Spring 2017 WithinReach Newsletter
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WithinReach Spring 2017

Purple flowers
Scotiabank Charity Challenge Photo collage: Start line, medalists and excited runners.

Run for Reach at Ottawa Race Weekend

Help Reach achieve our goal of raising $7500! Sign up for any of the events during Ottawa Race Weekend and register as a fundraiser for Reach. Prizes awarded to the first 50 participants who register to fund raise for Reach as well as to the top three fundraisers and top fundraising team. For more information, visit or click here to view the Reach fundraising page.

Not interested in running? You can still help! Click here to support Reach at this event.

Upcoming Educational Seminars


Invisible Disabilities: Addictions in the Workplace

Tuesday April 25 at  11am to 1pm (bring your own lunch, refreshments available)
Location: 601 Cumberland | Ottawa | K1N 6N5, second floor above Café Nostalgica. Fully Accessible.
Psychologist Matthew Rippeyoung will discuss the shift in how substance use and abuse is conceptualized, the variety of treatment approaches, how to support a person struggling with substance use and information about local treatment options.

Lawyer and partner at Jewitt McLuckie & Associates Randy Slepchik will present the legal framework behind addiction issues in the workplace and entitlement to disability benefits. This will engage employment law, labour law, human rights law (the duty to accommodate) and insurance law. 

Randy Slepchik will speak about the best practices and strategies for assisting employees with disabilities whether as their lawyer or when assisting a colleague in the workplace will also be addressed.

Best practices and strategies for assisting employees with disabilities whether as their lawyer or when assisting a colleague in the workplace will also be addressed.

This program contains  2  Professionalism Hour(s).

Caring for a Loved One with an Eating Disorder or Suspected Eating Disorder – What to Look for, How to Respond

Tuesday May 16, 2017, 7pm-9pm
Canterbury High School, 900 Canterbury Ave, Ottawa, ON K1G 3C3

Dr. Hien Nguyen, C.Psych. and  Dr. Sarah Jane Norwood, C.Psych., Anchor Psychological Services are both registered psychologists with the College of Psychologists of Ontario having completed their predoctoral residency at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario.

Dr. Nguyen has worked and trained at community-based mental health centres, university clinics, and tertiary care hospitals. She has extensive experience working with children and adolescents from diverse backgrounds, across various age groups and presenting with a wide range of clinical, learning, and developmental difficulties.

Over the course of her training, Dr. Norwood has gained experience providing psychological services to children, youth, and families in hospital and community mental health settings. She has also co-authored numerous publications in peer-reviewed journals and has presented her research on body image, eating disorders, and emotion regulation at several international conferences.


Take a peek at our photos on our Photo Gallery of the latest Reach events such as Jamming for Justice Presented by RavenLaw held on March 22nd. Jamming for Justice featured local musician CRAIG CARDIFF, a fantastic folk singer/guitarist, and local band CHERIE, featuring incredible vocals by Child accompanied by wonderful musicians Jeff Gleeson, John Pinck and Jimmy Major. 

In February, we were the honoured charity at the annual Ottawa Diplomatic Association Gala held at Hotel Lac Leamy in Gatineau. Reach’s Honorary Chairperson, The Honourable John D. Richard, whose active support these past years has meant a great deal to all of us at Reach, shared the mission and mandate of Reach services with the audience. Over 200 guests including Ambassadors, High Commissioners, Dignitaries and members of the business and legal sectors of the region were present.

Reach is working hard at recruiting Runners and Fund-Run-raisers for the Ottawa Race Weekend. As a self-funded organization, we are thrilled that Reach is part of the Scotiabank Charity Challenge on Saturday and Sunday May 27 and 28, 2017!

ANNUAL REACH AUCTION is scheduled for Wednesday November 1 so please mark that in your calendar. It will be held at the St. Elias Centre and deliciously catered by its staff. Watch out for early bird special tickets which will be available online at 

Reach staff and volunteers continue to work and play together through these remaining wintry days. It is through your support, both as volunteers and as donors, that we have managed to enter our 36th year as a totally self-funded and charitable non-profit organization. We owe thanks to our dedicated Board President Frank McNally, and our Honorary Chairpersons and Board members.  Special thanks to the energy and enthusiasm of Reach’s co-founder Ernest Tannis who is currently being featured on our website. We are powered by all our volunteers who assist with office duties, events and with our educational seminars. We are most grateful to the 160+ lawyers, including mediators, and the law students who manage our client intakes and referrals. Thank you to the community organizations and health care providers who consider us a valuable service for their clients and members. We hope everyone has a happy spring and summer!
Joanne Silkauskas, Executive Director

Summer Camps

Reach has compiled an extensive list of summer day and overnight camps for children, teens and adults with special needs in the Ottawa/ Outaouais regions. There is a great variety of camp activities and programs available for individuals with learning disabilities, physical disabilities, ADD, Autism and others. Please see our website under "Resources" or click here for more information.
Complied by Paige Burnham, uOttawa Law Student
Reach Annual Auction

Save the Date:
Reach Annual Auction will be held November 1, 2017

Jamming for Justice Banner
On March 22 at Cafe Nostalgica Reach held Jamming for Justice Presented by Ravenlaw which included captivating performances from Cherie and Craig Cardiff. Reach would like to thank our wonderful sponsors and performers. Visit our website for more photos from the event.
Reach Co-Founder Ernest Tannis with emcee David Yazbeck
Craig Cardiff
Written by Cara Bally, uOttawa Law Student
Reach is proud to announce its participation in the Federal Government initiative to develop legislation to increase inclusion, participation and equality of opportunity for all Canadians.  This initiative, under direction from Prime Minister Trudeau and led by the Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities, the Honourable Carla Qualtrough, aims to support this goal by encouraging organizations to seek feedback and recommendations from Canadians with Disabilities. Reach joined 30 non-profit disability-related organizations to form  the “Canadian Access and Inclusion Project” (“CAIP”). Organizations involved in CAIP reached out to people across Canada to hear about their disability related struggles, barriers, and solutions.  Reach noted the communities’ suggestions of how we can make Canada accessible and inclusive for all people.  
Throughout January,  Reach held public community forums to gather information on barriers and ideas on how to improve access and inclusion for all people in Canada.  Specifically,  Reach gathered and presented feedback from four distinct and diverse interested parties: Reach clients, individuals and families with members who live with Eating Disorders, Autism Spectrum Disorder, and Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder. 
Our participants have provided invaluable information regarding three questions: (1) what they think prevents Canada from being a fully accessible and inclusive society, (2) what needs to change to make Canada more accessible and inclusive, and (3) what specifically  would they would like to see in the new legislation to improve accessibility and inclusion.
The information has been shared with the Canadian Government.  A Consultation Report will be available by end of March 2017; please visit to learn more and review the report reflecting views from across Canada.

Ottawa Diplomatic Association Ball

Reach is thrilled to announce that we were the charity recipient of this year's Ottawa Diplomatic Association Ball! This prestigious black-tie event was held on February 13, 2017 at the Hilton Lac Leamy in Gatineau. In attendance from Reach were Board Members Frank McNally, Chantelle Bowers, Lucille Marleau, Tara-Marie Andronek, Ernest Tannis, and Reach Hon. Chair, former Chief Justice of the Federal Court of Appeal, John D. Richard. Reach would like to send our sincerest thanks to the ODA, particularly to the Embassy of Honduras and the High Commission for  Jamaica for this tremendous opportunity and experience!
ODA Ball The Honorable John D Richard
2016: A Year in Review
Written by Kodie Veenstra, uOttawa Law Student
2016 proved to be a busy year for Reach. Along with our fundraising events, such as the Run for Reach and Reach Celebrity Auction, we were able to serve 349 clients throughout the year. This is an increase from the 306 clients served throughout 2015. Throughout 2016 we successfully referred the vast majority of our clients to lawyers, mediators, or community organizations. This was accomplished with the help of over 150 volunteer lawyers and community mediators, a law articling student, law graduates and pro bono law students from the University of Ottawa. 
The diverse range of practice areas of our volunteer lawyers helped us assist clients with a wide range of legal issues. Clients most frequently sought assistance with matters relating to Wills, Estates, and Powers of Attorney as well as Disability Law. Taken together those seeking legal services in these two areas comprised approximately one-quarter of our clientele in 2016. The high number of cases in these areas coincides with the aging demographics in Canadian society. Other common areas of law in which our clients requested legal assistance included Civil Litigation, Family Law, Employment Law and Human Rights.
Reach uses this information to determine where increased support is needed in the community and to assist in our recruitment of new lawyers and mediators for our roster. In addition, we use this information to plan our educational programs that we hold throughout the year. For example, within a 12-month period, Reach facilitated two evening educational seminars on Wills, Estates, and Powers of Attorney due to the high demand for assistance in these areas.
Reach is always looking to grow our roster of lawyers and mediators to help us provide legal services to our growing clientele. We ask that our volunteers provide up to three hours of pro bono legal services per client no more than once every three /four months. If you are interested in joining our roster, please click here to complete a Legal Referral Volunteer Registration Form.
Copyright © 2017 Reach Canada, All rights reserved.

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