Community Living Upper Ottawa Valley894 Pembroke Street West
Pembroke, Ontario K8A 5P8
Phone: 613-735-0659
Fax: 613-735-1373

Inclusion Ambassadors

Introducing the Inclusion Ambassadors!

A group of self-advocates, previously known as the Speakers' Bureau, started meeting in the spring of 2005. Their goal: to raise awareness and encourage community engagement for people with disabilities. 

Almost 20 years later, their commitment remains. Membership has grown and changed over the years, but their values remain the same. The previous Speakers' Bureau is now thrilled to announce the change of their group's name to the Inclusion Ambassadors!

Inspiring Inclusion

At CLUOV, the Incusion Ambassadors contribute to the vision, mission and values of the organization. They assist with orientation and employee training, consultation on strategic planning, and the development of communication strategies. 

The Community Living Inclusion Ambassadors are available for speaking engagements at your community club, classroom, event or organizational meeting, Our speakers deliver their own, personal stories, that will leave you feeling inspired.

Meet The Members

Gayle Cayen
Hi, my name is Gayle Cayen. I am a self-advocate. I joined the Speakers' Bureau to get my story out to my community. Speakers' Bureau has helped me find my voice and believe in myself. I advocate for inclusion and rights! Speakers' Bureau has helped me find my purpose. I enjoy meeting new people. I enjoy being part of my community. The Speakers' Bureau also allows me to enhance my skills and have specialized training. 


Jennifer Holohan
My name is Jennifer Holohan I am a self-advocate. The Speakers' Bureau is important to me because we learn about things that are going on within the community. My input is valued. I have the confidence to speak for myself and others. My husband Richard and I have been advocating for others since 2008. I enjoy volunteering my time to the community to help make it a better place. We always try to emphasize the Golden Rule and educate people to the best of our abilities to prevent bullying in all its forms. The Speakers' Bureau promotes inclusion which is also important to me. _________________________________________________

Kyle Croft
My name is Kyle Croft. I am a self-advocate. The Speakers' Bureau gives me skills, confidence and opportunities to advocate for myself and others in all parts of life. The group provides me with a chance to share information and offers me educational opportunities. I like to speak and have my voice heard on committees. I like to be part of committees and go to conferences. They have interesting topics and I get to meet other people who have common goals and interests. Speakers' Bureau lets people know about accessibility, bullying, neglect and to treat others with respect. It's important to teach people with disabilities their rights and what it means to be respected. __________________________________________

Jeff Shand
My name is Jeff Shand. I am a self-advocate. The Speakers' Bureau is important to me because we talk about things that are important to us; things we want to share with others and the community. Having choices are very important to me - choosing where I live, where I work and spend my free time. I also want to help others achieve their goals. I live independently in the community, support myself and my partner financially. People of Community Living want to be treated as a normal person, not as a person with a disability. Like anyone else we want to be included in the community and treated the same as everyone else. It’s important that you see the person and not the disability. ________________________________________

Kyle Lamarche
My name is Kyle Lamarche and I am a self-advocate. The Speakers' Bureau is important to me because it helps me meet people with similar interests and goals like advocacy, rights, equality and fairness. The right to employment and an inclusive work environment are very important to me. I am employed by our local Hyundai and the new Mitsubishi dealerships. Getting paid a competitive wage is important to me because not everyone is given the same opportunity. I hope to help others reach their goals while achieving my own. ____________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________

Melissa Hoffman
My name is Melissa Hoffman. I am a self-advocate. Being a member of the Speakers' Bureau is important to me because it has taught me how to stand up for myself, how to advocate for my rights and how to stand up against bullying. Speakers' Bureau helps give me confidence. The group also helps me make friends who share common interests and beliefs; it gives me purpose. Advocacy is important to me because it lets me educate the public on rights, bullying and respecting individuals regardless of difference.  _____________________________________________________

Raina Flexhaug
My name is Raina Flexhaug. I am a self-advocate. Our Speakers' Bureau helped me find my own voice; to speak up for myself and others while learning what’s important to me. I don’t need my parents or worker to speak on my behalf. I am a capable individual. No one should be excluded based on their differences. Speakers' Bureau gives me the chance to go to conferences where I learn how to communicate and network with other people. It allows me to talk about my dreams and the importance of achieving them. Speakers' Bureau has also supported and provided an opportunity to join the Council of Community Living Ontario where I can advocate for myself and others on a provincial level. Advocacy is important to me because it shows the community that people with disabilities have dreams and specific skills. It’s important that we do not set limits on people. Instead, we work together to find opportunities, accommodate people’s differences and learn to welcome everyone into the community. I believe breaking down barriers, inspiring possibilities and thinking outside the box is important to advocate.  ________________________________________

Richard Holohan

My name is Richard Holohan, I am a self-advocate. The Speakers' Bureau is important to me because I am part of a group that works for the well-being of others. I enjoy being involved in my community, sharing my ideas and helping to make it a better place to live. I live independently in the community with my spouse and best friend Jennifer and because of our presence in the community we have been able to address and help fix issues that people with mobility concerns may face. ___________ _____________________________________________

Travis Richards
I joined the Speakers' Bureau after being invited to be a guest speaker. I also joined because I wanted the opportunity to be part of the Pembroke self-advocate committee. In working with the Speakers' Bureau, I have made connections, professional contacts and friends that will last me a long time. I am so thankful for the opportunities that Speakers' Bureau has presented to me, and continues to provide. ______________________________________________


Jill Davidson

My name is Jill Davidson and I am a self-advocate. I joined the Speakers' Bureau to learn about important issues and to meet new people.

It’s important that we are all given the same chance to learn, take a risk and have the same education as others.




Book The Ambassadors!

To book your speaker, contact Connie Edwards
Phone: 613-735-0659

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