2023 Annual Report

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DEVELOPING AND NURTURING INDEPENDENCE 2023 Annual Report www.dani-toronto.com info@dani-toronto.com 501 Clark Ave. West Thornhill, ON L4J 4E5 (905) 889-3264

We are not just another option; we’re a different path altogether!

Individuals with different abilities are encouraged to grow, engage, and be the architects of their futures.

This annual report underscores our commitment to transparency and accountability, highlighting the impact of our initiatives, recognizing our community’s efforts, and setting forth future objectives. Through this report, we reaffirm our dedication to our mission and the individuals we serve.

Message from the Exucitve Director ................................................................... 5 Board of Directors ................................................................................................. 6 Introduction ................................................................................................... ......... 7 Vision, Mission, and Values .................................................................................... 9 What We Do ........................................................................................................... 10 2023 Financial Overview ...................................................................................... 11 ACE (Abilities, Community, Empowerment) Program Review ....................... 12 Vocational Program Review .................................................................................. 14 Residential Program Review ................................................................................. 16 Social Enterprise Review ....................................................................................... 17
Developing and Nurturing Independence 2023 Annual Report Page 4

Dear Friends, Colleagues, and Benefactors,

As we look back on the year 2023, I am filled with a profound sense of gratitude and pride in what we have accomplished together. DANI’s journey, now in its18th year of operation, has been nothing short of remarkable. Our steadfast commitment has yielded transformative changes.

This past year has been a testament to the resilience, creativity, and boundless potential of our DANI family. From expanding our innovative WorkWise initiative to fostering strategic partnerships that enhance employment opportunities for neurodiverse individuals, we have made strides that reverberate far beyond our immediate surroundings. Our efforts in providing tailored employment support have illuminated the pathways to inclusivity, demonstrating the untapped potential that lies within diversity.

Our growth has been underpinned by the steadfast assistance and engagement of you, our community. Whether through volunteering, participating in our annual fundraiser events, or supporting our social enterprises, your contributions have been the cornerstone of our success. It is through this collective effort that we continue to break down barriers, build bridges of understanding, and cultivate an environment where every individual is valued and empowered to reach their full potential.

As we forge ahead, we remain committed to our mission of nurturing independence and integration. The expansion of our programs and the enhancement of our services are geared towards not just meeting, but exceeding the needs and aspirations of our participants and their families. We are inspired by the successes of the past year and are poised to embark on new initiatives that promise even greater impact.

Our journey is far from over. The challenges that lie ahead are opportunities for growth, innovation, and deeper collaboration. As we step into another year of service and advocacy, I invite you to join us in this journey of transformation. Together, we can persist in effecting positive change and enhancing the quality of life for many.

Thank you for your trust, your support, and your partnership. Here’s to another year of achievements, challenges met with courage, and countless moments of joy and fulfilment.

With deepest gratitude,

Developing and Nurturing Independence 2023 Annual Report Page 5

Board of Directors

At DANI, our passionate team fully commits to each participant’s unique goals, supporting their personal growth journey with dedication. Our dedicated Board members demonstrate unwavering commitment, guiding our vision with passion and expertise.


Chairman of the Board:

Robyn Quint


Peter Fingold


Sarah Sherman

Board of Directors:

Dr. Gerald Friedman

Rhoda Gelbard

Fay Grunzeweig

Andrew Laszlo

Honey Martin

Chaya Perman

Gail Saperia

DANI’s Place

Chairman of the Board:

Stephen Sender


Craig Podolsky


Mel Barsky

Board of Directors:

Jonathan Fleischer

Robyn Quint

Erez Henya

Developing and Nurturing Independence 2023 Annual Report Page 6

New Growth Strategy and Modest Rebrand

As we celebrate our 18th birthday, DANI stands on the precipice of transformative growth, underpinned by our Intentional Growth-Oriented Strategy. We’ve undergone a modest re-branding to better reflect our impact, mission, and vision.

The Commercialization Readiness Framework (CRF) program anchors our growth strategy for long-term goals, encompassing strategic planning, market analysis, product strategy, and go-to-market planning. This robust approach evaluates our revenue activities to ensure sustainability and foster innovation and guides product and solution development from inception to launch.

Strategic and Tactical Planning: Involves market, product, and corporate strategy development. It outlines the process of market segment identification, product portfolio creation, and go-to-market strategy execution.

Market Analysis: Analyzes market trends, opportunities, and competition. It involves studying various trends and leveraging these for opportunity creation.

Product Strategy: Covers idea screening to prototype testing, launch, and lifecycle management. It stresses on aligning products with market needs and differentiating them from competitors.

Go-to-Market Planning: Defines customer segments, engagement strategies, and partner and supplier management. It includes marketing, sales, and distribution strategies for effective market penetration and customer acquisition.

Networking and Partnerships

Our growth strategy also involves building strong relationships with nearly 100 new business partners and like-minded agencies worldwide. These collaborations are essential to our expansive vision, paving the way for innovative partnerships and opportunities.

Looking Forward

The path ahead is ambitious. We aim to leverage the momentum of the past year to reach new heights. Our strategic initiatives, from the CRF program to our housing and technological advocacy, aim to make not only growth but also meaningful impact. We want to ensure that DANI expands its reach and continues to enrich and empower the lives of those we serve.

Over the past year, DANI has expanded its network to include several agencies that will assist with partnerships and/or revenue generation:

1. Abundance Health 2. ADI Negev 3. Al G Brown and Associates 4. Atelier Jem Workshop 5. Baycrest Brain Health and Innovation Centre 6. Bloorview McMillan 7. BST Canada 8. CAMH 9. Canadian Centre for Caregiving Excellence 10. Casey Consulting 11. City of Vaughan Accessibility Committee 12. Echelon Wealth Partners 13. Franklin Templeton 14. Global University Systems 15. Goldhar and Associates 16. Great Gulf Homes 17. Humber College 18. Investor Cubed 19. Israel Elwyn 20. Landmark College 21. Magen David Adom 22. Mega In-Tech 23. Miriam Foundation 24. Myjobmatch.com 25. myMsFamily 26. Nusite Contracting 27. ODEN 28. Ontario Travel Education Coalition 29. OTF - Toronto 30. SafeHaven 31. Scopus Commerce 32. The Community Tech 33. Toronto-Israeli tech Start-up 34. University of Calgary 35. Worktopia 36. York University Developing and Nurturing Independence 2023 Annual Report Page 7
“I am grateful for DANI giving my son the opportunity to volunteer, learn skills and make friends in a supportive environment. We see the positive influence DANI has, as our son is happier, more social, more independent, and has greatly improved his ability to communicate.”
- Larissa P.

400+ individuals served annually

96% of donations go to the program

150+ vocational positions created


DANI will be a dynamic, proactive, accessible, innovative, and highly collaborative organization that serves adults with developmental disabilities throughout their lifetime ensuring that they each reach their full potential.


DANI’s mission is to deliver a full continuum of person-centred services - including social, recreational, employment training, social enterprises and residential - to adults with developmental disabilities, incorporating Jewish practices and traditions; and integrating into the community, and its service networks.

Value the Individual

We see and treat everyone for who they really are, recognizing and building on their unique strengths.


We keep it real and honest always, what you see is what you get with us.



True community integration is our game. It’s not just about being there; it’s about really belonging and making a difference.

Family Led

Our strategies and initiatives are guided by insights and leadership from the families, ensuring relevance and empathy in our approach.


We’re not stuck in old ways. If there’s a better, smarter way to do something, we’re on it.

Developing and Nurturing Independence 2023 Annual Report Page 9

Providing life-changing opportunities

We believe in the power of inclusion and the potential of every individual. Through our comprehensive goal actualization, skills training and community support, we empower individuals with developmental disabilities to thrive and lead fulfilling lives.

Since our inception in 2006 by a group of parents faced with the public support ending for their children with developmental disabilities at the age of 21, we have always put the individual and their support network first.

We have grown substantially into a dynamic and innovate charity, consistently setting new standards, while maintaining our dedication to engaging support networks to incorporate their needs, thoughts, and knowledge.

We currently serve over 400 individuals annually, and operate five dual-purpose social enterprises that financially support the charity and provide practical job training and employment opportunities for our participants.

DANI stands as a beacon of innovation and compassion, empowering neurodiverse adults, fostering a nurturing environment where growth, unity, and empowerment are everyday realities, not mere ideals.

Our person-centred services celebrate each individual’s unique talents and potential, offering a range of programs that unlock these strengths and help achieve personal goals.

Our campuses are vibrant community hubs, fostering deep connections, friendships, and a shared sense of purpose. We’re committed to integrating our members into society, promoting active involvement, volunteering, and employment opportunities that enrich both the individuals and the communities they touch.

At the core of our approach is a deep commitment to understanding each person’s needs and desires. Collaborating closely with them and their networks, we tailor programs to exceed their aspirations.

Our comprehensive Goal Action Programs, ranging from life skills training to functional cooking, are designed to foster independence, satisfaction, and achievement.

Empowerment is our guiding principle, encouraging participants to advocate for themselves and confidently navigate their journey.

Backed by our expert multidisciplinary team, each individual at DANI is encouraged to develop their strengths, contributing to a world where everyone is seen, valued, and empowered to thrive.

Developing and Nurturing Independence 2023 Annual Report Page 10

2023 Financial Overview

At DANI, transparency is more than a commitment—it’s a cornerstone of our organization. We deeply honour the trust placed in us by our community, knowing it comes not just from financial contributions but also from the countless volunteer hours generously given.

Each year, our 36-hour campaign rallies support and enthusiasm, showcasing the collective power of our community. We believe in a ‘hand up, not a handout’ approach, exemplified through our social enterprise businesses. These enterprises aren’t just about making profit; they’re about making a difference. By generating revenue that’s funnelled back into our charity’s budget, we create sustainable change and empower those we serve.

Together, through transparency, volunteerism, and innovative initiatives, we’re not just transforming communities— we’re transforming lives.

Developing and Nurturing Independence 2023 Annual Report Page 11
Reporting period ending 12/31/2023 Revenue Donation $952,353 40.30% Grants $272,177 11.52% Social Enterprises $275,986 11.68% Program Fees $862,460 36.50% Total $2,362,976 Expenses Direct Program Delivery $1,959,425 80.06% Overhead $488,104 19.94% Total $2,447,529 Reporting period ending 12/31/2022 Revenue Donation $834,439 39.37% Grants $202,292 9.55% Social Enterprises $284,706 13.43% Program Fees $797,907 37.65% Total $2,119,344 Expenses Direct Program Delivery $1,750,190 76.37% Overhead $541,611 23.63% Total $2,291,801 40% 12% 12% 36% Revenue 2023 Donations Grants Social Enterprise Program fees 80% 20% Expenses 2023 Direct Program Delivery Overhead 39% 10% 13% 38% Revenue 2022 Donations Grants Social Enterprise Program fees 76% 24% Expenses 2022 Direct Program Delivery Overhead

A year of unprecedented growth & innovation

In a year of unprecedented growth and innovation, marked by significant strides and accomplishments, DANI’s Abilities, Community and Empowerment Program has continued to thrive and expand, solidifying our commitment to enriching the lives of adults with developmental disabilities.

Growth and Expansion

This year has continued an extraordinary three-year trend of a 53% increase in service users, from 34 to 52 participants. This growth highlights the increasing demand for our comprehensive program and our capacity to meet this need with quality and care. We are proud of our program team’s ability to increase our capacity creatively and determinedly.

Community Partnerships

We’ve strengthened our community ties by achieving a 75% increase in community partners. This robust support network enhances our vocational training and volunteer opportunities. These partnerships significantly contribute to diverse experiences for growth and development.

University and College Partnerships

We’ve expanded our capacity as a preferred training hub for universities and colleges by adding seven new partnerships. This has resulted in a 25% growth in the number of placement students. We are thrilled to continue to benefit from contributions of students including, but not limited to, the following programs: Child and Youth Care, Recreation Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Social Work, Developmental Service Workers and Social Service Workers.

These partnerships have been invaluable in providing added support to the ACE program while allowing DANI the privilege of shaping and training future professionals in our sector.

Exploring and Enhancing Our Focus on Self-Advocacy

This year, the ACE Program has actively collaborated

with community partners to create more opportunities for self-advocacy and develop effective supporting tools.

Our partners include agencies known for their innovative self-advocacy practices as well as self-advocates within the neurodiverse community.

We are excited to introduce new programs in 2024, designed to empower individuals to advocate for their own rights and needs. For example, we look forward to Jared Krybus, a self advocate who marries decades of experience working in the disability space at organizations like DANI, Zareinu and Camp Robin Hood, with a blossoming career in stand up comedy, to lead an Advocacy Through Comedy workshop in the coming year. Additionally, we are thrilled about the upcoming enhancements to our intake processes, staff training, and goal planning, which are set to enrich and nurture self-advocacy opportunities.

Innovative New Programs

Our program has advanced with the introduction of cutting-edge Information Technology programs, including Digital Literacy, Animation, Coding, and Internet Safety. These initiatives have equipped our participants with highly valued skills in today’s world.

Our Robotics Program is another example of innovation. We are so proud of our group that has gone through the process of learning the in and outs of building mechanical devices and has accomplished the feat of building a functioning robot.

Vocational Training & Community Engagement

A key to our program’s success is our focus on real-world experiences, offering 130 hours of training each

Developing and Nurturing Independence 2023 Annual Report Page 12

week across various placements. Our participants now enjoy more than two placements per week, and we’ve doubled the number of participants in paid employment, supported by the ACE program, within the community.

Creative Arts

The Creative Arts remain a vital part of our program, dedicating over 180 hours weekly to various projects in 2023. Our annual Art Show and Theatre Production celebrated their 10th Anniversary and were significant events that challenged and reshaped societal perceptions of art and artists.

The annual Art Show, themed “Dreams of Africa”, showcased talents across multiple mediums, including clay sculptures and modern art. This highlighted the diversity and depth of their creative abilities. The show was also a landmark for DANI as it marked the first community event at our second campus.

The Shrek theatre production was a major success, selling a record 350 tickets and featuring an inclusive

theatre troupe of over 80 people. This represents a 20% increase in the capacity of this signature ACE program. The production, punctuated by a thunderous standing ovation from the attending community, marked our 10th annual theatre spectacular. It also showcased the unique abilities of our participants, further establishing the ACE Program as a leader in fostering artistic expression among adults with disabilities.

Developing and Nurturing Independence 2023 Annual Report Page 13 240%+ funds raised 53% more service users 7 new college partners 25%+ student posts 8640+ hrs. creating art 44%+ art sales 25%+ ticket sales 4+ new IT programs

Committed to getting neurodiverse adults jobs

In a landmark year, DANI has taken significant strides forward in promoting inclusive employment, achieving remarkable milestones that highlight our steadfast commitment to enhancing the work environment for individuals with disabilities.

Establishment of Employment Services Department

This year, we launched the Employment Services Department, a significant step in supporting individuals with developmental disabilities.

Introduction of the Workwise Model

A key highlight of the year was the development and introduction of the Workwise Model. This innovative strategy nurtures the complete employment ecosystem for an individual. This pioneering model provides customized support for employees, employers, and the individual’s caregivers, ensuring a holistic and sustainable approach to employment.

The Workwise model leverage’s insights into complex employment challenges and the importance of a multifaceted approach. It addresses the need for a comprehensive strategy that includes the entire employment ecosystem—families, employers, and the broader community.

The core of the model employs a sustainable Fading Support Model. Employment facilitators begin with intensive training and onboarding support, gradually reducing their involvement to promote independence, but remain available for ongoing support. This approach educates employers about the benefits of an inclusive workforce and promotes systemic change needed for the full integration of neurodiverse individuals into the workforce. It aims to fully recognize and value each individual’s potential.

Successful Pilot and Staff Training at O’doughs

The pilot implementation of the Workwise Model at O’doughs bakery has been a resounding success,

showcasing the model’s effectiveness and scalability in creating a supportive and inclusive workplace. This partnership has not only proven the model’s broader application potential but also opened additional employment opportunities at the bakery.

In addition to the successful pilot, DANI has begun specialized training for O’doughs staff, focusing on accessible workplace practices aligned with Crisis Prevention Institute (CPI) guidelines. This initiative emphasizes inclusive work environments and ensures a supportive and safe setting for all employees. These efforts at O’doughs exemplify DANI’s commitment to fostering accessible and accommodating workplaces.

Joining Local, Provincial, and National Employment Networks

To expand our capacity, reach, and ability to create opportunities for those we serve, DANI is actively increasing its partnerships. This year, we collaborated with several dynamic networks, including The Thornhill Employment Hub, the Ontario Disabilities Employment Network (ODEN), the MyJobMatch platform in partnership with Community Living Toronto, and Worktopia, an initiative powered by The Sinneave Family Foundation.

Strategic alliances are key to efficiently utilize extensive networks and resources for job matching, and to promote inclusive employment practices at various levels. Our partnership with these networks highlights DANI’s commitment to support a diverse workforce, furthering our mission for a more inclusive and supportive employment landscape.

Developing and Nurturing Independence 2023 Annual Report Page 14

“DANI’s impact on my son’s journey to employment has been remarkable. With their dedicated support and tailored resources, they not only facilitated a smooth transition, but also empowered him to thrive in his new workplace. By challenging, societal stereotypes and fostering understanding, DANI has played a pivotal role in breaking barriers for individuals who are neurodiversity in the workforce. Through education, awareness, initiatives, and personalized guidance, they insured not just a job placement, but meaningful opportunity. DANI’s

commitment to fostering inclusion and support has made a difference in helping to shape a more inclusive and accepting society.”

We take pride in being part of these vibrant, dynamic networks, and we appreciate the support and collaboration from all our partners. Together, we’re making substantial progress in creating more inclusive opportunities for the people we serve, validating the power of partnership and shared commitment to workforce inclusivity.

75%+ more partners 520+ hrs. training/month 2+ placements/wk. 2X paid positions

An inclusive home for neurodiverse adults

DANI’s Place Residential (DPRS) serves as a beacon of hope and opportunity for individuals with developmental disabilities. Through strategic partnerships, innovative programming, and dedication to excellence, DPRS is set to redefine supportive housing standards and empower residents to lead fulfilling lives.

DANI plans to officially launch its Housing Program in the summer of 2024, a significant milestone in our commitment to providing high-quality residential services for people with developmental disabilities. This initiative aligns with our gold-standard ACE program, leveraging partnerships with major housing providers to expand our services and establish additional housing sites over the next decade.

Recognizing the urgent need for accessible and supportive housing options, DANI started a transformative housing initiative two years ago. This year was pivotal for DPRS as we welcomed new board leadership from the finance, real estate, and investment sectors. Their expertise was invaluable in navigating the pandemic challenges that led to increased costs in the final construction stages.

Milestones Achieved

This past year, DPRS reached several key milestones:

• Completion of housing policies and procedures

• Signing agreements with partner agencies to finance the shortfall in construction costs

• Appointment of a dedicated house director

• Recruitment of a highly qualified support staff team

• Selection of eight inaugural residents

DPRS stands out for its innovative model, which prioritizes affordability and quality. The housing initiative offers a cost-effective alternative to traditional models, with a focus on enhancing program quality.

Central to this model is the House Director concept, ensuring that qualified staff reside on-site and are supported by DANI’s ACE Program trained Staff. This approach fosters a supportive environment where

residents can thrive and work towards increased independence.

Integrating DANI’s ACE program further improves the resident experience by providing access to top-tier life skills and vocational training. By aligning housing goals with individualized life action plans, DPRS optimizes the potential for resident success and well-being.

Showcasing Excellence in Supportive Living

The home itself showcases our commitment to excellence. It spans 9000 square feet and features individual en-suite bathrooms and built in closets for each resident, spacious communal areas designed to foster community engagement, and state-of-the-art facilities like a gym, education lab, and outdoor event space.

These amenities will not only serve the residents but also be utilized by like-minded community agencies, promoting collaboration and inclusivity. The design reflects our commitment to safety, aesthetic beauty, and resident pride.

Selection Process and Facilities

DPRS uses a rigorous selection process, overseen by a third-party committee of industry professionals, to ensure residents align with the program’s goals and community ethos.

Developing and Nurturing Independence 2023 Annual Report Page 16 9000 Ft2 inaugural home 10 partner agencies 2000 Ft2 comm. space

Social Enterprises / DANI Businesses

In a landmark year, DANI has taken significant strides forward in promoting inclusive employment, achieving remarkable milestones that highlight our steadfast commitment to enhancing the work environment for individuals with disabilities.

DANI has developed and operates a dynamic social enterprise, including diverse businesses that train and employ adults with developmental disabilities. Our enterprise has a unique position within the kosher industry, offering a variety of services tailored to our community’s needs.

Catering Services:

Our catering division serves a broad clientele, ranging from individual lunch orders to large corporate events with hundreds of guests. We specialize in providing dairy and vegetarian options, focusing on offering nutritious and healthy choices.

Patio Cafe:

Our Patio Cafe, open from May to September, provides a peaceful garden setting with a picturesque park view. A favourite among recurring customers, it’s a popular spot for social gatherings or remote work. With free WiFi, accessibility, and ample parking, it’s an ideal place to relax or connect with others.

Event Centre:

Our spacious Event Centre offers a versatile venue for various occasions, including lifecycle events. The indoor space, adorned with art created by DANI artists, provides 1800 square feet of elegance, supplemented by a large outdoor tent in the summer. In 2022 and 2023, DANI successfully hosted over 60 events, creating memorable experiences for our guests.

Gift Store:

Our Gift Store features a handpicked selection of private and corporate gifts, including holiday-themed

items. With baked goods from the DANI kitchen and artwork by our artists, our gifts reflect our commitment to quality and creativity. We are proud to have sold over 2500 gifts in 2022 and 2023, spreading joy and supporting our mission.

At DANI, our social enterprise not only serves our community but also provides meaningful employment opportunities and promotes inclusivity. With every service and product, we strive to make a positive impact and create a more vibrant and inclusive society.

“Rebecca has been attending the DANI day program for almost 10 years, and we couldn’t be happier. DANI has placed Rebecca in volunteer work programs that suit her needs; they have worked diligently on improving her ADL skills; they ensure that her activities focus on what she genuinely enjoys. The staff are devoted, attentive, and kind. We are delighted with DANI!”

Developing and Nurturing Independence 2023 Annual Report Page 17 4 enterprises 60+ events 2500+ gifts sold

DANI’s mission is to deliver a full continuum of person-centred services - including social, recreational, employment training, social enterprises and residential - to adults with developmental disabilities, incorporating Jewish practices and traditions; and integrating into the community, and its service networks.


info@dani-toronto.com 501

Ave. West Thornhill, ON L4J 4E5 (905) 889-3264

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