For the past 70 years, Spinal Cord Injury Ontario (SCI Ontario) has been assisting people with spinal cord injuries in rebuilding their lives – a time-honoured legacy that continues today. Our expertise has grown over the years. Each year brings more collective knowledge to implement best practices; more combined understanding to help clients experience the dignity they deserve, and more united strength to meet the challenges and to push for change.
We are proud to continuously be at the forefront of change.
Our tenacity grew from our founders – WW II veterans who worked honourably to better the lives of others with spinal cord injuries. People like John Counsell, Ken Langford, Andy Clarke, and Al Jousse to name a few. Their vision and passion set the tone for how SCI Ontario would provide service in the future. They inspired us to be an organization that is driven by people with spinal cord injuries, themselves. Our founders knew that independence, self-reliance and full community participation were not only achievable, but necessary.
In 2014-15, we continued to champion excellence in service, advocacy and quality of life for people with spinal cord injuries. We are proud of what we have accomplished.
This past year, SCI Ontario met or exceeded all of our targets. We served 2,014 clients and provided 124,115 direct hours of service. Our client satisfaction rate was 84%, and 93% of our clients would recommend our services. Our Attendant Services program underwent an expansion to serve more people. Our Employment Services program staff worked diligently to secure job placements for staff and achieved 102 paid placements – 65% over our target! Our Public Policy program staff, along with volunteer Peer Activists, successfully lobbied to change four government policies to improve quality of life for people with spinal cord injuries. And our Knowledge Enterprise team provided an impressive 232 education sessions.
At the beginning of last summer, SCI Ontario brought the play, Borne, to 22 audiences. It was presented by Soulpepper Theatre in Toronto. Created by Judith Thompson of RARE Theatre Company, Borne captured the stories of the actors who all had disabilities. It was a creative and successful venture employing public theatre to present the value and power of Canadians living with spinal cord injuries and brought attention to the work of SCI Ontario.
We ended the year with a $9,000 surplus. Our fundraising efforts were up this year by 14%. Our major gifts target was exceeded by 140%! Overall, we raised $2,050,000 from donations and other public support. $1,790,000 was specifically from fundraising efforts. Thank you to our grantors, donors and sponsors for ultimately supporting people with spinal cord injuries by investing in SCI Ontario.
We have exceptional staff members who work hard to ensure that we provide the best programs and services possible to our clients. And our 741 volunteers are crucial to our success. It is the dedication of both our staff and our volunteers that makes SCI Ontario the effective and amazingly special organization that it is.
Since SCI Ontario’s beginnings 70 years ago, we continue to remember our clients’ past while working with them to plan the future they desire. We are truly honoured to be present in perhaps the most difficult time in a person’s life, and we are fully committed to you, our clients, in the coming years.