This year's event was attended by principals and vice principals from the 23 schools in Dovercourt’s area, as well as local politicians, local religious leaders, other community leaders, staff from community service organizations, local service clubs, our sponsors (Scotiabank and the Morris Home Team) and Dovercourt Board members and staff.
The discussion forum focused on how the community must find a way to keep learning and caring going beyond the school years for people with special needs. Speakers included Amanda Telford, the mother of a 19-year old son who is diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Anne Villeneuve, a teacher at Ottawa Technical Secondary School who teaches youth diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, Holly Martin, the Dovercourt employee who serves as the coordinator for WAVE Ottawa and Steven Woods, a WAVE apprentice who joined the WAVE Prep Program in September 2013 and became a paid maintenance employee at Dovercourt in October.
In our own small way, Dovercourt has a number of initiatives to do just that, and has recently started a new initiative called WAVE, with the mission “To raise awareness and realize the potential of adults with autism in the workplace”. WAVE (Work and Volunteer Experience) is funded by Unity for Autism, and endeavours to find work and volunteer placements for adults with autism in the Ottawa area, and support them with the help of job coaches.