It is the Ontario Independent Facilitation Network’s mission to support, nurture, and preserve independent facilitation and planning through our efforts as a provincial Community of Practice and by linking with others across Ontario.

What is a Community of Practice?

A Community of Practice is a group of people who share a concern or a passion for something they do, and learn how to do it better as they interact regularly”. 

Key elements are:

  • Shared Motivation: members are brought together by a shared learning need (members are motivated to learn collaboratively) 
  • The community: their collective learning becomes a bond among them over time (learning is experienced in various ways)
  • The practice: their interactions produce resources that in turn shape and influence their practice (whether they engage in actual practice together or separately)

Source: Wenger-Trayner


Beliefs and Convictions

As a Community of Practice, OIFN operates out of the following beliefs and convictions:

  • We all have something to teach and something to learn from each other in the network
  • Everyone has gifts and everyone is able to make valuable contributions
  • Creating, nurturing and maintaining a safe environment enables all people to offer respect and be respected, while also holding differences of opinion and complexity
  • There is value in our differences
  • Meaningful and inclusive dialogue about things that matter to vulnerable people helps act as a safeguard
  • It is essential for people who use the support of independent facilitation and planning to be in charge of the support they receive to the fullest extent possible
  • Mindful and reflective practice leads to better outcomes

Common Agenda

We are committed to providing a variety of ongoing opportunities for independent facilitators, people with developmental disabilities/self-advocates and families to:

  • Engage in shared learning regarding the values, knowledge, experience, strategies and resources that contribute to excellence in independent facilitation and planning
  • Connect with each other and support one another at local, regional and provincial levels through person to person meetings and various electronic means
  • Share information and resources on issues and initiatives that are relevant to independent facilitation and planning in Ontario
  • Provide outreach and education to those who have an interest in Independent Facilitation and Planning.

Regional Communities of Practice

There have been a number of regional communities of practice established in different parts of the province including:

  • Durham Region
  • Thames Valley (London, Middlesex, Oxford, Elgin)
  • Perth Huron Region
  • Grey Bruce Region
  • Waterloo Region
  • Wellington-Dufferin
  • Toronto and Area
  • Windsor and Essex County

Steering Groups

  • Belleville, Kingston, Brockville and Area
  • Ottawa Carleton and Area
  • Huntsville, Nipissing, North Bay and Area

Go to Listings to find details about each of these initiatives.

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