Community Participation

Shifting from Building-Based Supports to Direct Community Participation and Inclusion

Empower Simcoe’s Community Support Services (CSS) is pleased to announce the shift from building based supports to direct community participation and inclusion. This will be achieved by the continued development of cohorts (groups of 3 – 4 people participating in common interests, facilitated by an Empower Simcoe employee). Cohorts and activities continue to be created and added based on the interest of people receiving services, in addition to exploring new experiences of interest.

Community Participation

Community Support Services will no longer operate specific hours of 8:30am to 4:30pm from its 40 Fraser Court, Barrie and 4 King Street, Orillia buildings. Hours for participation will now be determined by the activity/event, occurring directly within our community including early morning, evenings or weekends.

“Empower Simcoe’s vision for developmental service reform is one where people with developmental disabilities are able to thrive and participate fully in their communities,” says Claudine Cousins, Empower Simcoe CEO. “Our goal is to continue to reduce barriers and improve services to help people with developmental disabilities live more inclusive lives, strengthening the philosophy of Community and Person-Directed Services. It also ensures our Community Support Services program is a community-based option for adults with developmental disabilities.”

During the Covid-19 pandemic, virtual services were well received by adults with an intellectual disability living at home with their natural families. Moving forward, a hybrid of both virtual services and community cohorts will be offered. Additionally, Empower Simcoe’s Community Support Services program, will continue to offer support to adults with an intellectual disability who are interested in exploring volunteer and employment opportunities in the community.