SARC Spring Conference


Great News! The registration deadline has been extended until May 1, 2017

SARC Spring Conference 2017

On behalf of SARC, we welcome you to the SARC Spring Conference 2017, which will take place at the beautiful Saskatoon Inn.  We have another great line-up of top-notch presenters from all over North America, and we can’t wait for you to join us – this year, we have a wider variety of sessions for you to attend, providing more choice and flexibility than ever before!

New this year, in addition to the concurrent sessions related to disability services and supported employment, we have a conference stream entirely on workplace health, wellness, and safety.  We’ve got topics in mental health and wellness, safety when working alone, the respectful workplace, and what is your definition of safety?

There will be plenty of interactive activities and opportunities for discussion.

Click on the Agenda tab to find out more about each session.

I encourage you to look through the variety of session descriptions and speaker bios to select the sessions you would like to attend for the two-day conference.  Can’t decide between two sessions in the same time slot? We are holding some sessions twice, so that you don’t miss out on your favourite topics!

With 16 unique offerings, we know you will be able to create a great mix of sessions that is just right for you and the work you do.

I hope to see you there!

Mindy Bonderoff, Facilitator of Training & Education


SARC Spring Conference Agenda


Click on the session titles below to find out more information!


May 10, 2017

10:00 - 10:30 a.m. - Registration

10:30 - 10:45 a.m. - Opening Remarks

10:45 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. - Opening Plenary Session - What Makes Life Worthwhile and How We Can Support Each Other to Get There - Peter Leidy

12:00 - 1:00 p.m. - Lunch

1:00 - 2:30 p.m. - Session 1

1A: Doing Our Best Work: 10 Ingredients of Quality Support - Peter Leidy

1B: Inclusive Education: Who, What, Where, When, Why?! - Shelley Moore

1C: Person Centred Journey - Michael Lavis & Dixie Kenney

1D: The Respectful Workplace - Lisa Chavady

2:30 - 2:45 p.m. - Refreshment Break

2:45 - 4:15 p.m. - Session 2

2A: There's an App for That: Supporting Communication via Tablet Technology - Dr. Brenda Fossett

2B: Inclusive Education: Getting to Know Learners from a Strength Based Perspective - Shelley Moore

2C: Building Block Program - Becky McLeod & Dan Innes

2D: Safety When Working Alone - Lisa Chavady

May 11, 2017

8:00 - 9:00 a.m. - Breakfast

9:00 - 10:30 a.m. - Session 3

3A: There's an App for That: Supporting Communication via Tablet Technology - Dr. Brenda Fossett (repeat session)

3B: Hearing Voices That are Distressing - Annette Borrows

3C: Customized Employment - What is it and Why we Need it! - Beth Keeton

3D: Unlocking the Unique Power of Misunderstood People with Mental Health Challenges - Brett Francis

10:30 - 10:45 a.m. - Refreshment Break

10:45 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. - Session 4

4A: Supporting People Experiencing Disability Navigate Through Grief and Loss - Living Through Loss Counseling

4B: We're All in This Together: Staying ocused on the Person in Challenging Times - Peter Leidy

4C: Customized Employment and Transition - Beth Keeton

4D: What is your Definition of Safety? - Eldeen Pozniak

12:15 - 1:15 p.m. - Lunch

1:15 - 2:45 p.m. - Session 5

5A: Supporting People Experiencing Disability Navigate Through Grief and Loss - Living Through Loss Counseling (repeat session)

5B: Hearing Voices That are Distressing - Annette Borrows (repeat session) THIS SESSION HAS REACHED MAXIMUM CAPACITY.

5C: Customized Employment - What it is and Why We need it - Beth Keeton (repeat session)

5D: Balancing Priorities: Maintaining Mental Health in our Personal and Professional Lives - Rachelle Brockman

2:45 - 3:00 p.m. - Refreshment Break

3:00 - 4:00 p.m. - Closing Keynote Presentation - Ignite the Leader Within - Rachelle Brockman

To download the full conference brochure, click here.




Are you an EmployLink Member? If so, you are invited to a free event on May 12! Click here for more information and to register.

Not an EmployLink Member?  Click here!

Peter Leidy has been learning from people with disabilities since 1983. Peter is an international consultant, facilitator, listener, learner, improviser, and speaker who focuses on personalized supports and community membership for people with disabilities. He also writes and sings songs about human serviceland and those who find themselves connected to it.  

Peter conducts workshops, develops training materials, writes songs, speaks and sings at conferences, and works with organizations, government agencies, families, and paid supporters to promote positive support, inclusion, building healthy relationships, and thinking differently about people who are called “challenging.”  (Peter himself is known to be non-compliant at times, and can often be found exhibiting attention-seeking behavior.)

For almost 20 years he worked for Options in Community Living, a supported living agency in Madison, Wisconsin.   His roles included direct support, service coordination, recruiting and supporting direct service staff, community building, and administrative responsibilities. 

Peter has worked throughout the U.S. as well as Canada, the UK, and Australia.

Shelley Moore is based in Vancouver, British Columbia and is a self-proclaimed "Inclusion Geek". She consults locally, provincially, and beyond. Her presentations include school, district, and provincial professional development days throughout BC, as well as various leading conferences throughout North America, including CEC, IRA, and NCTE.

Her interactive presentations are constructed based on contexts of classroom, schools, and communities and integrate theory and effective practices of inclusion, special education, curriculum, and technology. She completed an undergraduate degree in Special Education at the University of Alberta, her masters at Simon Fraser University, and is currently a PhD student at the University of British Columbia. Check out Shelley's blog at

Michael Lavis relocated to Canada in July 2009 to become COR’s founding Executive Director. He has completed a MA in Human Security and Peacebuilding at Royal Roads University, the Effective Executive program at the University of Saskatchewan, and is currently enrolled in the Values Based Leadership graduate program at Royal Roads University.

Michael has over fifteen years of global experience developing opportunities for marginalized individuals; from South America to Africa, and Southeast Asia to Canada, Michael has worked and researched extensively within various international organizations. Michael is passionately committed to strengthening the disability services sector in Saskatchewan and to forge out new beginnings for the province’s most vulnerable citizens. Michael is a member of the Saskatchewan Disability Strategy’s Citizen Consultation Team, Co-Lead of the provincial Person Centered Thinking Task Team, a member of the provincial CPP&SP Review Committee, and member of the provincial Attraction, Retention and Compensation (ARC) Committee. He too is an active member within the Gentle Teaching community, serving on both the Executive Committee of the Gentle Teaching International Board of Directors and Steering Committee of the Gentle Teaching Canada Network. Michael is a certified Gentle Teaching Master Mentor and ColourSpectrums Facilitator.

Dixie Kennedy's passion for community inclusion for individuals experiencing disability started over 20 years  with her first job in a home that supported three wonderful men in Prince Albert. This experience and these fellows taught her more about respect, integrity and community than she could imagine. This experience jump started her education. Dixie has a Bachelor of Social Work and is a registered social worker.  She has practiced in the field of education, Community Based Organizations and with the Ministry of Social Services.  Dixie has been with Community Living Service Delivery for just over 17 years.  She has held different positions and is committed in helping to make a difference in the lives of individuals experiencing disability and working as a change agent for continued full community inclusion.

Lisa Chavady joined the Service and Hospitality Safety Association (SHSA) in 2014.  Lisa brought with her a background of safety involvement from a variety of different sectors. Lisa has also completed her Occupational Health & Safety Practitioner’s Applied Certificate from Saskatchewan Polytechnic.  Lisa was instrumental in the  implementation of SHSA’s new safety evaluation tool and has taken an active role in mentoring new advisors. 



Dr. Brenda Fossett, BCBA-D, is an inspired teacher who is widely admired for her ability to convey complex concepts to those who work with children and adults with special needs, whether they are educational professionals or parent. She is an instructor in the Applied Behavior Analysis-Autism Department at Capilano University, adjunct faculty at the University of British Columbia, and a doctoral level Board Certified Behavior Analyst. Brenda began her career teaching deaf children with evelopmental disabilities at the BC School for the Deaf and, over the past 20 years, has provided support to children, youth, and adults with developmental disabilities in home, school, and community settings, with a strong focus on Positive Behavior Support. Her scholarly and clinical interests include: applied behavior analysis, the implementation of positive behavior support in home, school and community settings, tablet technologies to support learning and skill acquisition in individuals with developmental disabilities, and educational interventions for deaf children with developmental disabilities.

Becky McLeod first began working for the Autism Resource Centre as a support worker in their therapeutic summer program. After completing her education degree, she moved to Thailand to teach Science, English and Math at a private school. Upon moving back to Regina, Becky returned to the Autism Resource Centre as a Program Coordinator. Her primary role is to help individuals with autism and aboriginal ancestry transition from school to meaningful employment.



Since 2005, Dan Innes has worked in the field of disability at four different agencies in Regina both as a frontline worker and as a supervisor.  In his current role as co-facilitator for the Building Blocks program, Dan helps Aboriginal youth on the Autism spectrum move towards their self identified employment or education goals. Dan achieved certification in Choice Theory/Reality Therapy in 2014 and has a true passion for working with people. Dan has two beautiful children and happily lives in the same Cathedral area he grew up in.


Annette Borrows has been serving people with disabilities towards employment for the past seventeen years.  Her experience ranges from being an on-line worker in a residential home, a home share provider and an employment specialist for people that have persistent mental health issues, those with mobility issues and more recently has focused on transition of community inclusion to employment .Annette has also written and facilitates the Supported Employment Specialist series at Douglas College and Okanagan University College. She has spearheaded and written content for Canada’s National Supported Employment Best Practices found at

Annette’s teaching style is down to earth, filled with success stories, practical tools to glean important information from the people you are serving and a realistic, successful approach to the world of employment counselling that results in real work for real pay for Job Seekers.

Beth Keeton is the Executive Director for The Center for Social Capital and Chief Operating Officer for Griffin-Hammis Associates, Inc.   For the last 20 years, Beth has provided extensive training and technical assistance to individuals and agencies throughout the country on systems change, customized employment, self-employment, systematic instruction, and benefits analysis.  Her work with the state Vocational Rehabilitation agencies in Florida and Texas included the development and implementation of a Self-Employment Certification curriculum for providers. She serves as a National Subject Matter Expert for the Office of Disability Employment Policy’s State Leadership Employment First Mentoring Program. Beth co-wrote Navigating Government Benefits & Employment: A Guidebook for Veterans with Disabilities, and is a co-author of the recently revised, Making Self-Employment Work for People with Disabilities.  She earned her Master’s Degree from the University of Oregon in 1996 and became a Certified Benefits Planner through Cornell University in 2007. 

Brett Francis is a Professional Speaker and Mental Health Advocate who comes armed with passion and personal experience. She opens up greater conversation about mental health because the more people talking about it, the more attention it gets and more it gets taken out of the darkness.

When Brett was 6, she was diagnosed with Tourette's Syndrome and severe ADHD. When she was 17 she was also diagnosed with anxiety, OCD and panic disorder and has struggles with mental health and disabilities for the greater part of her life. She lived to learn that this doesn't have to be disabling and activated a power that she may not have found without it. Now she shares her empowerment and experiences to educate others, stop the stigma and give others struggling confidence in their own challenges. Having a mental health challenge or disability does not mean that we are broken. 

Through professional speaking, hosting her TV and radio show, writing her book, providing seminars and coaching, creating her mental health clothing line, Brett has inspired thousands of people dealing with struggles to fit in, feel 'normal,' and overcome the barriers in their lives by rocking their challenges.

She has two goals: Build awareness for mental health and instill a sense of pride in those dealing with mental health challenges and disabilities. Why? Because she has first-hand experience with overcoming the frustrations, embarrassment, anxiety, depression and loneliness that often accompanies mental health challenges and disabilities.

Eldeen Pozniak is the director of Pozniak Safety Associates Incorporated. She is a Canadian Registered Safety Professional (CRSP), a Certified Health and Safety Consultant (CHSC), a Certified Health and Safety Management System Auditor (SCHMSA), and has a diverse educational background. She has attained both a Bachelor of Arts Degree and Bachelor of Schience Degree at the University of Saskatchewan. Eldeen is committed to Occupational Health, Safety Concepts, and Standards. Eldeen's commitment is demonstrated by her involvement as an advisor and consultant to various government, business, and industry sectors such as being on the ISO Canadian Working Committee. She has been lecturing at a variety of technical institutes and at the University of Saskatchewan from 1997-2009, developing and delivering numerous courses for the Occupational Health and Safety Certificate program, and is an International Keynote and workshop presenter. Due to her commitment and professionalism, she has been nominated for and received numerous awards such as the YMCA Woman of Excellence - Women in the Profession, the Women in Business Athena Award, the 2001 Saskatchewan SAfety Professional of the Year, the 2011 Canadian Safety Professional of the Year, and the ASSE's 100 Women in Safety.

Rachelle Brockman lives passionately and productively and through Eureka Experience, she guides others to do the same! She is a facilitator/instructor/speaker who inspires people, teams and organizations to ‘get it done’ in a passionate, productive way. She digs down to core issues and provides tangible tools for leaders and teams to move forward by practicing courageous communication. Since becoming an entrepreneur in 2011, Rachelle has had the privilege of designing & delivering workshops for over 50 diverse organizations, as well as being a session/keynote speaker conferences and events across North America. She has now worked within most North American sectors and for some of Canada’s Top 100 Employers.

Rachelle has several letters behind her name and a diverse work history that includes, but is notlimited to, being an award-winning University Assistant Professor for over a decade at the Edwards School of Business, a Banker and a ‘Carnie’ at the Royal Easter Exhibition in Sydney Australia. She is also a passionate and productive artist, family gal, volunteer and mentor.

Further details about Rachelle & Eureka Experience can be found at

SARC Spring Conference 2017

The Spring Conference 2017 will be held at the Saskatoon Inn, 2002 Airport Drive, in Saskatoon.  Minutes away from the airport, this hotel boasts newly renovated space and competitive accommodation prices.

You can reserve accommodations for this conference by calling 1-800-667-8789 or 306-242-1440 and Ask for the Spring Conference Group Block for a special rate.


Conference Registration Fees

SARC Member Agency

  • $339 - Conference registration fee
  • $189 - One-day conference registration fee

Other Nonprofit Organization

  • $419 plus GST - Conference registration fee
  • $229 plus GST - One-day conference registration fee


Sponsorship Opportunities

There are sponsorship opportunities available for the Spring Conference.  Please download the 2017 Call for Sponsorship document for more information. 

Exhibitor Booths

Exhibitor Booths are also available separately at nonprofit and corporate rates:

  • Nonprofit rate: $300
  • Corporate rate: $450

(Lunch and refreshments included for one person)

For additional information on sponsorship and exhibitor booths, please contact Kari Boudreau at or (306)933-0616 ext. 239


  • 1A: Doing Our Best Work: 10 Ingredients of Quality Support - Peter Leidy

    May 10, 2017

  • 1B: Inclusive Education: Who, What, Where, When, Why?! - Shelley Moore

    May 10, 2017

  • 1C: Person Centred Journey - Michael Lavis and Dixie Kennedy

    May 10, 2017

  • 1D: The Respectful Workplace - Lisa Chavady

    May 10, 2017

  • 2A: There's an App for That: Supporting Communication via Tablet Technology - Dr. Brenda Fossett

    May 10, 2017

  • 2B: Inclusive Education: Getting to Know Learners from a Strength-Based Perspective - Shelley Moore

    May 10, 2017

  • 2C: Building Blocks Program - Becky McLeod and Dan Innes

    May 10, 2017

  • 2D: Safety When Working Alone - Lisa Chavady

    May 10, 2017

  • 5A: Supporting People Experiencing Disability Navigate Through Grief and Loss - Cheryl Bucar

    May 11, 2017

  • 5C: Customized Employment - What It Is and Why We Need It - Beth Keeton

    May 11, 2017

  • 5D: Balancing Priorities: Maintaining Mental Health in our Personal and Professional Lives - Rachelle Brockman

    May 11, 2017

  • 3A: There's an App for That: Supporting Communication via Tablet Technology - Dr. Brenda Fossett

    May 11, 2017

  • 3B: Hearing Voices That are Distressing - Annette Borrows

    May 11, 2017

  • 3C: Customized Employment - What It Is and Why We Need It - Beth Keeton

    May 11, 2017

  • 3D: Unlocking the Unique Power of Misunderstood People with Mental Health Challenges and Disabilities - Brett Francis

    May 11, 2017

  • 4A: Supporting People Experiencing Disability Navigate Through Grief and Loss - Cheryl Bucar

    May 11, 2017

  • 4B: We're All In This Together: Staying Focused on the Person in Challenging Times - Peter Leidy

    May 11, 2017

  • 4C: Customized Employment and Transition - Beth Keeton

    May 11, 2017

  • 4D: What is your Definition of Safety? - Eldeen Pozniak

    May 11, 2017

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