Featured Presenters

Plenary Presentation: How You Can Maximize the Healthcare Delivered to Individuals with Developmental Disability

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Nicholas Lennox

MBBS, FRACGP, PhD. Former Director Queensland Centre for Intellectual and Developmental Disability, MRI – UQ, The University of Queensland

Professor Nicholas Lennox is the former Director of the Queensland Centre for Intellectual and Developmental Disability, Brisbane, Australia, and the immediate Past President of the Australian Association of Developmental Disability Medicine. He is a medical clinician, researcher, educator and advocate. He has developed several world first interventions to improve the health of people with intellectual disability. Most notably three randomized controlled trials of the Comprehensive Health Assessment Program (CHAP). This work was a major factor in changes in health care policy and practice in Australia, UK and elsewhere. His team also produced the globally accessible, Able X Series of Massive-Open-On-Line courses, through Edx, which delivers healthcare training on health and developmental disability.


Plenary Presentation: iTARGET Autism – Individualized Treatments for Autism Recovery using Genetic-Environmental Targets

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Suzanne Lewis

MD, FRCPC, FCCMG, Director, Autism Spectrum Interdisciplinary Research (ASPIRE) Program, Senior Clinician Investigator, BC Children’s Hospital Research Institute; Clinical Professor, Department of Medical Genetics, UBC; Chair, iTARGET Autism; Vice-Chair, Autism Canada; Chief Medical Officer and VP Research, Pacific Autism Family Network, Vancouver, BC

Dr. Suzanne Lewis is a Clinical Professor in the UBC Department of Medical Genetics and a Senior Clinician Scientist within BC Children’s Hospital Research Institute (BCCHRI). Dr. Lewis specializes in the identification of genetic and syndromic etiologies for individuals and families with autism and related conditions. She is the Director of the Autism Spectrum Interdisciplinary Research (ASPIRE) program at BCCHRI and is Chief Medical Officer and VP Research at the Pacific Autism Family Network (pacificautismfamily.com). ASPIRE has provided new insights for early diagnosis, understanding molecular and clinical relationships and pathways leading to best health management and outcomes for persons and families living with autism spectrum conditions.


Plenary Presentation: A Retrospective with an Eye and the Future Community Services for people with Dual Diagnosis in BC

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Alanna Hendren

B.A, CAE Executive Director, Developmental Disabilities Association, Richmond BC

Born and raised in Vancouver, Alanna Hendren has been the Executive Director for the Developmental Disabilities Association since 1997. She’s been recognized for her contribution to the community living and social services sector with multiple awards from the ministry and from various associations. She holds a BA Psychology from Simon Fraser University and is a Certified Association Executive. Alanna was seconded by the Ministry of Health for 14 months (1992-1993) to recognize Regional Mental Health Teams for people with developmental disabilities in BC and integrate them with Willow Clinic, a tertiary facility in the old Woodlands grounds.


Schoolwide Positive Behaviour Support (SWPBS): Why, What, and How?

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Pat Mirenda

Ph.D., BCBA-D Professor, Dept. of Educational & Counseling Psychology and Special Education, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC

Pat Mirenda is a Professor in the Department of Educational and Counseling Psychology and Special Education, and Director of the Centre for Interdisciplinary Research and Collaboration in Autism (CIRCA) at the University of British Columbia. She teaches courses on augmentative and alternative communication, autism spectrum disorder, inclusive education, instructional techniques for students with significant learning challenges, and positive behavior support. She has published numerous research articles and chapters and presents frequently at international, national, and regional conferences. Her current research examines the effectiveness of parent coaching for toddlers at risk for autism spectrum disorder.


Medical Clinic for Children with Autism, Update 2013-2018

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Diane Munz

MD, FRCPC, FAAP, Associate Professor, Part-Time, Department of Pediatrics, McGill University; Physician, Montreal Children’s Hospital, Montreal, QC

Dr Diane Munz has worked in community pediatrics with children and adolescents with developmental disabilities since 1980. She is on staff in developmental pediatrics at Montreal Children’s Hospital and is the pediatrician for the MAB-Mackay rehabilitation centre in Montreal. She started a medical clinic for children with autism at the request of parents in 2004 and has continued to hold this clinic every 2 weeks.


TREADD; An Interdisciplinary Treatment Program for Youth with ASD, ID, and Severe Behaviour Challenges: Key Components, Processes, and Partnerships for Success

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Gerry Bernicky

Program Director, TRE-ADD, Toronto, ON

Gerry Bernicky has worked in Toronto for the past 30 years, 25 of those at Surrey Place, and 5 years in an Acquired Brain Injury behavioural program. Trained as a behaviour analyst, he has worked with children and youth with Autism, developmental disorders, or an ABI with challenging behaviours. He is the Director of several clinical services at Surrey Place.
Gerry has supported the growth of ABA in Ontario as a past President of the Ontario Association for Behaviour Analysis, in the development of several College programs in ABA, and is a past professor at George Brown College.

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Vikram Dua

MD, FRCPC, Psychiatrist-in-Chief; Surrey Place, Clinical Director, TREADD; Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON

Dr. Dua is a Child and Adolescent psychiatrist with clinical and research interests in complex individuals with autism and developmental disabilities – and systems of care that partner with community providers to enhance community access to evidence-based treatments and expert resources. Currently his clinical work focusses on assessment and treatment of children and youth with ASD/ID and psychiatric comorbidity, and/or severe behavioural challenges.
Dr. Dua has nearly 20 years’ experience developing and implementing new dual diagnosis services in British Columbia and Ontario, and holds also appointments in the Departments of Psychiatry and Pediatrics at U.B.C.


Inclusive Living: The Benefits of Having a Home of your own in the Community

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Janice Barr

Executive Director, Richmond Society for Community Living, Richmond, BC

Janice is the Executive Director of the Richmond Society for Community Living (RSCL). Since the early 1980s, Janice has been committed to the evolution and advocacy of community living in B.C for people with an intellectual disability and their families. Recognizing a need in the Richmond community, RSCL has recently embarked on the development of affordable housing for people with intellectual disabilities in Richmond. The desire to support people in inclusive settings that honours the individual’s right to choose, was the impetus behind this project.

Janice’s personal commitment to community living goes well beyond the borders of Richmond. She is on the advisory boards for both University of British Columbia’s Centre for Inclusion and Citizenship and, the Patient Advisory Committee, UBC Heath. Janice is the past chair of the board of the Community Social Services Employers Association and serves on the board of directors for the BC CEO Network.

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Doug Tennant

Executive Director, UNTI, Surrey, BC

Doug Tennant is the Chief Executive Officer of UNITI, a partnership of three not-for-profit organizations: Semiahmoo House Society (SHS), Peninsula Estates Housing Society (PEHS), and The Semiahmoo Foundation (TSF). UNITI built and manages Chorus, a 71 unit inclusive and affordable apartment in South Surrey. Doug is a strong believer that creativity develops spaces where people of different abilities can thrive together and has a Master of Education with a focus on innovation in the arts. He is currently the president of the BC CEO Network Board and the Vice-Chair of the Surrey Board of Trade.

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Ross Chilton

MA, CEO, Community Living Society and Community Living Housing Society, New Westminster, B.C.

Ross is the CEO of Community Living Society (CLS) and Community Living Housing Society (CLHS) and is committed to innovations in housing and support for people with developmental disabilities. Prior to joining CLS and CLHS he held senior leadership positions in the public and private sector. Ross has a Master’s degree in Counselling Psychology from the University of British Columbia and has expertise in implementing individual and organizational wellness programs, team building, and conflict resolution.
Ross is actively involved in his community on a number of Boards including the BC Non-Profit Housing Association, the BCCEO Network, and the Family Support Institute. Previously he was on the boards of the Steps Forward Initiative for Inclusive Post-Secondary Education and the BC Council on Substance Abuse.


Improving Mental Health by Providing Trauma Informed Care to Recognize and Treat Intrusive Symptoms of Post-traumatic Stress

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Kim Burton

M.A. R.C.C. Counsellor/Consultant Developmental Disabilities Mental Health, Vancouver, BC

Kim Burton is a Registered Clinical Counsellor with a Master’s degree in Counselling Psychology from the University of British Columbia. Kim has been a counsellor for 27 years. Kim has a counseling practice in Vancouver BC, and she been affiliated with the Developmental Disabilities Mental Health Support Team since 1999, as a counsellor/consultant.
Kim’s client-centered counselling practice includes sandplay, EMDR, family systems therapy, Gestalt therapy, and Dealing With Feelings.
Kimburtoncounselling.ca


Why Do Children With Autism and/or Severe ID Engage in Self Injury and What Can We Do About It?

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Michelle Schmidt

PhD, Director of Instruction, Student Support, School District No. 36, Surrey, BC

Michelle Schmidt, Ph.D., has been involved in private and public education for 30 years, as an educator, school psychologist, and school-based administrator. Presently, Michelle is Director of Instruction, Student Support, in the Surrey School District.
Michelle has been involved in many inter-ministerial initiatives geared toward meeting the needs of children and youth who have complex needs. Michelle is a member of the British Columbia Council of Administrators for Special Education, the Council for Exceptional Children, Deafblind International, the Surrey School District ABA Advisory Committee, the Online Mental Health and Autism Project (OMHAP) Expert Advisory Committee, and the British Columbia School Superintendents Association.
Michelle is a passionate advocate for children, youth, and their families. When Michelle is not working, she enjoys gardening, traveling, and photography. Michelle may be contacted at Schmidt_m@surreyschools.ca


Partnerships, Advocacy and Inclusive Education

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Angela Clancy

Executive Director, Family Support Institute

Angela Clancy has been the Executive Director of the Family Support Institute of BC for 17 years. In her role at FSIBC she has been able to maximize her long history of experience and education with families who face the extraordinary challenges that come with having a family member with a disability. Angela has been personally and professionally inspired by growing up with her brother, Alan, who requires ongoing supports throughout his life due to disability challenges. Angela has 3 daughters who have all individually taught her lessons about herself, her dedication to family and how to maximize every opportunity in your life; to cherish every minute and every experience. Angela’s education and life experience have led her to form a strong value system that is based on equal rights, equal opportunities, and community inclusion for all people.

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Tracy Humphreys

Founder, BCEdAccess, Victoria, BC

Tracy Humphreys is the founder of BCEdAccess, a grassroots organization of over 1400 parents (and growing) of students with special needs from all over the province. Their mandate is to advocate publicly for equitable access to education for students with special needs, and to provide their parents with support, education and training around that right. She is also a partner in CareQuadrant, an e-learning company offering continuing professional development around issues such as advocacy and inclusive language. Tracy organizes an annual advocacy conference for BCEdAccess parents, and she is a parent to three children with autism.


Assessment and Management of Pain in Children with Developmental Disabilities

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Tim Oberlander

MD, FRCPC, Investigator, BC Children’s Hospital; Professor, Division of Developmental Pediatrics, Department of Pediatrics, University of British Columbia; Developmental Pediatrician & Attending Physician, Complex Pain Service, BC Children’s Hospital and BC Women’s Hospital & Health Centre, Vancouver, BC

Dr. Tim Oberlander is a Clinician-Scientist whose work “bridges” developmental neurosciences and community child health. As a Clinician, he is a Developmental Pediatrician with the Child Development and Rehabilitation Program and is the medical lead for the Complex Pain Service at BC Children’s Hospital. He has particular expertise in managing persistent pain in children with developmental disabilities. As a researcher, Dr Oberlander’s work focuses on understanding how early life experiences shapes thinking, memory, attention and stress/pain during childhood.
As both a clinician and researcher his work is guided by an understanding that children are capable of a remarkable capacity for both brain plasticity and recovery—namely, vulnerability as well as resiliency and his work focuses on figuring out how and why this happens.


Supporting the Mental Health Needs of Individuals with ASD in the Workplace

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David Worling

RPsych, Director, Spectrum Works Consulting Group; Sessional Instructor, Department of Psychology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC

Dr. Worling has worked at BC Children’s Hospital’s inpatient unit and anxiety outpatient psychiatric settings. He began the Westcoast Child Development Group in 2003 and is now in a full time private practice. He holds academic affiliations with the Psychology Clinic at SFU and is a Sessional Instructor, with the Psychology Department at UBC. He has over 25 years’ experience working with a number of different populations. Dr. Worling has specialized training in the areas of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Autism Diagnostics, Group Therapy, and Learning Disabilities. He recently formed the Spectrum Works Consulting Group in response to his maturing clientele’s need for employment related services.


Oral Health Strategies and Accessing Dental Care

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Dawn Moon

RDH, Community Dental Hygienist, Health Services for Community Living, Island Health, Victoria BC

Dawn Moon has over 23 years’ experience working as a dental hygienist. The last 7 years working primarily with adults with developmental disabilities in the community setting on the Health Services for Community Living team. Her focus has been on creating oral care guidelines for adults with dysphagia and strategies to help people attain dental care in the community. She continues to advocate for better solutions for adults facing challenges accessing dental treatment.

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Jadina (Jay) Yip

RDH, BSc(DH), Community Dental Hygenist, Health Services for Community Living and the Complex Rehab and Resource Teams, Vancouver Coastal Health Authority, Vancouver, BC

Jadina (Jay) Yip is a community based Dental Hygienist practicing on the Health Services for Community Living team and the Complex Rehab and Resource team at Vancouver Coastal Health. These interdisciplinary teams support adults with a developmental disability and with an acquired brain injury, and their care providers. Wide-ranging complexities along with an aging demographic, has influenced how the teams plan for and implement care for clients with varying needs, including dysphagia.

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Kayla Ragosin-Miller

RDH, Dental Hygenist, BC Children’s Hospital, Vancouver, BC

Kayla Ragosin-Miller is a dental hygiene graduate from the University of Manitoba. As the hygienist at BC Children’s Hospital she is currently involved in the research and development of helping children on the Autism spectrum accept dental treatment in the dental office without the use of general anesthetic. 10 years ago she developed the Dental Intervention Program for children with Autism and related disorders, this program has been highly successful landing her the nickname “The Autism Lady of Dentistry”. In 2011 she was recognized by Johnson and Johnson with a Dental Hygiene Superhero award for her dedication working with this clientele and in 2016 she was awarded the The Dental Hygienist Making a Difference award from BCDHA. She is also a part time instructor and works in private practice.