Breaking the ICE Canada 2017 Conference
Independence Community and Empowerment
October 28 & 29, 2017
Novotel Toronto, North York

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"Breaking the ICE" conference was previously known as the ICE conference where ICE referred to Independence, Community and Empowerment. The name change is intended to better reflect the importance of communication in breaking down barriers and attaining these important goals. 

Breaking the ICE Canada 2017 Conference
Independence Community and Empowerment
October 28 & 29, 2017
Novotel Toronto, North York
3 Park Home Avenue, North York, Ontario
"Make it Count and Celebrate 150"

Registration Is Now Open

Click to buy ticketsMarch of Dimes Canada - 2015 Conference Host  

Presenters for 2017 will include...

Glenda Watson Hyatt - Keynote presenter


Tien HoangMy name is Tien Hoang. I am proud to say that I am an AAC user. I have moved to Toronto a few years ago, and I am living my independent life. I want to promote awareness about AAC and the need for accessibility in the community for people with disabilities. I want to educate the public and bring accessibility and equality into the lives of people with disabilities because I want to bring hope to myself, to other people who are in need, and to the children of the future!


Nola Millin Nola is well known in her hometown of Windsor, Ontario, Canada for her activism and her public speaking. Nola is experienced in writing and speaking on various topics related to disability and the use of AAC. She has three degrees; one in Psychology, one in English and Creative Writing, and one in Disability Studies. Nola holds a position with ISAAC International as Editor for our website. Nola is also a sessional college instructor teaching psychology online. In her spare time, Nola can be found at her church where she is quite involved in many activities.


Nola Millin Jessica (Jess) is a long-time AAC user who takes every opportunity to share her experiences, educate others about life as an AAC user and to advocate for those people who rely on AAC for communication. She has a DSW (Developmental Service Worker) diploma from Centennial College in Toronto. She is regularly invited back as a guest speaker to share her experiences about attending and succeeding in a college environment. Her presentations not only encourage students with similar challenges, but also help staff better understand how to accommodate students with disabilities, particularly those with complex communication needs. Jess participates in a project sponsored by March of Dimes Canada called the LIFE (Learning Independence for Future Empowerment) Program. She works with instructors and participants on how to communicate with AAC users as well as how to accommodate participants with disabilities.

“Make it Count and Celebrate 150”
Tentative Schedule
 Friday October 27, 2017
 5:00pm - 6:30pm Registration
 Saturday October 28, 2017
 8 - 9 Registration
 9 - 10:00 Sessions
 10:00 - 10:30 Break
 10:30 - 12:00 Town Hall Meeting Questions
 Make it count
  1. What do you do to make a difference?
  2. Who do you know that has made a difference in your life or other people's lives?
  3. How do you pay it forward? (Random Acts of Kindness)
  4. What would make your life better?
 12:00pm - 1:30pm Lunch break
 1:30pm - 2:30pm Ketnote Speaker - TBA
 4- 5:15 - Panel Presentation
 6-7 Dinner
 7:30 - 9:00 Entertainment
 9-11 - DJ and dancing
 Sunday October 29, 2017
 9- 11 - Sessions
 11 - Head home

About Us

The Breaking the ICE Canada conference is an event created by and for individuals who use Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) and their families.

This conference is the first event of its kind in Canada and was designed to bring the community of people who use AAC together to share ideas, learn from each other, and create new friendships.

Breaking the ICE Canada was inspired by the Pittsburgh Employment Conference a consumer centred conference for augmented communicators. It has proven itself to be a powerful force for change and a source of empowerment for an often marginalized group.

The Breaking the ICE conference committee includes individuals who use AAC, members of March of Dimes Canada, and clinicians from Ontario's AAC centres.

The committee is made up of various subcommittees and includes the following dedicated individuals:

Alan Sunisloe                Donna Mackay           
Gemma Woticky Gordana Skrba
Gerry Schram Nora Rothschild
Iain Wallace Roslyn Irvine
Laurel Robinson Nola Millin
Alexis Dickson Verna Chan
Eva Miodonski Tracy Shepherd