Chapter Two: KRC Today

The KRC (Kinsmen Rehabilitation Clinic) currently includes two physiotherapists (Erin Thompson & Jen Sivilotti), one occupational therapist (Shauna Hatton), one OT vacancy and four hydrotherapy facilitators (Paula Gow, Sonja Acosta-Farrell, Carol Coughler & Sharon Charbonneau).  We also happily maintain ties to two very special part-time occupational therapists Nicole Bobbette & Sarah Hanna. Our mission remains to help individuals achieve and maintain their abilities in order to live their best lives, as well as to be leaders in the community in regards to providing rehabilitation services specifically for adults with intellectual & developmental disabilities.  As far as we know, we are the only publicly-funded rehab clinic in Ontario to focus only on adults with IDD. 

The hydrotherapy facilitators, also known as the “mermaids”, work in a warm, wet & humid environment to carry out programs designed by the physiotherapists & occupational therapists to achieve individualized goals.  Although challenging, all agree that working in the therapeutic pool is also very rewarding.  The pool is a happy place where people are able to experience movement that may be difficult or impossible out of the water, where people receive 1:1 attention & therapeutic touch and where smiles and laughter are the norm. Some supported individuals are able to express that being in the pool is a highlight, and that they wish they could attend more often. 

What else do the OTs & PTs really do? We provide consultation, assessment & treatment for: sensory issues, movement dysfunction, ADLs (activities of daily living), mobility & mobility devices, communication, skin & lung health and more to approximately 200 individuals supported by Ongwanada, people supported by other Developmental Service agencies and adults with IDD who live with their families.  All of which we cannot do without the support of the caregivers who guide us, interpret for us and are present, day in and day out, to follow-through with our treatment plans. THANK YOU caregivers!!

As well as providing direct rehab service to individuals and their caregivers, we are also involved in supporting student learning at both Queen’s University and St. Lawrence College.  Our team also participates in committees, contributes to policy & planning, provides staff training & education and acts as a rehab resource for the Kingston community.  We participate in ongoing professional learning & have contributed to conferences & publications.   Physiotherapists and occupational therapists are regulated health professionals, which means we are licensed by a professional college which sets out specific rules & regulations for all OTs & PTs in Ontario. 

Some of our department’s current & future initiatives include:

  • Improving the transition of youth-adult rehab services for young people with IDD
  • Increasing the amount of rehabilitation research that can improve the lives of adults with IDD
  • Fostering relationships with other rehab therapists working in the developmental sector
  • Improving the recruitment & retention of rehab therapists working with adults with IDD
  • Advocating for improved health & wellness support for adults with IDD, in order to improve quality of life & health outcomes

Submitted by: Jen Sivilotti

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