Alberta Council of Disability Services


Session 1: Developing Confidence and Resilience in Uncharted Times

 Dr. Irene Estay

Dr. Estay has worked in the field of Rehabilitation and Counselling Psychology for over 40 years. She managed Professional Resources with the Persons with Developmental Disabilities (PDD) Calgary Community Board.

In the past, she has played many roles in higher education as an Adjunct Professor for the Applied Psychology Department at the University of Calgary, also teaching at Mount Royal, Phoenix and Meritus University.

She has done extensive studies in the areas of brain development, self-esteem, peak performance and psychology of achievement. She has trained many years in California with Jack Canfield well-known writer from the Chicken Soup for the Soul Series.

In 1995 she created the organization Openings, which provides learning opportunities for individuals in the areas of self-esteem, life accomplishments and understanding the function of the brain in behaviours and emotions. Openings under the auspices of CARYA have served thousands of participants from different walks of life. The outcomes of the program have been well documented by the amazing life changes some participants have experienced.

She is currently a consultant to Prospect Human Services, Persons with Developmental Disabilities services and Calgary Catholic Immigrant Society.

Session 2: Compassion Fatigue: “You Gotta Name It to Tame It!”

Dr. Deena Martin

Deena has held many professional roles across her career including: professor, executive leader, regulator, director of professional guidance, consultant, researcher, registered psychologist, lifeguard, team leader, and relief staff.

Regardless of the hat she is wearing or the responsibility she is carrying, Deena strives to offer a compassion-centred, non-violent approach to promoting social justice while enhancing the quality of life of others. In relation to her work, she has experienced first-hand the effects of burnout – and recognizes that compassion fatigue is part of caring for others – and needs to be managed.

Deena’s formal education includes a degree in Community Rehabilitation and Disability Studies (University of Calgary) and a masters and doctoral degree in Educational Psychology at the University of Alberta. With over 10 years of experience as a student,Deena spent another 18 years in academia starting as an instructor and later becoming a professor (teaching both undergraduate and graduate courses) and administrator (e.g., program chair, program director).

During the work week, Deena can be found anywhere from a counselling office to a boardroom, to speaking at a conference or running statistical analyses. On the weekend, she can be found riding two wheels through the mountains or paddling wandering rivers. Within the onset of COVID, staying home has allowed Deena to garden, knit, and otherwise take on projects that she would have never previously considered!

Session 3: Next Level Behaviour: Addressing Hurtful and Aggressive Behaviours in Those We Support

Karen Hauber

Karen Hauber is currently supervising the Mindful Hearts dementia care and training program with the Winnifred Stewart Association in Edmonton. Over the past 25 years, Karen has been exploring related passions; working various positions in the disability services field and developing and facilitating employee training programs and leadership initiatives. Karen is passionate about individual empowerment and believes staff are the power source to move an organization forward. Using her experience in facilitation, Karen has played an integral role in the professional development of employees in both nonprofit and corporate settings. When she is away from work, you will find her enjoying live music, playing sports that involve a stick or a foot, and spending time with family.




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