Contact The SSAH Passport Provincial Coalition
SSAH Passport Provincial Coalition
c/o 2495 Parkedale Ave., Unit #4
Brockville, ON K6V 3H2
Meet the Co-Chairs
Alison Ouellette – Co-Chair
Biography of Alison C. Ouellette …mother, grandmother, activist, advocate and author.
Alison Ouellette started her professional career as a Medical Radiation Technologist, married, mother of 3 children and 3 grandchildren. She founded Extend a Family, Windsor, became family coordinator and executive director from 1981-1986. The following year she joined the Roman Catholic Children’s Aid Society, Windsor as the Foster Parent / Volunteer Recruiter. Subsequently, she became interested in graphic design and ran her own desktop publishing-design business for 7 years.
Presently, she co-chairs the Special Services at Home Passport Coalition, SSAHPC and has participated as parent volunteer since 1988. She volunteered in the MCSS Review/Evaluation Task Force-SSAH in the 90’s. Her SSAHPC work continues to make Direct Funding-SSAH and Passport as essential programs for individuals and their families. In 2005 organized “Kitchen Table Talks” for 3 regions in Ontario for the Special Services at Home Provincial Coalition. 2012 saw Alison helped start the “Everyday Ordinary Lives Group” to promote living an everyday, ordinary life in their own homes, neighborhoods and communities with direct funding. Ontario families continue to receive her experience and support by email, phone and in person.
Past Work and Activities
Since David, her second son was born in 1974 she participated on numerous boards and committees from Windsor Water Polo Club to Family Respite Services, and Community Living Windsor. She has served on local SEAC Committees, Ministry of Health, Assistive Devices Committees and many provincial MCSS, Ministry of Community and Social Services committees.
In 1990 Alison was drawn back into the family support and advocacy movement to engage with other parents in a fervent resolve to change the system to a citizenship model. In 1995 she established a local family support group called Windsor-Essex Family Network with the help of 3 other moms and a local service provider. She acts as a supportive mentor parent to the Windsor Essex Family Network. She directed the student nursing Collaboration Project with the University of Windsor, Faculty of Nursing.
Provincially Alison was a founding member of Family Alliance Ontario and from 1999 – 2001 directed a grass roots “Bringing Families Together Project”. April 2007 she was awarded the Family Leadership Award from Family Alliance Ontario for her exceptional vision and commitment to the inclusion movement for all.
Alison took a break from advocacy and community development work in 2001. Along with her husband Paul, extended family and supportive friends she developed and implemented a visionary plan so that her son Dave who lives with different physical and developmental abilities could move into a home of his own. In 2008 she wrote the second edition of her book, “A Place called Home” sharing Dave’s successful everyday life running his small delivery business and life in his own home with a housemate.
2002-2013, Alison, a well-known figure in the international disability movement, a seasoned speaker enthusiastically shares their family story at conferences in New Zealand, Australia, Ireland, United States and Ontario between.
Susann Palmiere – Co-Chair
Biography of Susann Palmiere …mother, activist, advocate and volunteer.
Susann graduated from the University of British Columbia and worked in Spinal Cord and Brain Injury Acute Rehabilitation in Vancouver, B.C. and as a Community Health Nurse in the Region of Peel in Ontario. As a parent of two children with neuromuscular disabilities she began her advocacy work as Chair of the Family Advisory Committee for Bloorview Macmillan Rehabilitation Centre, now known as the Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital. She was also involved with the Provincial Outreach Committee, the Bioethics Committee, the 2004 Transitions Conference Steering Committee and the Transition Online Resource Task Group. Believing in the need to have families involved in the development of strategic directions, policies and operational protocols of the organizations that impact their lives, Susann participated in the development of new standards for family-centered care for the Child Health Network. Provincially, Susann was a member of the Board of Directors of the Ontario Association of Children’s Rehabilitation Centres for many years. In 2003 Susann was awarded the Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital Circle of Honour Award.
Susann was an Easter Seal representative for the Special Education Advisory Committee of the Upper Grand District School Board and in 2001 was appointed to the Minister’s Advisory Committee on Special Education. Presently she Co-chairs the Special Services at Home Passport Coalition, SSAHPC, and has participated as a parent volunteer for over ten years. In 2012 she participated in the initiative “Everyday Ordinary Lives Group” which promotes lives for people with disabilities in their own homes, neighbourhoods and communities, supported by direct funding. She continues to assist her children as they move from secondary and post-secondary education to jobs, lives and homes in their community.