BY: Roderick Benns
DATE: Thursday, October 16, 2003

certificatepresentatino[1]Community Living Campbellford/Brighton has received its second three-year accreditation with distinction, achieving a Canadian first along the way. An Accreditation with Distinction is reserved for those few organizations that demonstrate leadership in the field, person-by-person accountability and the highest standards, according to Accreditation Ontario.

As the first agency in Canada to achieve this recognition of superior-quality supports and services for people with intellectual disabilities, the association is clearly on the leading edge of service delivery towards achieving personal outcomes for people. “This has got to be assuring for families,” enthuses Chris Grayson, executive director for the association, after a conference held to announce the accreditation.

From Oct. 6-8 the association underwent the process with a team of external reviewers from Accreditation Ontario, and a guest from the American agency The Council on Quality and Leadership. Over the three-day period, the external reviewers interviewed people receiving services and met with staff to examine the agency’s accomplishments and challenges towards achieving personal outcomes.

“This organization is very healthy and is based on everyone contributing. When you see this kind of passion at work, it is amazing. Holly Morrison (from The Council on Quality and Leadership) told us we’ve got social capital beyond anything she has ever witnessed in her travels,” says Chris.

Chris says the association is truly connected at a community level, with plenty of relationships to draw from. “And we owe our community for supporting that.”The executive director says the Self-Advocate group ACE (Advocates for Community Education) deserves a lot of credit, given that they have been out in the community “breaking down our barriers.” Chris says ACE has completed 85 public presentations since 2000.

With the new Liberal MPP on hand for the presentation, Lou Rinaldi, Chris says the association took the opportunity to ask him for his support in getting an early meeting with whomever the new Minister of Community, Family and Children’s services might be. The thinking, says Chris, is to show the new minister a strong model for meeting personal outcomes that could be used as a province-wide example for other associations.

As far as sharing successes goes, Chris says Community Living Campbellford/Brighton has been achieving that formally for years. Since 2000, with the implementation of
“The Staff Exchange” program between associations, many things have been shared to facilitate duplicating successes. These include job descriptions, policies and procedures and whatever else it takes to help an organization grow and meet its Personal Outcome measurements.