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Bendina Miller, Chair

British Columbia

A retired Superintendent of Schools for the Rocky Mountain School District of Southeastern British Columbia, Bendina Miller’s passion lies in ensuring that inclusive practices and programs are available for all students. She believes it is vital that strong family and community-based organizations exist to advocate for appropriate supports, lobby for strong legislation and work to unify individuals, families, as well as provincial and territorial organizations. Bendina is committed to ensuring that the rights and needs of all individuals with intellectual disabilities are addressed in a respectful and empowering manner. Since joining the Inclusion movement in 1968, Bendina has been involved in local and provincial associations across four provinces. She served on Inclusion Canada’s Board of Directors for over 10 years and is a Past President. Bendina has received a Life Membership with AimHi and the City of Prince George Volunteer Recognition Award for her work in the Community Living movement.

Joy Bacon, Vice-Chair

New Brunswick

Joy Bacon has more than 35 years of experience in the health and social services field, focusing on community involvement and helping others. Throughout her career she has co-chaired the Federal/Provincial planning group for Deputy Ministers of Social Services, acted as the interim Executive Director for the Canadian Mental Health Association and the New Brunswick Association for Community Living, and served as a Task Force member for the review of Mental Health Services in New Brunswick. Joy is the former President of Inclusion Canada’s Board of Directors, and also serves on the Board of Directors of the Canadian Mental Health Association both provincially and nationally.

Robin Acton, Director

Alberta

Robin Acton is a parent who has been involved with Inclusion Alberta for over 20 years in multiple leadership roles, including President from 2000 to 2004 and from 2013 to 2017. She has served on the Board of Inclusion Canada on two separate occasions over these last 20 years and is the current President. Her extensive knowledge of the issues facing individuals with intellectual disabilities and their families is rooted in her own family’s experience and her work with other families and individuals with intellectual disabilities, from the local to international level.

Carmel French, Director

Nova Scotia

For several decades I have worked as an educator and researcher in the area of diversity in Newfoundland, Alberta, and Nova Scotia. During that time, I was a resource room teacher, university professor, and psychologist. However, I was also involved with Inclusion Canada and other professional and community groups as a volunteer and advocate for individuals with disabilities. Since moving to Nova Scotia in 1985, I have held various positions with the Nova Scotia Association for Community Living (NSACL). Initially I organized three-day fall and spring conferences for families and teachers, then became a Board member, and eventually president of NSACL. In my capacity as president, I have represented NSACL on government committees, written grants, and supported individuals with intellectual disabilities and their families. I am especially proud of the leadership role NSACL has played in effecting changes to the Education Act for full inclusion and its continued work in creating awareness of issues impacting people with diverse needs.

Lorraine Silliphant, Director

New Brunswick

Lorraine Silliphant has been involved in the Inclusion movement locally, provincially and nationally since her son Ralph was born in 1968. She is an honorary life member of Inclusion Canada at each level and considers the Inclusion movement her lifelong commitment. For nearly 20 years, Lorraine served as a staff member and Executive Director of the New Brunswick Association for Community Living. She is a founding member of the Board of Jobs Unlimited, Past-Chair of the Roeher Institute, Past-President of the New Brunswick Association for Community Living, and a Distinguished Associate of Inclusion Canada. She and her husband David have three children and five grandchildren. Their son Ralph lives in his own home, enjoys his many friends and family, works seasonally, and is supported to live his life fully and be involved in his community.