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Community Living Brant is committed to providing supports and services to meet the diverse developmental needs of people within the community.

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Hot Topics


R.E.A.C.H. Out Donates Proceeds from Wrestlemania Movie Night

In early April of 2014, R.E.A.C.H. Out self-advocates held a Wrestlemania Movie Night to raise funds for local charities.  We are pleased to announce that we made $140.00 from that night.  It was decided that we would donate half of the funds raised to the Canadian Cancer Society and the other half of the funds raised to the Brantford SPCA.  R.E.A.C.H. Out President, Diane Jones and Vice President, Bruce Jones recently visited the offices of the Canadian Cancer Society and the SPCA to present the donations.

Red Sox Game

On June 18th six of us attended a Brantford Red Sox Game. The best part about attending this event was that the tickets were complimentary. They also included a free ball park hotdog. 

Many people in the Supported Living Program (S.L.) live on a fixed income - ODSP being mostly the sole source of money.  In order to plan for a game and a meal out, many people who receive support from S.L. would have to budget for a few months. Having a "freebee" night and not worrying about the financial strain, is a great night for us. The added bonus is hanging with people who are really friends. We brought S.L. staff Steve Csordas along too as he coordinated and made sure we all got home at midnight.

We sent a card to Amber Scott, General Manager at Fastenal saying thank you! Kim Walsh from Community Relations delivered the card and told a little bit about S.L. Program.  We were ecstatic when Kim came back and presented us with 6 more tickets to take in another game.  Another night planned for the end of July to hopefully cheer on the Red Sox into the playoffs.

Many thanks to Amber and Kim for directing the tickets our way!

Jason Richardson, Terry Yamauchi, Bruce Jones, Joel McCreery, Mike Taverner and Steve Csordas

Community Day with the Blue Jays

Community Living Day with the Toronto Blue Jays was Saturday May 31, 2014 and 70 Blue Jays fans from Community Living Brant enthusiastically attended the game.  One such enthusiastic Jays fan, Mr. David Park, celebrated his 75birthday at the game.  To mark this special event, ambassadors from the Blue Jays visited David at his seat, sang “Happy Birthday” to him and presented him with a birthday button.  The seats were excellent, the weather was perfect and the Blue Jays won the game!!  Everyone is looking forward to attending Community Living Day with the Blue Jays again in 2015.

Provincial Election 2014

Health Matters Video Conference

On May 31, 2014, Diane Richardson and Donna Blackmore had the unique opportunity to act as co-presenters, along with Tom Archer from Southern Network of Specialized Care, at a Video Conference called Health Matters Brant.  The Health Matters program was offered to people supported at Community Living Brant from January – March 2013.  Participants in the program learned ways to make positive lifestyle changes to increase overall health and well being.  At the video conference, Tom and Donna discussed Health Matters curriculum and objectives while Diane, as a program participant, discussed positive changes she has made in her life as a result of taking the course. This video conference was viewed by people at 47 different video conferencing sights around Ontario.  At the end of the video conference Diana was able to “video” talk to self advocates in Thunder Bay and in Ottawa – a new experience which she thoroughly enjoyed.

Donna, Diana & Tom

Community Living Brant’s Flag Raising, Celebrates Community Living Month!

On Monday, May 12th, Mayor Chris Friel joined Brent McEachern to raise a Community Living Flag at City Hall in honour of Community Living Month. Mayor Friel read a proclamation declaring that the City of Brantford recognizes that the month of May to be Community Living Month.

Community Living Brant provides a variety of services for over 350 people with developmental disabilities in Brantford and Brant County.

Brandon and SonjaEmergency Preparedness Training


On May 5, 2014, to kick off NAOSH (North American Occupational Safety and Health) Week, members of the Community Living Brant Joint Occupational Health and Safety Committee and the Basic Assurances Group - Safety, hosted an educational seminar for people supported about preparing for emergencies.  Participants were offered a fun and interactive learning presentation and each person received an emergency preparedness starter kit.  This training will be offered on a yearly basis. 

Pancake Supper a Success!

R.E.A.C.H. Out, the Self Advocate Committee of Community Living Brant held its second annual Pancake Supper on Shrove Tuesday, March 4, 2014.  The event was held at the Moose Lodge, 145 West Street in Brantford.  Despite snowy and cold weather, approximately 100 people attended the event and enjoyed a delicious supper of pancakes, sausages, bacon, juice, coffee and tea and cupcakes for dessert.  We are very pleased to announce that we made over $300.00 from this event.  Sincere thanks to everyone who assisted us to make this event a success!! 

See you next year – Tuesday February 17, 2015.

Allison Gupta; Laurier student and David MuellerBest Buddies Program


“When I first joined the Best Buddies program at Laurier Brantford, I didn’t know what to expect.  I was so nervous the first time I met my Buddy, David.  I was so worried that he wouldn’t like me.  Turns out, I had nothing to be concerned about. 

David has been a wonderful friend to me over the past three years and getting to hang out with him has been an absolute blast! Continue. 

Betty Farr, Diane Richardson and Gary Kusch

Spread the Word to End the Word

Members of R.E.A.C.H. Out, the Self Advocate Committee of Community Living Brant were invited to Greenbrier School to talk to students about the “R” word and using respectful language.  Betty Farr, Diane Richardson and Gary Kusch all shared personal stories about their experiences with the “R” word.  The students had the opportunity to watch the “R” word video that R.E.A.C.H. Out and friends made in 2012 and to participate in several fun and interactive activities that promote education about the negative effects of the “R” word.  Thanks to Ellen Banbury, a teacher at Greenbrier, for the invitation to talk to students at the school.

The 2013 Community Living Brant Christmas Dinner and Dance was held on Thursday, December 5, 2013.  This was the last major event celebrating the 60 Anniversary of the agency. 275 people experienced an awesome evening with Celtic music, a delicious turkey dinner and dancing.  Not to mention fun, fun, fun!! Thanks to everyone who helped make this evening a great success!!

Joanne McBurney and Shelley Jackson

Cogratulations to

Shelley Jackson

Winner of the Community Living Brant's

60th Anniversary

"Personal Outcome Measures” Word Search Contest

Men's Night Out


As part of Community Living Brant’s 60 anniversary celebrations, a group of 14 men gathered at Star Lanes Bowling on Wednesday, November 20, 2013.

The gathering was not only to celebrate the anniversary but also to determine who would be crowned “King of the Pins” in a ten pin bowling challenge.   In the inaugural Men’s Night Bowling Challenge Terry Yamauchi was crowned King of the Pins with a two game combined score of 314.  It was an evening full of great music, fierce competition, and manly companionship. The event was so well received that the Men are planning on doing it again in the New Year. 

Does Terry have what it takes to keep the King of the Pins title? Think you can beat him?  Stay tuned for dates and times for the next King of the Pins bowling challenge!

Kirk, Herman and lil JimMasquerade Dance

R.E.A.C.H. Out, the self advocate committee of Community Living Brant was very pleased to host a Masquerade Dance on Friday November 8, 2013.  Over 100 people attended the event and enjoyed a night of dancing, food and lots of fun.  Our own “Little” Jim Hladish provided the music for the event and was rewarded with rave reviews and a packed dance floor.  There were many unique and funny masks and costumes at the event to please and entertain the crowd.  We would like to send out our most sincere thanks to all those who helped with the event which allowed us to raise $700.00 for the Community Living Brant Christmas Dinner and Dance.

Write to the Heart Writing Workingshop

Community Living Brant was very pleased to host a writing workshop on August 19, 2013 for people that we support moderated by Mr. Ray McGinnis, author and instructor of Write to the Heart workshops based in British Columbia.  Ray spent the morning with workshop participants encouraging each person to create a story or stories about themselves using a variety of mediums and exercises.  Thanks to the Lyla Cox Foundation for providing funds to sponsor this workshop!

For more information on Ray and his writing workshops, please visit his website at http://www.writetotheheart.com/

Summer Fun

Community Living Brant hosted its annual Summer BBQ on Thursday July 25, 2013 from 2:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. at Mohawk Park in Brantford.  It was a perfect day to hold this great event which, this year, paid tribute to the 60 th Anniversary of our agency.  From 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. revellers had the opportunity to participate in games such as Bingo, water balloon toss, soccer, sponge toss, parachute and much more.  A photo booth was set up and everyone was invited to get their picture taken wearing funny glasses, hats and disguises. Continue


A wonderful evening of celebration with families, people we support, staff members, dignitaries and guests was held on June 20, 2013 at the Brant Park Inn to mark Community Living Brant’s 60 Anniversary.


Community Living Brant sportsmanship and teamwork shone bright in Fisherville


On June 8 despite the over cast and threatening rainy weather this enthusiastic and energetic group of staff travelled to Fisherville, Ontario to play in the Annual Community Living Staff Ball tournament. The weather held off for the most part and everyone enjoyed getting out and playing ball.  

Staff; Karen Skitch, Jessica McMillan, Marcia Hockley, Marty Chapple, Melissa Robbins, Karen Ellis, Kelly Henry, Jason Clark, 'Joshua Panton, Heather Bush and Kim Walsh. Friends and Family; Corrina, Wade, James, Jamie, Justin and Ray.

Health & Wellness Conference

On May 30, 2013,  R.E.A.C.H. Out, the self advocate committee of Community Living Brant was most pleased to host a one day conference about health and wellness.  We invited self advocates from Community Living Brant as well as neighbouring Community Living agencies to share the day with us learning about living a healthy lifestyle. 65 self advocates and their support staff attended the event.  Our keynote speaker in the morning was Kathryn Creeden whose presentation was called “Happy Go Lucky and Luck Has Nothing To Do With It”.Continue

Thank you and Select Committee Resolution Update from MPP Christine Elliot
I am sending this message on behalf of MPP Christine Elliott:  

Dear Friends, 

Thank you all for joining me today for the debate of my Resolution to create a Select Committee on Developmental Services. I am delighted to announce that the Resolution passed with all party support! 

I will be working with the two other parties to establish the Select Committee. It is my hope that the Committee can begin its work as soon as possible.

As you all know, the need has never been higher to establish a long-term strategy to deliver services to thousands of Ontarians who need care. 

Your support inspires me to continue my work to improve care for people with intellectual disabilities and mental illness. 

Thank you to everyone who came to Queen’s Park today or who offered support leading up to this point. It means so much to me.

I look forward to getting down to work with the Select Committee to provide better care for you, your families and Ontarians across the province affected by intellectual disabilities and mental illness.

Yours sincerely,

Christine Elliott

MPP Whitby-Oshawa

Message from: Leanna Katz
Click here to see the Highlights or Full Video


"I Love my job as a greeter"

In the last few months I have been working hard on being more involved with my church.  I attended a few meetings with the minister and chose a volunteer position at my church as a greeter.  My job, on Sunday morning is to greet people with a warm welcome and provide them with the weekly bulletin.  This is a perfect job for me as I am getting to know people at my church and they are getting to know me.  Welcoming everyone is so much fun.

By: Thys Koekoek

60th Anniversary Celebrating Images through the years


Congratulations go to Melissa Marsh for winning the Crossword Puzzle contest held by the agency for our 60th anniversary. Melissa correctly answered all the puzzle questions which featured stories from our  Images newsletters over the years.

Thank you to everyone who took the time to answer questions and submit their puzzles for a chance to win.  In case you were wondering the answers to the questions, please check out the  completed crossword puzzle.

Spring into Action - Fight Back Cancer

During the month of April, R.E.A.C.H. Out self advocates teamed up staff from the Ontario Early Years Centre to raise money for the Canadian Cancer Society.  We sold potted daffodils and three different colours of potted hyacinths for $10.00 each.  We also accepted donations at the OEYC, Dunn and Head Office for daffodil pins.  We are pleased and proud to say that we raised $275.00 for the Canadian Cancer Society.

Thanks to everyone who supported this fundraising effort. We hope to have this fundraiser again next year.

Michelle HorsleyEmployee of the Year

I have worked at Moose Winooski’s for 8 years as a dishwasher. Everyone at work says I’m the best dishwasher as I always try to do my best and keep my work area clean and organized. I recently received the Employee of the Year award. I was really shocked and surprised to hear that I’d won. As part of my prize I won a gift that included a set of pots and pans, kitchen aid mixer, a knife, cutting board and a $50.00 gift certificate for The Butcher Shoppe. This was a really nice way for them to show me how much they appreciate how hard I work. Submitted by: Michelle Horsley.

Employee Carolyn making pancakes

60th Anniversary Pancake Supper

In celebration of the 60th Anniversary of Community Living Brant, R.E.A.C.H. Out, the agency self advocate committee, hosted a pancake supper at the Moose Lodge on Shrove Tuesday, Tuesday February 12, 2013.  Those who attended the event feasted on pancakes, sausages and bacon with cupcakes for dessert.  We are delighted to share that we served approximately 120 people and, at one point, the line up of hungry patrons waiting for food spilled out onto the street!! Continue


60th Logo Award Winners are;

Left-Right: Dave Jordan, Debbie Pickering, Kim Walsh, Chris Ross and Gary Kusch

Ontario Ombudsman to Investigate Province's Services for Adults with Developmental Disabilities in Crisis

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Nov. 29, 2012) - Ontario Ombudsman André Marin today announced an investigation into the province's services for adults with developmental disabilities who are in crisis situations, after several desperate families complained their loved ones risked being sent to homeless shelters or jail because there was nowhere to care for them.

Complaints to the Ombudsman's office about the Ministry of Community and Social Services' response to such situations have steadily increased in the past two years, Mr. Marin noted - from 35 in 2010, to 45 in 2011, to 64 so far in 2012. Continue

Charitable Garage Sale for SPCA

On August 26, 2012 Daniel Stewart held a charitable garage sale with all proceeds being donated to the Brant County SPCA.  Daniel chose to donate the proceeds of his garage sale to the Brant County SPCA as he has a love for many animals. Daniel enjoyed talking with people that came to browse at the garage sale, and was also able to meet many of his neighbors that came out to show support
. Continue

Nancy Seeley

60th Anniversary Preparations Under Way

In 2013 Community Living Brant will celebrate its 60th Anniversary as an agency supporting men and women with intellectual disabilities. Plans for celebrations to commemorate this milestone have already begun. A video montage showing pictures from the last 60 years is in the works with the goal of completion to be for the Annual General Meeting in June of 2013.  As part of the montage, a banner celebrating the 60th Anniversary was made up and people supported, staff, management and Board members were invited to put their handprints in paint on the banner. Continue

Community Living Brant Summer BBQ

Another fun and successful Community Living Brant Summer BBQ was held on Thursday July 19, 2012.  Despite having hot, dry, drought-like weather conditions in July, our 50’s and 60’s themed BBQ did manage to convince the skies to give us some light rain showers and cooler temperatures.

That certainly did not stop the fun for the 100+ people that attended the event.  While oldies music played, everyone feasted on hamburgers, hotdogs, munchies and dessert.  After enjoying the good food, it was time for the “games” to begin.  In keeping with the 50’s and 60’s theme for the event, chief BBQ organizer, Carolyn Jarvis, and her faithful helpers, Dave Jordan and Gary Kusch, purchased hula hoops, skipping ropes, paddle balls and bubble gum for party goers to try out.  Honourable mention for the games participants must be given to “little” Jim Hladish, who took hula hooping to a whole new level and simply could not be convinced to stop. Continue

Leadership in Action at Community Living Brant, Annual General Meeting

Self advocates supported by Community Living Brant had the unique opportunity to showcase a special presentation for the agency’s Annual General Meeting.  Entitled “Leadership in Action”, the presentation featured 8 self advocates discussing their involvement with special projects within Community Living Brant and why they feel passionate about their work.  The group and staff support met for several months before the AGM to prepare their presentations.  As the date of the AGM approached, practice sessions were held and nervousness began to set in. Continue

A Summer Celebration at Brantford's Mohawk Park


Seminar featuring Dave Levac, MPP

R.E.A.C.H.  Out, the Self Advocate Committee of Community Living Brant was thrilled to be able to host an educational seminar featuring our Member of Provincial Parliament, Mr. Dave Levac, on Friday May 4, 2012.

Dave talked with the enthusiastic group of people about his job as the MPP for Brant and what his job responsibilities are.  He talked about staying overnight during the week in the Parliament Building in Toronto (he is the only person who sleeps there and has his own apartment inside the Parliament Building).  He even described several ghosts who many believe walk the halls of the Building late at night.  He assured everyone that he is not scared that he will see one of the ghosts, but, at the same time, he has no desire to walk around the Building by himself at night!!!.  Continue


My Trip to Jamaica!

On Feb 24 2012 I headed to Jamaica! I have wanted to go to Jamaica for a long time; where the sun is shining and it’s warm every day.  I loved the plane ride there I was very happy. I stayed at Riu in Ochos Rios.  It was a long bus ride to the resort from the airport which made me even happier!  It was a large resort to adventure on. I enjoyed swimming in the Ocean but the pool outside my room was the best.  It had a bar and I could walk across the pool to get drinks whenever I wanted too. Continue

Anti-Text and Drive Message Hits Home






Community Living Brant Parners with Laurier Brantford Students

Community Living Brant is pleased to have been offered the unique opportunity to work with a class of students from Laurier Brantford on a project beneficial to both the students and people supported from Community Living Brant.  Students in Joanne Benham Rennick’s Issues in Development course are studying Canadian and international forms of community development: what it is, how it has been done historically and what we can learn from communities concerned with improving the lives of people who live within hem.Continue

Jennifer Sywyk's Director Debut at Theatre Brantford


Jennifer Sywyk will be making her debut as a director during the One Act Festival in March 2012 at the mini theatre at North Park Collegiate. The one act play is called “Babel Rap” written by John Lazuras. She will also be acting in the play “Tee, Par and Tea” and stage managing for the play called “Baggage.”

Jennifer Sywyk got involved with Theatre Brantford two years ago after a transition staff told her about an upcoming meeting. Theatre Brantford lay dormant for 10 years due to an injury of one of the key participants.  Formally called the Dufferin Players, the group wanted to rebuild and the new name would be Theatre Brantford.  Continue

Understanding Community and Social Capital

Al Condeluci has been an advocate and catalyst for building community capacities and understanding culture since 1970.  Since 1973, he has worked as an attendant, caseworker, advocate, planner, program director and now, CEO of his organization, UCP/CLASS. UCP/CLASS has created a family of corporations and is dedicated to its mission - “working towards a community where each belongs.”

Al  will be coming back to CL Brant in May 2012 to present to staff, families, people we support, and our community partners on understanding community and building social capital.   Al tells us  “One of the most important facets of community is that it promotes a sense of social capital for the members who belong. Social capital refers to the connections and relationships that develop around community and the value these relationships hold for the members.”  Please check out the video clips below that Al has created  to provide people with an introduction to the steps in building community and social capital in all our lives.

Part 1 Building Community

Al reviews the 4 steps toward building a healthy and happy community.


Part 2 Building Social Capital

Al talks about how important it is to build relationships and walks you through the different levels of relationships with graphic cues.


Part 3 Changing Perceptions

Al talks about looking beyond our personal differences in order to find our similarities as one community.


Part 4 Understanding Community

Al talks about the different factors of a community and explains what happens when communities are created.


ReStore Cliff' logged thousands of volunteer hours


Cliff Seeley wore his ReStore coat like a badge of honour.

The developmentally challenged man, who died Monday at Brantford General Hospital, was an extraordinary volunteer for the store, which specializes in selling re-usable building and decorating materials, logging more than 5,000 hours of work there.

"He just loved serving others," said Linda Moyer, manager of the store.

"He was just so proud to be a part of the ReStore, part of the team and giving to others.

"But we saw Cliffy as the gift."

Many of the hundreds of ReStore customers and volunteers knew Mr. Seeley by his nickname: "Restore Cliff ."

He began volunteering at the facility about seven years ago, said Chris Hill, a Dunn Building support worker for Mr. Seeley.

"He came to Brantford from Orillia in the late '70s and got married 21 years ago," Hill said. (Article appeared in the Expositor) Continue


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