Welcome to Ability First Ottawa

Comprehensive services and support for people with disabilities.

About our Volunteers

The professional mentors team are people who volunteer their time in order to make Ability First Ottawa great! These awesome individuals include bands, interactive music, recreation instructors, local artists, motivational speakers, entrepreneurs with and without disabilities, and so much more. The AFO team, volunteers, and participants and their families all appreciate your time and effort in making AFO successful this summer.

If you’re interested in becoming part of the Professional Mentors Team, or want to to be a general volunteer, please contact Christina Ranieri at christinar294@gmail.com.


Michelle Duguay (Professional Mentor)

As she struggled in school due to a learning disability, she found learning how to be organized would help her succeed and went from dreading school to doing quite well by the end of elementary school to graduating secondary school with silver honours. In high school, she took a course similar to co-op where she assisted an English teacher at her high school, organizing numerous stacks of jumbled paper for the teacher, as well as helping the students in the class. Post secondary has been about taking courses to explore strengths and interests and doing the same through volunteering. She is currently working toward a career in health information management; to be “one of those” behind the scenes dealing with patient and client charts and other paperwork. Her favourite thing about working with Christina and others at AFO is getting to do what she enjoys, doing great work for the benefit of the group and its clients.

Steven Morin

I enjoy assisting AFO, by promoting along with other volunteers by posting flyers, upcoming events through social media and informing others about upcoming events (fundraisers). I completed my community hours for school. In the past I have assisted the elderly at the Elizabeth Bruyere hospital and now volunteer my time to AFO.

2014-08-12 12.40.58    Tariq Anwar (Mentor & Musician)

Born and raised in Ottawa, solo singer/songwriter, heavily influenced by early 90’s grunge, old-school Motown and Canadian artists like The Tragically Hip, Hayden, The Headstones and Neil Young, Tariq’s original material does not easily fall under any single genre.


I like to play for causes I believe in and I support AFO because I love what they do. Teaching everyday skills in order to integrate those that live with disabilities into society while giving them a sense of purpose and boosting their self-esteem in the process is a noble cause.  I have friends and family that have had similar types of training and integration support and to see them excel in their lives and become independent people is truly amazing.

Natalie Tanner (Youth Mentor)

Volunteering at AFO this summer has been a wonderful learning experience. It was a pleasure to be able to spend my time in such an inspiring environment. In the time I’ve spent at AFO I’ve grown as a person, gained a lot of experience and made many unforgettable memories.

Kelsey McHugh (Youth Mentor)

This summer I had the pleasure of volunteering at AFO. In such an inspiring, harmonious and creative environment I have learned so much about the developmental service worker field. By participating in AFO, I have met a lot of extraordinary people who  have made a difference in the world and I have gained so many more memories and experience.