Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Inclusion and Community – a panel conversation with Chris Beesley, Sherri Kroll, John Policicchio and more.

November 12, 2020 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

panel conversation, clgw, community-based, person centred, inclusion

Inclusion and Community – a panel conversation with Chris Beesley, Sherri Kroll, John Policicchio and more.

Join us on November 12th, for a panel conversation and Q&A about inclusion, community-based support, person-centred approach to support,  and more.

Note! If you experience technical difficulties getting connected with tonight’s panel conversation, please contact minervasanchez@clgw.ca or 226-314-0829 

This two hour conversation is an opportunity to learn more about what support looks like after moving away from congregate programming. It’s also an opportunity for attendees to ask questions.

The panel conversation will be hosted over Zoom, hosted and moderated by Community Living Guelph Wellington.

To join the conversation.. registration is now closed. Invites should be delivered by 4pm, November 11th. If you have not received your invite, please contact annieknight@clgw.ca 

All registrants will receive an email on November 11th, with Zoom and call-in details to join the conversation.

Meet the panelists

Chris Beesley

CEO at Community Living Ontario


A bit about Chris:

Chris Beesley has been the CEO of Community Living Ontario since 2013. He has a 26 year old son who has an intellectual disability. Chris lives in Toronto with his son, wife and daughter.

We asked Chris why this conversation was important to him:

As the world moves toward supporting people who have intellectual and developmental disabilities to access community opportunities in ways that are typical and valued, we must be careful to leave no one behind. We must co-create better options together, one person at a time, before we can leave the old ones.


Sherri Kroll

Executive Director at Middlesex Community Living


A bit about Sherri: 

Sherri Kroll is the Executive Director at Middlesex Community Living (MCL).  MCL providers supports and services to 120 adults with developmental disabilities in rural southwestern Ontario.  Sherri has worked for MCL for over 30 years and has held the position of Executive Director since 2010.  She is also a parent of an 18-year-old son with a developmental disability.

We asked Sherri why this conversation was important to her:

In 2015 when MCCSS announced the decision to close sheltered workshops, MCL was operating a “sheltered workshop” in the form of a full-service community restaurant. The agency supported the direction of the Ministry and viewed this as an opportunity to try something new. We worked with stakeholders impacted by the decision (individuals in service, families, support networks and staff) to create a path forward. The agency transformed the way it provides services to assist people to evolve from a “life in service” to a “life in community”. MCL is applying this learning to our last congregate day service that was operating prior to the pandemic.


John Policicchio

Executive Director at Community Living Algoma


A bit about John:

My career within developmental services commenced in April 1989.  I was hired as Business Manager and my career progressed from there.  In 1993/4 I was given the opportunity to amalgamate six organizations into one developmental services provider in the Algoma District.  In 1996, my career took a different path and I assumed the role of Chief of Services and five years later was hired as the Executive Director of Community living Algoma.  I have spent my entire career, removing barriers and obstacles for people with an intellectual disability to be supported and respected as citizens of their community.  This journey towards citizenship, belonging, individualized supports has been a winding and bumpy path but with a deep commitment, passion and determination I can see that people with developmental disabilities have enriched their quality of life and are happier and healthier than they have ever been.

We asked John why this conversation was important to him:

This conversation with families is very important to me as it is our responsibility to share experiences of other people and families to help paint a vision, picture of what life could be like for all people with a developmental disability. I have learned that families need to understand what support will look like as organizations continue on this journey towards citizenship. I believe the issue for families is not citizenship, it is the uncertainty that is associated with change and the future. Programs and segregated settings need to be acknowledged and celebrated as we move forward; our journey continues to evolve as people with developmental disabilities are empowered, have their voices heard and listened to and expect us to evolve from where we are. I have led our organization through a continuous change process and want to be able to share those learnings and experiences with families. Families need assurances and hope so we need to continue conversations and sharing stories with them.

Keenan Wellar

Co-Leader and Director of Communication at LiveWorkPlay in Ottawa


A bit about Keenan:

Keenan Wellar has served as Co-Leader and Director of Communications for LiveWorkPlay since 1997. An outspoken champion for inclusion and authentic valued roles for people with intellectual disabilities and autistic persons, Keenan supports change locally in the Ottawa area community as well as provincially as a founding member of the From Presence To Citizenship initiative, nationally in partnership with housing, employment, and other advocacy organizations, and worldwide via Inclusion International and other allies. Keenan has a Masters in Applied Linguistics from Carleton University, is a certified Ontario Teacher, and is a BoardSource Certified Governance Trainer who enjoys kayaking and nature photography.

We asked Keenan why this conversation was important to him:

This conversation is important to me because I believe people with intellectual disabilities have the right and should receive the help they need to experience life in their community in the same ways as other citizens – homes of their own and engagement in regular venues in the community alongside other citizens, with and without disabilities. This is not theoretical for me, but rather very practical – we are a small organization and I have had the pleasure of working directly with dozens of individuals and their families to support these transitions.


Maurice Voisin, BSW, MSW

Executive Director at South-East Grey Support Services


A bit about Maurice:

Maurice has worked in social services for almost 40 years. He worked for MCCSS for 15 years, first as a Familyhome Social Worker and then as a Social Worker/Team Leader with Midwestern Regional Center’s Community Team in Grey and Bruce Counties.  He has worked as a Clinical Supervisor at Regional Support Associates and a Services Director at Harc Inc. Since 2004, Maurice has worked at South-East Grey Support Services, a leader in providing individualized supports in developmental services and has been the Executive Director there since 2010.

We asked Maurice why this conversation was important to him:

I am a strong advocate for people and their families and I am  passionate about my  work. I have a strong connection to the local Grey Bruce Family Network in a supportive way but careful that they maintain their autonomy and independence. I believe congregate settings for Day Supports and Residential Services are not the best supports we can offer for adults with developmental disabilities. Self-determination, Supported Decision Making and Dignity of Risk are necessary elements for all of us to have the best quality of life possible.


Laura Hanley

Executive Director at Community Living Guelph Wellington


and potentially more…


November 12, 2020
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm