Useful Links and Resources

ADVOCACY
SelfAdvocateNet.com

Largest and best Self Advocate website on the net. managed and updated on a daily basis.

BC Self Advocacy Foundation

Its sole purpose is to assist people with developmental disabilities to become full, participating citizens in their own communities. 

Disability Alliance BC

An advocacy and information sharing organization for people with disabilities.

Gentle Teaching International

We are a family of people and organizations worldwide that work together to develop, promote and strengthen the values of Gentle Teaching each and every day.

GT Canada

Organizations across Canada are actively collaborating with one another and our Gentle Teaching International partners to expand on and strengthen our cultures of gentleness through the development of Gentle Teaching Mentors and Trainers. Our focus is to strengthen the fabric of companionship and community for all those we serve — children, adults and families that are struggling with mental illness, experiencing disability, homelessness, addictions and involvement with the criminal justice system.

Inclusion BC (Formerly BCACL)

Non-profit federation working with partners to build community and to enhance the lives of children, youth and adults with developmental disabilities and their families.

Conversations that Matter

Provides Ongoing High-Quality Values Training to All of Your Staff
Traditional in-person values-based training typically allows only some staff to attend, and only occasionally.

MORC (Macome Oakland Regional Center)

For over 3 decades MORC provided training and mentoring in a Culture of Gentleness. MORC is based in Michigan

COMMUNITY RESOURCES
Abbotsford
RedBook BC 211

bc211 is a Vancouver-based nonprofit organization that specializes in providing information and referral regarding community, government and social services in BC. Our help line services include 211, the Alcohol and Drug Information and Referral Service (ADIRS), the Problem Gambling Help Line, VictimLink BC, and the Youth Against Violence Line.

Communitas

Provides a range of services to citizens to support healthy development, inclusion and full participation of all people. Services range from youth to adults and seniors.

Bethesda

Provides a range of services to citizens to support healthy development, inclusion and full participation of all people. Services range from those for infants to school age children and youth to adults and seniors.

Abbotsford Community Services

Provides a range of services to citizens to support healthy development, inclusion and full participation of all people. Services range from those for infants to school age children and youth to adults and seniors.

MSA Society

Provides a range of services to citizens to support healthy development, inclusion and full participation of all people. Services range from those for adults and seniors.

Mission Association for Community Living

Provides a range of services to citizens to support healthy development, inclusion and full participation of all people. Services range from those for infants to school age children and youth to adults and seniors.

Chilliwack A C L 

The Chilliwack Society for Community Living (CSCL), in partnership with community, builds capacity for the inclusion of people with varying abilities. We promote diversity and provide innovative, individualized services that enhance quality of life.

Elizabeth Fry Society

The Elizabeth Fry Society supports some of society’s most vulnerable populations – women, girls and children at risk, involved in or affected by the justice system. 

University of the Fraser Valley

Located in the beautiful Fraser Valley just east of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, the University of the Fraser Valley (UFV) is a fully accredited, public university that enrolls approximately 15,000 students per year. UFV has campuses and locations in Abbotsford, Chilliwack, Mission, Hope and Agassiz, and a growing presence in Chandigarh, India. 

FAMILY SUPPORT
Family Support Institute

The purpose of the Family Support Institute is to strengthen and support families faced with the extraordinary circumstances that come with having a family member who has a disability. We believe that families are the best resource available to support one another. Directed by families, the Family Support Institute provides information, training, and province-wide networking to assist families and their communities to build upon and share their strengths.

FamilyWORKs

Helps families to see the possibility, to dream, to believe, receive and share information about how to best achieve real employment for their family members who have a disability.

FSI Bulletin

FSI’s Bulletin is available to everyone! The FSI Bulletin, full of helpful resources, is available to ALL families, friends and partnering organizations with the hopes that the information collected can help others in the support of families and individuals with diverse challenges. Check back here often for updates or if you would like to be added to the FSI Bulletin email list, please contact Dawn Robertson, FSI’s Provincial Family Support Coordinator, 604-540-8374 ext. 525.

FOOD
Abbotsford Food Bank
Quest Food Exchange

This service provides affordable and fresh produce to their not-for profit grocery markets.

GOODS
Freecycle

A grassroots and entirely non-profit movement of people who are giving and getting stuff for free in their own towns. Encourages reuse and helps to keep good stuff out of landfills. Each local group is moderated by a local volunteer. Membership is free.

Value Village

Value Village is a thrift store where people can shop & donate high quality second hand merchandise.

 

GOVERNMENT AND FUNDING SUPPORTS
Community Living British Columbia (CLBC)

Community Living BC (CLBC) is a provincial crown agency, mandated under the Community Living Authority Act that funds supports and services through service agencies for adults with developmental disabilities and their families in British Columbia. CLBC is working to create communities where people with developmental disabilities have more choices about how they live, work and contribute. Funding for adults with developmental disabilities goes toward services such as residential, community inclusion, day support, family support, respite, employment, etc.

 Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD)

The ministry supports healthy child and family development through its commitment to a collaborative professional practice delivered across a range of quality services that strive to maximize the potential of children and youth through achieving meaningful outcomes for children, youth and families related to their needs.

CARF

Since the first CARF™ survey in Canada in 1969, many Canadian service providers have selected CARF as their accreditor of choice in the many Human Services fields

 

HEALTHCARE
Canadian Red Cross – B.C. Lower Mainland Region Ph: 604-709-6600 TL: 1-800-565-8000
 Free Medical ID’s

Information that you can present to your physician on each visit that list your current medications and other medical information needed to update your medical chart.

Healthy Athletes

The Special Olympics Healthy Athletes program addresses the issue that many people with intellectual disabilities have unique issues around health care and communicating their needs. The issue is twofold: first, many individuals with intellectual disabilities have trouble realizing or expressing their health concerns; second, many health professionals have not had the opportunity to receive specific training, or are not familiar enough with this population, to know the best questions to ask to draw out the issues.

 Medical Transportation

Medical transportation supplements are provided to specific recipients of income assistance and disability assistance who are eligible for general health supplements or are facing a life-threatening health need. They are intended to meet extraordinary transportation costs associated with essential medical treatment.

Addiction and Sleep

With 23.5 million Americans (or 1 in 10 people over the age of 12) suffering from addictions to drugs and alcohol, addiction and sleep have a close relationship. It is common for people with addictions to have sleep disorders and for people to use substances like drugs and alcohol to treat their sleep problems, which oftentimes results in addiction. People may use drugs and alcohol to self-medicate, or to help promote sleep or wakefulness. Similarly, people in recovery from addiction experience sleep problems, which can make the recovery process difficult and symptoms may trigger relapse..

Nutritional Supplements

Nutritional supplements may be provided to eligible recipients of income assistance or disability assistance who need additional calories above a regular diet to recover from surgery, severe injury, serious disease, or the side effects of medical treatment.

PharmaCare Special Authority

BC PharmaCare helps B.C. residents with the cost of eligible prescription drugs, and certain medical supplies and pharmacy services. It provides assistance through several drug plans. The largest is the income-based Fair PharmaCare plan.

HELP LINES
Community Advocate Support Line

The Community Advocate Support Line (CASL) is a dedicated telephone support line exclusively for advocates and community workers in BC. It is staffed by a lawyer who can give advocates brief legal information and legal advice about family law and poverty law topics to support advocates’ work on behalf of clients. Help is offered primarily for matters involving income assistance, residential tenancy and housing issues (including foreclosure), family law, employment insurance, the Canada Pension Plan (including disability benefits), debt collection and bankruptcy, consumer contracts and judicial reviews.

Crisis Centre Distress Line

Crisis Intervention and Suicide Prevention Centre of British Columbia Please call one of the following numbers most applicable to your region:

Greater Vancouver: 604-872-3311

Lower Mainland and Sunshine Coast: 1-866-661-3311

BC-wide: 1-800-SUICIDE (784-2433)

Seniors’ distress line: 604-872-1234

Online service for youth: www.youthinbc.com

LEGAL RESOURCES
Canada Revenue Agency

For information on disability and tax issues.

Employment and Social Development Canada

The Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP) is a long-term savings plan to help Canadians with disabilities and their families save for the future. If you have an RDSP, you may also be eligible for grants and bonds to help with your long-term savings.

Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC)

If you’ve been approved for a fuel tax refund under the B.C. government Fuel Tax Refund Program for Persons with Disabilities, you may also qualify for a 25 per cent discount on your Basic Autoplan— even if you don’t drive the vehicle you’re insuring.

Legal Tree

Free legal advice organizations in British Columbia.

PERSONAL AND FINANCIAL PLANNING

Legal Resources for British Columbians

A source of application guides for various services, information sheets, free online legal courses, workshops and speaker events as well as a toll-free listing of numbers for whom to call for law related help and an advocate directory for all of BC.

Nidus Registry

For information about supported decision making, creation and registration of Representation Agreements in British Columbia.

Planned Lifetime Advocacy Network (PLAN)

At PLAN, we’ve discovered that when you plan for the future you change the present for both your loved one and your family. Planning to build a good life gives direction and purpose to everyone’s efforts, not only those of your relative with a disability but also the larger family unit and ultimately surrounding community.

Registered Disability Savings Plan

The Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP) is a long-term savings plan to help Canadians with disabilities and their families save for the future. If you have an RDSP, you may also be eligible for grants and bonds to help with your long-term savings

 

SERVICE PROVIDERS
Autism Community Training

An information and referral service that supports individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder and their families across British Columbia.

Autism Society of BC

A non-profit, registered charity that is a parent based and directed society providing support to individuals with autism and their families in BC.

BC Epilepsy Society

A provincially incorporated non-profit, and federally registered charitable organization dedicated to serving those living with epilepsy, and their families.

 Care-ring Voice Network

A free, bilingual and confidential program that connects caregivers and families to information and support through the use of tele-learning.

The Cerebral Palsy Association of BC

A charitable service organization that provides information, advocacy, education and support to the individuals across BC with CP.

Cerebral Palsy Group

Cerebral Palsy Group is a national organization that was created so that it may serve the individuals and families who have been diagnosed with cerebral palsy. We are here to provide information and support so that we may help provide resources and education to those affected by CP.

Down Syndrome Research Foundation

Empowers individuals with Down syndrome to reach their full potential throughout life by pioneering and providing educational programs and services, grounded in foundational research. Working with researchers, professionals and families, they are a bridge between research and practice.

Fraser Health Authority

Services range from hospital care, to community-based residential, home health, mental health and public health services.

Home Adaptations for Independence Program

The Home Adaptations for Independence (HAFI) program helps low-income seniors and people with disabilities finance home modifications for accessible, safe and independent living. For more information, please call 604.646.7055 or toll-free at 1-800-407-7757 (ext. 7055).

Provincial Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services

A provincial government organization dedicated to supporting the diverse and multicultural goals of Deaf, Hard of Hearing and Deafblind individuals and their families within an ASL and English environment.

The Centre for Inclusion and Citizenship

Seeks to further the inclusion and full citizenship of people with intellectual disabilities and their families locally, nationally and globally.

TRANSPORTATION
BC Bus Pass Program

The BC Bus Pass Program offers a reduced-cost, annual bus pass for low income seniors and individuals receiving disability assistance from the Province of British Columbia. Passes are valid in communities serviced by BC Transit or TransLink. The pass is only valid for the eligible rider and is non-transferable. Handy Dart is not included in this program.

 Disability Travel Card 

The Disability Travel Card™ provides identification to a person with a permanent disability, which will allow an adult attendant, travelling with the person with a disability at no cost. Reduced fares will be granted to the person with a permanent disability, unable to travel alone, (regardless of age) and accompanied by an adult attendant. Easter Seals Canada and its member and/or affiliates are authorized to approve reduced fare tickets allowing persons with permanent disabilities to travel with an attendant on the lines of Motor Coach Companies that participate in the reduced fare plan, Via Rail.

HandyDART

HandyDART, our door-to-door shared-ride service, makes going places easier. It uses speciallyequipped vehicles designed to carry passengers with physical or cognitive disabilities who need assistance to use public transit.

HandyPass and Taxi Saver

If you live within the TransLink service area, HandyCard lets you travel for Concession fares on the bus, SkyTrain, SeaBus and West Coast Express. If you’re accompanied by someone who assists you they can ride for free, so you can go green and pay less.

 

SOCIAL
Access 2 Entertainment

The Access 2 card allows persons with a disability to receive either free admission or a significant discount for their support person at member movie theatres and attractions across Canada.

Artists Helping Artists

An arts cooperative for people with physical disabilities. Provides artists with space, affordable materials, and the opportunity to pursue their artistic expression. Fosters tolerance and inclusion. Wheelchair accessible. Hours are 10am-2pm Monday to Wednesday in Burnaby.

 Canucks Autism Network

Provides year-round, high-quality sports, recreational, arts, and social programs for individuals and families living with autism, while spreading awareness and providing training in communities across BC.

 Challenger Baseball

An opportunity for children with cognitive or physical disabilities to enjoy the thrill of playing baseball, being part of a team, developing physical and social skill plus all the benefits of participation in baseball at a level structured to their abilities. Games are played in a fun, safe environment where no score is kept.

 Kickstart Disability Arts & Culture

Kickstart Disability Arts & Culture’s objectives are: to produce cross-disciplinary festivals of disability arts and culture; to encourage and support artists to create and present authentic interpretations of the disability experience; to provide opportunities for the development and advancement of artists with disabilities; and to promote practices that will make the arts more accessible to all members of the Canadian public.

 Parks and Recreation discounts

Recreation and leisure subsidy programs for low-income residents are available in a variety of communities.  Please enquire at your local community centre.

Special Olympics BC

Provides individuals with an intellectual disability the opportunity to enhance their life and celebrate personal achievement through positive sport experiences. These programs give athletes the opportunity to train year-round in order to compete and test their skills against athletes of similar ability. Athletes train and compete at the regional level and have the opportunity to qualify and participate in provincial, national and world games.For over 3 decades MORC has be