KEYNOTE: Dr. Cindy Blackstock, Executive Director, First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada.
Jordan’s Principle: Achieving Equity for First Nations Children and Families
A member of the Gitksan First Nation, Dr. Blackstock has 25 years of social work experience specializing in child protection and Indigenous children’s rights. She has authored over 50 publications and collaborated with other Indigenous leaders to assist the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child in the development and adoption of a General Comment on the Rights of Indigenous children. In this session, Dr. Blackstock will discuss the continuing mission to ensure the protection of human rights of First Nations Children and Families.
KEYNOTE: Fred Penner, Award-Winning Canadian Entertainer
Never Underestimate Your Ability to Make a Difference in the Life of Another Person
Fred Penner is a gentle man with an undeniable ability to make you feel good about yourself. This iconic Canadian musical master brings more than 40 years of commitment, consistency and depth to a career that combines many genres of performing and communication. Fred continues to grow and create music for his generations of Fred Heads. From hosting the United Way National conference in Saskatoon to emceeing the renowned Polaris Music Awards and being part of the C3 Legacy Expedition supporting the truth and reconciliation process in remote parts of Canada, apparently retirement is not in the cards for Fred. Through music and storytelling, he reminds us of our purpose in others’ lives.
KEYNOTE: Zofia Dove, Palliative Communication Expert
It is Too Serious to be Serious
Not long ago, Zofia Dove was a new immigrant with little to no ability to communicate in English. Today, she combines her unique perspective on conversations around death and dying with her passion for humour as the power behind personal and professional transformations. She is the author of a local bestseller book entitled Unexpected Gifts. In this presentation, expect to be entertained and empowered while learning how communicating with lighthearted humour benefits clients and workplace teams.
KEYNOTE: River Christie-White, Hoop Dancer & Speaker
Hoops for Hope: A Journey of Acceptance Over Inclusion
River Christie-White is a First Nations youth from Oneida Nation of the Thames. He is a hoop dancer, fancy dancer, flute player, singer, presenter and motivational speaker. He has spent the last eight years traveling the pow wow trail to educate audiences on autism, bullying, suicide prevention and the importance of fostering inclusion. River will perform and speak about his experiences in advocacy.
Carolyn Klassen, Family Therapist
- Honouring the Loneliness of the Journey
Our culture doesn’t always allow people to acknowledge the struggle of loneliness. This workshop will create space for people to acknowledge and honour their own loneliness, and will explore creating connected lives that lessen loneliness.
- Vulnerability & Shame: Mentioning the Never Mentioned
Brené Brown’s TED talk on shame and vulnerability gave permission and language for the universal experience of shame, the inevitability of vulnerability and our desire to avoid both. This workshop will review the myths of vulnerability, the four self-conscious affects, and transforming our interactions with ourselves and the world.
Carolyn O. Klassen is a therapist and director at Conexus Counselling in Winnipeg. She has degrees in marriage, family, and child counselling and in occupational therapy. Carolyn taught for many years at the University of Manitoba, speaks widely and writes about aspects of connection, including a book and co-hosts a weekly conversation with Hal Anderson on 680 CJOB.
Debbie Cielen, Elder & Mentor
Miikana Pimatiziwin, Life’s Journey: Path to Healing and Reconciliation
Debbie Cielen (Good Talking Turtle) has been involved in cultural teaching and practice since the early 90s. Debbie is the elder-in-residence at Life’s Journey and has worked in social services for over 30 years. She managed the Indian Residential Schools Health Support program at Neeginan Centre for 10 years. Debbie is also a pipe carrier, lodge keeper, and long-time sun dancer. She will share information about the range of cultural services offered by Life’s Journey.
Dr. Janet Twyman, Educational Innovator
Life in the Fast Lane: The Intersection of Education, Technology, & Behaviour Analysis
In this session, participants will examine components of instructional design and various instructional technology tools that support them, and discuss enhanced opportunities for behaviour analysis in education.
Dr. Janet Twyman is the founder of a learning sciences company, the director of innovation & technology at the Center on Innovations in Learning, and an associate professor at the University of Massachusetts. Her numerous articles, book chapters, and presentations cover behaviour analysis, instructional design, technology, and educational systems.
Disability Studies & Inclusion: Breaking Down Barriers
Disability studies offer a rich and multifaceted approach; exploring discrimination, human rights and inclusive education. To foster the promotion of greater equality in education, this presentation will explore the potential for an Introduction to Disability Studies course that may one day be included in public school classrooms.
Michael Baker is a graduate student at the University of Manitoba completing his master’s thesis in inclusive education. He will be a PhD student in September at the University of Manitoba. Michael is also a high school student service teacher and has been teaching for seven years in Manitoba.
Lesley Eblie Trudel, PhD, Educator
Seeking Mino-Pimatisiwin (Seeking The Good Life)
If we want to change how people are treated, we have to influence how people perceive and respond to others. This presentation will explore how we can enhance inclusion of children and youth, as well as, build competencies to develop valued social roles in schools and communities.
Lesley has been successfully involved in public education in Manitoba for over thirty years and is currently Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Education at the University of Winnipeg.
Linton Sellen, Leadership Development Consultant & Trainer
- Authority is Not a Four-Letter Word
- Myth of Motivation
These sessions will challenge conventional beliefs about leadership. Linton Sellen explores the meaning of authority, examines styles of management that harm team performance, and will help us to avoid being the bad boss that nobody wants to be.
Linton Sellen is an award-winning trainer of leaders who is celebrated for his original and practical insights. He received his post secondary education from the faculties of management and law at the University of Manitoba. After receiving his call to the Bar, he joined Canada’s Air Force and became an officer, a pilot, and placed in charge of teaching crew commanders how to lead their teams on operational missions.
Marie Antaya, Author & Speaker
Take Charge of Your Time and Priorities
Ever start your day with high hopes of getting things done and then leave work feeling like you’ve accomplished nothing? In this interactive workshop, learn new strategies to gain control over the events that compete for your time.
Marie Antaya is an international speaker, educator and author of four books. She shares her expertise with clients in private, non-profit and public sector organizations leading numerous program and course development projects.
Michael Jacques, Author & Self Advocate
The Journey of “Can’t Read, Can’t Write, Here’s My Book”
Michael Jacques lives and works in the Niagara region of Ontario, Canada. His first book, Can’t Read, Can’t Write, Here’s My Book, started out as his personal journal about living with autism and an intellectual disability. Michael has presented to students of all ages, parents and teachers about the importance of belonging and full inclusion in community. He sits on the board of Community Living Ontario. With an uplifting, humorous and positive attitude, Michael tells his stories and hopes to write more books that help create a more inclusive, diverse and compassionate world.
Panel: Allison Hay, Jackie Swirsky, & Julianne Panthei (pictured left to right)
“Tune-ing” Social Stories: The Power of Stories & Music to Effect Meaningful Social Connections & Interactions
Join us for a fun and engaging workshop using examples from our own clinical experience. You will be motivated and inspired watching social stories come to life using real life videos and listening to audio songs created by Clinical Services clinicians. Not only will you learn about the power of social stories, you will walk away with the confidence to create a person centered, musical story of your own.
Social stories are a social learning tool that supports the safe and meaningful exchange of information between people. They often describe a situation relevant to social cues, other’s perspectives, and suggest appropriate responses. While music is often used within a social story, there lacks a clear guideline when considering when/how to use music effectively. As Hans Christian Andersen said, “Where words fail, music speaks”.
In this 2-part workshop, participants will not only learn the basics of creating social stories but will also assist in the creation of a sample social story using iMovie on an iPad. Participants are encouraged to bring their own devices in order to try making their own social story but this is not a requirement to participate. Only those who participate in Part 1 will be eligible to attend Part 2.
Allison Hay is a music therapist at St.Amant. She has a degree in Music Therapy from the Canadian Mennonite University. In 2017, she traveled to Toronto to complete her training in neurologic music therapy. Allison specializes in working with adults with developmental disabilities and autism.
Jackie Swirsky is a speech language pathologist at St.Amant. She has a master’s degree in speech language pathology from the University of Alberta and currently provides services to adults with developmental disabilities and autism, with a focus on augmentative alternative communication and dysphagia.
Julianne (Julie) worked in the arts for several years before switching paths to earn degrees in human development and psychology, and applied behaviour analysis (autism). Julie has worked in St.Amant’s day program and school, and is currently the clinical assistant in the speech language department.
Michael J. Kendrick, PhD.
Understanding and Addressing Vulnerability in Adult Home Sharing Arrangements
This session will examine vulnerabilities in residential arrangements; commonly referred to as adult foster homes, and board and care homes. It will also describe safeguards that could offset the limitations and constraints involved in these settings. Dr. Michael J. Kendrick is internationally-esteemed as a consultant in human and community services, for the past 40 years. As an advocate, teacher, writer and advisor, he works with governments, service organizations, advocacy groups, professional bodies, service providers and small community groups. Dr. Kendrick’s expertise includes ethical leadership, safeguarding vulnerable people, and social ethics.
The Personal is Political: Lessons Learned from a Lifetime of Care and Advocacy
Judy Wasylycia-Leis’ political career spanned decades, and so has her personal life’s work as a parent and advocate. As a Member of Parliament and MLA, Judy held critic posts including responsibility for Persons with Disabilities. She led numerous initiatives pertaining to supports for family caregivers, employment equity, and the ratification and implementation of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Judy’s politics have always been personal. One of her sons, Nick, was born with a disability. Now over 30, Nick is supported by EPIC Opportunities in a home he shares with two friends. Judy will reflect on the intersections between family and political life, share memories of her work for social change, and talk about what it was like to be a high profile politician and a parent breaking barriers for people with disabilities.
Andrée Huberdeau and Randy Antonio, Winnipeg Police Service
Interactions with Vulnerable People: A Police Perspective
Patrol Sergeant Andrée Huberdeau has been a police officer for over 20 years. She is currently a supervisor at the Winnipeg Police Service Training Academy and deeply values education, whether it be for new recruits or experienced police officers. Andrée has an eighteen year old son on the autism spectrum and is particularly passionate about mental health and disabilities training.
Sargeant Randy Antonio has over 30 years of experience in the field of law enforcement, the last 25 with Winnipeg Police where he is currently the supervisor of research and development unit in the organizational development and support division. Randy is also the ground search and rescue coordinator for the City of Winnipeg and a member of the disaster management response team. He is the founder of the Winnipeg Search and Rescue Volunteer Association and Project Lifesaver Manitoba.
Do you wonder what goes through the mind of a police officer when they respond to someone with a disability? Have you ever worried about the right time to call 911? Do you feel uncomfortable or uncertain when asked by the police to divulge personal information about an individual that you support? Do you have other questions related to police support in the disability sector?
Members of the Winnipeg Police interact with the community on a daily basis. Their clientele are extremely diverse and possess a wide range of skills, challenges, and communication abilities, and most interactions have the potential to be highly stressful scenarios in which communication is a significant and complex challenge. In this session, members of the Winnipeg Police Service will discuss their experience working with vulnerable populations, and they will share their personal insight and professional expertise in response to questions from the audience.
Dr. Reece Malone, Baden Gaeke Franz and J Fiedler (Pictured left to right)
Let’s Talk About Gender and Sexuality
This panel discussion on sexuality and gender expression invites participants to be present during a mindful conversation about the importance of understanding gender expression and sexuality preferences for all people. Gain insights into how to respectfully and effectively support people in identities and choices.
Dr. Reece Malone is the CEO and lead trainer and supervisor of Diversity Essentials. He is a certified sexologist and holds a Masters degree in public health and holds doctorate in human sexuality. Dr. Malone is a certified sexuality educator and supervisor through the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists, and a Florida state certified sex therapist.
Baden Gaeke Franz is an autistic self-advocate and the Manitoba chapter president of Autistics United Canada: a grassroots organization by and for autistic people. They have presented to Manitoba government clinical staff, consulted on accessibility legislation, and wrote documents for the United Nations.
J Fiedler is a social worker from Detroit, Michigan. While in Detroit they worked in case management with people living with HIV/AIDS and youth development through bicycle mechanics and advocacy. Since immigrating to Canada in 2016, J has been facilitating workshops on sexuality as part of the team at SERC.
Rosalyn Howard, Consultant & Educator
Navigating Change: Awareness and Action
This session will help you manage change more effectively. You will examine the dynamics of change, including typical impacts on the people involved, and come away with new ideas and tools you can use when managing your change process.
Rosalyn Howard is a seasoned facilitator and consultant with a positive, collaborative, and strengths-based approach. In her business, hct Howard Consulting & Training, she works with local and national organizations to focus on change management, leadership and strategic planning. She is also municipal councilor in Dunnottar, Manitoba.
Shane T. Spiker, Applied Behaviour Analyst & Educator
- Self-Care in a Behavior Analytic World
Dr. Spiker will present new research on the current status of self-care within behavior analytic practice and will discuss ethical implications regarding self-care and self-care deficits in behavior analytic practice.
- A Casual Review of All the Behaviour We’re Afraid to See
This discussion will use case studies to review challenging behaviour and treatment in the home and community setting, ethical considerations in the treatment of more severe circumstances, and unique concerns regarding sexual behavior.
Dr. Shane T. Spiker is a board certified behavior analyst in Ormond Beach, Florida. He has a PhD in clinical psychology and has been deeply immersed in the field of behaviour analysis for 10 years, mostly with adults with autism and other developmental disabilities.
Tamar Heller, PhD
Healthy Lifestyles for Adults Aging with Intellectual and Development Disabilities
This presentation will discuss the latest in research findings on the health of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities as they age.
Dr. Tamar Heller heads the Department of Disability and Human Development at the University of Illinois at Chicago and its University Center of Excellence in Developmental Disabilities. She directed the Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Developmental Disabilities and Health and the Family Support Research and Training Center. Her award-winning research focuses on health and long-term services for people with disabilities and their families.
Dr. Mamadou Ka
Understanding Cultural Differences to Work Harmoniously with Newcomers
In this session, Dr. Mamadou Ka will provide insights to better your understanding of cultural diversity and to expand your ability to effectively support people.
Dr. Mamadou Ka is an adjunct professor at the Université de Saint-Boniface and a consultant in cross-cultural and diversity management. He holds a doctorate in leadership and diversity management from Simon Fraser University (Vancouver), a master’s degree in political studies from the University of Manitoba and has completed his Ph.D course work in political science at the University of Laval, which he teaches at the Université de Saint-Boniface.
Changing The Lens: The Value of Suffering in the Disability Context
Katarina Lee is a Clinical Ethicist with St. Boniface Hospital and the Catholic Health Corporation of Manitoba’s communities of service, and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Manitoba. She will discuss the history of philosophical teachings and current perceptions about suffering. She will also encourage new perspectives on the topic which emphasize resiliency and innovation. This session will challenge participants to examine the language of suffering and the need to move away from language that focuses on the burden of suffering.
Allison Hay & Jenny-Lynn Reid
Virtual Music Instrument: Unleash Your Creativity with the VMI
This interactive workshop will give you the tools and confidence you need to create music with fun visuals using technology as simple as a laptop and webcam. Unleash your creativity with free software that’s designed to make music easily and accessibly.
Allison Hay is a Music Therapist at St.Amant who graduated from the Music Therapy program at the Canadian Mennonite University. In 2017, she traveled to Toronto to complete her training in Neurologic Music Therapy. Allison specializes in working with adults with developmental disabilities and autism.
Jenny-Lynn Reid is a Speech Language Pathologist at St.Amant. She graduated with a Masters of Science in Speech Language Pathology from the University of Alberta. Jenny-Lynn supports adults with developmental disabilities and autism at St.Amant and in the community.
Roger J. Stancliffe
- End-of-Life Research and People with Intellectual and Developmental Disability
People with an intellectual disability have the right to know about dying, but few have opportunities to understand or plan for end-of-life. Roger will report on the first controlled research findings measuring the psychological effects of extended exposure to end-of-life conversations.
- Retirement and People with Intellectual Disability
More and more adults with an intellectual disability are now living beyond the average retirement age. This session looks into research findings about transitioning to retirement from paid work, and beyond.
- TEL: A Free Online Resource on End-of-Life and People with Intellectual Disability (ID)
This workshop will present an overview of how to teach people with ID about end-of-life. The session will focus on a demonstration of a free online resource featuring short videos with real people with ID, and disability support staff.
Roger J. Stancliffe is an Australian researcher in the intellectual and developmental disability field. He leads the disability services stream at the University of Sydney’s Centre for Disability Research and Policy.
Leanne Fenez, Facilitator (photo to be obtained)
Bridging the Gap Between Opinion and Evidence
Dig into the hard evidence available on key issues facing the disability sector today. Go beyond your gut feeling about what it takes to fix these problems. Join researchers and community members to discuss the evidence and policy recommendations that arise as a result, on topics such as family support, de-institutionalization, loneliness and resource allocation.
Leanne Fenez has worked with and for people with disabilities for over 30 years. She has held multiple roles (both paid and volunteer) at St.Amant, Abilities Manitoba, and Barrier-Free Manitoba and has been privileged to collaborate with many organizations within the disability sector.
Joyce Douglas and Daniel Preteau
Barriers to Inclusion: Overcoming Barriers One Case at a Time
With a strong focus on individual and family-centered support, Daniel and Joyce will share a unique case study highlighting their partnership in a project that identified and eliminated barriers that a child was facing in his home school.
Joyce Douglas is the Principal of St.Amant School, a position she has held for six years. The school meets the needs of students with developmental disabilities and autism.
Daniel Preteau has taught children of all ages as a guidance counsellor, resource teacher, principal of a K-12 rural school, urban high school and a K-8 urban school. Currently, he is the Director of Student Services at the Division Scolaire Franco-Manitobaine.
Margherita Cameranesi, Dr. Charmayne Dubé & Dr. Shahin Shooshtari
Panel: Quality of Life of Persons with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
Margherita Cameranesi is a clinical psychologist and a doctoral candidate in the applied health sciences PhD program at the University of Manitoba.
Dr. Charmayne Dubé is the senior director of resource services within New Directions, and an adjunct professor in the occupational therapy department at the College of Rehabilitation Sciences of Manitoba.
Dr. Shahin Shooshtari is a professor in the community health sciences department at the University of Manitoba. She is also a researcher with St.Amant Research Centre in Winnipeg. Dr. Shooshtari’s interdisciplinary program of research is focused on the health and well-being of persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
(Pictured left to right)
Senator Jim Munson and Michael Trinque
C-81 – An Act to Ensure a Barrier-Free Canada
Senator Jim Munson is best known to Canadians as a trusted journalist. In 2003, he was appointed to the Senate, acting as a vocal advocate for Canadians with diverse abilities. His leadership in parliament led to the adoption of legislation respecting World Autism Awareness Day and the landmark Senate report, Pay Now or Pay Later: Autism Families in Crisis. Senator Munson will discuss his work on this landmark legislation and what it means for employment, built environments, and communications
In addition to working as an assistant for Senator Munson, Michael Trinque is in the mentorship program at DragonFly in Ottawa and has danced through creative expression with Propeller Dance.
Seven Sacred Teachings in Clinical Practice
Learn how the seven sacred teachings can enlighten your awareness of the role of Indigenous culture, history and teaching in clinical settings.
Norm Martin is a Clinical Educator at St.Amant, working with the Jordan’s Principle Child First Initiative. He is an experienced facilitator and proprietor of 7th Teaching Consulting. Norm has worked for the past 14 years in the health field where he facilitates Indigenous awareness and anti-racism training to health care professionals. He is a member of Barren Lands First Nation and has traveled across Manitoba while delivering services with various health care organizations.
Baden Gaeke Franz
Ten Things Autistic People Wish You Knew
In this session, Baden explores common misconceptions about autism, explanations of how autistic people see the world, and best practices for working and interacting with autistic people. The session will end with a question and answer period in which you can ask any questions you have about autism, autistic culture, and neurodiversity.
Baden Gaeke Franz is an autistic self-advocate and Manitoba chapter president of Autistics United Canada: a grassroots organization by and for autistic people. They have presented to Manitoba government clinical staff, consulted on accessibility legislation, and wrote documents for the United Nations.
Connect with others attending the conference to share ideas and inspiration! You’ll enjoy facilitated conversation opportunities or find some interesting people to share conversations with on your own.
Kristina Kircher is the Manager of Corporate Education at St.Amant. She is a skilled facilitator and delivers training for staff and volunteers and the community at large. Kristina is also an accredited facilitator for Triple P Group Stepping Stones, which is a program designed for parents who have a child with a disability. She has over 15 years’ experience supporting people with different abilities, including adults with intellectual disabilities, and children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Kristina believes in building connections by providing opportunities for people to share stories, resources and information.
Building an Effective Human Rights Committee
All people have the same rights under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and The U.N. Declaration on Rights. Human rights committees play a critical role in upholding and protecting the rights of people served by organizations. In this workshop, we will explore best practices and provide resources to build and support an effective and diverse human rights committee. Michael Clausen has been supporting organizations to improve the quality of their services since 2002. As a quality enhancement specialist and liaison with The Council on Quality and Leadership, he works with organizations in the US and Canada to provide services for people they support through accreditation and staff development.
Life’s Journey Traditional Drum Group
Life’s Journey Miikana Pimatiziwin (Life Path) traditional drum group has been traditional drumming for over 10 years. The group has opened with traditional drumming at numerous conferences and community events, such as the Looking After Each Other Elders gathering, International Day of Persons with Disabilities, Canada Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Research Network symposium recently held at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. Miikana Pimatiziwin knows 14 traditional songs and looks forward to opening many more conferences in the future.
Trevi B. Freeze, Dr. Zana Marie Lutfiyya, and Dr. Rick Freeze
On the Journey Together: The Campus Life program at the University of Manitoba
The University of Manitoba’s award-winning Campus Life programs gives students with intellectual and developmental disabilities the support they need to audit courses at the University of Manitoba and to participate in a variety of academic and social opportunities. In this presentation, we’ll hear about the program’s inception and journey, and the social changes it has faced over the past 15 years.
Trevi B. Freeze is the coordinator of the award-winning Campus Life program at the University of Manitoba. She holds a M.Ed. in counselling psychology and is in her final year of doctoral studies.
Dr. Zana Marie Lutfiyyais is a faculty member in the faculty of education at the University of Manitoba. Her research focuses on social participation of individuals with intellectual disabilities.
Dr. Rick Freeze is a professor of inclusive education in the administration, foundations and psychology departments of the faculty of education at the University of Manitoba.
Dr. Genevieve Roy-Wsiaki
Promoting Multilingual Service Options for Autism Intervention: An Evaluation of the French Adaptation of Simple Steps Online Teaching Platform
The Simple Steps Autism Platform is a practical way of sharing autism symptoms and treatment information in different languages. This study examined the French version of this website. Parents, professionals, and university students reviewed the site and answered a questionnaire. Results showed positive impressions of the website and content.
Dr. Genevieve Roy-Wsiaki is an Associate Professor at the Université de Saint-Boniface and an Adjunct Professor for the Department of Psychology at the University of Manitoba. She is also a Board Certified Behaviour Analyst. Her research interests focus primarily on Autism Spectrum Disorder; more specifically on self-training programs for parents and professionals, use of assessments and curricula for program design, and measures and predictors of rates of acquisition and challenging behaviours.
Independent Living Resource Centre & Public Interest Law Centre
Winnipeg’s Handi-Transit Service: From Ombudsman Complaint to Investigation Report and Beyond
Representatives from ILRC and PILC will report on findings of an investigation by the Manitoba ombudsman into the City of Winnipeg’s Handi-Transit Service; now called Transit Plus. The investigation was launched in response to a 42-page complaint from ILRC alleging sweeping issues within the system resulting in poor service, access barriers, and human rights violations. The ombudsman made 19 recommendations to improve the service and found that in many instances, Handi-Transit provides a reasonably equivalent service to fixed-route transit, but in certain areas falls short.
ILRC supports citizens with disabilities to make choices and take responsibility for the development and management of personal and community resources. PILC advocates for groups and individuals on issues affecting the environment, human rights, Indigenous people, consumers and low-income persons.
Towards Building Dementia Knowledgeable Teams
Quality dementia supports require a well-trained and knowledgeable workforce. The NTGCANADA Consortium offers the NTG Dementia Capable Support of Adults with Intellectual Disabilities & Dementia curriculum. This presentation will provide an overview of this curriculum and some evaluation results.
Leslie Udell is a facilitator with an organization that supports adults with an intellectual disability. For the past 30 years, much of her focus has been on aging-related issues and supporting people with both an intellectual disability and dementia. Leslie has her own consulting company and teaches Therapeutic Recreation for Older Adults at Red River College.