About Us

DSRF Staff

Jillian Baldwin, M.Sc. RSLP
Registered Speech Language Pathologist

Jillian completed her Master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology at UBC and her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology at the University of Saskatchewan. At UBC, she researched the memory skills of children with language disorders for her thesis. Before joining DSRF, she provided speech and language support to children and adults in schools and a rehabilitation centre. Jillian is thrilled to work with the DSRF’s clients, their families, and other team members to provide energetic and quality service. Email Jillian

Christopher Ian Dickson
Office Assistant

Christopher has worked as an office assistant for nine years. His duties in the office include reception and the maintenance of office recycling. In his spare time Christopher is involved in Special Olympics where he participates in swimming, floor hockey and softball. He is also an active member of a community youth basketball league. His experience, knowledge, and friendly personality are an asset to the DSRF office.

Susan Fawcett, M.Sc. RSLP
Registered Speech Language Pathologist

Susan has been the head Speech-Language Pathologist at DSRF since 2003, and has helped develop the speech and language, adult, and summer programs during that time. She has been thrilled to watch the therapy and teaching team and programs grow vastly since she started! Getting to know families over a long period of time and having a blast playing with the children she sees are Susan’s favourite aspects of her job. While enjoying a sessional teaching position in the education department at SFU, Susan encouraged the students to be more involved, and several of these students have become DSRF volunteers or staff. Susan has particular interest in the areas of social communication, mental health and problem behaviour in people with Down syndrome. She is currently working on her doctoral degree at UBC, studying positive behaviour support with families, under the guidance of Dr. Joe Lucyshyn in the Department of Educational and Counselling Psychology and Special Education. Email Susan

Marla Folden, M.Sc. RSLP
Registered Speech Language Pathologist

Marla completed her Masters of Science at McGill University in Speech-Language Pathology. While attending McGill, she ran a research project about intensive speech treatment for teens with Down syndrome and childhood apraxia of speech. She greatly enjoys working with individuals with developmental differences, and worked at the DSRF as a programs assistant and instructor prior to returning to school to study Speech Pathology. Marla values a client centred approach to treatment, and enjoys supporting families and individuals of all ages. Marla is delighted to be a part of the DSRF therapy team, and offers individual treatment and assessments. E-mail Marla

Pat Hanbury
Director of Programs & Services

Pat comes to the role of Director of Programs & Services at the DSRF with diverse experience gained from supporting families as Interim Executive Director at the Family Support Institute, co-founder of Hanbury Holland, a private consulting company, and work as a network facilitator at PLAN (Planned Lifetime Advocacy Network). Pat graduated from UBC with a degree in psychology in 2007 after a previous career working at Cominco, British Petroleum, and BC Pavilion Corporation, in a variety of accounting roles. Pat and her husband John have three children and 24 year old Andrew is diagnosed with Down syndrome. Pat is a strong believer in the power of parent networking and a proponent of goal oriented programming that supports our children as citizens within their natural communities of family and friends. Pat has experience with the issues surrounding transition into adult life and was responsible for the creation and launch of Support Worker Central, a website designed to assist people who employ support workers for their disability related needs. Email Pat

Glen Hoos
Director of Marketing and Development

After graduating from the University of Calgary with a Bachelor of Commerce (marketing major), Glen spent the first 11 years of his career working in the not-for-profit sector, gaining extensive fundraising experience along the way. After three years as General Manager of a restaurant chain with locations worldwide, Glen joined the Down Syndrome Research Foundation in his current role. Glen has a very personal passion for the work of DSRF, as one of his four children has Down syndrome. Glen and his family live in Aldergrove, BC. Email Glen

Danielle Juilfs
Office Assistant

Danielle is happy to be part of the Down Syndrome Research Foundation as a Reception Assistant. Her duties are answering phones, laminating, cleaning the lobby at the front and other office duties. Danielle also works at a grocery store 3 days a week. She attended the DSRF summer school for many years and enjoyed it. Her favorite part of DSRF was the drama in the afternoons and also doing money math and budgeting. Danielle also attended Capilano University for 2 years and completed the Discover Employability Program. She has been part of Special Olympics for many years. The sports in which she participates are Golf, Softball, Swimming, Rhythmic Gymnastics and Basketball. She is also part of North Shore Connexions (The Summit). Danielle does bootcamp at the gym and loves to do Bollywood dancing.

Annette Kerr
Office Assistant

Annette has worked at the DSRF since April 2013. Annette answers the phone and directs visitors who come to the DSRF for an appointment. Before becoming an employee, Annette volunteered with the DSRF for three years. Annette also works at CBI Consultants as a receptionist and has been there since 2009. Annette has a beautiful assistant dog, Jake, who is a big hit with kids and adults alike. When not working Annette enjoys going out to restaurants, movies, swimming and listening to music.

Andrea Lee, M.Ed.
Teacher

Andrea received her Master’s in Education in Montessori Methodology and Children with Exceptionalities at Loyola University in Maryland. Previously, she graduated from the University of British Columbia with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Classical Literature. Andrea is a BC Certified Teacher who taught for several years in Montessori Elementary schools in Vancouver, leading multi-age, full-inclusion classes. She is trained in the Orton-Gillingham method of teaching reading and writing to people with reading disorders and has tutored students with learning difficulties for close to a decade. Prior to teaching, Andrea worked as a research assistant for the Department of Education at UBC. At DSRF, Andrea currently teaches Reading and Communications Plus, Money Math and Budgeting, Social Communication and Navigation, as well as One to One Reading for students age 3 and up. Email Andrea

Hina Mahmood, M.OT
Occupational Therapist

Hina is a recent graduate of the Master of Occupational Therapy program from the University of British Columbia. Prior to obtaining her degree she worked at DSRF for 6 years as the administrative assistant, and volunteer coordinator as well as a teacher’s assistant for the Reading & Communication program. Hina is passionate about working with individuals of all ages who have special needs. She values a holistic approach that is client centered and focuses on enabling and empowering her clients to live their every day lives in meaningful ways. E-mail Hina

Maria Marano
Events Coordinator

Maria has had over 30 years of experience in the media industry as well as in strategic planning, marketing, community and customer relations and event management. Maria is responsible for developing and maintaining revenue producing events that create awareness for new supporters and cultivation of opportunities for existing supporters. Maria welcomes the opportunity to make a significant contribution to empowering individuals with Down syndrome to reach their full potential. Email Maria

Aja Masters
Teaching Assistant

Aja graduated from Simon Fraser University in August 2015 with a major in psychology and a minor in learning and developmental disabilities. She has worked at PLEA Community Services working one-on-one with children and adults with varying disabilities. Aja has also worked as a respite worker and behavioural interventionist. In the summers of 2014 and 2015, Aja worked as a volunteer in the DSRF summer programs, and is now assisting in the Money Math and Budgeting, and Reading and Communication Plus programs for young adults. Email Aja

Dawn McKenna
Executive Director

Dawn has a broad business background with experience and education in finance, human resources and business management, and has been involved in the disability community for over 16 years. In 1999, looking for new challenges and the opportunity to help make a difference, Dawn left the corporate world and joined the Down Syndrome Research Foundation. She was instrumental in the successful completion of a $3 million capital campaign, raising funds to build a family-centered facility for Down syndrome education and research. The Centre and its team are enabling new insights into the unique learning styles of individuals with Down syndrome and provide the knowledge to develop new educational programs to help children with Down syndrome of all ages reach their full potential.

Dawn was a key member of the executive committee organizing the 9th world Down Syndrome Congress in Vancouver, BC, Canada in 2006, which saw over 1200 participants from 43 countries, including over 200 with Down syndrome. and took over as Executive Director the same year. Dawn is also an executive member of IASSID’s Down syndrome Special Interest Research Group, a member of Down Syndrome International’s Scientific Advisory Research Group, and involved in a variety of community projects. Email Dawn

Danielle McKinney
Teacher, One-to-One Reading Program

Danielle joined the DSRF team in 2011. She graduated from the University of Victoria in 1998 with a Bachelor of Education in Elementary Education and a concentration in Language Arts. She has worked with children of various ages as a teacher on call, tutor and classroom teacher. Her most recent and related experience was in a private school for children with learning and developmental disabilities. She is the one to one reading teacher for the Early Foundations, Success Builders, Launch Pad and Read On! programs at DSRF. She teaches the literacy component of summer camp and has also taught the Read On! group program for young adult learners looking to increase their reading comprehension skills. Email Danielle

Sarah Parker
Director of Finance and Administration
Sarah joined the DSRF staff team in 2010. She handles all of DSRF's money related activities and also manages the Josephine Mills Centre building. Sarah is a dedicated member of the team going above and beyond her role by setting up an Intranet for staff to communicate more easily and volunteering at events. She was also nominated to be the "Manager of Fun" by her co-workers - she disregards the stereotype that accountants are boring. Email Sarah

Riley Rosebush, M.Sc. RSLP
Registered Speech Language Pathologist

Riley studied psychology and linguistics before completing her Master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology at UBC. She has worked with children and adults with disabilities in a variety of social and educational settings for many years. Riley is passionate about helping people improve their communication and social skills as a speech-language pathologist. She is excited to be a member of the DSRF’s dynamic team. Riley currently provides individual speech and language therapy and assessments at the DSRF. Email Riley

Lillie Ryan, M.Sc. OT 
Registered Occupational Therapist

Lillie received her Masters of Science in Occupational Therapy from McGill University and completed a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology at the University of British Columbia. She has extensive experience working with children diagnosed with developmental disorders, such as Down syndrome, Autism Spectrum Disorder, and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Prior to joining DSRF, Lillie provided services to children and their families as part of a multidisciplinary team in the school, clinic and rehabilitation settings. Lillie is passionate about working with children, values client centered practice, and uses a relationship-based approach to therapy. Lillie currently provides individual occupational therapy assessments and direct therapy sessions at DSRF.

Chris Sayer
Office Assistant

Christopher (Chris) Sayer started working at the Centre in August 2014. His responsibilities include the reception desk, keeping the office tidy and any other tasks that are needs. Chris is thrilled to be joining the DSRF team. Chris has been attending the DSRF RAC program since 2010. He also enjoys the summer programs offered at DSRF, such as Bollywood dancing and Art Exploration. Chris was involved in the summer program in 2013 as a volunteer peer to the younger students. Chris has worked at the Burnaby Mountain Golf Course since 2010 as a kitchen assistant/dishwasher. Chris is very involved in Special Olympics for his fitness and social activities. In summer he plays golf and baseball. In winter participates in Athletic Club and Curling.

Alissa Segal, M.Sc. (Candidate) SLP
Speech Language Pathologist

Alissa completed her Master of Science degree in Speech-Language Pathology at UBC and her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology at the University of Calgary. Before joining DSRF, she worked with a girl with Down syndrome for one year to develop and improve her social skills. Alissa strongly believes that everyone deserves the chance to participate in the world around them, to build connections with other people and to find what makes them truly happy. Communication is key and needed for most, if not all of these things. Alissa is excited to work together with the families at DSRF to help her clients grow their confidence in themselves as communicators. Email Alissa

Eleanor Stewart
Senior Teacher

Eleanor has worked at the Down Syndrome Research Foundation since 2008 and is the lead teacher. Eleanor is a BC certified teacher who has a Master’s degree in Educational Psychology, with a specialization in reading and exceptionality, from Simon Fraser University, and an education degree from McGill University. Eleanor developed and taught the adult courses at DSRF, aimed at increased reading fluency as well as social communication and community navigation skills. She also teaches children in the one to one reading programs for students age three to adult. Beginning in Fall 2015, Eleanor has lead a DSRF School Collaboration Pilot program, where she designs one-to-one reading interventions for school age children and collaborates with teachers and educational assistants to implement the reading program in the school setting. As lead teacher, Eleanor mentors all new teachers at DSRF, responds to community requests for information about teaching children with Down syndrome, and makes frequent community presentations. Email Eleanor

Nimet Tejpar
Administrative Assistant, Volunteer Coordinator

Nimet initially joined DSRF in 2001, and has over 20 years of office administration experience. In 2012, Nimet took time off from the Foundation to attend Capilano University, where she studied the Legal Administrative Assistant program, and graduated on the Dean's list. After working with both large and small law firms, feeling that she could not get the same job satisfaction as she had at DSRF, Nimet decided to return to the Foundation in 2014. Nimet’s current role is Office Administrative Assistant and Volunteer Coordinator, providing assistance to the Directors of Finance & Administration, Programs & Services, and Marketing & Development. In particular, she is responsible for the registration of programs offered in Burnaby, Surrey and Abbotsford, as well as coordination of volunteers for various programs and events such as Summer school, Run Up for Down Syndrome, etc., plus lots of general administrative duties. Upon rejoining DSRF, Nimet said "I am looking forward to reconnecting with previous families and welcoming new families to DSRF!” Email Nimet

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E-mail: info@dsrf.org