Plain Language Resources for People with a Disability to Learn About the COVID-19 Vaccine
We've all been pleased to hear about the arrival of the COVID-19 vaccine in our community. It's our understanding that we can soon expect to hear from public health regarding the immunization process for people we support.

For some, the idea of receiving a shot brings great anxiety and others may simply have questions about the vaccine.

The following resources have been developed by organizations in Ontario specifically for people with developmental disabilities to help them learn about the COVID-19 vaccine, understand the vaccination process, and to prepare should they decide to receive it.
‘Living the Life’ and Looking Forward to 'Living the Dream'
Dear Families,

As I was about to wish each and everyone a very happy, energized New Year on behalf of the Ensemble Family Advisory members: Rubina, Lois, Marilyn, Susan and Family Consultant Kelly, I had a lightbulb moment.
During these unprecedented times, impacting the entire world, we are inundated by the general public’s fear of the unknown. I was searching for information to give to our community families who live with issues of disability 24/7. Upon further reflection I thought, what’s the big deal?

We with special needs family members have lived with the unknown from day 1. We are experts in dealing with the unknown. Every day we deal with new and often challenging unknowns. COVID-19 has only heightened our awareness and our determination to find solutions. We are resilient!
We as caring families continue to advocate for all aspects of daily living. We prove hourly that we have coping strategies that help us rise above any roadblocks put in our way. We will not lose our positive commitment to guarantee full, meaningful lives for all; with special attention to the needs of our family members whose lives are impacted by issues of disability.
In conclusion, I direct you to a wonderful resource:

As you enter into 2021 please know that we are here for you. We 'live the life' just as you do and together, ‘Ensemble’, we will discover new and creative strategies to support one another.
Please do not hesitate to connect with one of your dedicated volunteer family members at Ensemble. It is our pleasure to explore possibilities with you.

Upcoming Local Affordable Living Info Session
Transition to School Info Session for Parents of Children with a Disability
The Windsor-Essex Family Network has launched a virtual series of learning events and family conversations for 2021. Please see the flyers for details and visit to register.
New Year, New Habit - All It Takes Is 30 Mins Each Day
If you are thinking about how to get into better shape this new year, why not keep it simple with a proven health intervention that's easy to do and proven to improve people's health and extend their lives?

Around 30 minutes of walking a day, whether all at one time, or in multiple sessions has been shown through studies to help people lose weight, improve their heart health, increase endurance and improve mental well-being.
Keeping Busy at Home - Ideas for Passing the Time During Lockdown
Bored at home during the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic? If you've reached the end of Netflix and the idea of spending another day on the sofa looking at memes is too much to bear, it's time to change up your routine and get those creative juices flowing.

Staying at home may be limiting but it doesn't need to be boring - from learning a language to organizing your wardrobe, starting a blog to writing a novel, there are plenty of productive things you can take up to pass the time - why not start right now? 

Call your family and friends - You’re not the only one that’s self-isolating and people will appreciate a friendly chat or text message to let them know you’re thinking of them. 

Clear out your closet - Dedicate your new-found time and attention to sorting out your clothes, decluttering your home, and getting rid of items you haven’t worn for 12+ months.

Read a book - It’s time to read that book that’s been sat on your shelf for the last few months. Get inspired by a best-selling memoir, indulge in a celeb-approved book or escape to a different world for a few hours. Hot drink and blanket recommended.

TV - Did you miss the Game of Thrones craze or are you late to the Grey’s Anatomy party? Now’s the time to catch up on all that TV you’ve been curious about, so get comfy and get ready to commit hours of your life to watching someone else’s dramas. 

Do a Crossword or Sudoku - Looking for something a bit more challenging? Put your brain to the test and do a crossword or Sudoku puzzle and see how far you can get. There’s lots of online crosswords or word puzzles which means you don’t have to leave the house!

Make a photo album/back up your phone pictures - Remember that vacation you took in 2016 or when you swam with dolphins? Ensure that memories like this are treasured by taking the time to compile a photo album or scrapbook. Similarly, make a back-up of photos on your phone, to ensure you don’t lose them in years to come.

Start a blog - Your interests are probably shared with thousands of other people out there. Use your down-time wisely and start a blog to share your thoughts or favourite hobbies.

Bake - Indulge your sweet tooth and try a Bake Off masterpiece of your own at home.

Learn how to knit - Pick up your needles and take the time to hone a new skill like knitting. Not just for grandmas, knitting is considered incredibly therapeutic and practical.

Dance it out - Blast out some of your favourite tunes and get dancing in your bedroom, living room or bathroom. Hairbrush microphone optional.

Exercise - Replace your gym visit with an at-home work-out, with squats, burpees and push-ups all achievable without equipment. Transform your living room into a yoga space and stretch it out.

Make the most of the abundance of time you now have at your disposal. Stay well, stay healthy and keep positive.
"Fairy Magic" FREE Virtual Paint Party
FREE VIRTUAL PAINT PARTY! Saturday, January 16th at 12pm

Canvas: Julie will be using a 12x16 canvas, but feel free to use whatever you have!

Supply List

Paints: Black, White, Yellow, Light Blue, Dark Majestic Purple (deep purple), and Wild Eggplant Purple (wine purple)

Brushes: big 3/4" flat head brush, and a liner/ detail brush

LIVE on Julie's Paint Party Page at 11:50am on Saturday, January 16th and the party starts at 12pm SHARP!

Make sure to grab a cup of water to rinse your brushes, a napkin to wipe and a paper plate to put your paints on!

No sign up needed, just show up on Julie's Paint Party Page! This party is a FREE event!
Recipe of the Week
Leek and Potato Soup
Cozy and comforting, Leek and Potato Soup combines potatoes, leeks and broth for a simple homemade soup the whole family will love!
Laughter is the Best Medicine
Weekly Poll Question
How are you feeling about this 2nd lockdown period?
Doing well. Going to try to keep busy.
Just okay.
Not very good. It is a struggle for me.
Poll Results

Did you make a New Year's resolution?

Yes 30.6%
No 69.4%