Dorothy Reid is the owner of Reid Wellness Consulting, providing consultation and training to individuals and organizations on maintaining wellness. Dorothy worked with the Correctional System primarily in the area of mental health service development and delivery. She has extensive professional experience in working with individuals with FASD and other mental health concerns and developed interventions for offenders with cognitive deficits. After obtaining a diagnosis of FASD for their two sons, Dorothy and her husband have been involved in the development of support groups for parent and caregivers of children with disabilities.
Simon is the adoptive father of a courageous young woman who struggles daily with ARND. He has a master’s degree in education and did his thesis on the impact of children with FASD on parents’ relationships with the school, community and each other. Simon has been working in the Manitoba public school system for 30 years as a teacher, vice-principal, principal and assistant superintendent. He is presently a professor at the Université de St-Boniface in the Faculty of Education. Simon’s areas of interest are educational leadership, second language learning, Aboriginal education and FASD. Fully bilingual, Simon has been involved in public speaking engagements on FASD for the last 10 years both in educational settings and provincial conferences.
Françoise is a Social Worker and through her career she has had many opportunities of working with families and children (family therapist, program development and family educator). Her present work sees her working directly in supporting adoptive and foster families who are parenting children with diverse and unique needs, and many who struggle with: having a FASD diagnosis for their child/ren, having school personnel become knowledgeable and understanding about FASD and its consequences around learning abilities and behaviors; and living day-to-day with the challenges and rewards their children bring. Having the personal experience of having a child who has FAS and who struggles with it daily, she also brings her own knowledge, struggles and optimism of being able to make a difference and providing the appropriate supports to help our children grow and develop to their full potential.
Jennifer and her husband Noah are the parents of an amazing daughter with FASD and an equally amazing daughter who is neuro-typical. Having been a foster family to children and youth in Nunavut with FASD and complex needs in the past, Jennifer has learned so much about FASD, as well as discovering her own strength to navigate many systems that are not FASD informed. Jennifer has been a mental health and addictions professional for over fifteen years and has worked closely with many individuals with diagnosed and suspected FASD who experience multiple persistent barriers. Jennifer creates curriculum and evidence based models for various service providers, including Inuit youth wellness and empowerment; inclusive employment for persons with disabilities, and community responsive FASD awareness and education in Nunavut. Jennifer believes it is vital to create space for conversations about FASD to take place whenever possible, and strives to share current literature and lived experience in an effort to contribute to equity, access and inclusion for persons living with FASD. Jennifer and her husband Noah are committed to providing Inuit informed, community responsive, and evidence based knowledge on FASD and wellbeing for organizations and community members across Nunavut. Jennifer’s children are her most important teachers in life and she is humbled by their incredible resilience and spirited approach to celebrating each day.
Marsha is the parent of an internationally adopted adult son with FASD. She has a master’s degree in leadership and special education and did her thesis on the design and implementation of support groups for families living with FASD. She has been a college instructor in special education and disability studies for 30 years, teaches a course on supporting families and has co-authored curriculum on support groups for FASD. Marsha works in private practice supporting families with children with FASD and volunteers on the board of a local child development centre. She is also dedicated to supporting her youngest brother who lives with disabilities.
Ray Marnoch enjoys living in Whitehorse, Yukon. He and his wife Lesley are parents of four adult sons affected by prenatal alcohol exposure and three grandchildren. Ray acknowledges his sons as his best teachers in learning the joys and challenges of living with FASD. Ray is committed to raising understanding and supporting changed practices to better accommodate the needs of individuals with FASD and to enable their meaningful and valued participation in community life. He is a strong believer in applied research and has experience doing it. Ray has a graduate degree in disability studies and community rehab and is a curriculum designer and trainer and was a faculty member of Yukon College for 31 years in the field of human services.
Shana is the Training Coordinator for the FASD Network of Saskatchewan. She has trained hundreds of professionals, caregivers, and individuals with intellectual disabilities about the complexities of FASD. Through her experiences, she has developed an intimate understanding of the services available for individuals who live with FASD. Shana believes in the need for more research to fill the gaps in these services and to increase the accessibility for individuals who live with FASD and their caregivers. Shana is also the mom to an amazing daughter who lives with FASD and motivates her unlimited passion for the cause. She is where Shana’s dedication started and continues to be her most important teacher in the complex world of FASD.
Sonja (Sytje) Schmidt
Sonja is an adoptive and foster parent with children ranging in age 2 to 27. She is involved with the Alberta Provincial FASD Family Advisory Council and chair of the NWR FASD Society, Mackenzie Network. She is involved in developing a supportive living residence for adults with FASD, involved with the High Level FASD Diagnostic Clinic, the FASD Parent Support Group, and the Provincial FASD Network. She fosters Children with Special Needs for the Little Red River Cree Nation, Mamawi Awasis Society, in Northern Alberta
Tammy Roberts has been a committed professional parent for 24 years providing emergency and long term care to approximately 250 NWT foster children and youth with mild to extreme learning and behavioral disabilities. She continues to provide long-term care to individuals that have been prenatally exposed to drugs and alcohol as a foster and adoptive parent. For many years Tammy served as the Yellowknife Foster Family Association President, and cultivated her parenting skills through training, which has enabled her to deliver FASD workshops locally, territorially and nationally. Tammy has been a support to many children and parents across the north, and because of this was recognized with the Golden Jubilee Medal in 2002 for her contribution to the community. Tammy has been the Executive Director of the Foster Family Coalition of the Northwest Territories for over five years and in this position facilitates PRIDE Training and provides support to foster and adoptive parents and child protection workers across the territory. She also represents the Northwest Territories on the board of the Canadian Foster Family Association, participates on the National Executive Director’s Working Group, is the Family Support Worker for the Stanton Territorial Hospital FASD Diagnostic Team and is on the CanFASD Research Network Family Advisory Committee.
Wanda, along with her husband Marc, are adoptive parents of four adolescents and adults with FASD. A teacher, she has a degree in education, and a Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Education certificate from Lethbridge College. She is the executive director of the NWR FASD Society; has coordinated diagnostic clinics, caregiver/family, youth and adult FASD programs and Parent-Child Assistance Programs (PCAP). She grew up in a traditional First Nations family in the north and brings remote and isolated area experience, especially from aboriginal areas and perspectives.