NSSSA Minutes from:

Provincial Inclusion Committee Meeting


Location of Meeting: StFX University, Rosaria Building, Room 404.

Time of Commencement: 18:15
Time of Adjournment: 20:07
Duration: One hour and fifty two minutes.


Present voting members: Micci Davy, Christina Nickerson, Courtney Barkhouse, Joy Hannam, Colbee Porter, Adrienne Munroe, Ciara Harris, Taryn Hanrahan.

Present Non-voting members: Megan Soley, Molly Anderson, Robyn Metcalfe, Cath Densmore.

Regrets: Abbie Cull, Bronwyn Heighton, Matt Walsh, Maddie Tennant, Emily Saulnier, Alexandra Hannam, James Grant, Ellen Legge, Connor Mckiggin, Maggie Macneil, Meagan Kettley, Jillian Ryan, Emma Miller


Molly Anderson: This is a debrief of the conference, of the year, and the committee. Since this is a debrief of conference a reminder of the 8 key concepts as well. This provides insight and advice for future years, with constructive feedback.

Apples and Onions:

Christina; Apple: Getting ready for conference and bonding as a committee. Onion: Circumstances of work to rule.

Micci; Apple: No major issues at conference, it was well prepared.
Onion: Wished the plan for promo was a bit stronger and with a bigger push given more time.

Adrienne; Apple: Working with her partner and the committee. Onion: More stuff and info in the delegate manual found sooner.

Courtney; Apple: Seeing all the delegates coming in and the conference coming together. Onion: Not starting soon enough in promo.

Robyn; Apple: Being on time, and working hard together as a committee despite work to rule. Onion: No onion, all apples.

Megan Soley; Apple: Kept alumni positions like the ones held by Matt and Cath.
Onion: Did not get to do advisor things with the advisors, no like mini- info sessions etc due to the circumstances.

Ciara; Apple: Everyone was engaged and involved.
Onion: When some of the engagement sessions had a mix up in calls .

Cath; Apple: Loving her partners and how good they were to work with . Onion: None.

Colbee; Apple: Seeing the welcoming activity play out, and become real seeing smiles . Onion: Getting yarn for fuzzies.

Joy; Apple: Seeing how everyone worked cohesively in terms of the conference, delegates, committee and more.
Onion: No onion.

Maddie; Apple: Seeing all the excited delegates. Onion: The closing ceremonies.

Bronwyn; Apple: Talent show .
Onion: All the extra time, awkward dancing moments at the last minute.

Matt: Providing insight in terms of the disability community Onion: Onions have layers, like ogres do.

Conference things that what went well

Christina: Putting the opportunities fair first and enabling for the opportunity for people to explore booths during the welcoming activity.

Courtney: Colouring pages

Micci: Conference was laid back and no one was really stressed out, wasn’t a stressed go, go, go environment.

Megan: Happy that is happened.

Christina: Good and motivated committee members despite circumstances and well developed skill building groups in terms of numbers.

Ciara: Started really early on the work for the position of public relations

Matt: Everything thing went well as a WENDY.

Christina and Micci: Adding the DA option for the other forms on the different conference and regions, got a congratulatory message from a principal. Having a DA option made the opportunity to go to regional conference more known and enabled delegates who wanted assistance a way thrive in an environment with students from their school.

Ellen: Registering people in the morning went well for the 3-tions
Megan: Multiple speakers kept people engaged, and the speakers all had something different and meaningful to say.

Taryn: Music after the speakers like the chicken dance, etc, went well for improvising things unexpectedly.

Megan: Incorporate more alumni in various roles in the conference though things like being a logistics member.

Christina: Epic went well also.

Suggestion: Provide back-pocket activities.

Conference things that did not go as well

Courtney: Did not have the Lockview Advisor for the conference, scrambled to find one, one way to solve this was to have a back-up advisor until one from the school came.

Ciara: Scheduling with the head set as there was an overlap with skill building chair using it, solved by creating new signs and communication quest with other PR.

Megan: Atmosphere as observed groups of people, from same school, or cabinet/committee, and when doing like a signature dance the delegates could’t follow as it was not taught to them, was unintentionally less inclusive. People clumped together more than just getting the Delegates to interact with each other. Would of been good to bring in speakers etc, at the SB retreat, to have people come in with like “whats it like to live with ______ disability”.

Micci: Mandatory to have Provincial cabinet members required to go the IC conference as Inclusion Conference ideally should not be a forced/reluctant thing.

Ellen: Payment for IC conference like missing cheques / missing forms, and payment handed in late, something to work on for next year to have a proper cutoff date.

Megan/Micci: Want people to have the opportunity to give everyone the chance to go. Taryn: Wished to have more people at the conference ROOTS, 2017.

Christina: Location of the conference was not the original vision but worked out in the end, the location was mainly dependant on the situation with the work to rule.

Micci: Opportunities fair and people not knowing what it was initially, would of been good at the retreat for people to be briefed on what was available during the welcoming activities, like the photo booth etc.

Taryn: Solution to that could be to have a stamp/sticker that could work like a post card/map idea, maybe could work for inclusion, have like prompt questionnaire, bingo etc.

Megan: Games in the EPIC were with a lot of of fine motor skills, but some may of struggled with it so having more adaptations available.

Adrianne: How click-y it can get at the conference, recommendation for next year to make things less click-y is to incorporate it with the skill builders in the retreat, and how the conference is about the delegates and creating bonds with them and each other.

Improvements:Encourage group socialization etc, so that delegates may not feel no so left out, and do things like actively showing the moves to dances that other groups made up. Encourage the delegate assistants and delegates to be part of the talent show together. Hand pick the logistics and incorporate the alumni to be part of the conference, instead of say having first time Inclusion conference members. Past delegates to show/tell of what they wanted to see in a delegate assistant partner at like a skill building retreat.

Micci and Christina: Conference specific things like not knowing that that how to’s session were not going to happen. In contrast liked how the engagement session was engaging, like the one on

MHFA at the retreat and helps how to show that if one listens and hears what people are saying and what they mean they are engaging rather than say underestimating one’s ability.

Taryn: Chicken dance was inclusive, and music is good for everyone. Playlist of music for next conference.

Suggestion: Redefine the skill building retreat, to fine tune so that the SB and DA’s know what to do and important info to pass on. DA and SB have more experience and knowledge about the inclusion conference so that they can seriously teach/ be taught skills that they can use at the conference.

Interactive experience and options like therapeutic dogs available to Delegates, or even the therapeutic clown, “Cleve” who works in at the IWK and creates a interactive, positive, and engaging atmosphere.

Committee specific things that could be improved

Taryn: PR’s got delegate bags, etc and difficult find things to put in the bags, upon reflection maybe not assume as much

Christina: Couple few months where all the committee was silent with the work to rule, hard to keep everyone ready and set to go, but this was due tot the uncertainly which contributed to the unconnected feeling.

Micci: Meetings and having the majority of members be able to go to the meetings, and lost of communications in that regard to not seeing some of the members.

Suggestion by Megan: Committees could have a committee retreat/committee bonding experience to bring them together, in the January months. Things like the retreat in August with other people on the regional cabinet had to be split up.

Communication (Courtney): Struggling of when to have things sent out and have more a definitive outline for things to do in advance.

Conference touring: May suggest to have people go like the co-chairs to represent the conference more, apply that same idea to learning centres because phone calls and email can get lost in translation. This allows for parents to gain info and if they are unsure of the organization it enables people to know more and put names to faces. Although since work to rule people were more hesitant in being a part of extra-circulars.

Ciara: Could have had a couple more meetings. Taryn: More one on one time with the delegates

Megan in regards to the retreat: Put people in a mind set of games and actives available at the Inclusion conference and ways to modifying etc and being in a more inclusive mindset.

Improvement: Getting turnover packages for the new committee, to allow new members to learn and grow. Have more position based on calls, and a check up on the individuals

Date for Turnover Package:

Time lines, communication within schools and committee, and keeping people in the Inclusion mindset.

Things went well on the committee:

PR: Split the work load, equal out for the partner work, each have a specific roles

Courtney :Questions were answered right away, in regards to combinations and the things were done in December

First aid: Was done well, last year the first aid was unsuccessful and had a little hiccup, James Grant came through, and in the past years the team was not as experienced and were people who had basic first aid. To improve: should have someone in specialized training of two genders for more personal things and finding a diverse team, medical jobs, paramedic, nurse, CCA, etc.

In general: Criminal records check, and having people of the age to get checks for the comfort of the parent and of the overall experience. Have more of the alumni in inclusion specific positions like logistics. Continue to expand the inclusion mindset, and revamp the first aid kit with wipes.

Delegate Assistants: Delegate assistant requirement on the regional forms worked well, but finding DA’s was a little bit of a challenge. Prior to conference, there could be a DA universal manual that is good for the people to use for regional co-premiers there could be a list of organizations like best buddies, Special Olympics that can help with that and become DA’s. Ie liaison with the DA chair that can coordinate with each region, and pair with people who need a DA.

PC mandatory: Provincial Cabinet to attend the inclusion conference, it become a matter of payment and loss of profit. Since PC members are not paying to go to the conference, and there could be people who feel uncomfortable, and could be feeling forced to come and in previous years people had to be turned away that were not on PC even though some PC members didn’t want/need to be there.

Retreat and conference: The CC-co-chairs at the inclusion conference were there but were meeting about the conference committee things rather than being fully immersed in the inclusion conference experience.

PROMO: Have more face to face contact, have people go to best buddies activities and be part of the high school and advertise to ‘you and your buddy can come to conference’ type deal. Talk to learning centre and Best Buddies, and explain the role in leadership and inclusion, provide comfort to the delegates and to hesitant parents. Be more aggressive with the IC Promo.

Reflection: Advice to give to next person in holding you positions, personal skill gained

from your positions

Taryn: PR
Advice: Try face to face contact, and responding will become more likely. Skill: Phoning people.
Ciara: PR

Advice: Learn how to be persistent Skill: Learned how to problem solve fast

Courtney: Communications
Advice: Get all the emails done early, have all info written out do it can be sent right away with out question, learn how to handle when someone says no
Skill: Speaking on the phone and building tolerance etc.

Colbee: Welcoming Co-chair
Advice: Have back up plans and time goes by quick
Skill: Learned how to be more assertive in everyday life
Adrienne: Welcoming Co-chair
Advice: Start early, and be proactive
Skill: Learned time management and how to balance different commitments

Joy: Secretary
Advice: Learn how to annotate Skill: Became a fast typer

Micci:IC Co-Chair
Advice: Create a timeline of things like venue, food etc, and what else needs to be done.
Skill: Developed total inclusivity, and how thing cans be accessible for more opportunities on cabinets and other conferences
Christina: IC Co-Chair
Advice: Not just ‘you’ anymore, like positional based, but also helping everyone out and being able to oversee how things will happen. Do things as soon as one can, and communicate and keep contact with other co-chair. Also learned about the money. Fun and worth it in the end. Skill: Gained time management, and getting things done when they needed to be done and having a back up plan, and ‘working with your situation and making the best out of what you are given.’

Robyn: Chaps:
Advice: Start early, and enable alumni to volunteer for various positions.

Cath: Had fun

Maddie: PR Promo
Skill: Learned how to have a professional phone conversation

Ciara motioned to adjourn the meeting 20:07 Taryn Hanrahan seconded said motion