Summer 2015

Welcome to the inaugural edition of the Intervenor Services Human Resource Strategy newsletter! We hope that you will find it useful and we encourage you to share it with your colleagues for quarterly updates on the strategy.  

   Intervenor Services Human Resources Strategy

The Intervenor Services Human Resource Strategy (ISHRS) is a multi-year initiative focussed on professionalizing Intervenor Services, increasing the availability of highly skilled staff, and improving the quality of Intervenor Services delivery to adults living with deafblindness in Ontario.

The ISHRS is a partnership between the Ontario Ministry of Community and Social Services and the Intervenor Services sector (21 organizations across Ontario that receive funding from MCSS to provide Intervenor Services) working to ensure that services follow strong program principles and objectives, and that services are delivered in a way that is fair, accountable, financially sustainable and accessible.


It will start off by examining existing competency models within the sector and across other sectors, as well as through stakeholder engagement with diverse audiences. It will also identify threshold competencies and define characteristics for ideal performance to determine a common set of competencies. Finally, draft core competencies models will be offered to stakeholders for input and review.

The strategy will also review current practices for recruitment, retention and future professional growth. It will identify the sector's human resource challenges through research and focus groups with human resource professionals from within the sector, and rank the challenges based on sector priorities.

Additionally, the strategy will research the existing educational programs and training pathways current interveners take to identify ideal learning environments to help interveners build for success.

Finally, the strategy will determine marketing and communication strategies to help promote the progress of the strategy across the sector and opportunities for stakeholder engagement. It will also create a website for information on best practice tools, events and professional opportunities.

At the conclusion of the strategy, the ISHRS will increase the understanding of the sector and promote a more professional perspective of the role of Intervenors through stronger partnerships and consensus building within the sector and by leveraging key learning and ongoing liaison with other sectors.



The Intervenor Services Human Resource Strategy governance structure was created to help move the work forward. A core group from the 21 agencies formed a Steering Committee for the strategy - with one Co-Chair appointed on behalf of MCSS - Rosa Carlucci and the other Co-Chair selected from within the sector - Roxanna Spruyt-Rocks. The Steering Committee established Sub-Committees in four key areas: Human Resources Best Practices, Core Competencies, Education and Training, and Marketing and Communication.


To ensure that every voice is heard, Sub-Committee representation includes agencies that deliver services: in French language designated areas; for consumers who are deafblind from the congenital or acquired populations; in a variety of settings, in the community, in group homes or at home; and, to consumers who require a variety of accessibility accommodations.  

For more information, check out our website


Building Awareness

We continue to work hard to share the work we are doing with our colleagues across the sector and with our sector partners across Ontario. Our efforts include:

  • Hosting a booth at OASIS Conference - May 7th (annual event that brings together agencies from across Ontario who deliver services to individuals with developmental disabilities
  • Setting up a display at Queen's Park reception hosted by Rotary Cheshire Homes - June 1 (opportunity to promote value of the strategy with elected officials and their staff)
  • Launching a website - June 15 (to communicate updates, events, professional resources)
  • Displaying information at a booth during Junefest - June 22 - (annual event commemorating Deafblindness Month) 


On June 15 & 16, 2015, we officially kicked off the strategy with approximately 200 participants from 21 agencies across Ontario, including representatives from the Ministry of Community and Social Services and other government ministries. Our agenda on the first day included an introductory address from the Co-Chairs of our Steering Committee who shared details about the strategy and introduced members of the Steering Committee, followed by an overview from each sub-committee chair.

The first day concluded with two inspirational speakers who encouraged participants to embrace change from a personal as well as professional perspective: Lorraine Behnan, "Ignite Your Evolution: Excelling Through Change" followed by Spencer West, who encouraged the audience to "Redefine Possible."

Lorraine is a motivational speaker and communications expert, who has helped hundreds of professionals become more effective presenters and communicators. She is known for her entertaining and energetic programs, which combine her skills as a long-time presentation coach for corporate executives and as a former actor with the famed Second City Comedy Revue.

Spencer is a well-known keynote speaker, author of the best-selling book Standing Tall: My Journey, and star of the documentary Redefine Possible: The Story of Spencer West, which debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2012. He has inspired audiences, describing his journey after losing both legs from the pelvis down at the age of five to climbing Mount Kilimanjaro using his hands and wheelchair.

The second day of the launch featured a keynote at lunch by the Honorable Dr. Helena Jaczek, Minister of Community and Social Services, speaking about the important partnership between her ministry and the Intervenor Services sector.

It also featured core competencies sessions facilitated by Rick Lash, Alyssa Montmarquette, and Kim Stewart from Hay Group, who guided participants through the process of competency development and helped them understand how this can impact best practices in their day-to-day work.

The Hay Group is a global consulting firm that works with leaders to transform strategy into reality. For over 65 years, their focus has been on making change happen, and helping people and organizations realize their potential.

Thank you to everyone who helped bring this exciting launch together! 

  • Your input is valuable! A survey will be going out to the sector shortly. We encourage all recipients to fill out the online survey by the end of July. 
  • Check your inbox for updates! Over the next few weeks, we will also be sending invitations out by email for engagement sessions.  
Check Us Out!

Stay tuned for our next edition in the fall.keyboard-finger.jpg

We hope you are as excited as we are about the strategy and encourage you to check us out on social media and on our website.



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