amb_cmyk_vert_smlAbilities Manitoba’s Action Plan
Abilities Manitoba, a network of agencies, exists to foster excellence in services for people with intellectual disabilities. Together we can create a province where all Manitobans value the quality of life of people with intellectual disabilities, and the partnership between communities, governments, families, and agencies that supports them. 


FullSizeRenderI Need A Break – Respite Services: The Old & The New
Alwine Willoughby is a Social Worker with 30 plus years of social work experience working in a variety of practice settings including Aboriginal Child and Family Services (Northern Manitoba); Child & Family Services Worker and Community Mental Health Intake Worker (Ontario); Inpatient Psychiatry (Winnipeg); Personal Care Home Social Worker (Rural Manitoba) and most recently, she was the Coordinator of Social Work and Respite Services of River Road Place, St.Amant until about 2 years ago when she assumed her current position as Manager of Transitional Services. As part of her current role, she is also is the Project Manager for the Respite Expansion Project.


Andrew Terhoch

The Impact Of Mindful Care Practices: A Caregiver/Care Receiver Discussion
Andrew 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.


Anne KrestaBuilding Independence In Young Adults With Autism Spectrum Disorders

Anne Kresta is the mother of three children, two of whom have Asperger Syndrome.  Supporting her sons as they negotiated their ways through childhood, adolescence and now adulthood has lead her to become a strong advocate for the inclusion of people with disabilities in our communities across the lifespan, especially those on the autism spectrum.  In collaboration with The Ability Hub in Calgary, AB, and through her past involvement with Community Living Manitoba and on the Thrive! leadership group headed by Manitoba Family Services, she has guided the Building Independence project from dream to reality.  She is very grateful to the many partners and supporters of this project including Community Living Manitoba, St.Amant, WASO, Eastman Employment Services, The Ability Hub and The Winnipeg Foundation and the members of the Building Independence clinical team and community working group.



I Need A Break – Respite Services: The Old And The New
Dr. Beverley Temple, is an Assistant Professor with the Faculty of Nursing and a Researcher with the St.Amant Research Centre. She teaches primarily research courses in the undergraduate and graduate nursing programs. She has received awards for her teaching and a professional nursing from the provincial nursing association. Her research focuses on knowledge translation, making research more relevant for direct care and support of people with I/DD. She enjoys working with direct care providers to gain a greater understanding of the issues that face them. She has been funded for her research from the University of Manitoba, Manitoba Institute of Child Health, Canadian Institute of Health, Health Sciences Centre and most recently Workers Compensation Board of Manitoba. She has presented at conferences locally, nationally and internationally as well as providing parents with updates at the St.Amant Association and provincial Autism support groups. She currently supervises or sits on 10 graduate students committees, many with an interest in people with intellectual and developmental disability. Bev gives back to her community by being on the executive of International Research Associations which try to collaborate on research from not only local and Canadian groups but also international work about intellectual disabilities.  She currently second vice-president on the New Directions board.


559526_10152172707350557_1996152162_nIn 2001, at the age of 27, Chad’s life changed in an instant when a 2,000-pound bale of hay shattered his neck leaving him a quadriplegic. But Chad’s dreams were not paralyzed that day – he became an example of what is possible. Chad is a best selling author, president of his own Communications Company, Chad Hymas Communications, Inc., and is a recognized world-class wheelchair athlete. In 2003, Chad set a world record by wheeling his chair from Salt Lake City to Las Vegas (513 miles). Chad’s speaking career in the areas of leadership, team building, customer service, and mastering change has brought him multiple honours. He is the past president of the National Speakers Association Utah chapter and a member of the exclusive elite Speakers Roundtable (one of twenty of the world’s top speakers). 


SONY DSCManaging Your Primary Asset (Yourself) | Difficult Conversations
David Falk is a Partner in the firm Facilitated Solutions. He is a seasoned consultant and conflict management specialist who has been assisting organizations to prevent, manage and resolve conflict since 1990. David is an engaging trainer/facilitator who brings together practical wisdom, humour and real world examples that will inspire you to consider new options and develop your leadership skills to address the challenges you face. David holds both a Bachelor and Masters Degree in Conflict Resolution.


Momma Day 2014I’m Still Here: Behavioural Interventions To Control For Motion With Children During MRI And fMRI
Deborah Hatton is presently a PhD student at the University of Manitoba in an Individual Interdisciplinary Studies program majoring in Applied Behavioural Analysis Psychology, and Disability Studies, with advisor Dr. C.T. Yu.
Deborah has previously worked doing research with the National Research Council at the Institute for Biodiagnostics.  Deborah is currently working with Dr. C.T. Yu and Dr. Toby Martin through the St. Amant Research Centre in assessing the effectiveness of Early Intensive Behavioural Intervention with children diagnosed with Autism. Once her PhD is complete she hopes to teach and/or continue to do research. In addition, Deborah has personal insight to her research as she is the mother of eight children, seven of whom have been diagnosed with ADHD, and three of those have been diagnosed on the autism spectrum.


donnaThe Alliance of Direct Support Professionals Panel
Donna Oughton is an elected member of the Alliance of Direct Support Professionals of Manitoba board of directors.  She has worked in the field for twelve years providing support to people living with intellectual disabilities in rural Manitoban communities.  As a graduate of the Disability and Community Support program at Red River College in Winnipeg Donna brings her sense of passion to her work, her interest in the field and to the ADSPM Board.  Donna believes that everyone, including individuals living with intellectual disabilities, families, agencies and communities, will all benefit when direct support staff are recognized as professionals with commensurate qualifications and compensation.


DustinStarting Conversations
Dustin Bus receives support from St. Amant through their Supported Independent Living program. He is 24 years old and transgender, female to male. He’s identified as male for approximently 6 years and began his transition about 2 years ago and still continues through procedures to become fully male.  Dustin is part of the Starting Conversations presentation to share about his transition and how he’s been supported in the process.
aprilApril Plett works for St. Amant in their Supported Independent Living program and is an LGBTTQ ally. As the program grows she finds herself supporting more and more people that fall into this minority and sees it as a large opportunity to grow and learn more from everyone involved.


hawkinsReplay! Moving Together, Eating Healthy & Being Active
Elaine Hawkins is an experienced professional working in the Community Living Sector. She is also a certified fitness trainer and has recently developed the REPLAY! Health and Fitness Program which is specifically designed to meet the unique needs and goals of adults with intellectual disabilities.  The REPLAY! Program is centered on the idea that people with intellectual disabilities have the same right to participate in opportunities to access a healthy and active lifestyle but is often ignored by society and by the multibillion dollar diet and fitness industries as well.


FAYEChange Management | Assessing Corporate Culture
Faye Miron is a Manager in the Winnipeg office of MNP.  Faye has over 10 years of consulting experience in Lean quality and service delivery transformation, project management, facilitation and change management in both the public and private sectors.  .  Faye has extensive experience facilitating cross-functional teams through design and development of service delivery models and quality initiatives.  Faye is very skilled in conducting individual and group interviews to assess current state performance of programs and services. She effectively analyzes information to consolidate findings and develops proven solutions for her clients.     Prior to joining MNP, Faye was the Project Leader, Lean Transformation for the St. Boniface General Hospital.


heatherSelf Regulation |Enhancing Development With Storybooks
Heather MacKenzie, Ph.D., is a Canadian speech-language pathologist and educator who has spent a large part of her career developing and implementing approaches for enhancing learning in children with special needs.  She has a special interest in understanding autism spectrum disorders (ASD).  A major focus of her work with children has been on understanding them and how they approach learning and then using this knowledge to optimize their development. Heather has published three books since 2008.  The first, Reaching and Teaching the Child with Autism Spectrum Disorder, concentrates on planning and implementing the Learning Preferences and Strengths model with children with ASD.  The second, One Story at a Time, is about how to plan, implement and evaluate shared storybook-based intervention with children.  The most recent book, The Autistic Child’s Guide to How to Behave, introduces spark* (Self-Regulation Program for Awareness and Resilience in Kids). spark* is an extension of her child-centered, mediational approach to teaching and learning. She has also written a training manual for the spark* program and is will soon start one for parents.


john raffaele

Direct Support Professionals Code of Ethics Encounter | The Direct Support Professional Competency Connection
John Raffaele is a New York State Licensed Master Social Worker and an experienced professional educator and trainer, specifically in the field of human services. John’s graduate education is from Yeshiva University in New York City and SUNY New Paltz, NY. Most of his career, however, stems from more than two decades spent with direct support professionals and the people they serve, and over that time, he has educated thousands in the NADSP Code of Ethics and Competencies. Most of the people with whom he has worked and supported over the last 25 years are people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and at-risk youth. He lives in Woodstock, NY.


Joy Hewitt - Chief Employement CoachThe Autism Advantage: Unleashing The Unique Gifts Of People With Autism In The Workplace
Joy Hewitt brings her vast experience in developmental and support services to her role at Meticulon as Chief Employment Coach. Joy’s dedicated passion for supporting, motivating and advocating for others has been enhanced by her educational and professional background.  Joy’s an experienced Training Facilitator whose goals go beyond just providing education as she believes in creating awareness to the community as a whole. Joy also has years of experience in the social service field where she was involved in outreach and support work, led support groups and provided supportive counselling with adults who had a range of developmental abilities or mental health concerns.

Garth Johnson - Meticulon CEOAn experienced veteran of the web’s startup world, Garth Johnson has an infectious and memorable style that can be attributed to his breadth of experience.  Garth is bringing Meticulon his experience as an executive at Fotolia and iStockphoto. Because of his business experience owning and managing several entrepreneurial businesses and his personal experience having a child with disabilities, Johnson became inspired to build the team that would make Meticulon’s vision of being not only the first but also the best IT Consulting firm in Canada to employ the unique abilities of our consultants with autism.


WIRTHWhat You Didn’t Know Lack Of Sleep Does To You, Your Children, And Their Psychiatric Diagnoses, And What You Can Do About It
Dr. Kirsten Wirth is a licensed psychologist and board certified behavior analyst-doctoral, and has a PhD in Psychology – Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) from the University of Manitoba. She is currently an Adjunct Professor in the Psychology Department at the University of Manitoba, and the Governmental Affairs Chair, Founder, and a Past President of the Manitoba Association for Behaviour Analysis. She is also the author of “How to get your child to go to sleep and stay asleep: A practical guide for parents to sleep train young children,” and the mother of two young children. Dr. Wirth writes a blog on evidence-based parenting tips at theinvestigatingparent.wordpress.com. After working at St.Amant in various capacities over the last 14 years, the last 8 as the Clinical Manager of the Autism Programs, Dr. Wirth has left to fulfill a need that is unmet in the community. She has over a decade of experience working with children, adolescents, and adults, with or without developmental disabilities and autism using, teaching, and training others to use ABA. Dr. Wirth has also been an invited speaker and presenter at local and international conferences.


SHELLEYThe Language Project
Shelley Fletcher has been the Executive Director of People First of Canada since 2002. Prior to her national position, Shelley had been employed and active in the disability rights movement locally and provincially in Manitoba. A strong advocate for people labeled with an intellectual disability, Shelley credits People First for providing her with some amazing opportunities in her national role. She is proud to have been part of the team that produced The Freedom Tour, and was honoured to speak at the United Nations headquarters in New York. Shelley is also a representative on the Canadian Joint Task Force on the Right to Live in Community.

KORYKory Earle is a young disability rights advocate who lives in Lanark County, Ontario. Kory has had to fight for many of his own rights and became active with his local People First chapter in 2006. Within three years he was President of that chapter and became active in the provincial chapter – People First of Ontario. Kory’s mission is to ensure that all people with disabilities are treated equally, that their rights are respected, and that they are seen as everyday people. Kory is very vocal in his opinions and has been interviewed numerous times on radio and in print media. On the national level, Kory is also the Inclusive Education representative for People First of Canada and uses his own lived experiences in the school system to help build more inclusive actions and attitudes in education for people with intellectual disabilities.


Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee PhotoHelp Autism Live Everywhere
When Kristian Hooker was diagnosed with autism at age 2 1/2, he struggled greatly with communication and had many anxiety challenges. 28 years later, after years of extensive therapy and well strategized school services, Kristian Hooker has graduated of the University of Winnipeg with a degree in Rhetoric, Writing and Communications, started his own business with his parents providing services to families and individuals living on the Autism Spectrum and is living independently with his fiancé.


self-photoAn Introduction to Alzheimer Disease And How It Impacts People With An Intellectual Disability
Leslie Udell has a Bachelor of Community Rehabilitation out of the University of Calgary, in Canada.  She works for Winnserv Inc., an agency that provides residential supports to adults with an intellectual disability.  She has been with the organization for 26 years and is currently the Coming of Age Coordinator and Staff Development Facilitator.  Leslie’s primary areas of focus are on the issues of aging, supporting people with dementia and person centered care.   She has contributed a chapter in a couple of books related to dementia and intellectual disabilities and is also a part of the U.S. National Task Group on Intellectual Disabilities and Dementia Practices.


Lindsay McCombeEIBI In Manitoba
Lindsay McCombe is a Masters student in the Department of Psychology at the University of Manitoba in the area of Applied Behaviour Analysis.  She first became involved with research at St.Amant Research Centre as a research assistant in 2009 and is now the Centre’s Research Coordinator.  Over the last 6 years, Lindsay has been involved in several different areas of research focused on improving the lives of individuals with developmental disabilities and autism, including teaching procedures, knowledge translation and program evaluation.


photoAdult Siblings Panel
Lisa Bissett, BSW, RSW, BFA, is a Social Worker who has supported families through the Respite Service at St.Amant for the past 7 years.  She has worked with and advocated for family members who have taken on roles above and beyond what is typically expected in society, and is privileged to have a job that includes meeting and supporting many individuals during challenging times in their lives.


lynda tremJust My Friend
Trem Cleaver works supporting adults with developmental disabilities.  He’s active in soccer, community and advocacy.  Lynda Dobbin-Turner is a singer-songwriter, Life Coach, leadership trainer and advocate who has spent the last 12 years supporting people to live self-directed lives through ‘In the Company of Friends’  as Senior Coordinator with LIFE Inc.  Combining her experience as mother to a young man who lived his life with Cerebral Palsy, and Trem’s experience as his best friend, they are a powerfully passionate combination, sharing their deep belief in the importance of inclusion, in both the school system and the greater community.


Meg_Soper_WebMeg Soper is a keynote motivational speaker, business speaker and workshop trainer based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada and is on her way to becoming one of the most recognizable names of women speaking in Canada. Her unique brand of motivational speaking allows her to connect with her audience and leave them with practical strategies for dealing with the daily challenges they face. Over the past two decades Meg has worked as a health care professional, become one of Canada’s foremost stand-up comedians and raised a family. She has taken the life lessons learned while traveling this unique path to become a leading motivational speaker and much sought after female speaker on the subject of life balance for health care organizations and many other businesses who are in search of a unique Toronto speaker or speaker from Ontario. As a professional speaker she blends her insights with unforgettable humour to help people develop practical strategies for work and life. As a public speaker and trainer, Meg is quickly becoming one of the most recognizable speakers in the Canadian speaking industry.


Benefits Of Mindfulness
Dr. Mike McIntyre received his PhD from the University of Minnesota, was a post-doc at Cornell and worked with Eric Lenneberg at Cornell and Dr. Alvin Poussaint at Harvard and the Columbia Point Health Center.  He has been a member of the Faculty at the University of Winnipeg for forty years.  For ten years he served as Dean of Arts and Science.  He founded and was program leader of the Functional Neuroimaging Program at the National Research Council of Canada.  He especially loves undergraduate teaching but has also supervised doctoral and post-doctoral work in Psychology, Neuropsychology, Linguistics, Physics, Radiology, and Neurophysiology.  His research has been supported by the National Research Council but also by the C.R. Bronfman Foundation, the Health Sciences Research Foundation, the Canadian Foundation for Innovation, and the National Centres of Excellence.  Much of his neuroimaging research focused on mechanisms of pain and analgesia.  This research led him to examine the importance of attention and emotion in the pain experience. Presently, he is Professor and Senior Scholar in the Psychology Department at the University of Winnipeg, Research Program Leader for the Compassion Project at the St. Boniface Research Centre, and teaches Mindful Self-Compassion to a group of parents at St.Amant.


RosenbaumPeter Rosenbaum, MD, FRCP(C), Professor of Paediatrics at McMaster University, has held more than 80 peer-reviewed research grants and is a contributing author to over 300 peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters. He has also been a guest lecturer in over 20 countries. He has co-authored ‘Cerebral Palsy: From Diagnosis to Adult Life’ (2012), and co-edited ‘Life Quality Outcomes of Children and Young Adults with Neurological and Developmental Conditions’ (2013) with Dr Gabriel Ronen. Dr. Rosenbaum held a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair from 2001-14 and in 1989 he co-founded CanChild Centre for Childhood Disability Research at McMaster. In 2015 he and colleagues are working on a book on ethical dilemmas in developmental medicine. Dr. Rosenbaum has been a supervisor or committee member with over 50 master’s and doctoral level students, at the Universities of Oxford, Utrecht, Witwatersrand, and Toronto in addition to McMaster. Since 2012 he has been a consultant to UNICEF’s Expert Consultation on the Collection of Data on Children with Disabilities. He has received the Ross Award from the Canadian Pediatric Society (2000); an Honorary Doctor of Science, Université Laval (2005); was the first Canadian President of AACPDM (1996-8); received the Academy’s Mentorship Award (2007) and its Lifetime Achievement Award (2014).


rainbow rcStarting Conversations
The Rainbow Resource Centre can trace its history back to the early 70′s. It began as a student group at the University of Manitoba, first known as the Campus Gay Club, with a name change in 1973 to Gays for Equality. A telephone information line, peer counseling service and a resource library on the University of Manitoba campus were a few of the first services offered. Gays for Equality went on to become a leader and an important resource for the gay and lesbian community, providing community services, education, outreach and political awareness and activism.In 1999 the Winnipeg Gay/Lesbian Resource Centre changed its name to the Rainbow Resource Centre: Serving Manitoba’s Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgendered and Two-Spirited Communities. This change came about as a realization and response to be more inclusive to all members of the GLBTT communities.


rrcTransforming Futures
This program provides an opportunity for adults with intellectual disabilities to learn in an inclusive, supportive environment and to examine career options based on personal skills and interests.


PrintThat Does What? How Equipment And Technology Maximizes Participation
St.Amant’s Clinical Services helps families, caregivers and professionals care for and support children and adults with developmental disabilities. Their goal is to support these children and adults to live in the community by providing specialized clinical and professional services that promote independence and quality of life. St.Amant Clinical Services staff will facilitate this presentation.


SueMugLess Busy + More Effective = Personal Kanban (Or How Sticky Notes Can Change Your Life)
Sue Johnston helps you talk so people listen, listen so people talk and change the world one conversation at a time. The author of Talk To Me: Workplace Conversations That Work, she’s a professional coach who works with managers and teams to build collaborative working relationships. Following a career as a journalist, Sue worked in the Canadian banking industry, helping to introduce technological and organizational change. While completing an MBA, she shifted her focus from corporate to interpersonal communication, which she considers our most powerful tool. She established It’s Understood Communication, Inc. to help others use that tool well. With a background in IT, coach certification and a base in Waterloo, Ontario, Sue works with the technology community and its “agile” movement, which puts people before process. She was recently honoured to be named one of Canada’s Master Communicators by the International Association of Business Communicators.


IMG_7920Working Effectively with Newcomer Support Workers
Sylvia is an experienced workplace English instructor with 10 years’ experience assisting newcomers and those that employ them in Manitoba.  She currently teaches English to employees at St.Amant and has been instrumental in teaching culture, communication skills, English and employability skills to hundreds of new Manitobans.  Sylvia brings personal experiencing as a Group Home Manager and as an adoptive parent and advocate for her 12-year old son with Autism, pFAS and ADHD.  She earned her as a Certificate in Career Development Practitioner in 2013 from the University of Winnipeg and a Certificate in Teaching English as a Second Language in 1997 from Providence College.


tobyI Need A Break – Respite Services: The Old And New
Dr. 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.


Victoria Hampton photoHoarding And Developmental Disabilities: Coping and Prevention
Victoria is a social worker with A & O: Support Services for Older Adults. Along with her Bachelor of Social Work degree, Victoria completed the “Option in Aging” specialization through the University of Manitoba.  Victoria’s areas of practice include hoarding, elder abuse, victim services, and counseling. Victoria’s knowledge of Hoarding Disorder and compulsive hoarding comes from her involvement in the This Full House program operated by A & O, which has included intensive training by some of the leading researchers in this field. Prior to her position with A & O, Victoria gained experience within the fields of mental health, disabilities, and social assistance.

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