Guest post: KW Habilitation


Today is the seventh day of 12 Days for Good. Our theme is inclusion—based on ideas of belonging and acceptance, participating in and being recognized in the community.  For over 40 years KW Habilitation has inspired abilities and enriched the lives of children and adults who have developmental disabilities.   In the 1950’s, there were no community services for children and adults with developmental disabilities and their families.   Dedicated parents and concerned community members partnered to create KW Habilitation (KWH).   Today our vision, “A Community where Everyone Belongs and Participates” is all about Inclusion.


KW Habilitation offers a wide range of individualized services and supports for children and adults with developmental disabilities and their families.  We focus programming on Community Participation, Employment Supports, Residential Services and Early Learning and Family Resources; and we support well-being through developing community connections, participating in recreation and leisure activities, learning, volunteering, and working in our community.

KW Habilitation is grateful for the support of amazing volunteers who help create a culture of inclusion:  families, businesses, community organizations and clubs. For example, our largest supporter is the K-W Kinsmen Club, who helps us with residential home improvements, special events and fundraising, and is represented on our Board of Directors and committees.  At this time of year, we have our annual Give-a-Gift which involves a group of friends and staff of KW Habilitation who donate money and time to purchase gifts for citizens we support in our residential homes who do not have family to celebrate Christmas with.  This is a hit each year for both volunteers and gift recipients!

We also have many dedicated and ambitious individual volunteers like Ashley Cooper, who believes that time spent with KW Habilitation is rewarding because she shares the vision of inclusion where everyone is treated equally and as a valued member of our community.

Ashey Cooper

Balancing being a new mom, volunteering and career is hugely rewarding and has sometimes been challenging for Ashley Cooper. To overcome the challenges, she brings these major life tasks altogether quite efficiently and does them simultaneously! At many events, fundraisers and interactions, you will find Ashley’s family, friends and colleagues helping out.  Ashley has volunteered for many organizations in Kitchener Waterloo and does not understand the word ‘no’ or ‘too busy’ when asked to lend a hand to those in need.  She will usually bring her energetic two year old Alina, family, friends and her co-workers along with her!

Community inclusion and participation has always been important to Ashley.  A few years ago Ashley organized a fundraiser for KW Habilitation through her work at Rae Lipskie, and immediately developed a deep connection to the organization, especially the citizens supported by the agency, being children and adults who have developmental disabilities in our community. Since that initial meeting, Ashley has organized and participated in many events and fundraisers, and is always readily available to celebrate and promote KW Habilitation’s vision of “a community where everyone belongs and participates.”  Ashley believes inclusion is the foundation of any community, where everyone is treated equally and valued, and is one of KW Habilitation’s biggest champions.

Want to stay in the loop? Follow KW Habilitation online:




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