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Friday August 5th, 2011

Posted at 11:15am

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The group Ensemble, with the help of Community Living, held their My Life, My Decisions workshop, Thursday August 4th at the Community Living Essex building on Talbot Street North. This was the second time they’ve done the workshop this summer.  My Life, My Decisions is a day workshop for teens and young adults with a disability, to help them plan for the future.

The purpose of the workshop is to allow the participants to openly speak about their goals, dreams, and apprehensions of the future.  The workshop uses exercises as a way for individuals to begin to look at tools and strategies that will help them plan ahead.  The topics of discussion range from everything such as hobbies, money, family and friends, to how to make social connections and actions that will help them towards their goal.

The setting allows the participants to actively think about what they wish to do as they enter adult life, and what steps to take to succeed.  Whether that means continuing school, getting a job, volunteer work, maintaining meaningful relationships or gaining independence.

Ensemble is a parent-directed, grass roots organization. Their mission is to support and empower families that have children with a developmental disability. They provide information, parent to parent support, community partnership and other very important activities. Ensemble is guided by an advisory committee that is currently a team of two parent consultants, Lisa Raffoul and Jackie Barraco, who carry out the ongoing and daily activities.

The next big event for Ensemble will be their annual Windsor Essex Talent Showcase which help raise money for summer support programs, such as the My Life, My Decisions workshop.  Raffoul said “It’s important to get to know your goals, ideas and dream so that you can put them into action!”  The workshop lets individuals think about what kind of life they want to lead, and the decisions they can make to create it.

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