Aaron Johannes

aaronAaron Johannes is an artist, workshop leader, graphic facilitator, researcher, long time B.C. People First advisor and the Director of Spectrum Consulting. Spectrum Consulting is a social enterprise which is the collaborative work of 8 people – half of whom have disabilities.  He is the author of two books, editor of two others, and illustrator of two others – including the popular 101 Ways to Make Friends: Ideas and conversation starters for people with disabilities and their supporters.  He has a M.A. Integrated Studies (equity studies and education) and over the last years has focused on ideas around invitation, belonging, leadership and bringing groups together in dialogues about commonality, often using art, music, social media and improvisation.  He is a board member of PLAN (Planned Lifetime Advocacy Network), sits on the TASH Community Inclusion Committee and is an ardent fan of  the B.C. Family Support Institute.  With his partner he is a parent and foster parent to six children with various disabilities, as well as a nephew, uncle and cousin to others.   He believes that inclusion is not just the right thing to do, but is the answer to many of the challenges in the world.

Andrea Cross

IMG_0254Andrea Cross is currently a PhD student in the School of Rehabilitation Science and CanChild Centre for Childhood Disability Research at McMaster University. She graduated in 2011 from Wilfrid Laurier University with a Masters of Science in Kinesiology. Andrea’s main research interests are in the areas of childhood disability, family-centred care, knowledge translation, and pediatric aquatics. Her master’s thesis examined the influence of a 10-week structured swim program on children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Communication Delays. As an advanced aquatics instructor, with over ten years of teaching experience, Andrea will share her experiences as both an instructor and an aquatics researcher, as well as discuss strategies for how we can advance aquatic programs in children’s health care.

Andrew Terhoch

Andrew TerhochAndrew Terhoch is a Registered Massage Therapist, a member of the Massage Therapy Association of Manitoba and a partner in Mindful Massage Therapy. He has been working alongside individuals with differences in ability in a variety of environments for 25 years. He strives for awareness and respect for each client’s unique strengths, abilities and sensitivities. His treatments support the client’s orthopedic health while embracing the impact that Massage Therapy and touch in general can have on their sensory, emotional and intellectual well-being. Andrew provides care to clients of all ages in and outside of the St.Amant community and enjoys sharing practical skills with parents, caregivers and other health care professionals.

Ben Adaman

benBen Adaman is a speech-language pathologist and the Coordinator of the Communication Devices Program, Manitoba’s only speech-generating device clinic and equipment rental pool. He belongs to an interprofessional team that serves clients throughout Manitoba who have limited or no speech. He has spent his entire career in the field of augmentative and alternative communication and has a very strong interest in assistive technology. His goal is to see clients live with maximum dignity and quality of life. In his role as Coordinator, he works to build and maintain relationships with stakeholders in hospitals, schools, and community settings province-wide. To that end, he has participated in over 50 presentations and community events in the past three years. To support clinical best practice, Ben produces and distributes a quarterly newsletter highlighting technical and clinical issues related to augmentative and alternative communication (AAC). He currently chairs a committee developing a position paper on the role of the SLP in AAC interventions for Speech-Language Audiology Canada. He sits on the Deer Lodge Centre Research Committee and on the WRHA Professional Advisory Council. He also served as an abstract reviewer for the 2014 ISAAC International Conference on AAC. Ben holds a Master’s degree in Speech-Language pathology and a Bachelor’s degree in Linguistics, both from McGill University. 

Beverley Temple

Dr. Temple’s research focuses on individuals with developmental disabilities and their families, nursing education and the social context of health behaviours. Her clinical and teaching specialty is pediatric nursing. Dr. Temple holds a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Brandon University, a Masters of Nursing from University of Manitoba and a Ph.D. from the University of British Columbia. In addition to her work at St.Amant, she is an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Nursing at University of Manitoba.

Bobby Newman

bobby newmanBobby Newman is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and Licensed Psychologist. Affectionately known as the Dark Overlord of ABA, Bobby is the first author on ten books regarding behavior therapy, the philosophy of behaviorism, the autism spectrum disorders, and utopian literature. He has published over two dozen articles in professional journals, as well as numerous popular magazine articles and has hosted two series of radio call-in shows. Bobby is the Past-President of the Association for Science in Autism Treatment and the New York State Association for Behavior Analysis. A popular speaker, Bobby also provides direct treatment, staff training and consultation around the world, and has been honored for this work by several parents and professional groups. He is the director of Room to Grow. Bobby is also a certified personal trainer and marathoner and is an Ambassador for the Great Sportsmanship Programme. Bobby teaches non-violent crisis intervention philosophy and techniques for agencies and families.

Brenda Stoesz

StoeszBrenda Stoesz is a PhD Candidate in Brain and Cognitive Science, Department of Psychology, University of Manitoba.  Working under the supervision of Dr. Lorna Jakobson, Ms. Stoesz has conducted research designed to examine the relationship between extensive music training and the development of non-musical, perceptual and cognitive skills, and how the human visual system selects particular interpretations of the visual world.  Currently, she is examining the face processing abilities in typical individuals and adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD).  Brenda also works with the KATYDID research team to advance the science and practice of knowledge translation in developmental disabilities.  Brenda holds Bachelors of Education and Science (Hons) and Masters of Arts from University of Manitoba.

Charlotte Livingston

Charlotte picCharlotte Livingstone began her career in special education in 1977 while she continued to take her Bachelor of Education and a Post Baccalaureate in Special Education. She taught in daycare and special education for the Seven Oaks School Division until June 2012. Her experiences offered her the opportunity to teach in environments at all levels and all ages from pre-school to elementary and high school. She continued her studies by entering the Faculty of Theology at the University of Winnipeg in a Master’s Program. Her passion to engage with individuals with intellectual and physical disabilities led her to continue working with the same population she taught by taking her to St.Amant to substitute upon her retirement form the public school system. Her background in teaching this target population and interest in spirituality took her to connect with spiritual care staff at St.Amant upon the initial stages of the forming of a pilot project title “Conversations in Spirituality.” She values the unique and exciting opportunities she has had to work on every level of meeting the needs and interests of many fascinating individuals and with so many varied teams of people.

Doug Conn

DougDoug Conn became involved in his uncle’s life more than 25 years ago, first as a nephew and then as his advocate as his uncle spent most of his life in the Valley View Centre (VVC) in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan.  From there, Doug joined the Valley View Centre Family Group. At that time, he was thinking they were going to raise money for projects around the Centre improving the lives of those who live there. Little did he know this volunteer work would lead him to the SACL and the realization of the needs of people with disabilities and the challenging struggles their families face on a day-to-day basis!  Doug believes that the SACL, as an organization can work alongside with government, so a difference can be made for those we support. Doug is currently the chair of the VVC Transition Steering Committee and is working to ensure the individuals living at VVC and their families participate in the transition process and have a person-centred transition plan that matches each individual’s unique needs and preferences.

Janet Klees

kless picJanet Klees has been involved in the lives of people with disabilities, their families, and allies in community for over 30 years. She has been coordinator with the family-governed Deohaeko Support Network for 20 years – almost from its beginnings when families designed and built a 105-unit housing co-operative which seven of their sons and daughters with disabilities now call home. Janet has been deeply affected by the lives of the people with disabilities and their families that she has come to know within that group and through other life experiences. She is the author of two books which are directly rooted in the Deohaeko experience, (We Come Bearing Gifts; Our Presence has Roots) and which are now sold around the world to present the unique options of this family group. Janet’s work centers on individually-designed arrangements and she is especially concerned that families are well-supported to think through practical, principled ways to ensure that their family members live meaningful, involved and secure lives within their communities. Her work focuses on individually-designed arrangements for one person at a time, kept rich and secure through a focus on people holding valued and contributing social roles, finding places of belonging in their communities, and having a range of relationships that provide richness and safeguarding in their lives.  Most of Janet’s ideas arise from strong day-to-day practice.

Janine Montgomery

Dr. Janine Montgomery is former classroom and special education teacher and is currently an associate professor in the School Psychology graduate program in the Department of Psychology at the University of Manitoba. Dr. Montgomery researches how individuals process social information and make sense of the social world. Her work includes explorations of emotional intelligence, executive functions, and theory of mind and her expertise includes autism spectrum conditions, learning disabilities, developmental disabilities, and other neurodevelopmental disorders.  Dr. Montgomery also conducts clinical work in various areas related to her research program and school psychology training.

Jennifer Johannesen

Jennifer JohannesenJennifer Johannesen is a writer and speaker about ethics in healthcare, and is the author of No Ordinary Boy. It is a sharply evocative account that shares the story of her severely disabled son Owen, his family, his caregivers and his doctors.  Throughout Owen’s life, and since his death in 2010, Jennifer has been an outspoken commentator on the experiences of young children with multiple severe disabilities in the context of institutional healthcare and educational settings.  She challenges commonly-held notions of how children like Owen might spend their early years and childhood, and reflects on how systemic and clinician bias might influence parental decision-making. Jennifer is currently pursuing a Master of Science in Bioethics, and lives in Toronto with her partner and son.

Jennifer Kilimnik

IMG_0116 - Version 4Jennifer Kilimnik loved using her skills as a leadership coach in her role as an Organizational Development Consultant for the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority. As an instructor with the University of Winnipeg, Jennifer develops and delivers leadership and essential management skills courses. She is excited to be the Manager of Corporate Education for St.Amant. Her passion for conflict resolution, peace building, and positive psychology emerged while working in Belfast for several years on the Northern Ireland Peace Process. Jennifer specializes in applying positive psychology to organizational environments to help people realize their potential, promote creativity, and maximize team performance.

Jeremy Gutsche: Keynote Speaker

JeremyAdapt & Disrupt: Capture New Business Opportunities and Stay Ahead of the Pack

After finding success, many organizations fall into a pattern of dire complacency. Their decision-makers forget about adapting and making change happen. Whether afraid to fail at something new, or paralyzed by a bureaucratic pace and shrinking budgets —they don’t even try. Once-thriving organizations can quickly wilt, and the results can be deadly. Just ask Kodak or Smith Corona, whose leaders didn’t adapt at crucial moments of transformation. Today, no one within any company or organization can afford to stagnate. Each employee needs to keep pushing forward. In this powerful talk, Jeremy Gutsche shows you how to awaken, hunt, and capture those immense opportunities that others might too easily dismiss. Drawing on 200 interviews with CEOs, data sets from Trendhunter, new case studies, and even his family’s personal journey of entrepreneurial daring, Jeremy Gutsche challenges audiences to define their core values, and guides them toward a new outlook on innovation, disruption, and adaptation.

Joyce Douglas

joyce photoJoyce Douglas is acting principal at St.AmantSchool.  Her teaching, research and leadership have all been guided by a passion for special education.  She teaches students who have developmental disabilities with a respect for what they can do.  Joyce has a BA, a B ed., a Post Bac in special education and is working toward her administrator level 1.  Joyce has over 15 years of experience working with people to fulfill their own individualized potential.

Julie Malette

jmJulie Malette is the CEO of Helen Sanderson Associates (HSA) Canada and the new Lead for HSA in the United States.  HSA define themselves as catalysts for person-centred change and work with individuals and families as well as teams and organizations in learning, developing and supporting person-centred practices and delivering personalization.  Person-centred organizations use person-centred practices in order to deliver the best possible service to their customers or the people they support (health and social services).  They also use the commitment and talents of their staff to achieve this. Julie contributes to and has direct access to international best practice information and new learning and development through her work with Helen Sanderson Associates (HSA) UK and HSA Australia as well as through her role on the Board of Directors for the international Learning Community for Person-Centred Practices.

June Avivi

June_photo croppedJune Avivi has and continues to be a dedicated and committed volunteer in the province of Saskatchewan. She has been engaged with the disability community for 55 years through the Community Living Association Saskatoon Inc. (CLASI), the Saskatchewan Association for Community Living (SACL), the Valley View Centre (VVC) Family Group and most recently the VVC Transition Steering Committee. In 1994, June received the Sterling Award to recognize her volunteer role for individuals with intellectual disabilities. In 1968, June’s son David moved from Saskatoon to Valley View Centre; which to this day remains his home. At that time her energies transferred from the local scene in Saskatoon to VVC in Moose Jaw. The Avivi’s and other families lobbied for and were successful in establishing the Valley View Centre Advisory Committee giving families a voice at the management table. Now, as a member of the Transition Steering Committee, June is committed to ensuring that the transition of the people who live at Valley View Centre is founded in planning with the individuals and families, and is following a Made in Saskatchewan approach. In addition to June’s community involvement, June enjoys spending time with her three sons, three grandchildren and two great grandchildren.

Justine Joan Sheppard

Joan professional photoDr. Sheppard has extensive experience working to improve care for infants, children and adults with developmental disability. Her specialty areas are swallowing, feeding (dysphagia) and speech production disorders in this population. She has provided clinical, administrative and educational consultation services in nutritional management and treatment of dysphagia related eating disorders at more than 90 residential, home care, educational and day treatment agencies. She has provided training workshops in the United States, Canada, England, The Netherlands, China, New Zealand, Singapore and Australia. She serves as consultant to agencies and as expert witness for the defense and consultant for nutritional management in actions filed under the Civil Rights for Institutional Persons Act (CRIPA). As Adjunct Associate Professor of Speech-language Pathology at Teachers College, Columbia University, New York, NY she is engaged in research and dissertation advisement and teaches courses in pediatric dysphagia, development of motor skills in infants and children and Early Intervention.

Kalyn Falk

FalkKalyn Falk  is an author, speaker, retreat guide, and spiritual director.  She has been an active advocate for her son, who is profoundly autistic and released her book “Mother of the Year and Other Elusive Awards: Misadventures in Autism” this year.

Kathleen C. Sitter

kathleenKathleen C. Sitter is an Assistant Professor at Memorial University (July 2014) and holds a PhD in Education, a Master of Communication Studies, and a Master of Social Work. For over a decade, Kathleen has been a participatory media practitioner, where her work and research has focused on collaborative practices with visual media. In the last four years, her research has explored the use of participatory video as method, voice, and advocacy in the disability community. The Right to Love is a group of people with disabilities who have joined in a partnership with the Calgary Sexual Health Centre in working toward healthy sexuality and education for everyone. The group believes everyone is a sexual human being and deserves to be educated and supported.

Keith Storey

Keith Storey received his Ph.D. from the University of Oregon.  He is currently a Professor of Education and is the Special Education Program Chair at Touro University in Vallejo, California.  He served six years as a classroom teacher working with individuals with a variety of disability labels. Keith is the recipient of the 1988 Alice H. Hayden Award from The Association for Persons with Severe Handicaps; the 1996 Hau-Cheng Wang Fellowship from Chapman University, which is presented for exceptional merit in scholarship; and the 2001 Robert Gaylord-Ross Memorial Scholar Award from the California Association for Persons with Severe Disabilities. He is a member of the Illinois State University College of Education Alumni Hall of Fame.

Kerry Heather

photo (2)Kerry Heather is a Registered Nurse and Nurse Consultant with St.Amant’s Clinical Services Team. She has worked extensively within the community for over a decade supporting the health needs of vulnerable and marginalized people. Her experience spans both child and adult health. Kerry  holds a diploma in nursing from Vancouver Community College, a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Victoria, and is currently completing a Masters in Nursing with a Teaching Focus with Athabasca University. She is a member of the Community Health Nurses of Canada group. Kerry lives in Winnipeg with her husband and two children. She enjoys spending her free time attending her childrens’ volleyball games.

Mary E. McDonald

mary macDr. McDonald is an Associate Professor in the Special Education Department at Hofstra University. She is currently the Program Director for the Advanced Certificate Programs including the advanced certificates in Applied Behavior Analysis and Severe and Multiple Disabilities.  Dr. McDonald serves as the Director of ABA for Long Island Programs for Eden II, supervising outreach, consultation and research programs. She has over 20 years experience directing programs for students with autism from early intervention through adulthood.  Dr. McDonald presents at local, national and international conferences on the topic of autism.  She has published both peer-reviewed and popular articles.  Some recent areas of publication include: self-management, social reciprocity, response to intervention, inclusion, persistence of fads in autism intervention and technology in education.

Matthew Barton

BartonI have worked for New Directions for Children, Youth, and Families for 8 years as a direct support staff and then into a Planning, Evaluating, and Training Coordinator as well as a Program Coordinator for Milestones Day Program.  I facilitate the Agency Guide to the Vulnerable Person’s Act for the Province of Manitoba as well as the Breaking Barriers workshop (Gender identity) at New Directions.  I went to the University of Winnipeg and took Conflict Resolution Studies and International Development Studies.

Maureen Grace

Maureen GraceMaureen Grace is a nurse with experience in Intensive Care, Cardiac Rehab, Workplace Wellness and is the principal of Hamilton Grace and Associates. She was manager of the Cardiac Rehab program at the Kinsmen Reh-Fit Centre, head nurse and educator of the medical program at Concordia Hospital, and wellness nurse at Great West Life. She is trained as a Mental Health Works trainer with the Canadian Mental Health Association and delivers sessions to managers, unions, Health and Safety Committees, Human Resources, and occupational Health Nurses in Manitoba and Saskatchewan. Maureen has spoken at several conferences in Manitoba and across Canada and has developed and delivered workshops on topics such as Managing Mental Health in the Workplace, Psychological Safety in the Workplace, Stress and Mental Health, Physical Activity, Wellness, Heart Disease, Risk Factors, Shiftwork and Sleep, and Stress. She works with Manitoba Blue Cross developing and delivering wellness presentations to their clients and has co-authored a book, “Stress Management with an Attitude” focusing on personal and workplace stress

Nicholas Fraser

Nich - Valleyview croppedNicholas has been at the SACL since November of 2010. He has a double honours degree in Political Studies and Geography and Planning from the University of Saskatchewan that focused on Community Development and Public Policy and is a provisional member of the Saskatchewan Professional Planners Institute. Housing is of particular interest to Nicholas and is the focus of his education and career, but he also has a practical understanding of housing impacts as a result of moving 49 times. Nicholas is the SACL project lead for the Transition of Valley View Centre to community-based supports. Each and every day at the centre and working with the people who currently live at Valley View Centre is an opportunity to learn and grow. Good housing is the foundation to so many aspects of life, and he is happy to be engaged in a position that can have such a positive effect on so many people – at Valley View Centre and in the broader community.

Roberta Woodgate

woodgateDr. Roberta L. Woodgate is a Professor at the University of Manitoba in the Faculty of Nursing and holds a Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Applied Chair in Reproductive, Child and Youth Health Services and Policy Researchfor her program of research entitled, A Child and Youth Centred Approach to Applied Health Services and Policy Research.  Dr. Woodgate has developed a strong foundation of research on children’s and youth’s perspectives and experiences of health and illness that has contributed to advancing the improvement of health service delivery for Canada’s children and youth. The main goal of Dr. Woodgate’s research program is to conduct applied child and youth health services and policy research that involves and is germane to health system managers, policy makers and healthcare providers as well as children and youth who are directly impacted by the research. In all her research, Dr. Woodgate strives to ensure that the voices of young people and their families are accurately represented by adopting innovative research approaches including the use of photovoice and ecomaps. Dr. Woodgate also serves as a Research Scientist for the Manitoba Institute of Child Health.

Susan Freeman

Susan (Sue) Freeman is a Senior Marketing Officer at the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) within the Communications group. She is also an active participant in CCOHS’ Joint Health and Safety Committee as well as the Mental Health @ Work Group. Since joining CCOHS in 1999, Sue has co-authored and delivered both promotional and educational materials on health and safety issues. Being both an experiential psychotherapist and emotional intelligence coach, Sue brings a unique perspective to promoting social causes that benefit Canadians’ workplace health, safety and well-being. Susan is responsible for many marketing activities at CCOHS, including producing collateral, promoting CCOHS publications, reference and academically-related support programs plus administering CCOHS’ Speaker Bureau and National Conference Program

Tara Hodgson

tara hTara is the Program Head of  Pediatric Specialty Nursing at the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT). She is responsible for the development of pediatric curriculum, research in the pediatric field and  maintains an active teaching roll within the program. Tara is also the mother of an amazing 12 year old autistic son.

Terry Hardy

Terry  Hardy_Photo croppedTerry Hardy is currently assigned as the Ministry of Social Services Project Lead for the Valley View Centre Transition. After graduating from Wascana’s Psychiatric Nursing program in 1985, he began employment at Valley view Centre as a staff nurse. In 1989, Terry went on to work in Forensic Psychiatry at The Calgary General Hospital. From 1989 to 1991 attended University of Saskatchewan College of Commerce completing two certificates in long term and acute care Health Administration. During the 1990’s, Terry worked as CEO/DOC of the Gull Lake and District Care Centre, overseeing the closure of the local hospital and the development of the Care Centre. In 2000 Terry returned home to Moose Jaw and work at Valley View Centre, and has been the Director at Valley View Centre since 2003. In addition to his administrative work, Terry has also been previously involved in staff education, instructing Professional Assault Response Training, Prevention and Management of Disturbed Behavior, and acting as an on site mentor for the Special Care Aide program.

Toby Martin

tobyDr. Toby Martin  holds a B.A., M.A., and PhD in Psychology from the University of Manitoba and is the Manager of the St.Amant Research Centre. His research interests include basic learning processes and ethical aspects of neuroimaging.

Ursula Remillard

UrsulaUrsula Remillard began her career at St. Amant in direct support roles as a Resident Assisitant and a Nurse. After many years of working closely with clients and their families; her interest in the relational aspect of long term care, led to working as a Spiritual Care Provider. Continued work experience and some continuing education in counseling and Theology has strengthened her belief that spirituality is an important component of well being and that each one of us has opportunities to support and nurture our own spirituality and that of others we interact with.

Further Speakers TBA. Please check back at a future date.