Our work in the community
The North Shore Disability Resource Centre (NSDRC) offers innovative programs, services, housing and support to individuals with disabilities from infancy through adulthood. Our vision is one where every person can fully and actively participate as valued members of their community.
The NSDRC offers the following services and supports to our community:
- Infant Development Program (IDP)
- Supported Living group homes for adult and children (SLP)
- Independent Living Program (ILP)
- Supportive Transition Adult Group Education (STAGE)
- Information and Advocacy services
- Community based one-to-one and group programs for children and adults
Funded by Vancouver Coastal Health, the Independent Living Program (ILP) is the only one of its kind in the lower mainland.
Most of the adults who live in the five residences had initially been treated at GF Strong following a traumatic brain injury and had at one time been very active in their communities.
One of the current residents was a 32-year-old high school teacher who suffered complications following a routine procedure. It resulted in a brain injury, which impacted his speech, memory and mobility. Initially living with his parents, his support requirements became too extensive and he moved into one of our ILP homes where he has lived for 34 years. He shares the house with three roommates and staff are there to support him with activities of daily living. A skilled chess player, he also participates in bridge tournaments in the community and visits regularly with his family.
The NSDRC’s ILP program has been able to help facilitate his independence and involvement in the broader community.
A recent story
STAGE (Supportive Transition Adult Group Education) is a transition program offered to young adults between the ages of 19-29. Open year-round, Monday thru Friday, STAGE is available to high school graduates who are looking to continue to develop skills, continue their education or move into the workforce. The STAGE program was one of the first to pivot to online offerings when the pandemic hit and had an immediate impact on those we support.
“When COVID struck, many were devastated to see their program close. Many suffered extreme loneliness. The North Shore Disability Resource Center sprang into action, designing a unique virtual program, with a selection of courses from which participants could choose. Courses were plentiful, and participants could choose those that piqued their interest and helped their learning continue. Each person’s program was unique to them.
The NSDRC included other lonely adults in our community, as well as those referred. As a testament to the quality of the programs, participant attendance has continued at a high level. Social hour is the highlight of the day, as participants joke and laugh with each other. They love their time together. Participants are connected to each other every day. They are taking courses that they choose and are ‘seeing’ their friends regularly. They are able to share their concerns, their stories, their successes and their fears in a safe and social environment. While Covid has affected us all, it has been particularly cruel to our disabled adults- they are profoundly at risk of social isolation. The NSDRC’s vision of a zoom learning environment has ensured adults in our community are safe, happy, and connected to each other.”
There are many ways to support our important and innovative work through a donation or sponsorship:
- Make a donation at www.nsdrc.org
- Contact Mikaela Karram at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Phone our office at 604.985.5371
- Participate in our Giving Tuesday campaign on Nov. 30, 2021
- Follow us on Instagram at @nsdrc for more information
Established in 1976, the NSDRC is committed to ensuring people with disabilities can live and thrive in their own community. Over the last 44 years, the NSDRC has expanded its mandate, providing services across the lifespan. We continue to work towards a community that is free of physical, financial and attitudinal barriers.
Our incredible team of over 200 employees are essential to the important work we do everyday. They have been outstanding throughout the pandemic, continuing to care for and provide services to our community. A member of our team used the following language in describing working at the NSDRC: “it’s an inclusive environment where staff are well supported—enriching our lives and the lives of the people we support.”
- In 2020-2021 in the midst of COVID-19, our team continued to provide extraordinary support in person and virtually:
- The Infant Development Program provided 643 home and virtual visits to families.
- The Children’s Supported Living Program provided full-time support to six children and youth.
- The Adult Supported Living Program provided 67,020 hours of community housing staffing support to assist individuals with all aspects of daily living activities and 22,000 hours of community inclusion support totalling 89,200 hours of total support.
- The Information and Advocacy Program had a total of 969 contacts to our program.
- The ZAP (Zoom Adult Program) virtual program that was created as a result of the pandemic to address isolation and the mental wellness of a much under-served population. ZAP has been delivering classes online Monday to Friday since May 2020 on various topics including trivia, art, creative writing, yoga and social time. What began as a 12-week program funded by the Emergency Response Fund continues to run daily thanks to the support of the Canada Summer Jobs Grant and the TELUS Foundation Grant.