Front Page News!
Jeff caught the attention of the Southpoint Sun on Sunday as he was cleaning up in the cold winter temperatures and gusty winds at the Leamington Fairgrounds. Jeff keeps the stalls and grounds clean and loves every minute he spends with the horses. Way to go Jeff and great picture!
Results of Compliance Review
Conducted January 19-29, 2021 
Program advisors from the MCCSS Quality Assurance and Compliance team conducted an unannounced inspection of the agency last month. As a result of the pandemic, the scope of the inspection was adjusted to include an assessment of 86 indicators relating to the Health and Safety of people supported at residential sites.

We are happy to report that the agency performed exceptionally well!

In addition to being assessed as fully compliant by the time the review was completed, the Ministry provided additional complimentary feedback with respect to care/maintenance of agency homes, the knowledge, enthusiasm and resilience of our employees, and the quality of communications coming from the organization with respect to the pandemic. 

Check out the infographic below, which highlights the results of the inspection.
An Update from New Day - Leaders of Today
New Day Meetings take place on the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of each month, from 6pm-8pm virtually on Microsoft Teams.

New Day members made their annual presentation to the Board of Directors. 
This was our chance to tell the Board who we are, what we’ve accomplished over this last year and what our goals are for 2021.
  • Membership - Microsoft Teams makes it easier for people to attend New Day meetings, activities and events. Games and guest speakers make meetings interactive and engaging. 
  • Promote Advocacy - Members will practice using our voices, so each of us can feel confident advocating for change when change is needed.
  • Community Involvement - We will find ways to participate in our community and give back. 
  • Education - Presentations about inclusion, advocacy, belonging and removing the R-word can still happen with elementary students, DSW and nursing programs, service clubs, church groups. 

New Day members are learning and practicing the following skills:

  • Speak up for yourself 
  • Help others
  • Make presentations to educate others
  • Network with other advocacy groups
  • Work together to make necessary changes

Attend one of our virtual meetings and see what self-advocacy is all about. 

Send an email to or leave a message at 519-776-6483 ext 267 and we’ll send you the link to our next meeting. 
Times Are A-Changin'
The late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg said “fight for the things that you care about but do it in a way that will lead others to join you” and “real change, enduring change, happens one step at a time.” Inspirational words, as we think of the changes needed for the developmental service sector of Ontario, for families especially.  

We have been provided an opportunity to have our voices heard, to fight for the rights of those we care about most, to lead the way to real change for this sector, and ultimately for our family members. 

The Ontario government is seeking ideas from across the province on how they can support people during COVID-19 and beyond. Take a moment or two and let your voice be heard for those in our families. The deadline for input is February 12th.
Kelly Runnalls
Family Consultant, Ensemble or 519-776-6483, ext. 225
Virtual Jingle Bell Raises $6000!
Although unable to hold the traditional live event, Ken Knapp Ford in Essex played host to the first ever virtual Jingle Bell Run. Organized over a three day period in December, the 5K event encouraged walkers and runners to register, collect pledges and participate at their own pace. 

The event was a huge success with over 300 people, some from as far away as Ottawa, taking part. It was only fitting that the cheque presentation was virtual as well! Community Living Essex County was thrilled to receive $6,000 in event proceeds, presented by the wonderful, giving and energetic team at Ken Knapp Ford. Thank you!
What's Happening This Weekend?
We are hosting a virtual Valentine’s dance with DJ Paul for people receiving supports on Friday February 12th at 7pm. Be sure to join us to dance the night away! 
My Home My Choice
Virtual Supports
Community Living Essex County continues to offer virtual supports to people receiving services.

Regular participants voiced from the beginning that music was important to them. People missed attending dances in their communities, at which they got to see many familiar faces and meet new people. DJ Paul was often one of those familiar faces. He is a one of a kind DJ and always knows the songs everyone wants to hear. He has a way of getting people dancing, that’s for sure!

We knew there was a way to incorporate these dances into our virtual support offerings and with a great support team we were able to get Paul on board.

We began hosting monthly dance parties and DJ Paul has done a great job adapting his DJ service to the virtual world. Paul took the time to learn how to set up his DJ equipment so it met the needs of facilitating over Zoom. We have had up to 30 people participating in these sessions.

It is said that if the music is good people will dance! It’s great to see the joy on people’s faces as they dance the time away in their living rooms where they are home safe and forgetting about the worries of the world.  
Ontario Seeks Public Input to Help Shape Digital ID Program
News Release

February 2, 2021

Initiative will offer more convenient access to government and private sector services

TORONTO — The Ontario government is launching an online consultation to seek input on the province's plan to introduce a digital ID by the end of 2021. Through the Digital ID program, people and businesses in Ontario will be able to securely and conveniently prove their identity online. This will save people time and money and offer more convenient access to government and private sector services.

"We want to assure people that a digital ID will not only offer simpler and easier access to services, but it will be safe and secure, encrypted and harnessing the latest technology to protect your information and credentials," said Peter Bethlenfalvy, President of the Treasury Board, Minister of Finance and Minister Responsible for Digital and Data Transformation. "As we develop this initiative, we want to hear directly from the people to ensure their priorities are reflected in this innovative, digital approach. No one has a monopoly on good ideas and we are prepared to listen."

Launching today, the consultation will be open from February 2 to February 26, 2021 via online surveys for the public and small-to-medium-size enterprises (SMEs) as well as virtual focus groups for SMEs. Participants will have the opportunity to help shape the government's approach to introducing a digital ID while voicing their top priorities and concerns.

Strong encryption and privacy protecting technology will be at the core of a digital ID to ensure personal information such as name, birthdate or address remains secure. This initiative will make Ontario one of the leading digital jurisdictions in the world.

Potential uses of a digital ID include:

  • A parent could more easily access their children's immunization records and share them online with their school.
  • A small business owner could reduce red tape by registering for licences and permits or opening new accounts online.
  • A farmer could register a farm vehicle online without travelling to government offices to prove their personal identity.
  • A senior could check in to a doctor's appointment online and securely share health information with caregivers and health care providers.
  • A digital ID would also support COVID-19 safety protocols by limiting unnecessary in-person contact to help stop the spread of the virus.

Ontarians will be able to combat ID fraud and protect their data more effectively with a digital ID. By using this innovative technology, users will be in full control of what identity information is shared and with whom. For those persons who choose not to have a digital ID, they will still be able to prove their identity and access services with their physical documents.

Digital ID, a signature project of Ontario Onwards: Ontario's COVID-19 Action Plan for a People-Focused Government, is one of more than 30 projects that will improve the way people and businesses interact with government by offering access to more services online.

  • A recent study estimated the use of Digital Identity could increase efficiency and result in a potential $4.5 billion of added value to the small-and-medium-size enterprises sector nationally.
  • Based on estimates of the impact of Digital Identity on GDP in mature economies by McKinsey Global Institute, Ontario stands to gain $8 - $25 billion in economic value alone.
  • A recent analysis of 335 government services found that approximately 70% of government services required some level of identity verification, and most of the physical cards and documents used today to prove identity (e.g., driver’s licences or photo health cards) were not designed for online use, leading to the risk of identity fraud.



Sebastian Skamski
Minister’s Office

Kyle Richardson
Communications Branch

Treasury Board Secretariat
Coping During The Pandemic
Tips From Community Members
Mental Health Support for Ontario Residents
Mind Beacon is now offering free mental health support for Ontario residents dealing with stress, anxiety, depression and more. Funded by the Government of Ontario.
Resiliency & Wellness Series
For Direct Support Professionals and Leaders Within the Adult DS Sector
Recipe of the Week
No-Bake Chocolate Hazelnut Thumbprints
A quick and clever way to whip up a batch of sweet snacks without heating up the kitchen. This one includes luscious Nutella and crunchy hazelnuts. 
Laughter is the Best Medicine
Weekly Poll Question
What is the strangest thing you have done while attending a virtual meeting?
Fallen asleep.
Wore pajamas.
Prepared a meal.
Shopped online.
Poll Results

What is your favourite rock band from the 80's?

Queen 37.8%
Bon Jovi 17.8%
Guns N Roses 13.3%
Journey 28.9%
Motley Crue 2.2%