Programs & Services
The 2011-2012 Annual Report is a consolidated report of Ontario March of Dimes and March of Dimes Canada. Unless specified, all content includes the combined service and financial information of the two corporations.
The many programs and services we offer can be grouped into the following six functional areas: AccessAbility® Services, Employment Services, Independent Living Services, Peer Support Services, Conductive Education® Program, and Recreation & Integration Services.
The goal of these services is to improve personal mobility and accessibility for people with disabilities.
The Assistive Devices Program provided service to over 2500 consumers. However, fewer third party sources are co-funding devices, which could begin to impact the ability of consumers to amass the funds required to purchase necessary devices.
The Home and Vehicle Modification® Program (HVMP) had an excellent external review and received a one-time boost of $300,000 in grant funding. HVMP will work with two new Ontario government programs, Ontario Renovates and the Healthy Homes Seniors Tax Credit, to ensure the quality and cost effectiveness of home modifications.
DesignAbility®, which matches technically skilled volunteers with consumers facing barriers, completed 22% more projects than planned, and has developed chapters on four university campuses..
AccessAbility® Advantage, a partnership with Quadrangle Architects Ltd., provides consultation services to businesses and organizations on their compliance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act. This venture exceeded service and revenue targets by 8%.
Employment Services underwent substantial loss and restructuring with the closure of the Labour Market Re-entry Program by Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) in August, 2011 and the slow start-up of new WSIB contracts. There was also a financial loss related to our Federal contract with the Department of Veterans Affairs, serving disabled members of the armed forces moving back into civilian life. On the positive side, programs with the Ontario Disability Supports Program, Ontario Works and Employment Ontario continued and met performance goals. In addition, an expanded contract with the Passport Program of the Ontario Ministry of Community and Social Services provided a new role for our Ottawa program. Departmental restructuring, new and enhanced contracts will hopefully see this program returning to a green rating in 2012-2013.
INDEPENDENT LIVING SERVICES
Our Attendant Services and Acquired Brain Injury Services continue to grow, with new programs in Sarnia, Niagara and Sudbury, and total expansion funding of over $2 million dollars. Under the umbrella of Independent Living Services, the Acquired Brain Injury program delivers service to 10 individuals living in our newest congregate care home, owned and operated by Ontario March of Dimes Non-Profit Housing Corporation. The Wade Hampton House opened in Sudbury, Ontario August, 2011.
All Key Performance Indicators related to our government Multi-Service Sector Agreements and our fee-for-service programs were met or exceeded.
March of Dimes is an early adopter of the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care's Community Health Assessment system (known as interRAI CHA).
Northern Medical Clinics, which bring medical specialists to northern Ontario communities, served 1,539 patients, 50% more than planned.
Our ISO 2002 quality management program was reviewed and streamlined for greater efficiency.
PEER SUPPORT AND VOLUNTEER SERVICES
Peer Support Services work with stroke and polio survivors and their families, providing individual and group support, information and educational programs, all with the goal of achieving active community living for consumers with disabilities. In 2011-12, six new stroke recovery chapters and two caregiver chapters were formed. March of Dimes’ managers working in British Columbia and Alberta forged new and stronger relationships with peer support groups and provided educational and therapeutic programs to benefit people living with disabilities in Western Canada.
Our hospital-based volunteer program in the Waterloo-Wellington Local Health Integration Network was extended for a fourth year, while a new program in Toronto with six hospitals and rehabilitation centres will launch service in 2012.
New programs for people with aphasia are in development in five communities.
A new volunteer manual was developed and provides structure for our 8,000 program volunteers.
Conductive Education is an innovative learning system, based on the principles of neuroplasticity, using elements of education and rehabilitation to help people with disabilities improve their mobility, independence and self-esteem.
In 2011-2012, the number of participants increased by 15% and the number of short-term classroom hours grew by 52% over prior year, with the introduction of a pre-school program, and programs in Montreal and Detroit.
In addition, our program manager, Brent Page, became the President of the Association of Conductive Education in North America, the first Canadian to hold this position.
RECREATION AND INTEGRATION SERVICES
Recreation service numbers dropped dramatically in 2011-2012 as we chose to end our 2010-2012 transportation partnership and develop a new opportunity to deliver transportation services. The result of our search is a merger with the Hospital for Special Needs Inc., which contracted March of Dimes to provide a transportation service.
Our accessible travel business also experienced 10% growth from prior year. The Geneva Park-based residential holiday program was scaled back to offer a broader range of recreation and leisure opportunities in other settings. These included expanded leadership and life skills training programs for transitioning youth and young adults, and growth in the BeFriending® program, which matches volunteers and disabled adults sharing common interests.
The Independence, Community Participation and Empowerment Conference (ICE), which is for augmentative communicators and their families, expanded in 2012 with a group meeting in British Columbia and another in Toronto.
In July, 2011, two managers relocated to Western Canada to begin to build relationships, seek service and partnership opportunities, and begin a dialogue with local and provincial governments about service needs and gaps, and possible roles for March of Dimes in these communities.
Substantial progress was made over the past year. However, as this remains in a developmental phase, this activity has been given a yellow rating.
INFORMATION AND ADVOCACY SERVICES
Our Government Relations and Advocacy Department works on consumer and non-profit sector policy issues, positioning issues, raising awareness and promoting program development and/or recognition to meet the needs of people with disabilities.
2011-2012 was the year that March of Dimes opened communication with provincial governments across Canada. We also supported the development of Inclusive Emergency Preparedness Canada, ensuring that accommodation is made for people with disabilities when planning emergency and disaster services.
Our Government Relations program worked during both the federal and provincial elections to ensure that candidate offices and polling stations accommodated people with disabilities.
Appearances in 2011-2012 at government committee meetings included deputations on affordable and accessible housing, tax credits for accessibility home renovations in Ontario and BC, accessibility legislation in Manitoba, pre-budget testimony at Queen’s Park and Ottawa, and caregiver employment leave in Ontario.
As well, submissions were made to the Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science & Technology, the Law Commission of Ontario on disability and inclusion in Ontario’s legal system, the Social Assistance Review on employment and income support, the Drummond Review on home and community care, and The Chief Electoral Officer of Ontario – Advisory Committee.
Readership of the online newsletter, The Advocate, that highlights policy and legislative issues, increased by 50% over the past year.
Our Information Services Department launched a new web site at the beginning of 2011-2012 that is more accessible and interactive.