South East Grey Support Services Mission Statement
South-East Grey Support Services will strive to build inclusive citizenship in diverse communities. We will facilitate and nurture family and natural community connections and relationships. We will be creative, welcoming and responsive to ongoing change.
We seek to inspire personal development through empowerment and choice, based on our philosophy of individualized supports; guided by the principles of respect, dignity, equality and the inherent rights of all citizens.
- Individualized Services
- Recognizing Abilities
- Independent Living
- Community Involvement
‘Being creative, embracing change, valuing diversity and inclusion.’
ADDRESSING THE NEEDS OF THE INDIVIDUAL AND PLANTING THE SEEDS FOR AN INCLUSIVE FUTURE
South-East Grey Support Services supports adults with a developmental disability. We develop an individualized support system that includes the individual, his or her family, a community team coordinator, direct service workers, friends, and other community members. Individuals are key decision makers in the type of service they receive. Individuals are advised during their decision-making of the principle of the 'Dignity of Risk' and are supported by SEGSS to make the best decision possible.
“Let's make a difference!”
Team members commonly support individuals through one-to-one activities to provide assistance around such things as personal finances, independent living, employment opportunities and social/recreational events. Let’s make a difference!
60 Years of Service 1961-2021
Fifty nine years ago, children with developmental disabilities were not accepted into the public school system. Concerned parents and citizens developed ‘The Dundalk Association for Mentally Retarded Children’, as a place where children with developmental disabilities could attend and receive an education. The classes initially were in the Dundalk Town Hall and were soon moved to a one room school, called “Happy Heights”, that was located in Proton Station, Ontario.
In 1967, members of ‘The Dundalk Association’ travelled to Ottawa to participate in a parade that encouraged bringing people with developmental disabilities into full citizenship. As a follow up to this, on December 20, 1971 the ‘Declaration on the Rights of Mentally Retarded Persons’ was affirmed, giving people with developmental disabilities equal rights.
In 1974, the Association purchased the Markdale Community Centre. After renovations, the building opened as the Adult Rehabilitation Center - a sheltered workshop where adults would attend day programs for employment and life skills training. Around the same time, the Association also set up a supervised group home on Eliza Street in Markdale, Ontario, and changed its name to ‘South-East Grey Association for the Mentally Retarded’. A few years later, the Association changed its name to what we now know it as, South-East Grey Support Services (SEGSS).
An extensive review in 1985 recommended developing a new philosophy that was based on individualized planning, and focused on helping individuals gain control over their own lives, by making more decisions about where they live, who they live with, who supports them, and how they are involved in their communities. At this time, SEGSS also introduced a Family Support Service and an Infant Development Program. The supervised group home was closed!
In 1991, South-East Grey Non-Profit Homes was established, providing the individuals supported, and community members, with safe, secure and affordable housing options. A year later, the Ride-On Transportation Services was established, to address the needs of people in the community with mobility issues. In 1993, the Adult Rehabilitation Workshop was closed and the Alternate Learning Program was introduced in partnership with the Grey County Board of Education. Just a year later, provincial facilities built mainly for individuals with developmental disabilities started to close, and long term residents of institutions were placed in the care of community service providers like South-East Grey Support Services.
In 1995, South-East Grey Support Services was the recipient of the James Montgomerie Community Award and the CMCS Award of Merit for excellence in supporting people with developmental disabilities to become contributing members of their communities. South-East Grey Support Services was also awarded special ‘Innovation’ funding from the Ministry of Community and Social Services, to document how their philosophy and individualized supports benefited individuals by increasing choice and decision making in their lives. In 2013, an external Transportation Review recommended aligning our agency transportation with our individualized supports and the weekday transportation runs were replaced with a range of creative options.
Archie Dowker was the Executive Director from September 1978 to September 2010, and was instrumental in implementing many changes during this period. Maurice Voisin has been the Executive Director since 2010.
Through a dedicated Board of Directors, and staff committed to the philosophy, SEGSS has continued to be a leader in providing high quality supports in the field of Developmental Services.
South-East Grey Support Services, 2021
~Being creative, embracing change, valuing diversity and inclusion~