Abilities Voice: Michael Lifshitz

Thank you everyone who came, shared online, our awesome participants, to the families who came, to our sponsor, Helena Guzman Design; our director, Christina Ranieri; and our inspiring speaker, Michael Lifshitz. This was a great event!



Day camp reaches out to disabled Ottawans

Day camp reaches out to disabled Ottawans

Ottawa South News

ByErin McCracken

As a child struggling with learning disabilities, Christina Ranieri was told time and again that there was something wrong with her.

She didn’t listen to them, and is now counting down the days until she opens the door to her new summer day-camp program for children and adults with developmental disabilities.

It is the first program being offered through Ranieri’s non-profit organization, Christy’s Integration, Skills, Day program and Educational Programs for persons with disabilities.

CISDEP, as it is known, launched in December.

It allows the 27-year-old South Keys resident to pour her training as a developmental service worker into providing respite care for families.

“As a person with disabilities myself, I see what families go through,” Ranieri said. “Families are struggling.

“Governments put so much pressure on the families to be the main caregivers, but give so little funding for relief time that it starts to affect their own health,” she explained. “And then some felt they either have to give up their children to the system or they don’t know where to go.”

Aging parents pass away and their children – who are often grown up, but still can’t live on their own – end up in the care of various organizations.

“It’s happening so much,” Ranieri said. “And that was the main motivation to do CISDEP, because we have no waiting list.”

The summer camp takes place Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, July 7 to Aug. 15, from noon to 4 p.m., at Steve MacLean Public School in Riverside South. The cost is $60 per day.

Ranieri knows what it means to navigate life with a learning disability, and realize her dreams regardless of any challenges. In addition to having directional dyslexia, she also has attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Her career as an on-call relief worker for the Ottawa Carleton Association for Persons with Developmental Disabilities has given her some perspective on the needs of those she helps.

The waiting lists are long for families trying to access programs, Ranieri said, noting that families living on the outskirts have the added challenge of having to drive in to the city to access services.

Ranieri herself provides care-giving services to a number of people living on the fringes of Ottawa, where she said the need is the greatest, including Manotick, Kars, Osgoode, North Gower and Barrhaven.

“The issue is that there isn’t enough funding for programs,” Ranieri said.

Her own organization is so new that it must rely on fundraising.

She’s thankful for community minded people coming forward to volunteer their time to help raise money through music nights, bake sales and a board-game night. A garage sale and barbecue is planned for July 5. “We’ve had some success, but I’m actually the one paying for the rent (for the summer day camp),” she said.

Although just one person has signed up so far for summer-camp programming in July, and another four are signed up in August, Ranieri said she believes she’s making a difference one family at a time.

“My program makes sure the parents get a little relief time where they can go and do groceries and go and socialize and feel less stressed, that maybe they can keep their kids home longer, if need be.”

And unlike some developmental service workers who specialize in working with people with specific disabilities, Ranieri said she has experience working with people with different types of challenges, from autism, and learning disabilities such as attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder and attentiondefi cit disorder to cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy and Downs syndrome.

Ranieri said she also knows what it’s like being the primary caregiver of a loved one – her mother has Parkinson’s.

“Funding was even cut for my own mother’s care,” she said.

Summer day camp will be offered by Ranieri and two of her staff members for people ages 10 to 70. She chose such a wide age range because of a gap in services for people with developmental disabilities.

“A lot of them don’t have services after they graduate from high school. Their funding is drastically cut,” she explained. “We started at (age) 10 because that’s when the cuts start happening.”

Day-camp programming will include life-skills training, helping participants build a social network, fostering their independence, building self esteem and connecting them to recreational activities. Ranieri is also offering adult skills training and volunteer mentorship opportunities through her non-profit. “I just want to help people with disabilities reach their dream as well,” Ranieri said. “I want to inspire them to do better, to have jobs that they like that pay reasonable or to find friends.”

She said that while one day she hopes to run CISDEP full time, for now she’s passionate about helping participants in her program achieve their full potential.

“I can’t bear the thought of letting them down,” she said. “I know what they’re feeling.”

To celebrate the launch of CISDEP, and to help raise funds for programming, a barbecue and garage sale, featuring music, special guests and games, will be held on July 5, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., at 1250 Southwood Dr.

For more information about the organization, its summer day camp program or to volunteer, visit cisdep.org.


CISDEP LAUCH BBQ & GARAGE SALE July 5th at 10am- 5pm

 We had an awesome garage sale, raffle, BBQ, music, special guests and giant board games. Come on down and help support persons with disabilities within the rural areas.  Thank you to our sponsors, volunteers, the Southwood Dr community, special guest (Dylan Black), guest speaker (Michael Lifshitz) and Curtis Bulatovich. Thanks to you we are closer to our goal and we could not have done this event without you.

CISDEP Launch & Garage Sale cisdep Launch party   https://www.google.ca/maps/place/Kilreen+Park/@45.3478848,-75.7850712,16z/data=!4m2!3m1!1s0x4cce0732a276835b:0xf5a884e7587fde0c Raffle Items:

Other Sponsors:

Momondays Ottawa May 12, 2014 #CISDEP

Christina Ranieri

We are back with moinspiration, molaughs and moentertainment…what mo could you ask for?

Join us at Biagio’s Italian Kitchen, 1394 Richmond Road near Carling Ave. Doors open at 6:00 for dinner, drinks and socializing. Cover charge is $10/ticket in advance online until Friday, May 9th, or $20 cash at the door.

Our featured cause for May is Christy’s Integration, Skills, Day program and Educational Programs (CISDEP), a multi use activity centre where people with developmental disabilities can participate in creative wellness activities in a safe and friendly environment. This vibrant community-based centre works with people from 12 to 70 years of age who are affected by developmental disabilities in the Ottawa area. Their services are safe and secure as well as offer inclusive and productive activities that promote creativity, wellbeing and give a sense of community.

$2 from every ticket sold will be donated to CISDEP.

So grab a friend…or two…or three….or…well you get the idea…and join us so we can put a smile on your face, a twinkle in your eye and a bounce in your step…all while helping a wonderful program for people with developmental disabilities in Ottawa.

You really do meet the nicest people at momondays…and we want you to be one of them!!
Your Host
Michael Lifshitz, CPA, CA, MBA

Advance tickets can be purchased at http://momondays.com/ottawa/

Thank you Momondays for supporting #CISDEP

Here is a youtube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MOPbyIvjo0g




CISDEP Inc. Fundraiser Band Night

CISDEP’s Fundraiser Band Night was a great success!

Thank you to all our community partners, the families involved and our volunteers and a huge thank you to all who attended. This wouldn’t have been possible without you.

I would also like to extend a special thank you to our sponsors; Your contributions will go a long way towards acquiring personal care and program supplies for CISDEP.

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