BCIC Administration Staff

  • Shirley McNaughton, C.M., Ph. D. - Chairperson, BCIC.

    Shirley continues to support BCIC, drawing on her years of experience with Blissymbolics and with Bliss users.

    As a special educator, she has been teaching - first children, then adults - persons with cerebral palsy since 1968.

    She retired from the position of executive director in 1989. She currently serves on the Blissymbolics Communication InternationaI Board of Directors (BCI).

    She continues to participate as a member of the BCI International Panel for Symbol Development. Shirley serves as Chair of Blissymbolics Communication Institute-Canada. In this role, she continues to support the literacy and communication endeavours of Bliss users and Bliss alumni, as BCIC resources permit. Her most recent project for BCIC is the founding, with Audrey King, of the Bliss i-Band, co-sponsored by the Lillian Meighen and Don Wright Foundation and BCIC in 2014. Initially Shirley served as Music Director of the i-Band and now continues as administrator for the i-Band under the music direction of Aaron Lightstone, with additional financial support from Ontario Arts Council and the Canada Arts Council.

    Shirley possesses the Order of Canada and has been dedicated to the teaching of Blissymbolics since 1971.

  • Katherine Seybold - Treasurer

    I first began working with Blissymbolics in 1982 when Shirley McNaughton asked me to work 4 hours a week with Sue Odell, a young woman with cerebral palsy who used Blissymbols to communicate.  Over the next few years, I gradually began working 4 days a week, focussing more on administrative duties, including the ever-growing international Bliss Affiliate network.  In the mid-90’s I became a volunteer for BCI and then a member of the Board of Directors, both duties continuing until today.

  • Bob Loree - Secretary

    I have been happy serving on the Board.  I have been learning how a Board works as a Board Member. This past year as secretary has been more challenging. Attending meetings on skype can be difficult for taking minutes as it tends to cut in and out.  I am hoping to attend at least some of the meetings in person this year.

  • Amanda Boc-Nielsen

    Amanda Boc-Nielsen
    I have lived in Brantford all my life.  I lived at home with my mom until I was 20, then I moved to Participation House. When I moved to Participation House, I re-connected with a boy I knew as a child.  Not children anymore, we fell in love and got married in 2002.  My husband is Andrew Nielsen.
    I enjoy watching tv.  I like watching politics.  I also enjoy shows on YTV and documentaries about wild life.  I love polar bears and have adopted a polar bear through WWF.  I also have a bear (not a real one), named Radar, who has given me comfort and friendship since childhood.  I also like going to visit my mother at her house every other week and play with her dog, Shadow.
    I graduated with grade 12 from Assumption College.
    Andrew and I both have Cerebral Palsy and learned Blissymbols as our first language.  I still use Bliss as my main means of communication.
    I am happy to serve on the Board for BCI-C.  I enjoy the opportunity to discover symbols and have input into the creation of new symbols.

  • Elaine Drover

    Elaine is from Newfoundland. She began using Blissymbols when her teacher Jane Green introduced them to her in the early seventies. Elaine now uses a voca, computer, i-Pad and her Bliss folder for communication. She is an active member of the Bliss i-Band and is working on her life story. She has a strong interest in helping others and enjoys participating on the BCIC Board of Directors.


  • Russell Galvin

    I am currently enjoying a period of quiet reflection before embarking on my "next great adventure". My days are spent writing , reading, and composing, with a little bit of software consulting thrown in when an interesting project comes up (please don't tempt me).
    Rebecca and I enjoy hiking and skiing when not travelling.

  • Joe Jessop

    Joe began using Blissymbols in the first class at the Ontario Crippled Children’s Centre (now called the Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital) in Toronto in 1971. He uses the light writer and computer for communication and plays the i-Pad as a member of the Bliss i-Band. His two favourite things are his cat, Kristin, and playing his drum set. He loves helping new Bliss users an.

  • Paul Sullivan

    I was born in Brantford.  I lived in various homes in Ontario, until I moved to Participation House.  My mom was very involved in getting Participation House built, so I could live closer to home and she could see me more often.  Once I got here, I saw my mom all the time until she passed away.  I also have a sister, Patricia, that lives in Oklahoma.
    I like travelling to the states to visit my sister.  I usually go every other year.  She comes here to visit me too.  I enjoy watching American politics on CNN.  Church is very important to me and attend Cornerstone Church every Sunday.  I have made many friends at church and they are like my second family.
    I have Cerebral Palsy. I had no way to communicate until I moved to Participation House as an adult.  Once here, the staff hooked me up with a teacher from Landsdowne Children’s Centre.  He came to PH and taught me how to talk with Blissymbols.    I continue to use Bliss as my main means of communication.
    I am happy to serve on the Board for BCIC.  I enjoy the opportunity meet other people that speak with Blissymbols.