At this spotlight event, presented by the Community, Partnership and Innovation Department, you will have the opportunity to learn about the importance of resilience in overcoming adversity. It allows you to make courageous choices, connect with others and develop your creativity. This keynote presentation will feature Canadian Paralympic athlete Jason Dunkerley, a celebrated middle-distance runner with five Paralympic medals.

Jason was born blind and began running in elementary school, but it wasn’t until he was in high school that he became serious about competing. He attended the W. Ross Macdonald School for visually impaired, blind and deafblind students in Brantford, Ontario, where students are encouraged to get involved in sports. Since then, he’s won many medals for Canada at major games.

After retiring from competition in 2018, Jason has recently returned to the national team and is hopeful of qualifying to represent Canada at the 2024 Paralympic Games which will take place in Paris. Currently, Jason is the senior advisor in the Public Services and Procurement Canada Accessibility Office.

The event will be moderated by Kim Daniel. The formal presentation will be followed by a question and answer period.

About Surrey Place’s Community, Partnership and Innovation Department

The Community, Partnership and Innovation Department aims to reduce disparities driven by social, racial and economic inequalities and improve access to clinically appropriate care. We work to cultivate a high-performance organizational culture through education, research and long-lasting partnership building. 

Our goals include raising awareness and building knowledge from those who have lived experiences due to physical, emotional and social differences. We regularly host spotlight series featuring key guest speakers with lived experiences to share their life journeys.


Jason Dunkerley, Keynote Speaker

Jason grew up in Northern Ireland with two brothers who were also blind. Encouragement from his parents and support from teachers instilled a love for physical activity in Jason. He competed in track throughout high school in Brantford, Ontario, and at the University of Guelph, where he studied International Development and Spanish. Jason also has a Masters in World Literatures and Cultures from the University of Ottawa, which he completed in 2014.

Jason has been a member of Canada’s Para Athletics team since 1998 and has lived and trained in Ottawa since 2003. He has proudly represented Canada at five Paralympic Games and is a five-time medalist in middle-distance track.

Jason is currently a senior advisor in the Public Services and Procurement Canada Accessibility Office. He joined the federal public service in 2016 and started his career at Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada. Before this, he spent seven years coordinating a national physical activity initiative to encourage access to inclusive community recreation programs for individuals with a disability.

Kim Daniel, Moderator

Kim Daniel, M.Ed., PhD., received her Ph.D. from McGill University in an APA/CPA accredited Counselling Psychology program, where she developed her skills in research and clinical work. She completed her residency at Surrey Place, working with individuals with different developmental disabilities and autism spectrum disorder (ASD). She also completed a postdoctoral clinical fellowship at Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children, working in the Pediatric Clinical/Health Psychology and Behavioural Medicine Division with both in-patients and out-patients. 

Kim is currently the Director of Community Partnerships and Innovation at Surrey Place. In her role, she focuses on designing and developing innovative clinical and educational programs and building collaborative partnerships. She previously served as a mental health consultant, where she provided therapy to the Indigenous population in Northern Ontario. She also engages in ongoing research and offers consultative work in the GTA community. 

Contact Information

For general inquiries, contact

By 2 months

Has your baby had their hearing screened? YES NO

By 6 months

Does the child?

Startle in response to loud noises? YES NO
Turn to where a sound is coming from? YES NO
Make different cries for different needs (hungry, tired)? YES NO
Watch your face as you talk? YES NO
Smile/laugh in response to your smiles and laughs? YES NO
Imitate coughs or other sounds such as ah, eh, buh YES NO

By 9 months

Does the child?

Respond to their name? YES NO
Respond to the telephone ringing or a knock at the door? YES NO
Understand being told no? YES NO
Get what they want through using gestures (reaching to be picked up)? YES NO
Play social games with you (Peek-a-Boo)? YES NO
Enjoy being around people? YES NO
Babble and repeat sounds such as babababa or duhduhduh? YES NO

By 12 months

Does the child?

Follow simple one-step directions (sit down)? YES NO
Look across the room to a toy when adult points at it? YES NO
Consistently use three to five words? YES NO
Use gestures to communicate (waves hi/bye, shakes head for no)? YES NO
Get your attention using sounds, gestures and pointing while looking at your eyes? YES NO
Bring you toys to show you? YES NO
Perform for social attention and praise? YES NO
Combine lots of sounds together as though talking (abada baduh abee)? YES NO
Show an interest in simple picture books? YES NO

By 18 months

Does the child?

Understand the meaning of in and out, off and on? YES NO
Point to more than 2 body parts when asked? YES NO
Use at least 20 words consistently? YES NO
Respond with words or gestures to simple questions (Where's teddy? What's that?)? YES NO
Demonstrate some pretend play with toys (gives teddy bear a drink, pretends a bowl is a hat)? YES NO
Make at least four different consonant sounds (p ,b, m, n, d, g, w, h)? YES NO
Enjoy being read to and sharing simple books with you? YES NO
Point to pictures using one finger? YES NO

By 2 years

Does the child?

Follow two-step directions (Go find your teddy bear and show it to Grandma.)? YES NO
Use 100 to 150 words? YES NO
Use at least two pronouns (you, me, mine)? YES NO
Consistently combine two to four words in short phrases (Daddy hat. Truck go down.)? YES NO
Enjoy being around other children? YES NO
Begin to offer toys to other children and imitate other children's actions and words? YES NO
Use words that are understood by others 50 to 60 per cent of the time? YES NO
Form words or sounds easily and without effort? YES NO
Hold books the right way up and turn the pages? YES NO
Read to stuffed animals or toys? YES NO
Scribble with crayons? YES NO

By 30 months

Does the child?

Understand the concepts of size (big/little) and quantity (a little/a lot, more)? YES NO
Use some adult grammar (two cookies, bird flying, I jumped)? YES NO
Use over 350 words? YES NO
Use action words such as run, spill, fall? YES NO
Participate in some turn-taking activities with peers, using both words and toys? YES NO
Demonstrate concern when another child is hurt or sad? YES NO
Combine several actions in play (puts blocks in the train and drives the train, drops the blocks off.)? YES NO
Put sounds at the beginning of most words? YES NO
Use words with two or more syllables or beats (ba-na-na, com-pu-ter, a-pple)? YES NO
Recognize familiar logos and signs involving print (Stop sign)? YES NO
Remember and understand familiar stories? YES NO

By 3 years

Does the child?

Understand who, what, where and why questions? YES NO
Create long sentences using five to eight words? YES NO
Talk about past events (trip to grandparents house, day at child care)? YES NO
Tell simple stories? YES NO
Show affection for favourite playmates? YES NO
Engage in multi-step pretend play (pretending to cook a meal, repair a car)? YES NO
Talk in a way that most people outside of the family understand what she/he is saying most of the time? YES NO
Have an understanding of the function of print (menus, lists, signs)? YES NO
Show interest in, and awareness of, rhyming words? YES NO
Read to stuffed animals or toys? YES NO
Scribble with crayons? YES NO

By 4 years

Does the child?

Follow directions involving three or more steps (First get some paper, then draw a picture and give it to Mommy)? YES NO
Use adult type grammar? YES NO
Tell stories with a beginning, middle and end? YES NO
Talk to try and solve problems with adults and with other children? YES NO
Show increasingly complex imaginary play? YES NO
Talk in a way that is understood by strangers almost all the time? YES NO
Generate simple rhymes (cat-bat)? YES NO
Match some letters with their sounds (letter b says buh, letter t says tuh)? YES NO