“A valid answer comes
when the question is lived.”
― Elizabeth Vongsaravanh
Brokerage is a small not-for-profit organization in Windsor and Essex county. Through funding from the Ministry of Children, Community, and Social Services, we provide person-directed planning supports for people with developmental disabilities.
We refer to our person-directed planning process as Independent Facilitation.
We use the word independent because we are separate from any other services that may be available in the developmental services system. Because of this, Independent Facilitation is free of any potential conflicts of interest in how services are delivered and how people and families choose to use their supports and resources.
Visit our Who We Are section to learn more about Brokerage.
We absolutely take our direction from the person with the disability and their family and trusted others. We do only what you ask us to do and report back to you with that information.
We are not case managers. We do not provide any direct support services, HR or staffing, programs, or living situations.
Brokerage offers neutral information and planning support. Since we don’t offer any service other than Independent Facilitation, we provide you with the widest range of options that exist in your neighbourhood and community.
You may want to contact us if either you, a family member, or someone you know is a teenager (13-18 years old) who has a developmental disability and wants to begin to plan for the future and consider all of the options available to a have a full life in their neighbourhood and community.
If you or your loved one is an adult (18 years of age or older), please contact your Developmental Services Ontario Office to request person-directed planning offered by Brokerage.
People and families often want to work with an independent facilitator on the following:
- Is the end of high school coming soon? Are you wondering what’s next?
- Are you thinking of giving back to the community by volunteering?
- Are you interested in part-time or full-time employment?
- Are you interested in exploring things to do for fun or to hang out with friends?
- Are you thinking about where you want to live in the future?
Independent Facilitation is rooted in the work of social justice — creating a society where everyone deserves equal economic, political, and social rights and opportunities. People with developmental disabilities are citizens who deserve the same rights and opportunities available to any other citizen.
The work of Independent Facilitation makes it easier for people to take on their role as citizens, to be included and belong, and contribute to the neighbourhoods and communities where they live.
The people who provide Independent Facilitation are called independent facilitators. Another way to think of an independent facilitator is like a coach or a guide – someone who is going to work alongside you and your family according to a time that works for everyone. This means we can meet during the day, in the evening, or on weekends.
Visit our What We Do section to learn more about our work.
Independent Facilitation might be for you or your loved one if:
- You believe you or your loved one should have the same opportunities as everyone
- You recognize that you or your loved one may need more supports in place to make your dream of a good life in neighbourhood and community come true.
- You are thinking about what your future might look like.
- You believe you or your loved one can direct and make decisions when you have good information and the support to make decisions.
It is never too early or too late to think about, plan for, and work toward a good life. We all plan many things in our life and at different times. Planning is ongoing.
Brokerage facilitators work with people as early as age 13 and throughout adulthood.
Independent facilitators walk with people over time. This means we can stay in your life as long as you want us there.
Some people and families choose to meet with a facilitator every week, every month, or a few times a year. Others prefer to use us when things become overwhelming.
Sometimes, people and families will take a break and call back after a few months or even years because things have changed, and they are ready to take action.
We take our direction from you. It’s your life!
Yes, you can ask to work with a facilitator who you think will be a good match for you. We want you to feel comfortable and develop a trusting relationship with your facilitator.
Visit Our Team page to learn more about the independent facilitators who work at Brokerage.
No, Brokerage does not provide any support funding or any type of service program.
We assist you and your family to determine how you wish to live your life. If there are areas of your life where you require paid supports, we can help you to get connected to the appropriate agencies.
Please note that there can be long waiting lists for funding and supports.
No, we do not offer support workers or act as an employer.
An independent facilitator may be able to assist you through the process of finding a worker by helping you to think about and explore:
- What you want in a worker
- How a worker may support your goals for a full life in your neighbourhood and community
- Where you may find a support worker (pre-existing relationships, ads and community boards, agency options, etc.)
- Options for support (independent contractors, employment arrangements, etc.)