Waterloo-Wellington Autism Services

Mission Statement

WWAS has the following goals, for adults with autism/pdd in Waterloo-Wellington:

* To ensure that they have a range of purposeful work experience and safe and caring places of residence in which various of skills can be learned

* To support families by collaborative planning for services that meet individual needs

* To co-operate with professionals and agencies to increase social, communicative, recreational, vocational and other skills

* To share with our community its successes in meeting the needs of "our most vulnerable citizens."

Board of Directors

Waterloo-Wellington Autism Services was incorporated by renaming and revising the bylaws of the earlier non-profit charity Woodgate Residence, effective in August 1991.

During the 1990s, the WWAS president has been Roger Hollingsworth and its vice-president Bernard Hermsen. Its secretary to 1994 was Elizabeth Bloomfield, followed by Jane Forgay to 1997. Its treasurers have been Stan Shalay, Stephen Jones and Bill Barnes. Other WWAS directors have been Susan Honeyman, Will Boeschenstein, Mavis Badham, Henk Ensing, Paul Martin and Garrett Wickens.

Dr Susan Bryson of York University served WWAS an Honorary Director and Consultant.

Phase One Project

WWAS received fiscal grants from the Ministry of Community and Social Services, of an average $50,000 for the four years 1991-92 to 1994-95, which enabled it to start a small office with paid staff. James Perry, with Karen Hillis Bowen, surveyed the needs of adults with autism/pdd, started a library and information service, studied model programs anywhere for their possible relevance to Ontario, and represented autism on regional councils and committees concerned with the developmentally handicapped population. WWAS had some early success in being approved for housing grants which might have enabled it to start a residential program for nine adults if matching grants had been forthcoming from MCSS.

SEEP Project

In 1993, WWAS planned and committed itself to a pilot project called Supported Employment Enhancement Program (SEEP). During the next two years, vocational instructors Elizabeth Debergh and Katherine Robinson were directed by James Perry and guided by various committees of the WWAS Board in their efforts to develop work skills and find paid or voluntary work for some 14 young adults with autism. WWAS received donations from organizations and individuals for its SEEP project, and a significant grant from the Kitchener-Waterloo Community Foundation. But SEEP ended in late 1995, mainly because of the uncertainties involved in fiscal funding from the Ministry of Community and Social Services.

WWAS Victoria Bloomfield Bursaries

From early 1996, WWAS has offered one-time grants of up to $2,500 each to individual adults with autism/pdd to help make a difference in their lives by developing abilities or obtaining therapies for which funds are not otherwise available. The bursaries are named in honour of the WWAS volunteer who helped to plan this project but was killed in a traffic accident in February 1996. Donations to WWAS in her memory form the nucleus of the bursary fund. More information and an application form are posted at this site.

Contact WWAS

President Roger Hollingsworth at WWAS, 125 Union St, Waterloo ON, N2J 4E5; phone messages may be left at (519) 742-1414. WWAS welcomes your support. Members are invited to share concerns, ideas and hopes, and are eligible to vote at general meetings and to be nominated and elected to serve on the WWAS Board. Memberships or donations of $25 or more qualify for tax-creditable receipts, and may be sent to: William Barnes (WWAS Treasurer), 26 Yellow Birch Drive, Kitchener, ON, N2N 2M2.

Copies of the newsletter, wwasnews (1991-1998), and its successor, Adult Autism Issues in Waterloo-Wellington (1998- ) are posted at this website in the Document Centre.



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