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    When our fiscal year began in April 2020 we were in the throes of the first, in what would be a series, of lockdowns and measures to combat the pandemic. Our world was changing daily and we had no idea of the full extent of the challenges and impact that COVID would present. Our community was vulnerable not just to the virus but also some of the policies and measures put in place to deal with it. We needed to act, support and bring our community together. And we did just that.

    The year has been exceptional, overwhelming, at times inspiring and constantly surprising. There has been no equal in any of our lives. It is unparalleled.

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  • Stat: 197 Meetings with decision-makers
    Staying Safe

    While continuing our work on overcoming systemic obstacles to accessibility and modernizing access to medical supplies and critical devices, we also tackled new barriers that were exposed by the pandemic.

    Through our Safe@Home campaign, we raised funds to secure much needed PPE, medical supplies, equipment and digital communication tools. We ensured mobility device services were deemed essential and streamlined applications for Ontario’s Assistive Devices Program which kept our community moving. We also worked alongside our federal partners to obtain a one-time tax-free support payment for people with disabilities.

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  • Stats: 982 Mew activists, 11 Public policy campaigns + initiatives
    Amplifying Our Voice

    As the pandemic worsened, we raised our voices to ensure people with disabilities were not overlooked or devalued in policies related to triage protocol, vaccine access and MAiD. After years of SCIO advocating for physician-billed virtual health care, the government conceded and implemented this service in response to COVID-19 physical distancing requirements.

    The pandemic exacerbated the problem of access to trained attendant services for our community. Through grassroots initiatives we continued to advocate to strengthen retention and recruitment of vital personal support workers.

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  • Stat: 100% provincial ridings with engaged activists
    Collective Action

    Our community activists focused on safety and access issues through their work to ban rental e-Scooter pilots and improve the use and consistency of accessible parking permits. SCIO’s engaged and experienced activists have been incredibly busy—calling MPPs, writing letters, educating elected officials, forming working groups and task forces, building awareness on social media and preparing ongoing communications. These amazing people have risen higher and gone farther than we could have imagined. We are inspired by their passion.

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  • Stat: 1415 Clients served
    Client Services
    Expanding Our Reach

    At a time when SCIO services were needed more than ever, we maintained and even increased our programs while adapting to remote delivery.

    In Peer Services, we successfully launched the Family Connections program as a virtual, province-wide, seven-week pyscho-educational support for family members of people with a spinal cord injury. Our Peer Connections program also went virtual, offering information and support across Ontario and Canada. Without the restrictions of geography, we found new audiences for this support and education.

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  • Stats: 88% Willingness to recommend SCIO, 91% Clients said we met or exceeded expectations, 86% Overall satisfaction of SCIO service
    Client Services
    Staying Connected

    Regional Services pivoted to online support using virtual platforms. The pandemic complicated clients’ needs, but our agile team of Regional Services Coordinators found solutions to assist them. In addition to service navigation, we also supported over 500 clients in accessing equipment.

    During a year where many people found themselves out of work, our Employment Services team continued its efforts to support clients in getting job-ready. We hosted a dedicated support group for job seekers and produced several e-learnings on key supports.

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  • Stat: 95% Satisfaction rating of training
    Knowledge Exchange

    The pandemic did not slow down the Cortree Disability Education Centre’s mission of providing a direct line to reliable information. We launched two new services, several new courses and a new platform to share knowledge through social media.

    Our Mediation Services got underway at the beginning of the year, with mediators available to promote dialogue, understanding and collective decision-making. By providing constructive processes for resolving conflict, their aim is to empower all parties to shape agreements according to their own needs and preferences.

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  • Stat: 170 attendants trained
    Knowledge Exchange
    Sharing Knowledge

    As part of our efforts to enhance health care professionals’ disability awareness, we created our Understanding Spinal Cord Injury: Training for Attendants program. Personal support is a common and essential aspect of daily living for many people with a spinal cord injury. The program focuses on helping those providing the support services learn best practice guidelines through the lens of people living with disabilities.

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  • Stat: 47 Video created
    Knowledge Exchange
    With the lockdown impacting daily operations in our Resource Centre, our Information and Resource Specialists Nancy Xia and Oda Al-anizi found another way to support our community and share their vast knowledge. Channelling their passions, lived experience, resources and star quality, they created videos that led to the creation of CortreeTV. The channel takes a community-based approach to enhancing the learning experience, giving Cortree users the chance to view, interact with and even share their own video-based learning content. Tune in today on YouTube.
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  • Stats: 100% Board fundraising participation, 1638 Fundraising supporters, 34 Fundraising Committee Volunteers
    Breaking Barriers

    In uncertain times, we recognized how critical it was to stay connected with our communities. Virtual events created outlets for storytelling and socializing while securing crucial financial support.

    Inspired by the barriers that we all encounter, SCIO decided to bring attention to the ongoing need for a more accessible and inclusive community. Clients, peers, staff, supporters and community leaders embraced our first virtual event, “Rolling through Barriers.” We received dozens of video submissions from people sharing how they are breaking down barriers in pursuit of a more accessible province.

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  • Stat: 600+Virtual Comedy Club Attendees
    Laughter and Joy

    Appreciating that everyone needed a good laugh after a long year, we created our Virtual Comedy Club. Our dedicated fundraising committees – Ski and Snowboard Day, Young Professionals Comedy Night and Southwestern Ontario Professionals’ Executive Committee – hosted two back-to-back evenings of entertainment that raised over $100,000 in support of programs and services that will help our community recover and rebuild.

Stat: 197 Meetings with decision-makers
Stats: 982 Mew activists, 11 Public policy campaigns + initiatives
Stat: 100% provincial ridings with engaged activists
Stat: 1415 Clients served
Stats: 88% Willingness to recommend SCIO, 91% Clients said we met or exceeded expectations, 86% Overall satisfaction of SCIO service
Stat: 95% Satisfaction rating of training
Stat: 170 attendants trained
Stat: 47 Video created
Stats: 100% Board fundraising participation, 1638 Fundraising supporters, 34 Fundraising Committee Volunteers
Stat: 600+Virtual Comedy Club Attendees