Lucinda Hage earned an MEd in Adult Education and Counselling from the University of Toronto (OISE). For over 30 years, she has been encouraging others to achieve their potential through her roles as educator, counsellor, motivational speaker, workshop leader, advocate, and mother.
Lucinda is an experienced speaker and workshop leader. To arrange an interview or speaking engagement contact her at: or at her home in Peterborough Ontario, 705 745-2318.
Lucinda Hage was born in Calgary, Alberta and moved to Peterborough, Ontario to attend Trent University. She subsequently earned an MEd in Adult Education and Counselling from the University of Toronto (OISE). For over 30 years, she has been encouraging others to achieve their potential through her roles as educator, counsellor, motivational speaker, workshop leader, advocate, and mother.
Her inspiration, and challenge, for the last twenty-eight years has been her son, Paul. He was born with a genetic disorder, Tuberous Sclerosis Complex, which caused a serious intellectual disability.
In 2001, she founded Heads Up for Inclusion and the Amigos program to change attitudes in high schools toward students with disabilities, through relationships.
This earned her the ‘Member Excellence Award’ from Community Living Peterborough in 2007, in recognition of Building Inclusive Communities; the Gordon Holnbeck Award for Volunteer Service to the Disabled presented by the City of Peterborough in 2010; and the Spirit of Trent University Award in 2011, “in recognition of her exemplary and tireless commitment to fostering an inclusive society.”
Lucinda created Healing and the Arts at the hospital in Peterborough to promote awareness of the importance of art in the healing process. Today, the Peterborough Regional Health Center’s public spaces display over 400 original works of art; in 2010, the Art Committee received a Community Betterment Award from the City of Peterborough.
In 2011, she started Change for Change, a grassroots initiative to support the university education of young women in Zimbabwe who have been orphaned by HIV/AIDS.
Lucinda lives in Peterborough, with her husband Murray Leadbeater where they enjoy canoeing, cycling, and hiking in the summer, and cross country skiing in the winter. Paul, now 28, is a continual source of inspiration for what is possible.
Paul was born in 1985, and adopted by Lucinda and her husband. A year later uncontrolled seizures were eventually diagnosed as Tuberopus Sclerosis Complex, a genetic disorder that would leave Paul intellectually challenged and requiring medical interventions for the rest of his life. Lucinda's marriage did not survive the additional stress of caring for Paul and ended in divorce. However, with the constant help and support of Lucinda, Paul was able to go to school and summer camp - an experience that changed his life. Paul's Circle of Support helped him navigate the world of work; at 16 he got his first job as a summer student working for Parks Canada. At 23 Paul began working at the Holiday Inn in their housekeeping deparment, and the following year he moved into his own apartment. On March 5, 2010 he stood in the middle of his living room, his arms raised in triumph, celebtating his transition to his own life.
A woman unable to have her own child and anxious to adopt is overjoyed when a newborn baby is granted to her and her husband. Distress and devastation follow, however, when the baby, Paul, has seizures and is eventually diagnosed with Tuberous Sclerosis Complex, a serious genetic disorder that means her son will be intellectually challenged and require medical intervention for the rest of his life. Her already tenuous marriage disintegrates, and she becomes a single mother caring for a difficult, fragile child, managing to hang onto her own sanity.
But with exceptional resilience, tenacity, faith and very hard work, she makes a successful life not just for herself but for her son. He is able to go to school and summer camp; she finds a new partner and love. The reader cheers for Paul as he struggles to take his rightful place in society, and for his mother as she works ceaselessly to make that possible. At the end of the book, it is nothing less than miraculous that Paul, at 27, is living in his own apartment, with a job.
Along the way, Lucinda Hage shares her extensive reading and her thoughtful insights into the medical and educational systems and other forces that keep those who are different, apart and down. But with painful honesty, she also allows us to follow the journey of a mother who has fought so hard for her son that when the time comes to let him go, that release is a struggle as hard as any other.
This is an intimate look at raising a child with an intellectual disability from childhood through adolescence to adulthood. It’s a compelling
read that provides hope, ideas, and an example of what is possible when individuals with disabilities are given a chance to become all they can be. While this book will appeal strongly to parents and family members, it is also for people who work with or know someone with a disability and for anyone who cares about creating communities where everyone belongs.
by Dr. Karleen Pendleton Jiménez,
Associate Professor,School of Education
Trent University, Peterborough ON
Lucinda Hage wanted a baby, a child to love and raise, to build her family. One day the phone rang, a private adoption was offered to her, and she became the mother of a beautiful baby boy she named Paul. The lawyer who presented the baby to her proclaimed confidently that this child would reach his full potential in her arms. A year later Paul suffered seizures and was diagnosed with Tuberous Sclerosis. Experts informed Lucinda that he would always have a “serious intellectual disability,” limiting his ability to learn in school, and contribute to his community.
Certainly Paul has faced frustration and struggle in working through the dimensions of his (dis)ability. However, I would say the memoir reveals the much more difficult challenge of educating his community, teachers, peers, and employers. Hage conveys with honesty and humility the tremendous work of mothering involved when fighting stigma against persons with (dis)abilities. What happens when you go to a restaurant and your child makes uncommon sounds and the other patrons blame the mother and child? What happens when schools wish to segregate your child from his peers? What happens when the government refuses to pay the support that your son needs to thrive within his community? What happens when your spouse can no longer bear the stress? Lucinda invites us into her home, into the everyday dilemmas, into her doubts on the hardest days, and into her faith and pride on the better ones.
As a professor of education I have the opportunity to include this book in my courses. I highly recommend that teachers, parents, employers, counselors, etc. read and discuss this book to help create more inclusive communities. You will learn first-hand the misunderstandings that can harm young people. You will learn what kinds of programs can be created to foster belonging.
I was honoured by the trust she offered me as a reader, and then I was inspired by both her creative community networking and activism in the schools. This is a story about families finding each other and helping one another. This is a story about generosity and innovation. This is a story about a mother actually changing the system because her son deserved to be treated as a whole person. This is a story about a mother who has helped her son reach his “full potential”.
On March 5, 2010, Paul Tiller realized a dream he, his family and friends had been cherishing for years — the Peterborough, Ontario resident moved into his own apartment. Paul’s arms jutted over his head in a sign of victory when asked what he thought as he stood in the centre of his new place.
For Paul and those around him, the move was an important milestone in his journey to a meaningful life, “disability and all.” It signalled his growing interdependence with a community that extended beyond his immediate family. He was 24 years old.
Paul's journey is chronicled in the book "What Time is the 9:20 Bus" written by his mother Lucinda Hage. Published in 2014, Lucinda manages to convey, in 240 page, the triumphs, the defeats, the discouragement and the joy of a life filled with heart aches and joy.
As well as being a fascinating story of achievement, the book is also a valuable reference and resource for families, community workers and professionals working with adults who are disabled. Lucinda shares the knowledge she has gained over many years making the book an engaging and worthwhile read.
Added to Curriculum
Recently added to the curiculum of Fanshawe College's "Social Work Level II" certificate program, "What Time is the 9:20 Bus" was selected because thew book "... touches on so many things our students learn in first year and it pulls it all together in a very powerful way. We will be ordering the book every semester starting in January. One of our goals in the students’ final semester, aside from their internship, is to bring all the information they learned together and your book does this so well. It covers so many content areas - Maps, paths, advocacy, counselling, behavioural challenges, coping methods etc."
Professor Developmental Services Worker Program
Fanshawe College London, ON
In addition, 'What Time is the 9:20 Bus?' has been adopted as a textbook in the Developmental Social Work programs at Centennial College in Toronto, and Fleming College in Peterborough and is included in courses in the School of Education at Trent University.
Quotes from Reviewers/Professionals
"Invaluable! A compelling story well told. "
"This book is a must read for any one working with children with special needs. It shows how difficult the transitions are from one service to another - transitions that are necessary as the child grows older."
Frances A. Flanagan
"Because of this amazing book, I did absolutely nothing all day yesterday and late, late into the night! I simply could not put it down!!"
“What Time is the 9:20 Bus? had me crying, laughing and truly inspired by
Lucinda’s honesty! Her journey of faith, determination, and discovery paves the
way for others who cannot yet see the possibilities of individuals living with
Cindy Hobbins, Team Manger, Human Resources, Quality, Admin.
Community Living Peterborough