At Developmental Disabilities Association, we believe in supporting families to advocate for their children and adult members with developmental disabilities.
How We Help
To help families navigate the world of developmental disability support and services available, 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 and referrals to other community agencies, and personal support so families can feel more confident advocating for their sons and daughters as they navigate 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 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.