’re all in this together!

News & Advocacy

Public Health Canada

For: Everyone

Public Health Canada’s page will provide updates on the situation in Canada, how the federal government is monitoring the virus and statements on the topics as they are released.

World Health Organization: Coronvirus Information Hub

For: Everyone

World Health Organization (WHO) has become a source for information globally for those wanting expert, fact-based perspectives on the virus. This site includes videos explaining transmission, online training, press conferences as they happen, situation reports by country and a map of cases around the world. 

Plain-Language Information on COVID-19

For: Everyone

Community Living Huntsville recently created some helpful plain-language documents to help guide their community through the COVID-19 crisis. They have graciously given us permission to modify and share these documents with a wider audience.

CBC: Guide to COVID-19 in Canada

For: Everyone

Developments in the COVID-19 pandemic are nearly constant — and it’s certainly difficult to keep track of everything that’s happening. CBC News has compiled a roundup of stories, explainers and videos on a wide range of topics to keep you up to date on the latest information about the coronavirus.

Canadian Association for Community Living: Disability-Related Resources

For: Families

The Canadian Association for Community Living (CACL) will be sharing disability-related resources related to the COVID-19 pandemic for families on this page. They will be adding to it as trustworthy resources are developed.

New Visitors’ Guidelines Re-Opening of Congregate Living Settings

For: Families

New visitors’ guidelines for re-opening of congregate living settings no longer require a negative COVID test from visitors. It will even allow for some 12-hour absences when deemed critical to the person’s well-being. Isolation has been a huge factor in declining health for people who are supported in group settings, so we are pleased to see that our concerns have been noted and addressed with the direction of these new guidelines.

Black, Disabled, and Proud: College Students with Disabilities

For: Self-Advocates

Although this is an American site, Black, Disabled, and Proud is filled with rich resources and tools that can help Black and racialized youth navigate the education system so that they can achieve their highest potential. The High School section offers practical advice in various areas including steps you can take in order to be best prepared for an IEP meetings, and how to find a mentor.

What to Do While in Isolation

For: Everyone

Over at ConnectAbility.ca, you can find a COVID-19 resource page that is packed full of links to keep you informed, educated, and entertained without having to leave the house.

Health and Wellness

COVID-19 Self-Assessment Tool

For: Everyone

If you think you have coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms or have been in close contact with someone who has it, use this self-assessment tool from the Ontario government to help determine how to seek further care.

Calm: An App for Mindfulness

For: Everyone

During this time of uncertainty and change with COVID-19 many people are understandably experiencing a lot of anxiety and fear. Calm has free content curated for mental and emotional health during this period including various guided meditations, stories, and music for beginners, advanced practitioners, and children.

Blog Post: Social Connection Needed in Battle Against Coronavirus

For: Everyone

On the Tamarack Institute blog, Jim Diers writes about the vital necessity of staying connected to our communities in times of crisis.

Grocery Shopping Tips in COVID-19

For: Everyone

Family Physician Dr. Jeffery VanWingen shows us how we can grocery shop and get take out more safely during COVID-19. By adapting the “sterile technique,” used in the medical field to perform surgeries in sterile environments, Dr. VanWingen demonstrates how to decrease our risk of contracting COVID-19.

Clean My Space

For: Everyone

Looking for ways to disinfect and organize your home while isolating? Cleaning specialist Melissa Maker offers expert advice on cleaning products and tools, DIY substitutions, and time-saving tips through her YouTube channel and website.

6 Free Mindful Courses from LinkedIn

For: Everyone

To help professionals get the support they need, we’re sharing these six free courses on mindfulness and stress management to help you build up your self-care toolbox—global pandemic or not. Experts will help you learn how to cultivate mindfulness practices, manage stress and overwhelm & more.

Package and Food Delivery Tips

For: Everyone

Dr. Jeff VanWingen shares practical tips for handling package, mail and food deliveries during the COVID-19 pandemic. This is his follow up video to the first YouTube video he posted, which demonstrated how to sanitize groceries.

Achieve Your Fitness Goals

For: Everyone

Looking for ways to continue your fitness routine during COVID-19? The MS Society has a number of online workout videos you can do from home, particularly for individuals using wheelchairs or those that may have limited mobility.

A Virtual Doctor’s Visit

For: Families & Advocates

It is really important to remember that even when we can’t see our doctors in person, we can still meet with them. Most healthcare providers are able to talk with patients on the phone, but some people are also having appointments using video. It can be helpful to see each other during a meeting, especially when communicating back can be difficult. This video will show you what a virtual doctor visit could look like.

Free Guide to Living with Worry and Anxiety Amidst Global Uncertainty

For: Everyone

Given some of the news coverage, it is difficult not to worry about what it all means for yourself, and for those you love. This downloadable guide provides a mixture of psychoeducation about normal and excessive worry.

Ten Tips on Navigating Global Grief

For: Everyone

We are experiencing grief right now—global grief. The words “pandemic”, “coronavirus”, “COVID-19” and “isolation” are wreaking havoc on our world and changing life as we know it for the time being. This document from Love Your Life to Death shares ten ways to navigate global grief.

The Risks – Know Them – Avoid Them

For: Everyone

As economies re-open and countries deal with their second wave, Dr. Bromage an expert in infectious diseases provides some advice about being aware of, and avoiding risks associated with contracting COVID.

Managing through COVID-19: How to support your Employees’ Mental Health

For: Agencies

This guide provides recommendations on how to protect your employee’s mental health during the time of COVID-19. The guide was developed by adapting information from the National Standard for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace and the Workplace Strategies for Mental Health website.

Talk2Nice

For: Agencies

The National Initiative for the Care of the Elderly (NICE) has implemented TALK2NICE, a free, over the phone outreach support service to connect older adults with social workers and social work students. The aim of this outreach program is to provide much-needed support to older adults during and after the enforced isolation that is part of the current response to COVID-19, the recovery, and as we transition to a new normal in community and residential care settings, such as long-term care.

SNAP Home Workouts

For: Eeveryone

SNAP (Supporting Neurodiversity through Adaptive Programming) is offering do-at-home exercise videos that are geared towards a wide range of movement abilities. Their videos can be done at home, easily incorporating play and household objects. These resources were developed at Brock University.

Resource: Guidance for Better Mental Health

For: Everyone

Rehab4Addiction created these useful educational guides to assist increase understanding and awareness of all aspects of dealing with the stress of bereavement and the lockdown. The resource was created with the hope of being one of many stepping stones for those struggling.

Education and Entertainment

12 Famous Museums with Virtual Tours

For: Everyone

 Looking for an educational experience for all ages that you can access from the comfort of your couch? Look no further than this list of museums around the world that offer virtual tours!

Scholastic Learn at Home

For: Families

Stuck at home with kids out of school? Not sure how to keep them entertained and educated? Scholastic provides a series of remote learning tools for children up to the Grade 9 level.

Events at 250 Clark in Powassan, Ontario

For: Everyone

Looking for inspiring ways to stay connected to your community? One small town offers fun and creative ideas to keep engaged during social distancing, through their “Events at 250 Clark” Facebook page, including Live Bread Making Classes, Virtual Talent Shows and more.

Pop Up Virtual Art Hive

For: Everyone

Looking for a creative outlet where you can connect with others in an unstructured way using materials you have in your own home? The Pop Up Virtual Art Hive is a Facebook group that invites people to share their creative projects and connect with others through posts and/or daily Zoom calls at 1pm and 8pm daily.

ReelAbilities: ReelEducation Program

For: Educators

The ReelEducation program provides free resources for educators and administrators to teach students about inclusion, empathy, universal design, mental health and stereotypes, as well as attitudinal and employment barriers.

Google Arts & Culture: National Parks Service

For: Everyone

The United States National Parks Service partnered with Google to follow a handful of park rangers through some of America’s parks and now you can explore them from home.

The Senate Virtual Tour: Your Digital Admission to the Red Chamber

For: Everyone

Embark on this virtual tour of the art and architecture of the Senate in Centre Block. Use your mouse or touchscreen to take a 360-degree look around each room.

TED Connects: Community and Hope – Live Series

For: Everyone

As COVID-19 sweeps the globe, it’s hard to know where to turn or what to think. TED Connects: Community and Hope is a free, live, daily video conversation series featuring experts whose ideas can help us reflect and work through this uncertain time with a sense of responsibility, compassion and wisdom.

Nature Lovers Rejoice! Explore Nature from Around the Globe

For: Everyone

Connect with the largest live nature cam network on the planet. Enjoy the natural world as it unfolds in real-time. EXPLORE.org takes you to the most remote places around the globe. They share live animal cameras, live nature cameras, animal videos, compilation videos, meditation videos, and more!

18 Ontario Spots With Virtual Tours You Can Explore From Your Couch

For: Everyone

Go on virtual tours of famous/popular buildings around Ontario. Some highlights include, the Royal Ontario Museum, the Art Gallery of Ontario, Dundurn Castle, Fort William, and the Hockey Hall of Fame. 

Planning Your First Edible Garden

For: Everyone

As we continue to stay home due to the pandemic many people are turning to gardening in a new way. CBC provides easy steps to follow and common mistakes to avoid when planting your first garden. 

TVO Kids

For: Families

Looking for a way to make sure your kids are entertained and still learning without the classroom? TVOKids is packed full of TV shows for children, including educational programs.

BrainPop

For: Families

Continue learning at home with entertaining and rigorous resources. Tap into your children’s innate curiosity with the best teacher-approved content, games, and tools. These materials and resources empower children from K-12 to build deep knowledge in an engaging and safe space. Free family access while schools are closed.

Coin Franco: Jeux éducatifs gratuits

For: Francophones

Poursuivez vos efforts d’apprentissage et essayez-les jeux éducatifs gratuits, offerts par TFO, avec vos petits de 2 à 12 ans.

Webinar Recordings

Webinar Recording: Supporting the Health of People with Developmental Disabilities During COVID 19

For: Everyone

COVID-19 presents major challenges for anyone managing long-term or acute health issues. It can be particularly challenging for people with developmental disabilities, who are at high risk of experiencing negative health effects, inadequate care and social isolation in this uncertain time. In light of these issues, Community Living Ontario hosted a free webinar on Tuesday, April 14 with four panellists.

Webinar Recording: Understanding & Navigating COVID-19

For: Agencies

A free webinar hosted by Community Living Ontario in partnership with Seamless Care Pharmacy with two guest physicians who are frontline COVID-19 leads at their respective hospitals. Topics covered include information on the virus and how agency staff can take care of themselves as well as the people they support.

Webinar Recording: Ask the Experts – QA Session

For: Agencies

In partnership with Seamless Care Pharmacy, Community Living Ontario hosted this question and answer session with Dr. Marwah Younis Damani and guest physician, Dr. Prashant Phalper to provide an opportunity to ask questions to bring some much-needed clarity.

Webinar Recording: Staying Safe in the Hospital Medical Safeguarding Vulnerable Patients

For: Families 

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted that people with disabilities are at risk of receiving inadequate health care services without direct and personal advocacy. This workshop will help you craft a compelling argument for having a bedside advocate for hospital patients with disabilities and introduces a framework and strategies for being an effective medical advocate for people with disabilities who require inpatient hospital care.

Webinar Recording: Reducing Barriers to Inclusion Using Wearable Technology

For: Everyone

We develop technology that helps people who have an intellectual disability manage their stress so they can spend less time worrying and more time enjoying life. Our technology has been used by families and Community Living agencies throughout the province since March 2019. During this session, we will highlight stories from people who are currently using Awake Labs’ technology. We will also provide information about how this technology works, and share details on how to access this technology with Passport funding.

Webinar Recording: Self Advocates Share Real Life Impacts of COVID 19

For: Everyone 

Four self-advocates (members of the Community Living Ontario Council and Board of Directors) will discuss how various restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic have affected their lives. This recording will help you gain an increased understanding of how restrictions related to COVID-19 have affected self-advocates personally, socially, financially, and with respect to their use of health and social services.

Inspiring Conversations: It’s Time to Shift from Strengths to Gifts

For: Everyone

Join us for another Inspiring Conversations session. This time around, Bruce Anderson will provide definitions of gifts and the rationale for transforming from a strength-based to a gift-based culture in a helping organization. Participants will have an opportunity to distinguish their skills from their gifts. We’ll discuss a variety of uses for gifts in support activities for people with disabilities, as well as within the employee culture. And end with a question and answer period!

Inspiring Conversations: Social Isolation and Loneliness

For: Everyone

The notions of loneliness and social isolation have been clearly identified as vexing issues in our culture today. This session will do a deep-dive into understanding social isolation. Not only will it cover the research and data related to this concept, but it will explore strategies and actions that can be employed in addressing loneliness by having social capital principles work for the people in your community.

Inspiring Conversations: Where to Now? Re-Imagining Community and Inclusion for a Post-Pandemic World

For: Everyone

Michael Bach will provide a presentation and remarks exploring how the Community Living sector might build on the radical changes implemented in response to the pandemic (e.g., closing day programs, looking for individualized options, etc.). The overall theme will focus on what transformative change could look like, the role of our sector, and how we might participate in the broader calls to address structural inequality and injustice. Participants will have the opportunity to share questions and concerns about how we take advantage of this moment to advance a transformational agenda.

Finance and Operations

Checklist and Action Items to Access Benefits

For: Everyone

In the flurry of announcements and news about the fight against COVID-19 and ensuing financial supports from our governments, it can be hard to know if you qualify for financial support and what you need to do in order to receive it. To help answer questions about the benefits, and to let you know what you need to do, we’ve put together this list of action items you will need to take to access any available benefits.

Summary of Federal and Provincial COVID-19 Financial Relief Announcements

For: Everyone

Our multi-talented Board of Directors President Jill Teeple has compiled this document highlighting up-to-date information on the economic supports available to those whose financial situation has been affected by COVID-19.

Provincial Network on Developmental Services: COVID-19 Resources

For: Agencies

The following library of resources has been compiled from DS sector agencies by the Provincial Network on Developmental Services to assist you in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic through information sharing and knowledge transfer.

Resources to Help Your Nonprofit During the COVID-19 Pandemic

For: Agencies

TechSoup Canada is a program of the Centre for Social Innovation dedicated to empowering charities, nonprofits and libraries with the effective use of technology. They’ve compiled this list of tools and resources that can help your organization manage the crisis.

Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) Applications for NPOs and Charities Now Open

For: Agencies

The federal government is now accepting applications for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS). Non-profits and charities that meet the requirements of the CEWS may apply for up to a 75% wage subsidy. The Canadian Charity Law blog has put together a short guide to your application options, with links to official information about the subsidy itself, how to apply, and what to do after you apply.

NucleusLabs: Best Practice Tips for Data Security and Privacy

For: Agencies

NucelusLabs, a Strategic Partner of Community Living Ontario, have prepared an information sheet with some simple advice around the security and privacy of data that agencies will find helpful.

Canada Emergency Student Benefit Applications Open May 15

For: Families/Self-Advocates

Canadians who are eligible for the new Canada Emergency Student Benefit can now apply through CRA My Account or by phone. This benefit is for students who do not qualify for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) or Employment Insurance (EI).

Virtual Meeting Platform Comparison

For: Everyone

There are so many virtual meeting options available. To save you time, Community Living Ontario has prepared a list comparing the pros and cons of the top virtual meeting platforms. Use the chart provided to determine which virtual platform works best for you! (Note: Prices are subject to change based on a variety of factors, such as the number of logins allowed and the number of people you would like to host.)

Member Spotlight

Jo-Anne Demick of Community Living Parry Sound recently shared this piece of valuable advice regarding COVID-19 testing:

One of the lessons learned was regarding the fast-tracking of COVID-19 test results. The physician did not indicate on the lab work that the person had underlying medical issues so the test was not fast-tracked and we have been informed that it will take 6-7 days from the time they receive it. On a go-forward basis our staff will be informed to request fast-tracking each time a person we support is screened.

Jo-Anne Demick of Community Living Parry Sound recently shared this piece of valuable advice regarding COVID-19 testing:

One of the lessons learned was regarding the fast-tracking of COVID-19 test results. The physician did not indicate on the lab work that the person had underlying medical issues so the test was not fast-tracked and we have been informed that it will take 6-7 days from the time they receive it. On a go-forward basis our staff will be informed to request fast-tracking each time a person we support is screened.
We have learned that we need to think about Quality Assurance Measures as we temporarily change some of our regular practices. To this end we have created a document that describes any temporary alterations to our regular procedures caused by COVID-19 so that this information will be readily available when QAM reviews are conducted down the road. We have kept this strictly as a procedure to ensure no requirement for Board approval for each change.

Melodie Cook, Executive Director, Community Living Windsor

An important and swift decision was to commit to daily online staff-facilitated drop-in, open 76 hours a week, on our Zoom account. This is only a piece of the broader support puzzle, but the certainty of the commitment and follow-through with every supported individual and family (including help with technology and access) definitely meant a lot to the LiveWorkPlay community. In recent weeks a variety of themes have evolved, from cooking to dance parties, and we have received feedback from some that they have made many new and meaningful connections despite the stresses of the COVID-19 crisis. The Zoom facilitators work in pairs, with some friendly competition for executing new themes and features alongside volunteers who are bringing their own gifts and talents to the scene! Whatever the future holds, our members have already suggested that our online community needs to keep going!

Keenan WellarLiveWorkPlay

Community Living Atikokan made some subtle changes that led to huge impact. Leadership increased wellness checks with our staff. It was a quick phone call to make sure everyone was okay. We strengthened our communications. We wanted to make sure staff had the best, most accurate information. We also rescheduled staff. We created two teams that worked seven days on and then enjoyed seven days off. It allows workers lots of time to recharge, spend time with family and destress. This change also provided leadership with the comfort knowing that if one of the teams fell ill, there would still be coverage to support people. Staff appreciated our efforts and really stepped up. I have always felt strongly about supporting the supporters. That’s never been more apparent to us than during the pandemic.

Jim TurnerCommunity Living Atikokan

Community Living Kingston and District created a Morale Task Force to explore and implement new ways to support staff members, persons served, and families through this challenging and difficult time. We divided into three streams, each concentrating on one of the three stakeholder groups. Some of the actions have included putting together baskets of hands on activities for our Residential Services, creating booklets of activities (word searches, mazes, etc.) , fun challenges like best door/window decoration photo challenge, acknowledging individual staff and teams, hosting live events like a Netflix party and matching up people for phone or video chats. A Facebook group was also created where the entire CLKD community can stay connected by sharing activities, events, community resources, learning opportunities, etc. Highlights from the initiatives and resources are shared with staff of the organization through a weekly Morale Task Force newsletter.
Thanks to our awesome maintenance and admin teams, E-Way is decked out with colourful messages of support for you, our Community Living Windsor heroes. On behalf of the entire management team, thank you to all of the Direct Support Professionals for all that you do for the people we support!</p> <p>We’re proud to celebrate everything you do to make a difference in the lives of people we support!

Strategic Partners

csbt

Health Benefits – Community Services Benefits Trust

Supplies For Personal Needs – MedProDirect

Health, Safety, First Aid Training Canadian Business Health Management Inc.

Wearable Technology – Awake Labs

Home & Auto Insurance – McDougall Insurance

Person-Centred Case Management & Outcomes Software Solution – NucleusLabs Information Technologies (Canada) Ltd.

Commercial & Directors Insurance – McDougall Insurance

Employee Management Software Solution – ComVida Software Solutions

 

Pharmaceuticals – Seamless Care Pharmacy

Accessible Vehicles – Eureka Solutions

Law Firm – PooranLaw