The Southern Ontario Training Group (SOTG) began in 1986 when a few people got together to offer (and often to present) SRV workshops. After meeting informally for some 30 years, we decided it was time to incorporate and did so in June 2016, as a not-for-profit organization. Today, the SOTG comprises a small group of people who continue to believe that Social Role Valorization (SRV) theory, as developed by Dr. Wolfensberger, is of great importance, especially in our current social climate. It helps to raise consciousness about personal and societal values in relation to people who are devalued and offers a framework for the development of strategies to address social devaluation through the promotion of valued social roles.
The current members of the SOTG have very different backgrounds - as educators, researchers, service providers, family members, program managers, advocates, authors, board and community members, etc. What unites us is our shared belief in the power of SRV and our commitment to promoting its dissemination.
The Southern Ontario Training Group has no paid staff. All SOTG members participate in planning, organizing, and conducting workshops, working in partnership with organizations that provide services and supports to people who are devalued. In addition, we often contract with other colleagues with expertise in SRV and related areas to offer additional events. The SOTG works in collaboration with the North American SRV Training, Development and Safeguarding Council and the International SRV Association (ISRVA).
The mission of the Southern Ontario Training Group (SOTG) is to ensure that the theory of Social Role Valorization is taught systematically throughout Southern Ontario. Members believe that Social Role Valorization (SRV) is essential, especially in our current social climate. It helps to raise consciousness about personal and societal values in relation to people who are devalued and offers a framework for the development of strategies to address social devaluation.
Many years ago, while serving on the board of Toronto Citizen Advocacy, Peg Jenner saw the positive impact of the work of Dr. Wolfensberger on the lives of vulnerable people. Peg has continued to study and teach the work of Dr. Wolfensberger since that time. She plays a leadership role in Social Role Valorization (SRV) workshops and has assisted in the organization and delivery of many PASSING workshops. Peg's human service work roles have included Direct Supporter, and Manager in different human services and Professor and Program Co-ordinator at Centennial College. As a board member, consultant or trainer for different organizations, Peg brought SRV theory to the table. Peg is a member of the North American SRV Council. She continues to study and disseminate additional work of Dr. Wolfensberber through her membership in The Personalism Roundtable, the Moral Coherency Study Group, and the Sanctity of Life Salon.
Judith Sandys is a founding member of the Southern Ontario Training Group (SOTG). Now retired, she has had a long and varied career including serving as Executive Director of two different Community Living organizations and as Dean of Community Services at Ryerson University (now Toronto Metropolitan University) as well as a faculty member in the School of Social Work. She has been active as a Board member, educator, researcher, consultant, author, as well as an advocate - a role that continues to this day. Judith’s primary focus within the SOTG has, for many years, been on organizing and leading PASSING workshops.
Thomas Malcomson, PhD, taught for 32 years as a professor in the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences, at George Brown College, Toronto. He taught courses in Introductory, Social, and Developmental Psychology, and was a co-author of a Life-Span Development text. Due to his interest in the plight of people marginalized in society, he has studied the history of eugenics and genocide, and has taught courses on those topics as well. Prior to teaching Thomas worked in human services, including serving intellectually and physically disabled people. For over thirty years, Thomas has been involved with the work of Wolf Wolfensberger. In addition to being a member of the SOTG, he is a member of The Personalism Roundtable, an international study and teaching group who present workshops on the Philosophy of Personalism, as applied to human services. He has also contributed to The SRV Journal.
Jane Barken's early experiences include working with Dr. Wolf Wolfensberger in the early 1970s, when he was a visting scholar at the National Institute for Mental Retardation (NIMR). This undoubtedly contributed to her lifelong commitment to working to promote better lives for people with intellectual disabilities. Jane recently retired after teaching for many years at Loyalist College in the Developmental Services Worker program. She has taught SRV both within the college and at workshops and has been a team leader at PASSING. Jane has worked as a residential manager and with young children in early childhood settings. She has also been a childbirth educator and has provided support during labour to many people, including some who had intellectual impairments and others who were devalued in other ways. Jane is also a board member for Community Involvement Legacy Homes.
Donald Easson lives in Toronto and taught at Centennial College for almost thirty years. As a professor, he has worked to integrate Social Role Valorization into human service worker training. His keen interest in what it takes to build community led him to start a pan-college performing choir. Donald’s concern for vulnerable people has taken him to Uganda, Pakistan, Cuba, and India in a variety of volunteer positions as teacher, evaluator and hospital worker. He is a founding member of the Southern Ontario Training Group, which arranges Social Role Valorization and PASSING workshops in Ontario. He is a presenter at SRV workshops in Canada, the US, and Ireland and he helps to direct PASSING courses. Donald was a member of the North American SRV Council, as well as the Moral Coherency Study Group. He has a background in developing and providing residential services for people with behavioral, physical and intellectual disabilities. Donald Easson is currently an associate of the SRV Implementation Project, an international human service training and consultation effort based in Worcester, Massachusetts.
Donna Marcaccio served as Executive Director at Rygiel Supports For Community Living for more than 30 years. Donna was one of the founding members of SOTG and has supported, promoted and presented SRV and related workshops. Donna’s interest and passion for this work came from her relationship with her sister Marcia who lived with Down Syndrome. Marcia was a leader in the self advocacy movement and believed strongly that everyone should be supported to live a full life in community. As a result of the influence from Marcia, Donna has been actively involved both professionally and personally in ways to bring the tenets of SRV to life.
Erica Baker-Tinsley is a Professor and Coordinator of the Developmental Services Worker Program at Loyalist College in Belleville, Ontario, Canada. Before beginning her teaching career, she worked as a Family Support Coordinator providing support to people with intellectual disabilities and their families. It was through that work that Erica was first introduced to Social Role Valorization. Over the past 25 years, she has been involved in teaching SRV to service workers, administrators, families, and students at both high school and post-secondary levels. In addition to SRV, Erica is passionate about community development approaches that build strong communities where all members are welcomed and supported. Through her involvement in various non-profit organizations, Erica has engaged in advocacy work promoting inclusive education, food security, and affordable, secure housing. Erica has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Disability Studies from Ryerson University and a Master of Arts Degree in Community Development from the University of Victoria. She is currently a Board Director of the Southern Ontario Training Group, and a member of the Social Role Valorization Development, Training and Safeguarding Council.
Donna Vanderkloet teaches in the Developmental Services Worker Program at Loyalist College. Previously, she worked at Brockville and District Association for Community Involvement (BDACI) as a Family Support Coordinator, supporting families to plan for the future. Donna currently serves as Secretary on the board of Community Involvement Legacy Homes and manages the Study Group for SOTG.
Gareth Lloyd has worked as a Direct Support Professional and Team Leader at Community Living Owen Sound and District since 2009. He is also a Developmental Services Worker Facilitator (Distance Studies) with Loyalist College. In addition to being a long-term member of the Grey-Bruce Training and Development Committee, he has presented at numerous Social Role Valorization events and participated in several PASSING workshops. Gareth is a founding member of the ‘SRV News and Reviews’ advisory board, and is the editor of the ‘SRV Flash’, an intra-agency briefing on the theory and its application in human services.
Laura Powell has worked in a variety of roles within the developmental service sector in Ireland and is now based in Oshawa, Ontario with Durham Association for Family Resources and Support. Laura has a Masters in Health through Occupation from the UK and has undertaken numerous workshops and courses to expand her knowledge and understanding of Social Role Valorization. She has taught as part of 4 day introductory events and been a Team Leader at PASSING workshops. Laura has a particular interest in exploring typical ways people give and receive support with decision making, as well as how families and allies can enhance competencies and pay attention to the image of their loved one's perceived capabilities.