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About Us

About Us
Mission, Vision & Values
Our Team
Annual General Meeting
CADDAC History
Funding
Careers

Our Mission

We improve the lives of Canadians affected by ADHD through awareness, education, and advocacy.

Our Vision

A Canada where people with ADHD are accepted, understood and supported.

Our Values

Empowerment — Equipping people affected by ADHD with the tools and information needed to advocate for themselves to reach their potential is at the heart of all we do.
Inclusion — We strive to create a welcoming, non-judgmental environment where everyone is heard and valued.
Impact — Making a genuine difference in the lives of those affected by ADHD is what drives us.
Leadership — We are committed to leading the national ADHD conversation and improving lives through deep expertise and excellence in all that we do.
Communication — We believe that open, transparent communication is vital to delivering our mission most effectively and creating a positive internal culture.

CADDAC’s Statement on Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

Following our Mission, Vision and Values, all members of CADDAC’s organization; board of directors; executive director; employees and volunteers, strive to create a welcoming, non-judgmental environment where everyone is heard, valued and free to be who they are.

We strive to prevent discrimination in our services, our groups, and in our workplaces so that everyone feels welcome and at ease. The staff and volunteers of CADDAC are dedicated to promoting an environment of respect and appreciation for all.

From delivering educational programs, support groups or advocating for fairer treatment and equal rights, we aim to include the voices of people from all ethnicities, race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, citizenship; gender, sexual orientations, gender identity or expression, genetic disposition, disabilities, neurodiversity, age, physical/mental ability, status as a veteran, marital status, parental status, lifestyle choice and socioeconomic status of all persons or any other protected category under federal, provincial and municipal law . We are committed to creating and maintaining an atmosphere of openness, trust, and safety where all attitudes, beliefs, values, and behaviors can be freely explored and discussed.

Who We Are

Staff

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Juanita Beaudry

Executive Director
Juanita has over 20 years of leadership experience in business, sales and marketing. As Executive Director of CADDAC Juanita is committed to CADDAC’s vision of improving the lives of individuals affected by ADHD through Awareness, Advocacy, and Education. Juanita has worked with CADDAC since 2016 and holds a Master of Art, Health Policy degree from York University. Juanita is passionate about advocating for individuals and families affected by mental illness. Juanita is also a caregiver to a child with ADHD.

Annie-bg

Annie Desrochers

ADHD Resource Navigator
Annie is the Bilingual ADHD Resource Navigator at CADDAC.  She is dedicated in providing families and individuals living with ADHD with resources to support and help improve their daily lives.  Annie, is a mother of 4 children all with some degree of ADHD and co-existing disorders.  As a Registered Early Childhood Educator since 1989, she has dedicated her professional life to help and support families locate and access resources in order to provide a healthier and happier life for themselves. Throughout all these experiences, she has lived and tried to share her belief that it takes a village to raise a child.

Christine Lynch

Fundraising Manager
Christine is a community advocate with over 20 years of varied and progressive fundraising experience.  Her experience spans many areas including corporate philanthropy, individual and community-based giving, volunteer development, provincial event management, and alumni giving. Christine joined CADDAC in April of 2022 as Fundraising Manager and in addition to her background in the non-profit sector, she holds an Early Childhood Education Diploma. Christine has worked with children for different Boards of Education, Community Living, and childcare centres and has volunteered with several organizations that assist children and their learning.   Christine is committed to increasing the understanding of ADHD.

Ross Minichiello

Fundraising and Communications Coordinator
Ross is dedicated to building CADDAC’s media presence to provide ADHD awareness and advocacy for all. Ross is a sessional lecturer at the University of Guelph-Humber where he teaches data analytics and digital storytelling. He holds a Master of Arts degree in Media Production from Ryerson University and is pursuing a path toward an academic career while also contributing to worthwhile organizations like CADDAC.

Barbara Easter

Communications Officer

With 20+ years in accessibility communications, Barb shares stories to highlight those who need to be heard. Supporting all communications at CADDAC, Barb believes that digital communications are essential to effective awareness, advocacy, and education initiatives. “My mission as a person with ADHD in this role is to create and share stories that help Canadians see each other for better perspective-taking. Communicating CADDAC's awareness, education and advocacy initiatives is critical to an inclusive Canada."

Board of Directors

Faelyne

Faelyne Templer

Chair
Faelyne is a passionate advocate for inclusion and accessibility, and the mother of a neuro-diverse son currently in high school. Faelyne’s experience with her son’s accommodations in the education system has galvanized her to join CADDAC and work with parents, students and ADHD allies across Canada to help de-stigmatize neuro-diversity, and ensure that all children’s learning needs can be effectively met in school.  With a professional background of over 20 years in adult learning and development, accessibility and project management, Faelyne’s focus is on providing information and support to parents and children on the same journey, and to help key stakeholders take steps to provide real solutions in the classroom that will help students and teachers alike.

K.Curry

Katherine Curry

Board Member
Katherine is the mother of a son who was diagnosed with ADHD and ODD at an early age. As a result, Katherine’s time over recent years has been spent researching ADHD and ODD and successfully advocating for her son’s needs with both the Catholic and public school boards. She has provided advice in this regard to numerous parents of children who have been diagnosed with ADHD and who have encountered issues within the school system. In addition, Katherine has been practising law for 19 years, and is currently the Vice President, Legal & Compliance, Woodbine Entertainment Group. Katherine brings to CADDAC a wealth of advocacy experience and legal expertise, and her primary focus is on addressing the educational and social needs of children with ADHD.

Karen-MacMillan

Karen MacMillan

Board Member
Karen has a PhD in Counselling Psychology and has been a Registered Psychologist in Alberta since 2003.  She has been a sessional instructor at Mount Royal University, Athabasca University, and the University of Calgary.  She is currently the Co-Executive Director of Foothills Academy Society, which provides a Designated Special Education School in Calgary, as well as a large Community Services which provides a wide range of direct services for individuals with LD and ADHD (such as psycho-educational assessments, recreational programming, counselling, and one-to-one remedial instruction), as well as educating families and relevant professionals.  Karen has two daughters, one of whom has been diagnosed with ADHD.

Ekin Ober

Ekin Ober

Board Member
Ekin is passionate about raising awareness and advocating for organizations dedicated to improving the lives of those with ADHD. It is a mission that she holds close to her heart. Prior to completing her JD/MBA, she obtained her degree in Psychology and Economics where she focused on child development and learning disabilities. Her personal experience combined with her academic background enriched her understanding of the various ways in which ADHD can have a significant social impact on individuals’ lives, causing disruption at school, work and relationships.
She is also interested in engaging with CADDAC as a board member because it offers her the opportunity to engage with and contribute to her community through an organization whose mission aligns with hers. She acknowledges that there are very limited resources available to charities and believes that her legal background combined with her financial knowledge makes her a great candidate who can help further the impact and reach of CADDAC.

Lisa

Lisa Paluzzi

Board Member
Lisa is an educator with over twenty years experience in both the elementary and secondary panels holding a Master of Education and specialists in English and Special Education. In her current role as an Academic Resource Teacher, Lisa supports, coaches, and advocates for students with diverse learning needs which has been fundamental in navigating the system after her own son was diagnosed with ADHD. Lisa regularly participates in professional development with a focus on ADHD, learning disabilities and executive function, bringing extensive knowledge to her advocacy work.

Renee

Renée Belhumeur

Board Member
Renée has been a school Principal with the Conseil des écoles publiques de l’est de l’Ontario for eleven years. In that role, she has led her schools in the implementation of school improvement plans, while putting in place technological innovations and enriched programs. Previously, she worked as a Student Achievement Officer with the Literacy and Numeracy Secretariat at the Ministry of Education. In that role, she supported schools and school boards across the province at implementing efficient school and student improvement strategies. She also taught for seventeen years in elementary schools. She is presently teaching Principal qualification courses for the Association des directions et directions adjointes des écoles franco-ontariennes (ADFO). Renée has past board experience having served on the board of directors of her Principal association (ADFO), a daycare, Winchester District Memorial Hospital (WDMH) and a community art center. She has also sat on the parent consultation committee of the Conseil des écoles catholiques de l’est de l’Ontario for fifteen years. She was chair of the quality committee of a hospital (WDMH) for two years. She is the recepient of the The Amethyst Award for outstanding achievement as an Ontario public servant.

Andre

André Brisson

Board Member
André is a Professional Engineer, having obtained a degree in Structural Civil Engineering from the University of Waterloo and leads the engineering firm he started in 2007.  To date, André has grown two start-up engineering firms into self-managing companies.  He has been involved with various national technical committees as a member or chair and respects consensus.  As a relentless learner and an intuitive observer that can structure solutions to challenges where others have given up, he views obstacles are new opportunities waiting to be discovered. André has always fought for the right to be unique – he wants that right for everyone, especially kids. Helping entrepreneurs, adults, and kids discover their talents and strengths to develop their own voice and advocate for themselves is a passion.  André is a recently-diagnosed ADHD adult, husband and father of two beautiful neurodiverse twice-exceptional girls.

Kim-Doel

Kim Doel

Board Member
Kim is an entrepreneur and community activist from Ottawa with a background in youth advocacy, organizational development, fundraising, and governance. She has led multiple organizations in the charitable and business sectors through rebranding and organizational challenges to achieve financial stability, positive public image, and lowered staff and board turnover. Her experience with being diagnosed with ADHD as an adult has given her a new appreciation for the need for ADHD de-stigmatization and awareness for youth diagnosis and support.

Audrey Gavin

Board Member

Audrey is a British-Canadian with almost 20 years of experience as an HR professional both in the UK and Ontario. Audrey holds both an undergraduate degree in Psychology and a Masters in Human Resource Management; she specializes in Learning & Development and Talent Management. 'Accidentally' diagnosed with dyslexia and dyspraxia as an undergrad research study participant, Audrey was reassessed and diagnosed with ADHD and LDs (interestingly not dyslexia!) 20 years later...along with her 8-year-old son. As a person who has been diagnosed in mid-life and parent to a child with ADHD, Audrey is passionate about creating a community of support, educating the world on ADHD and dispelling myths, particularly in the workplace and in the education system.

Annual Reports

Annual Report 2021

Annual Report 2020

Caddac Annual Report 2020 - final
Annual Report 2019

Financials

Strategic Plan

Strategic Plan 2021-2025

CADDAC Strategic Plan Summary

CADDAC History

How CADDAC Came to Be

By Heidi Bernhardt Founder of CADDAC

Struggling with ADHD

In 1992 my oldest son was finally diagnosed with ADHD at the age of fourteen. I say finally because it took five professionals over three and a half years and a great deal of persistence on my part to figure out what the issue was. The delay resulted in unnecessary confusion, frustration and fear as well as unjust labelling and consequences for our children, and a great deal of unnecessary upheaval and heartache for the entire family. 

Over those three and a half years I received so much conflicting information from “experts” my head was spinning. One said he had ADHD, the next one said he did not. Most jumped to the conclusion that it was our fault as parents because he was not acting out at school, instead expressing his frustration at home. I was even told by a physician at a prominent ADHD hospital clinic, that our son could not have ADHD because he was a proficient reader. It was also suggested that I was just an over-involved mother and outright told by family that I was not strict enough and just needed to apply the belt more. 

You see the difficulty was that my son was not failing at school. He was getting good grades, yet his frustration and anger were growing day by day. It took a full psychoeducational assessment to discover that his giftedness was compensating for his ADHD while his ADHD obscured his giftedness so educators were unaware of both. As explained by his psychologist, our unique child was perceptive enough to know that unleashing his frustration at school had huge costs, but just like a volcano, the pressure had to be let off somewhere, so home seemed the safer alternative. 

Having worked as an RN in psychiatry I immediately started reading everything I could get my hands on once we had a confirmed diagnosis. At the time most material on ADHD was meant for medical professionals. Luckily my medical background in psychiatry allowed me to understand these books but they left me feeling depressed and without much hope. It started me wondering what other parents did. I turned to public health and any other health resource agencies that might have resources or supports but soon became frustrated as I found little help. I kept reading and searching for information but found little.

Finding Support

ADHD World Congress April 23rd 2017 in BC. CADDAC ran a full day workshop for them entitled ADHD World Congress Family Day and had a booth. 

Three months later my mom called to tell me that she had seen a brief mention in our local paper about a meeting for parents of children with ADHD at our local hospital. I attended what I found out was their very first meeting, met the four mom’s who had organized the meeting and immediately asked how I could help. I had found out the hard way that there was nothing else out there to help parents going through this rough journey. But I knew how helpful these groups could be from my experience starting a local new mothers mental well being after my second child was born. Over the next decade this group gave me the support and understanding I needed and led me to a life long purpose and passion. 

Over the next two years my other two sons were also diagnosed with ADHD and giftedness but one with some learning disabilities and one with anxiety. It also became very obvious that their father, my husband, had ADHD too. The next struggle became the schools. My youngest needed support which was not very forthcoming and my middle son was being very badly bullied. It was again reinforced that mostly only those with familial experience seemed to understand. It took almost two years and a teacher with her own son with ADHD to finally alleviate some of the bullying. The school was never able to effectively deal with it. It became clear over the next few years that most educators did not understand my kids, nor did the education system as a whole. I discovered that in Ontario the Ministry of Education did not recognize ADHD as a risk to learning, so little additional support was available.

We also spent the next decade trying everything suggested by medical “experts”, medication, diets, neurofeedback, and specialized behaviour management. General parenting classes just made things worse. Medication and specialized behaviour management helped but after years with no diagnoses it took time. I was very fortunate that my circumstances allowed me to jointly and then individually run that local ADHD parent support group, the ADRN, Attention Deficit Resource Network, for the first eleven years after we received our diagnoses. The ADRN was one of two groups in Southern Ontario specifically geared to supporting parents of children with ADHD, the other being CHADD Toronto. A few other support groups were scattered across Canada, but very little networking was occurring.

Growth of the ADHD Parent Support Group

Lieutenant Governor of Ontario’s Reception for CADDAC in 2008
Along with monthly support meetings, in 2001 the ADRN started to run larger evening educational sessions for parents in partnership with Dr. Atilla Turgay and the Scarborough Hospital ADHD Clinic in Ontario. We even organized the first full day educational workshop for educators on ADHD in Ontario. The ADRN became a source of support for families impacted by ADHD as well as a valuable source of ADHD education. 

Then in 2003 CHADD who had become ADD Ontario (ADDO) and a charity came to speak with me. They were disbanding leaving the ADRN the only support group in Ontario. They asked if I would take their place and be the voice of parents at an Ontario teleconference on ADHD. During this conference I felt personally challenged when asked why no national ADHD organization existed in Canada. At that time there was no group nationally expressing the voice of individuals and families affected by ADHD, networking small support groups, doing ADHD awareness work or advocating to governments for ADHD resources.

Rising to the Challenge

By then I had realized I was not someone inclined to accept the status quo so what came next just seemed the next logical step. I arranged to meet with a small group of like-minded individuals to begin the process of developing a national ADHD organization. CADDAC, the Centre for ADHD Advocacy Canada was formed. We eventually changed the name to The Centre for ADHD Awareness Canada.
2008, CADDAC’s first Comedy Night fundraiser featuring Rick Green and his colleagues. 

During the next two years I was fortunate to first become Dr. Umesh Jain’s research co-ordinator and then the Executive Director of CADDRA, the Canadian ADHD Resource Alliance, which at that time was an independent, not-for-profit organization of expert ADHD physicians. Their support in my working life allowed me to continue my volunteer work building CADDAC. The experience gave me access to leading ADHD clinicians and researchers in Canada and internationally along with exposure to the latest ADHD research. An opportunity for which I will always be grateful.

CADDAC Timeline

  •  The first web site was developed in 2005 soon after we organized CADDAC.
  • By the fall of 2006 CADDAC was incorporated as a national not-for-profit organization.
  • In 2009 CADDAC’s first national conference occurred which turned into an annual event.
  • A new extensive web site was started in 2009. 
  • The “2010 Provincial Report Card: ADHD in the School System” was published followed by the first two CADDAC policy papers. These were sent to media and provincial governments. Meetings with provincial ministries began.
  •  CADDAC started Canada’s ADHD Awareness week in 2011.
  • In 2013 we developed another web site focusing exclusively on ADHD Awareness and advocacy.
  • In 2014 ADHD Awareness Month began, allowing for more media coverage and events.
  • In January 2020 CADDAC became a registered charity

Funding Policy

CADDAC only accepts funding for projects that we propose, or that are proposed to us that we deem to be of benefit to our patient population such as families and individuals with ADHD. All funds we receive are used for awareness, education and advocacy efforts or to directly support individuals with ADHD. We also do not accept any funds for the advertising or promotion of treatments or products being sold for ADHD.

Funding Sources

CADDAC’s activities – which are primarily focused on education, awareness and advocacy as well as supporting families and individuals with ADHD – are funded in a variety of ways. Funding is obtained through corporate donations and grants, individuals donations, program fees, and grants from federal and provincial governments. CADDAC would like to acknowledge the generous support of, Janssen, Takeda Canada, Elvium Life Sciences, the Zorzi Family, SickKids, Pottruff Foundation.

Careers

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