Leadership, Amy MacFarlane
Our Founder Amy MacFarlane is a trailblazer, an entrepreneur, a mentor for all ages in business and exemplifies leadership in everything she does. Amy has been recognized as an innovative leader within her own organization and it’s team, an international expert in her field and has been nominated for the RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur Award in 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017. It’s her passion for empowering others with practical tools and teaching that brings her to the forefront of this work. Her energy is infectious and her message is effective.
Accessible Leadership is critical for many environments. When we talk about accessibility, we often think of a physical building. What about in the workplace? Recreational Respite’s Founder, Amy MacFarlane has spoken at a number of leadership meetings around the globe and the most commonly presented questions have been:
“How could my team be more accessible to our clients?”
“How can I be a more accessible leader to my team?”
“What tools can my team use when a customer appears to need more assistance?”
How Do We know?
Recreational Respite’s services were created specifically for those and their families who have various needs including mental health, physical or mobility challenges, intellectual and developmental needs. Our expertise and skills as a team, are to identify ways to successfully engage the individual in every day environments and work towards targeted goals to get them there. In our work with our families we recognized that communities were not always accessible beyond our therapy, for both the individual and their families who were in caregiving roles. Parents were facing challenges at work, no longer taking part in their own recreation and leisure interests and adult children and spouses were starting to care for their ailing loved ones. Workplaces were not always able to identify the changing needs of their employees, our leadership work began.
Community services are plentiful and we all love the freedom to choose which services, programs and supports we participate in. If we want to join a ‘learn to kayak’ program, a summer camp program or an art class in our community, we want to ensure that we can without any barriers that might exist to prevent us from taking part. Often (and without even knowing it), many programs and services are not accessible simply because teams are not equipped with enough tools to communicate, integrate, engage or encourage participation due to the various and changing needs of the participants.
Recreational Respite is an organization built on the premise that all environments should be accessible for all children, youth, adults and older adults. We do this by identifying their needs, abilities and strengths and build their environments (home or community) to be inclusive. With this knowledge we do the same for the people that are working or interacting with those same individuals: professionals, volunteers and students.