Citizen Advocacy Adds New Program

Helping people create a positive future

OTTAWA, June 15, 2011 – Brian Tardif, Executive Director of Citizen Advocacy of Ottawa, is pleased to introduce a new dimension to the organization’s work that responds to a gap in services for people with disabilities. In partnership with Family Matters Co-op, the Trillium Foundation has provided Citizen Advocacy with funding for Independent Facilitation and Planning services to help people focus on abilities to discover their potential.

By thinking out-side of the box and considering all aspects of life, people with disabilities are given the opportunity to articulate their hopes and desires for their future.

People with disabilities move from one stage of life into another without a clear vision or sense of direction – graduation from high school is a primary example that creates great anxiety. Parents are often left wondering where to turn and how to support their family member to live a good life in the community. Independent Facilitation and Planning offers an innovative and positive approach for navigating through life changes.

“Through this process we gained insights about our daughter Lizzy so that we could find new and different ways to enhance her life and support her continued progress” says Linda Conway.

“I totally trusted Robert’s Facilitator to focus on his needs and desires” says (his mother) Iris Roberts

“Jessie was energized by the planning meeting and I think she felt very supported and less anxious about her future and what comes next after school finishes. I also think she realized how many people love her and want to support her and see her many gifts develop.” says (her mother) Nancy Hugget

“We have been working hard over the past year to develop a solid team of skilled Facilitators as well as the infrastructure required to successfully launch this fee for service program. Our foundation is now built and our Facilitators are enthusiastic to get started” says Tardif

About Independent Facilitation and Planning

Independent Facilitation and Planning is a process that allows people with developmental disabilities to become actively involved in planning their future. Planning allows people to think about all areas of their life. It is a collaborative process that brings the person with a disability together with family, friends and other community members to provide support and commitment – all in an effort to help the individual realize his or her dreams.

This process is a launching pad that provides the person and family with a roadmap for what needs to happen next. The actions that come out of the plan are as varied and as broad as one’s imagination. The action steps are accomplished over time through the continued support and commitment of the person, their family and friends.

About Citizen Advocacy of Ottawa

Citizen Advocacy of Ottawa is a registered charitable organization dedicated to helping people with disabilities (“protégés”) participate fully in the community life of Ottawa. Its vision is of a community that welcomes and values all its citizens, including those living with disabilities.

A volunteer citizen (“advocate”) from the community is matched to someone living with a disability: one-to-one (to all ages) for practical help and support in community life; one-to-one (to seniors) for practical support in enhancing quality of life; or as a team (to group home residents) to support a quality living environment.

Citizen Advocacy of Ottawa was established in 1974 and is a member of United Way/Centraide. For additional information please visit the web site at:

For more information, please contact:

Brian Tardif
Tel : 613. 761.9522 ext 225