3 min Read

Optimism Renewed

By Alanna Hendren

Spring 2023 launches another fiscal year of overcoming obstacles and encouraging abilities.

Spring is finally here, reminding us that, like the universe, the earth operates in cycles of birth, death, and rebirth, just likethe cycles of human lives and all of nature. Spring awakens us from winter’s slumber and everything becomes possible again. We are blessed at DDA. We are greater than the sum of our parts – all of the people whom we support, their families, our staff, board of directors, members, volunteers, employers, and other public providers who contribute to our mission.

COVID taught us how difficult threats can be overcome when everyone pulls together and DDA is the sum total of so many exceptional people. In an individualistic world, the people at DDA think about others and work together toward a common goal. We hold together during dark times and hold on during times of growth and change.

The darkness comes when elderly people whom DDA has supported for over 50 years in some cases pass away but the light arrives with young people graduating from high school and going straight to community jobs. The education system in B.C. is not perfect but teens with developmental/intellectual disabilities graduating from high school today have skills and abilities that are far beyond those of 18-year-olds a generation or two ago.

We are grateful for the work of teachers who develop the potential of all their students so we can continue when they graduate. We are also grateful for the government’s massive investment in child care and early learning. Ten-dollar-per-day childcare will allow parents to work with peace of mind, knowing their infant or toddler will be learning from skilled preschool teachers and other children in pleasant, well-equipped environments. Since we now know so much more about how infant and toddler brains develop, we can accelerate and nurture learning at a time of the greatest brain development.

We are always in a state of development at DDA – we can always be more effective and efficient, work smarter, not harder and make sure everyone has access to the information and communications they need when they need them. Our communications department has opened multiple media channels but we still need to increase engagement. Last fiscal year we ventured into the world of film-making and told our story so well that our documentary “Doing the Impossible” has been nominated for six film awards – Best Documentary and Best Documentary Research at the Yorkton Film Festival and four more including Best Short Documentary by the Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Association of B.C. Audiences were surprised they’d never heard about the history of people with developmental/intellectual
disabilities in B.C. and around the world. Public education and community awareness are always on DDA’s list of goals, so this is a success that we savor.

And that is what DDA is – the sum of all the successes of each individual who receives support supports others, and reaches higher – all of us who are a part of DDA’s ongoing story.