2014 PDD Northeast Awards - Alberta Human Services - Government of Alberta

2014 PDD Northeast Awards

In 2014, the PDD Northeast Region recognized individuals, families, businesses and organizations for their actions to promote community inclusion and improve the lives of individuals with developmental disabilities.

Awards were given in five categories:

Norm McLeod Self-Advocacy Award: Recognizes an adult with a developmental disability whose actions have made communities a more welcoming place for people with developmental disabilities.

Winner: Elizabeth Ramsankar – Grande Prairie
Elizabeth is a caring and passionate, hard-working young woman from Grande Prairie. She has never let her disability get in the way of achieving her goals or dreams. She is a member of the Special Olympics and has recently travelled to Calgary with her swim team and also participated in 5-pin bowling, meeting and cheering on her teammates! Her time is also spent helping out in the community by collecting and selling bottles so she can donate the funds to local charities. She is a member and Vice-President of Toastmasters International, and has written many speeches and won a provincial award. Elizabeth has been working at Subway for 14 years, enjoying her job and her co-workers. He supervisor is always happy with her performance and considers her to be a very valuable member of their team. Her friendly and polite demeanor makes her fun to be around.

Individual Leadership Award: Recognizes an adult with a developmental disability who, through their achievements, has inspired others with developmental disabilities to become community leaders.

Winner: Tarah Patterson – Grande Prairie
Tarah cares passionately about the rights of people with developmental disabilities. She campaigns for people’s rights to access affordable, available and accessible mental health supports within the community. She has been employed at Goodwill for a number of years and is very proud of the work she does. She works very hard to maintain her independence and promote a positive and inclusive view of all individuals within society. Tarah is Co-Chair of the PDD Northwest Self Advocates and represents the Northwest at the Provincial Self Advocate Advisory meetings, where she advises PDD on direction and provides feedback on PDD policies and decisions. She also represents the Northwest on the Albertans Advocating for Change Together Provincial Committee, which helps ensure that self-advocates’ voices are heard on issues that affect them, such as funding, AISH, housing and transportation. Tarah is a passionate and amazing self-advocate and a wonderful friend.

Community Citizenship Award: Recognizes a community member, business or organization that has shown leadership in supporting adults with developmental disabilities to be involved in the community.

Winner: Jonathan Lorentzen – Grande Prairie
Jonathan is a very caring, faithful and energetic person. He generously volunteers his time each week with organizing and setting up for Joy Chapel in Grande Prairie. Joy Chapel is a volunteer run program that helps adults with developmental disabilities that attend to find ways to socialize with each other, as well as practice their religious beliefs. Jonathan also sits on the Joy Chapel Board. He helps with scheduling, organizing meals, including picking up pizzas for dinner. If people need a ride to Joy Chapel, he happily picks them up so they can attend. During the summer, he helps spread the word and organizes movie nights, along with planning the Joy Camps. He spends the two weeks at camp planning activities for the individuals to make their stay a memorable one. His enthusiasm and volunteerism, help make Joy Chapel an event that many individuals enjoy.

Community Disability Service Sector Leadership Award: Recognizes a community service provider or individual that has demonstrated innovative practices that improve services for adults with developmental disabilities

Winner: Shannon Websdale – Grimshaw
Shannon is a man who likes to create solutions that meet the needs of the citizens who live in the communities that he is part of. He reaches out to create a better world for those who may not have the ability to do so themselves. Creating “Golf World” in Peace River is a social outlet for the general population and provides jobs and community capacity for people with disabilities. Some of the golf greens are gardens which help support the nutritional needs of some people as well. “Our Place” in Grande Prairie is an area where persons with disabilities can come and take part in learning and developing their independent living skills, enjoy a good party, take part in karaoke and other group activities. Shannon also had a vision to design, develop and create a brand new 76 unit designated supportive living facility in Grimshaw, called Stone Brook. This residence provides supports to individuals, including extraordinary medical needs, in a safe, caring home atmosphere.

Family Leadership Award: Recognizes a family that has demonstrated leadership in the development of communities that welcome adults with developmental disabilities.

Winner: Gary and Connie McGovern – Grande Prairie
Gary and Connie have opened their home to accommodate other families who have adults with developmental disabilities. They provide assistance not only to the individual, but also the parents of the individual to plan and coordinate family managed supports. They allow their personal resources to be used by the individuals living in their home, without any conditions. The McGoverns have developed an environment where individuals have an opportunity to exercise their rights, discover and enhance their abilities and much more. They have earned respect in the community and inspired the lives of other people, especially the staff of the family managed support program, because of the love, dedication and effort they put in to supporting this program.

If you need more information about the PDD Northeast Regional awards, please contact Sharon Salomon of Northeast Region PDD at 780‑645‑6416 or sharon.salomon@gov.ab.ca.

Modified: 2014-03-21
PID: 17468