At the Developmental Disabilities Association we believe in supporting families to advocate for their children and adult members with developmental disabilities.

Very often, families do not have the information they need to receive available supports or services. They may not know who will and who will not help them, or they may not understand the various roles and responsibilities of the myriad government, non-profit and for-profit agencies operating in the social services sector. Sometimes, families have been told there are no services available for their child or adult in spite of their obvious needs. Often, families feel isolated and alone.

To remedy such situations, DDA founded our Family Support program in 1998, with a donation that funded one worker, to ensure families have a safe, confidential source of support that is separate from government. Since then, we have added another Family Support worker to assist families of children while the program’s Assistant Director continues to support families of adults.

Our Family Support program offers information, resources, referrals to other community agencies and personal support so families can feel more confident advocating for their sons and daughters as they negotiate the community living system. The program also assists families with planning, paperwork, applications and appeals as necessary.

Because we are aware of many systemic family and individual problems at DDA, we also advocate directly with federal, provincial and municipal governments on behalf of people with developmental disabilities in general. For example, Vancouver continues to be significantly under-funded by both MCFD and CLBC compared to other regions and we have tried, over the years, to encourage policy makers to move to fairer methods of funding distribution. Our advocacy in this area continues.

We also sometimes work with government representatives to present alternative solutions to current problems such as a move to greater focus on the developmental potential of the people who we support and increased accountability for producing demonstrated results in their lives.

DDA’s mission is to maximize the potential of people with developmental disabilities. This includes constant advocacy and public relations efforts that stress the gifts and abilities of people with special needs and encourage community acceptance, understanding and willingness to support our people and our cause.

Upcoming Events & Workshops

Learn more about our local events in Vancouver and Richmond.

Family Support

See what DDA’s family support workers and services can do for you and your family.

Charter of Rights

Learn more about an individual with developmental disabilities rights