What Individualized Funding means to our members

Michelle, Judith and JudithJudith

Pictured here: Judith Snow, with friends Michelle Friesen (left) and Judith McGill (right) at a mutual friend’s 60th Birthday.

“In June 1980 I received the first Ontario Order-In-Council that granted individualized funding for personal assistance. This broke the ice for hundreds of citizens who live, work and participate in communities of their own choosing based on being empowered by the support they can depend on and direct from the personal staff they can hire themselves.

I have used this support to travel widely to learn and teach Inclusion. I have also grounded myself in a cooperative home, a vibrant neighbourhood, a dynamic, global circle of friends and a deepening career as a visual artist. None of this was possible as a person with extensive quadriplegia living in a chronic care hospital, which is who and where I was in October 1979.

For me life and individualized support go hand in hand.”

Sean Sean - cropped1

Sean rediscovered his zest for life and desire for being active and involved in his community through some independent facilitation and a network of support who believed in him.

Later, he received individualized funding which has enabled him to follow his passions, contribute as a volunteer, be responsible for his errands and live in his own home – a self-contained apartment within the family home. Sean, his family/support network and team of supporters have the ongoing assistance of an independent facilitator through Windsor Essex Brokerage for Personal Supports, which they say makes a difference during the ups and downs of life.

Sean likes to keep moving: at home, on the trail, in the stores and out at night.  He especially loves the summer scene – outdoor concerts and festivals – and shares that same passion with one of his personal assistants who is a musician.  To see Sean live out another of his passions, check out this link to a youtube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rV01D4hMGHc

Karen and familyIMG_8489

Karen Lord lives in Kitchener, where she is very active with her family, her neighbourhood, and the wider community.

Karen and her family have had individualized funding for several years. But, her family says, it is the combination of individualized funding and independent facilitation that has enabled Karen to build a rich, fulfilling life in community.

Individualized funding allows Karen and her family to hire support workers. One worker assists Karen in her co-op housing apartment, with meal planning, shopping, and cooking. The family has worked with Facile: Independent Facilitation Waterloo Region to have a facilitator, who assists Karen with her support network, relationship building and community connections.

Karen has pursued her dreams in community. She has worked hard at yoga and is now a certified yoga teacher, and teaches yoga in a variety of settings. She also works part-time in a café, takes dance classes, and is a drummer in the Waterloo Community Band. She has a rich network of friends.

To learn more about Karen and her family, check out the book that Karen’s mother Peggy Hutchison and her father John Lord wrote with Karen. It is called Friends and Inclusion: Five Approaches to Relationship Building and is available at http://www.inclusion.com/bkfriendsandinclusion.html