The Ontario Independent Facilitation Network (OIFN) is a provincial network of people who share a passion for Independent Facilitation.

We come together regularly as a community of practice to learn and grow, valuing our collective knowledge and competence. We are committed to Independent Facilitation to the value of inclusivity, and to helping people who are vulnerable live everyday ordinary lives as full citizens. This distinguishes us from other groups.

We are independent facilitators, people with developmental disabilities, family members and other supporters. We come together to share and gain knowledge and experience about what it takes to build inclusive communities through the use of independent facilitation and planning. We join together to co-create a positive future where all belong.


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)”

Adapted from Wenger-Trayner

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 to 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