Resources Chosen and Created with Families for Families
Welcome to the My Home My Choice Resources page! Here you will find many resources that were created and/or shared by the My Home, My Choice initiative in Windsor and Essex County. Whether it’s finding out about creating a vision, taking a next step, knowing who to call, learning about different home options, understanding supported-decision making, independent facilitation, and more – there’s something here for all!
Scroll down to the topics you are interested in. Click on the blue title links for more info. Updates and new resources will be added from time to time. Take note that some resources may be out of date, especially when it comes to affordable housing programs. Take care to also go to government sources for such things. (We often update but you could be catching us in between.)
What you will find: On this page you will find themes, title/links and descriptions to documents that can help you think about a home option, and your involvement in ‘life’ in the future. Some documents share strategies that other families have used for visioning, for safety and/or for making things easier. Most of these documents were created by families for families. We hope you find them helpful!
Home is Where the Heart Is – About ‘Home’
There are many options for ‘home’ and ‘life’ to consider as one comes into their adulthood, and/or wants to make a change at any stage of life. Other considerations: being a good neighbour, helping others, and having a presence in everyday places. These are just some of the many different ways one can think about having a good life, or prepare for living on one’s own or with a roommate someday. It is all about making our home and everyday life our own!
Options for Thinking about My Home The type of home-setting that an individual might choose is often based on their natural relationships, who they feel comfortable with and their current stage of life. Check out the information in this friendly document to learn more about: 1/ What is ‘Home’? 2/ Home options to think about. 3) How you may want to live.
What Home Means to Us, Our Favourite Places and Spaces A PowerPoint co-created by people and families from Windsor-Essex. You will enjoy this PowerPoint, a collection of photos shared by a number of folks from Windsor and Essex County about home and what is important to them! Sometimes home is about how we decorate, a favourite room, posters on our walls, holiday celebrations, our neighbourhoods, a first home of our own and setting up the rooms just the way we like them. The collective sharing of pictures in this presentation bring richness to the concept of home! The type of home we live in is one piece of our life. Giving back, and participation in valued roles in life is also important. Together our home and being able to live life to the fullest by following our passions leads us to the everyday ordinary life we all strive for!
Contributions Neighbours Can Make to a Good Life Being connected in our neighbourhoods is important for each and every one of us. It gives us a sense of safety and security, and opportunities to give and receive help. Have you ever needed to borrow an egg? Have you ever lent your neighbour a tool or a ladder? Have you helped each other lift heavy things? No one is completely independent – we give and receive from others everyday. This is no different for our family members who live with disabilities: they need assistance at times, and they also need to give back. The short stories in this publication demonstrate the benefits of stepping out and asking for help, of having open communication, and of starting something new in the neighbourhood that others can benefit from. Intentional connections – with neighbours, acquaintances, retail staff, friends and others -are part of living a good life no matter what type of home one lives in! One goes hand in hand with the other. Let’s face it being totally independent for any of us is over rated!
Having a Vision for the Future – Small Goals and Big Dreams
When we think about a vision or a goal in life it can help to put it into pictures and words on a vision board. This can be done for a smaller goal, or for a bigger dream. Or we may do something all together different than create a vision board. We may choose to collect pictures and put them in a file folder. Some individuals have invited people they trust to a gathering, (with the help of an independent facilitator or other 3rd party) to think about their future. They explore a vision or dream together, set out some actions or next steps, and have it written and drawn on a large roll of paper. This section offers ideas that can work where ever ‘you are at’ on your journey. There is no right or wrong way to go about this. Most important is that ‘you’ are supported to think about and express your vision, and that those you care about listen and help you to get there – one step at a time.
Visions and Vision Boards PowerPoint, Feb. 2021 What is a vision board? A vision board is a collage of pictures, images, words, and affirmations of one’s dreams and desires created for clarity, inspiration and motivation. Sometimes it is about one thing in life, sometimes it includes various aspects of life. The concepts in this presentation were put together by a mother/daughter duo from Essex County. This PowerPoint offers a good start to thinking about a vision board and creating one. There are tips, steps, and examples to help you take-action.
Vision Board Possibilities for Home & Life Questions to ask yourself. If you want to create a vision board but don’t know for sure where to start, this handy sheet provides ideas about different areas of life. It has been taken from the PowerPoint above to make it easy. The questions listed here may lead you to something you are most interested in. Or the questions might help you think about something you have not thought about yet.
One Family’s Simple Steps for Making a Vision Board A one-page handout. Easy to follow steps listing the supplies you will need, and how to go about making your vision board. These steps have been taken from the PowerPoint presentation above and put on one sheet to make it easier. A good tip for all of us: once the vision board is complete, share it with others and put it up where you will see it often! This reminder will help us take actions!
Visions to Actions – An Infographic Everything cycles from the vision and back to the vision for a good life as an everyday citizen! This infographic was created with information shared by people and families who have told their stories as part of the My Home My Choice initiative in Windsor and Essex County, and others. Their common pathway cycled from an initial vision, ideas and deeper conversations to listening, more exploration and back again. Individuals and families say it is a process that evolves over a long period of time, through trial and error, opportunity and effort — as does life. Life for all of us, is every evolving and ever changing. Check out the infographic and see where you are on your journey!
Believing in Infinite Possibilities! A Home of My Own, Reaching My Goals as the Journey Continues A PowerPoint. One person’s vision and goals along the journey to home. Valued roles, rooms set-up just the way “I” want them, goals achieved, the visions expressed through pictures in a file folder – always a work in progress.
Actions You can Take
We will all have different starting points of next steps while on the journey toward our visions, goals or dreams. Below are a few examples for people at different stages in their lives. Choose what works for you!
What You Can Do – Taking a Next Step Great ideas for people living with a disability and their families who want to take a step forward for living an everyday life as a valued citizen. Start with one idea! Have you ever felt stuck? Have you wondered what to do next? Have you felt like the only thing to do is wait on a list? Are you just beginning your life as an adult? If you have said yes to any of these questions, consider choosing an idea from the pages in this document. Then, just go for it. It can work best to take things one step at a time. What you choose will depend on where you are in your life, what you have already tried, and what makes the most sense for you today, now.
Start Early: Connect with Developmental Services Ontario (DSO) Plan ahead before your family member turns 18 years old. You can start between 14 and 16 years of age. This is a one-page guide created for teenagers who are living with a developmental disability and their families. This sheet provides steps to take before turning 18. It is an easy to use sheet that provides pathways to eligibility and to applying for adult developmental services.
My Home, Focus on the Future – Options, Checklists and Information Many different things to think about come to life with this publication developed by a family leader with Windsor-Essex Family Network. It offers noteworthy information and check off lists to help you think of options and possibilities, and actions you may be interested in.
Who to Call in Windsor and Essex County
Thinking About the Future – Who to Call A quick list and description of resources and programs that support citizenship and community inclusion in Windsor & Essex County. Information about the following is included: affordable housing programs, direct/individualized funding for supports, health/personal care related supports, income support, independent facilitation, legal supports/tenancy rights, mediation support, planning for the future, volunteer trusteeship financial program, and work/employment supports
Affordable Renting: Who Does What in Windsor-Essex An information chart. This document provides names and descriptions about who does what regarding the implementation of affordable housing policies and programs in Windsor and Essex County in chart form. It includes who to call to apply for social housing and receive assessments for eligibility for other social housing programs such as the Canada-Ontario Housing Benefit (COHB).
Value of Independent Facilitation and Citizen-Ship A Poem. This wonderful poem was written by a leader and ally with the My Home My Choice initiative. It is an encouragement about the power of independent facilitation for people, families and their allies. The author’s source of inspiration were family leaders from Windsor-Essex Family Network.
Windsor-Essex Brokerage for Personal Supports A magazine style booklet about independent facilitation in Windsor-Essex. This booklet outlines the unique support provided through independent facilitation including real stories by people and families and some historical background. Included is a list of evaluations that were executed over a number of years on the success of this type of support. For more information go to their website: https://webps.ca/
Without a legal framework in Ontario for supported decision-making, we can still offer support for decision making with the people in our lives. People are best supported with their decisions by those who know them best – those who understand their ways of communicating, and their likes and dislikes. Everyone can express themselves somehow! We support choices by listening closely to what the person is expressing, and following their direction. Go to our VIDEOS & LINKS page for a better understanding and good information about Supported-Decision Making. Start with the 3 minute video called, Looking Differently at Disability and Decision Making.
To respect basic decision-making rights, we believe people can be supported to direct their own lives, including their vision and goals, choosing a home option, life passions and valued roles! We look forward to the day when a legal framework for supported decision-making is in place in Ontario. People, families and allies have been asking for new decision-making laws in this province for a very, very long time. To understand more about the current legal aspects facing us in Ontario see this resource: A Guide to Supported Decision-Making-The Basic Legal Concepts This three-fold brochure outlines legal information related to supported decision-making, including the limits of the law at this time in Ontario.
About Housing: Details to Know, More to Consider
A Tip Sheet About ODSP Income Support Amounts – Your Son or Daughter Lives in Your Home: Room & Board or Rent? A Tip Sheet. This tip sheet has been created to assist with understanding how the provincial government decides whether someone’s shelter amount is room and board or a rental amount.
Guide to Housing Trusts: Providing a Safe and Secure Future for your Loved Ones A three-fold brochure. This guide provides excellent information to guide your journey of putting a house in trust for someone you love.
My Home My Choice – Housing Options Information and Chart Detailed chart and explanations that outline six different home ownership/rental options for individuals living with disabilities within the context of the following considerations: personal supports, housing supports, impact on ODSP, legal decision-making, and sustainability and taxation.
Purchasing a Home, Renting or Renovating – Tips from Families
Technology and Home
Technology Presentation – A PowerPoint Developed by two sisters, leaders within Windsor-Essex Family Network, to share practical ideas for making life easier, and staying safe and ‘smart’ along the way. Although it was created in 2018, and more technology has come on the market it continues to be a popular download for creativity and ideas.
Family-to-Family Suggestions – Links to Technology A simple handout for ideas. Created a few years ago, this document continues to be helpful to families.
Check out the site, Enabling Technology
Showcasing products for people, families, friends & supporters.
To learn more about the My Home My Choice initiative in Windsor and Essex County (2010 to 2022) and our spin-off work, click the following links: