Meet The Founder
Child & Youth Care Practitioner
AJ Kirkpatrick is a passionate, encouraging, and enthusiastic human, an experienced and professional Child & Youth Care Practitioner, and the proud founder of AdaptABILITY Support Services.
Believing in meeting people where they are and supporting them along their own path, AJ has supported people with intellectual disabilities for more than 20 years. She uses her experience, enthusiasm, intuition, sense of humour, and unique problem solving skills to support the people she works with.
Often, people with disabilities are funneled into a one-size-fits-all program without a sense of autonomy, real-world practice, or the opportunity to create their own futures.
As AJ is a strong advocate for supporting individuals in a person-centered way, with a focus on individualizing programs and services to meet the personalized needs of the individual, AdaptABILITY Support Services will always be a customizable, personalized, individualized program.
One day, many years ago, my passionate and enthusiastic personality decided to take a leap and introduce myself to a stranger that was working with a young person living with a disability.
Since then, I have been supporting people with disabilities through my whole life.
I took another chance, years later, introducing myself to the Head Coach of a Special Olympics Swim Team, and volunteered with them for more than 11 years, becoming the head coach of a very large team, and coached during the Provincial Games.
While at College, getting an advanced diploma with honours as a Child & Youth Care Practitioner, I saw the future: personalized, strengths- and interest-based programming and supports for people with disabilities. And hiring and supporting other Child & Youth Workers by creating jobs for them.
As a professional, I ran group homes, day programs, training programs, recreation programs, worked in the formal education system, and more. But they were always missing something - a focus on the people the programs were serving. There was so much focus on what they were doing, but not a lot of focus on the actual person and their real interests.
That's how AdaptABILITY Support Services came to be.
I meet you where you are, support you along your own path, and ensure you have autonomy, choice, and power over all decisions. I create personalized programs from scratch for each client. Fill them with passion to succeed, and make sure they have all the equipment, support, and money to make it happen. When there's a problem, I solve it. When there's a barrier, I move it. When there's a question about how to make something happen, I answer it. I have the experience, knowledge, and skills to make sure people with disabilities get what they want and need.
Community Integration through Cooperative Education (CICE) Program - Barrie
Support students through individualized programming, modification, and accommodation of academic expectations, and collaborate with other educators, while encouraging integration of students with co-workers during co-op placement, with peers during class and group work, and during social activities.
A 2 Z Child Care
Home-Based Child Care - Barrie
Founder & Care Provider
Provide care to 5 preschool-aged children, and school-aged children with intellectual disabilities, providing safe, caring, and consistent learning environment, while encouraging children to show kindness, be inclusive, eat well, build relationships with peers, and self-regulate, while taking care of their basic, everyday needs.
The ABLE Network
Community Program for People
with Intellectual Disabilities - Aurora
Create, modify, and implement programs that supported participants while in the community during their work, volunteering, recreational activities, on public transit, and during activities and fundraising events.
Oakdale Child & Family Services
Group Homes - Simcoe County
Child & Youth Worker
Support the daily needs of clients who lived in the home. Physical support for lifts, transfer, position, mobility, and physical therapy, plus showering, toileting, feeding, administration of medication. Create and implement programs focussing on behavior strategies and management. Daily data collection, record keeping, and administrative documentation.
Special Olympics Ontario
Special Ducks Swim Team - Aurora
Swim Coach / Head Coach
As a fully certified NCCP coach for over 11 years, support the development of pre-competitive and competitive teams of athletes through planning and implementing weekly practices and in-house swim meets, coach regional and provincial swim teams, recruit and train new volunteer coaches, maintain records, participate in regional board meetings, and had multiple individual athletes qualify for world games.
Town of Aurora
Summer Camps - Aurora
Director of Integration
Support the staff team who worked with campers with disabilities for more than 30 summer camps, more than 150 campers, and 40 staff per summer. Through planning and implementing staff training, regular opportunities for collaboration, encouragement of creative problem solving, and a team-spirit attitude, the integration program tripled its available space for campers during my tenure.
Georgian College Students Association (GCSA)
Students’ Administrative Council - Orillia
VP Public Relations
Advocate for students to gain access to student services offered by Georgian College, represent the human service field on a predominantly police-service-run student-led council. Community, college, and council public relations, volunteer recruitment, advocacy for students with disabilites, facilitate meetings and workshops for students and faculty, student orientation and tours, community activity participation, budget allocation, prioritize and balance task assignments. Lead Student Services Fair, Shinerama (Cystic Fibrosis fundraiser), Participant in Georgian Golf classic, College Student Alliance (CSA) ad-hoc committees, community-based charity fundraisers, Canadian Organization of Campus Activities (COCA) conference, Tri-campus & Multi-campus conferences, and Alumni committee meetings.