ABLE2 Newsletter

ABLE2 Moments

July 2023

Reach Celebration Event

Thursday September 28, 2023

5:30 - 8:30 PM

The Bayview Yards

7 Bayview Station RD

Ottawa, ON K1Y 2C5

Join us on September 28 in the RBC Foundry Room at the Bayview Yards to toast and recognize Ottawa's legal community for 42 years of providing legal referral service for the Ottawa disability community.

This high-profile evening will feature a cocktail reception, music and a live and silent auction with proceeds going to support equal access to justice for persons with disabilities.

Early Bird tickets are available until August 1st


ABLE2 Annual Picnic


ABLE2’s Annual Picnic is back and being held September 17th, 2023!  

Join us at our new location, Andrew Hayden Park starting 11am and ending 3pm. 

The annual picnic is open to people with disabilities, caregivers, parents, friends, allies and ABLE2 staff and volunteers. We come together and celebrate those with disabilities and their families. This event is a great opportunity to have fun, make new friends and enjoy the park.

Date: September 17th, 2023

Time: 11:00am to 3:00pm 

Save the date and stay tuned for more information!

Join ABLE2 and Service Coordination for an overview of programs and services.

Date: July 27th

More Details

55+ First Aid & CPR sessions

This workshop has limited space and is intended for volunteers over 55 and volunteers who support Friends over 55.

Date: July 10th

More Details

Stay tuned!

ABLE2 is launching its 50/50 Raffle. On line ticket sales will be launch on August 1st. Get your tickets online or in person at the Annual Picnic, September 17 or the FASD Walk, September 9th


The 28th edition of Evening in the Maritimes was a success! With over $350,000 raised in support of people with disabilities, we owe this year’s success to our sponsors, partners, and attendees. The money raised will ensure ongoing support to many members of our community who live with a disability. We have already started planning next year’s event. We hope to see you there! 

Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend

Thank you to all our runners and donors! The Ottawa Race Weekend was a beautiful sunny day. This year was a success with $9,000 raised between the Reach and ABLE2 teams! Next year the Ottawa Race Weekend celebrates their 50th anniversary of running in the Nation's Capital. We hope to see you there!

Join this memorable day as we walk, cheer, celebrate and raise the FASD flag at Ottawa City Hall.

On September 9th we walk in unison in red for .9 kms in support of

9 months of an alcohol-free pregnancy

Every year on September 9th, International Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Awareness Day is marked to raise awareness about the importance of an alcohol-free pregnancy. The day brings attention to FASD and the impact prenatal exposure to alcohol has on fetal development. FASD Day has become a global movement, with countries from all around the world participating. Proclamations are issued in countries, states, provinces, and towns and bells are rung at 9:09 a.m. in every time zone from New Zealand to Alaska.

Join us on Saturday, September 9 as we walk and raise the flag for FASD. #FASDWalk2023 #ThereIsNoSafeAmount

Volunteer Opportunities

Reach Beyond Committee Member 

Volunteer needed for the organizing committee for the upcoming Reach Beyond cocktail reception and silent and live auction.

Friendly Callers and Matching Volunteers

Volunteers are needed for Connect Friendly Callers, a program aiming to reduce social isolation for seniors living with disabilities. The Connect program matches a senior with a volunteer, for a virtual social visit using the senior’s preferred platform (phone, FaceTime, Zoom WhatsApp etc.).

Communications Volunteer

This is an opportunity to share the stories of people with disabilities and the impact that friendships and support programs can have in their lives. The communications volunteer’s role is to interview people supported by ABLE2, videoing the interview, writing a story and editing the video.



My topic for today is social housing from my point of view so people can see the good points and all it has to offer for people like me on ODSP.

I am 42 and I waited patiently on the social housing registry for 11 years to get a 1-bedroom apartment.

Every Christmas was my due date to call into the Social Registry and update my file once a year. My mom and I picked Christmas/December because it was an easy time to remember for both of us. I would also ask the Social Registry to send me a list so I could choose more options of housing in Ottawa each year.

After 11 years of waiting and choosing, they finally called me in 2021. I still remember the lady in the office of Social Registry when I first applied who gave me a hint, a huge one, don’t limit yourself to one area of the city, choose more options from the list.

And so, I did, and that’s what got me in faster to social housing.

So, I moved into social housing, and got the keys, and signed the lease, and made lots of friends. I now volunteer in our programs for Veggie Friday that happens every Friday, and Breakfast Tuesday and I benefit from these two programs, and also the foot lady from southeast Ottawa comes to take care of my feet every six weeks.

My rent is a lot cheaper, under $200 for a 1 bedroom providing my income does not change for ODSP.

We have to submit our notice of assessment along with our ODSP papers, and a pink slip we get from Ottawa housing to tell Ottawa housing we are doing our income taxes each year. It lets them know we are still at the same income level to keep our houses. If we do not comply with this or fail to send that information we lose our housing and our apartment goes back up to market rent and they kick us out.

Since moving here, I have made more friends. I love volunteering. I am thriving and saving more money. And that is the benefits of social housing. I do not have to worry anymore about paying market rent, or worrying about rising food cost, or having to put clothes on my back, because I can afford all theses things.

Thank you very much for listening to me today and I hope it gives you all a great knowledge of social housing and provides you with better feedback and gives you some more idea that social housing is better life.

Merci and thank you.

Julie Cashman

Rob’s Journey

Rob was matched with Ted twelve years ago and they soon became part of each others’ families, attending dinners, BBQs, weddings, and welcoming Rob’s children into the world. Rob found himself connecting with Ted’s roommate, Fred and was soon matched with him as well. Before long Uncle Ted and Uncle Fred were woven into Rob’s family.

“This program is the biggest gift I have ever been given, the ability to form a series of life-changing relationships,” says Rob. “You could never walk away from interacting with Ted without a smile on your face. He was a selfless individual and only wanted the best for you. That was a gift he would give me each and every time I saw him.”

Sadly, Ted passed away. During Ted’s final days, Rob sat with him every day and held his hand so he always knew he had someone who loved him and that he was not alone.

In March of 2022, Rob ran the Goggins Challenge where for 48 hours, he ran 4 miles every 4 hours. Rob raised over $6,000 dollars for ABLE2 in memory of Ted!

Robert is a recipient of the Senate of Canada’s 150th-anniversary medal for his community involvement, working with families that are dealing with disabilities and coaching youth in financial literacy. He has also been awarded the RBC Global Citizen.

Rob is finishing his term as ABLE2’s Board Chair. During his term, he has guided ABLE2 through many changes and challenges including the pandemic. Rob has shown unwavering support for the Executive Director and staff at ABLE2 during his tenure as President. Rob is a passionate community builder and has ABLE2’s profound gratitude and heartfelt thanks for all the energy and love he has dedicated to those around him. We look forward to the strategic guidance he will continue to provide as he moves to the role of Past Chair on the board.


Rachel and Viji: The Christmas party super dancers

“They are the Christmas party super dancers!” I enthusiastically pronounced to my wife as we rolled out of the parking lot on an overcast but otherwise pleasant June afternoon. 

I had just finished having a hot beverage with Viji and Rachel, two friends that first met through ABLE2’s matching program.

I was the first to arrive for our coffee-chat at the Starbucks in College Square, bristling full of young students and afternoon shoppers. The purpose of this informal interview was to profile a successful, long-term match to include in an article in ABLE2’s monthly newsletter. 

As I waited a few moments for Viji and Rachel to arrive, I suddenly wondered how I would know who they were? I instantly recognized them however as they walked through the door – I remembered seeing them at previous events, notably ABLE2’s annual Christmas party.

How could I forget? Each year, Viji and Rachel tend to be one of the first ones on the dance floor, and to say they move with joy and enthusiasm would be great understatement. I clearly remember my wife (unsuccessfully) trying to get me to bust a move at ABLE’s marquis annual event, nodding towards Viji and Rachel: “But look how much fun they are having!”

It was a great start to the interview because I felt like I already kind of knew them. 

My initial impression as we greeted each other was how natural and comfortable they seemed with each other. They gave off the vibe of two old friends meeting for a coffee to chat and catch-up – a casual, nothing-to-see here type of Saturday afternoon hang out. And my initial instincts proved to be correct. In fact, when asked, like a lot of old friends, they could not quite remember how long exactly it had been since they first met.

“17, 18 years….2004 maybe” Viji responded to my first inquiry about the length of their friendship.

As I came to uncover, their relationship has grown substantially over the almost two decades since they first met. Going to coffee shops, seeing movies, hanging out, chatting over Facebook……they do all of the things you would think of that are typical of strong, mutually beneficial relationship.

They went on to describe what they meant to each other and that, like any other solid friendship, they can tell each other anything and play a big part in each other’s lives.

What is your most memorable moment together?” I asked as I perused a list of pre-selected interview questions I had on hand. There was a bit of pause, no one single moment immediately jumped to either of them.

Rachel then just got to crux of it all with one answer: “Viji is really easy to talk to, we just have fun together, it is great to have a friend that understands you.”

I asked Viji: “Could you point to one thing you have learned from Rachel?”

“She forces me out of my comfort zone somethings…… dancing!!” Viji responded with a smile.

As we spoke, I found out that not only is Rachel one ABLE2’s best Christmas partiers, she has previously taken Jazz dancing lessons and used to be a regular at the Dovercourt dances. She reiterated, while Viji nodded her head, that dancing was a great to release energy and just have fun.

It was at this point where this interviewer may have made a big mistake. Perhaps out of nervous politeness, I ever so casually mentioned that maybe I would hit the floor at the next Christmas party. Upon telling my wife about this off-hand commitment I made, she smiled and said she could not wait. My goodness what have I done, I (half?) jokingly thought to myself.

As we finished up our conversation, I posed my last and ultimate question: “What would you say to someone who is interested in becoming involved in ABLE2’s matching program? The response came quick: “Just do it! You can expand your social network, do interesting things and it is a great way to make a new friend!”

In fact, as we spoke, it was pointed out that there would be no impact on their friendship at all if ABLE2 stopped existing tomorrow, which is the ultimate nod to the effectiveness of the matching program. While ABLE2 brought them together, it is their commonalities and genuine connection that has nurtured their relationship over the years.

Rachel and Viji’s friendship is something not everyone in the world is lucky to have. In a modern life, tied to our screens, always playing catch up – we could all benefit from having a connection like theirs. And that, dear reader, brings us to the heart of it all: who among us could not use another good friend?

I look forward to seeing Viji and Rachel at the next ABLE2 event. And I am left wondering if they will hold me to my mention of dancing at the next Christmas party? We shall see…..


By Rick Burns

ABLE2 Board Director

Learn more about Matching Program

Daniel's Story

Daniel Anderson, 35, is one of many ABLE2 Ottawa clients of the Build Community Program. Anderson has been a program client since 2020 and a client of ABLE2 for roughly 30 years. 

Ottawa’s Build Community Program continues to provide services for clients like Anderson, who can rely on knowing his future is planned for by the program’s collaborative family-driven model and his lifetime network. 

For Anderson, the Build Community Program has enriched his life with a sense of social community. 

“[My lifetime network of family and friends] call me every week. And we go for walks together, and we have a nice chat on the telephone,” Anderson said. 

In addition to weekly phone calls with his lifetime network, Anderson also enjoys the fact that the program has provided him with the opportunity to meet new people at Build Community Program social gatherings. 

“[The Build Community Program] has helped me meet a lot more people. Like we go bowling together with the Build Community program. Last year we did a four-hour bowl-a-thon!” Anderson said. 

At the bowl-a-thon, Anderson was thrilled to participate in the activities while meeting the program’s facilitators and other clients. 

Upon reflection on the most significant impact ABLE2’s Build Community Program has had on Anderson, he says it is the many relationships he has cultivated through friendships and his lifetime network. 

Learn more about Build Community

Community Resources & Events

Community Resources.png

Accessible Parks

Andrew Hayden Park - near Bayshore mall is flat surface and a nice place to visit. 

Jacques Cartier Park - close to the Alexandria Bridge 

  • Washrooms. 🚻 available inside the museum of history.  

STRATHCONA PARK - Sandy Hill. There is a ramp for wheelchairs and walkers to use connecting to the park itself.

Major Hills Park - behind the Chateau Laurier Hotel.  

  • Washrooms 🚻 available inside the National Art Gallery of Canada 

Service Coordination Support

OC Transpo Travel Training Program

211 Ontario

Developmental Services Ontario:

Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services: Services for adults with Developmental Disabilities

Investing in Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Accessibility for Volunteers

We are pleased to announce that a new project Investing in Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Accessibility for Volunteers has been funded by the Government of Canada under the Community Services Recovery Fund. The purpose of the Project is to build a volunteer program informed by an Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Accessibility (EDIA) framework. This will support the organization to develop and implement a volunteer recruitment, retention, and engagement strategy suited for a post-COVID-19 context.

Nous sommes heureux d’annoncer qu’un nouveau projet intitulé « Investir dans l’équité, la diversité, l’inclusion et l’accessibilité pour les bénévoles » a été financé par le gouvernement du Canada dans le cadre du Fonds de relance des services communautaires. Le but du projet est de créer un programme de bénévolat axé sur l’équité, la diversité, l’inclusion et l’accessibilité (EDIA). Ce projet aidera ABLE2 à élaborer et à mettre en œuvre une stratégie de recrutement, de maintien et d’engagement des bénévoles adaptée au contexte après la COVID-19.

Thank you to our funders!

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Annual Report 2022

Do you have a concern or questions about ABLE2's programs or services?

We have an external feedback and complaints resolution policy and procedure in place.

More Information

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