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Archive for November, 2015

Sensitive Santa to Visit Children with Autism

Posted on: November 30th, 2015

(North Bay, ON) Hands TheFamilyHelpNetwork.ca, in partnership with Northgate Shopping Centre and Autism Ontario North East Chapter, are pleased to present “Sensitive Santa” this holiday season. Sensitive Santa provides children and youth with Autism the opportunity to have a photo and visit with Santa in a sensory friendly environment.

This is the third year Northgate has offered this opportunity for children in our community to experience the joy of sitting on Santa’s knee. Before the stores open, the lights are dimmed, the music is turned down, and families are welcomed to their appointment with Santa by knowledgeable staff from Hands and Autism Ontario. These measures reduce the sensory overload that accompanies the traditional Santa visits, which include loud noises, lots of people and bright lights.

Families who attend will receive a free photo with Santa, and are invited to stay and enjoy some holiday activities for the kids. When asked about this special visit, Santa said “I am so excited to say hello to all of the boys and girls who have been so good this year!”

Sensitive Santa will take place on Sunday, December 13, 2015 and Sunday, December 20, 2015, both days from 9:00 am to 11:00 am at Northgate Shopping Centre. Appointments are required. Please email [email protected] or call Hands at 705-476-2299 ext. 1323 to reserve your visit with Santa.

Community Celebrates Grand Re-Opening of Hands TheFamilyHelpNetwork.ca

Posted on: November 19th, 2015

(Parry Sound, ON)  On Friday, November 13, 2015, the community of Parry Sound celebrated the grand re-opening of Hands TheFamilyHelpNetwork.ca’s newly renovated space at 2 May Street, Parry Sound. Dignitaries, community partners, children and families came to tour the space, learn about Hands’ services in Parry Sound and to connect with staff.


Caite Bourque (Youth Member, Hands Board of Directors), MPP Norm Miller, Michelle Dermenjian, (Senior Manager at Hands), Jeffrey Hawkins (Executive Director at Hands)

Caite Bourque (Youth Member, Hands Board of Directors), MPP Norm Miller, Michelle Dermenjian, (Senior Manager at Hands), Jeffrey Hawkins (Executive Director at Hands)

“We are proud to be part of this community; we have a rich history with the West Parry Sound area. It was important for us to create a space that allows clients and families to receive the support that they need, in the space that they deserve.” said Jeffrey Hawkins, Executive Director with Hands TheFamilyHelpNetwork.ca.  “Last year alone, our team at Hands provided more than 14,000 services to help and support children, youth and families in our region.”

Hands serves the community of Parry Sound by providing services in Autism, Child and Youth Mental Health, Early Intervention, Developmental Disabilities, as well as Community Programs and Justice Service.

Hands’ Parry Sound building underwent an expansion and completed extensive renovations to better serve the West Parry Sound community, with the diversity of services that Hands now provides. Enhancements included an accessible elevator as well as improved therapy rooms and offices to ensure an effective space for clients and families to receive support. In addition, Hands now has the capacity to offer all of their services under one roof, with Autism Services, previously located at a separate site, now joining the team on May Street.

Caite Bourque, youth member on the Hands’ Board of Directors, commented “the building offers countless opportunities to make changes in the lives of our clients and families, in the lives of people in our town, and in the lives of staff.”

Developmental Services Ontario – Notice of Collection of Personal Information

Posted on: November 5th, 2015

DSO-NorthEast-EN-wtag-RGBStarting November 2015, personal information that you have provided to the Developmental Services Ontario (DSO) office will be accessed by the Ministry of Community and Social Services. This information is necessary to allow the ministry to forecast and plan the need for developmental services and supports and will be used for that purpose only. The collection of this information is authorized under subsection 35(1) of the Services and Supports to Promote the Social Inclusion of Persons with Developmental Disabilities Act, 2008.

Protecting your personal information is a priority. The ministry has the highest-level security measures in place to keep information safe, including restricting access to only a select number of authorized ministry staff who work specifically on planning and forecasting for the ministry. All information is also subject to the safeguards under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. Names and other identifiable information are removed before information is used for planning purposes, so your privacy is protected.

If you are no longer waiting for or receiving developmental services, please notify your local office of any updates, at your earliest convenience. In that case, this notice applies to you.

More information on Developmental Services Ontario – North East Region

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