Amy Macfarlane is a strong advocate for inclusion, accessibility and removing all barriers to participation in social environments including community. Her own hands-on expertise supporting those in care giving roles and families in crisis is united with extensive education in therapeutic recreation, gerontology, psychogeriatrics, complex mental health, neurological rehabilitation and most currently (2015- present) her work towards her PhD in Critical Disability Studies.
Amy believes in only collaborative efforts to maximize support and minimize the dollars required to deliver optimal services and programs to individuals we work with and has partnerships with both social enterprise, profit and not for profit organizations to ensure it happens. This commitment to knowledge transfer and sharing through teaching and keynote speaking has also led her to a variety of other positions in education as a Professor of Entrepreneurship at Georgian College and as a Mentor in her community for Business to Bruce.
Amy’s international projects have helped to spread the ideas, thoughts and process around developing inclusive communities covering areas of support for those with disabilities and other vulnerable persons who might come up against barriers to participation. Her years of experience started in the field of neurological rehabilitation and psychogeriatrics where she was a personal support worker in Toronto, ON in a hospital setting, community care and long term care homes, palliative and hospice and for those living in the community with complex mental health. Amy was most intrigued by the passion and energy in the therapeutic recreation staff in those settings at which point she then continued her studies in therapeutic recreation.. and so it began.
In addition to Recreational Respite, her advocacy for family caregivers led Amy to become a Partner and Communications Director for Family Caregivers Unite! in 2010 with host, Dr. Gordon Atherley. FCGU! is a social media project of international scope that supports, connects and empowers family caregivers caring for family members with special and other needs to tune in to various topics that are relevant to their roles. It now has a listenership of over 1,000,000 people, internationally. The show is accessible for free though iTunes, satellite radio and offers over 400+ archived on-demand episodes.
Amy is also a member of the Standards Council of Canada’s Vulnerable Persons Committee and recently represented Canada at BSI headquarters (London, UK 2018) to assist in the development of ISO 22458.
At FWD50, we know that experimentation is key to growth and innovation. At last year’s conference, attendees told us they wanted a chance to network and discuss hot topics and specific domains. So in partnership with BlackBerry we created an entirely new, participant-driven format called Circlesquare.
We surveyed people to find the critical technologies and departments. And we chose these...