An Update from Our Board of Directors
These are extraordinary times.
The rapid onset of the coronavirus pandemic has impacted virtually every aspect of our lives. Organizations like the NSDRC have had to adapt their service delivery models to ensure the safety of the people we serve, our staff and our community. The Board of Directors and I would like to express our gratitude to the management and staff of the NSDRC who have moved mountains to enable the organization to continue to serve some of the North Shore’s most vulnerable individuals.
One of the key areas of focus for the Board during this past year was the recruitment of a new Executive Director. After
an extensive search process, we were happy to welcome
Jessica Neville to the organization in late 2019. The Board of
Directors and I would like to thank Kathleen Jessop for serving
as Interim Executive Director while the Board completed the search process.
Jessica had only been in the role for three months when the pandemic struck, but her leadership during the subsequent months has been critical to the organization being able to continue to operate effectively.
The future is uncertain for the people of British Columbia. We don’t know the long-term impacts of the pandemic on the provincial economy in general and on the Non-Profit sector in particular. The NSDRC has demonstrated its resilience over the years and the Board is confident that we can weather whatever storms come our way.
We would like to thank all those that use the services of the NSDRC for continuing to put your trust in our team. We look forward to continuing to work with you and we encourage you to reach out to our leadership team and to the Board with feedback on our performance.
Chair, Board of Directors
If you would prefer, you can download a PDF version of this annual report by clicking this link.
The heart and soul of our work has always focused on ensuring people with disabilities can live and thrive in their own community. That won’t change in these uncertain times.
An Update from Our Executive Director
It has been an extraordinary time for all of us across all aspects of our lives.
When a global pandemic was declared in March of 2020, most of us would have never imagined that six months later we would still be adapting to an ever-changing normal.
When COVID-19-related shutdowns began, I had been with the NSDRC as the new Executive Director for just three months, having come on board in early December 2019. Circumstances necessitated an accelerated education about all-things-NSDRC, including how to move forward while ensuring the safety and well-being of the people we support, and every single staff
Under the leadership of Directors Kim Miles and Kathleen Jessop, staff teams quickly pivoted – implementing enhanced
universal health precautions in all homes, taking our community-based services virtual – ensuring that participants, from infants to adults, continued to receive support they’ve come to rely on from the NSDRC.
A special thank you goes to our residential services team, who have continued to show up and support participants throughout this crisis. My appreciation and respect for the outstanding team across all areas of the organization has continued to grow as we have come together to care for the NSDRC community.
planning for continued change
There have been some exciting things happening all across the NSDRC over the past year. As we look ahead, we are connecting with families, individuals and the broader community to explore options and approaches to ensuring affordable, accessible housing. We are continuing to develop enhanced community-based programs for children and adults. And we’re building on our
advocacy role for individuals and families. All we do will be within the context of COVID-19 and adapting as needed.
Thank you to the entire NSDRC staff for your warm welcome and support. Finally, thank you to the committed Board of
Directors, who play a very important role in helping to move the organization forward.
let’s continue to connect
Please watch for our revamped newsletters and follow us on social media, and don’t hesitate to reach out with questions or to get involved. We look forward to hearing from you and continuing to work in partnership in creating a “community for all.”
Jessica Neville MEd
thank you to our funding partners
After several years of planning and negotiating, the NSDRC sold Hendry House and isolated proceeds from the sale to purchase three three-bedroom newly built apartments in The Residence located in the heart of Lynn Valley. The units were purchased in July 2020 for $1.293 million.
In November 2019 the NSDRC completed its sixth successful CARF Accreditation, earning another three-year accreditation status. Congratulations to the entire team!
In June 2019 we were the proud recipients of the 2019 North Shore Community Foundation’s Golf Tournament funds. The $50,000 seed money kicked off our fundraising campaign to build a Mobile Multi-Sensory Room, the first of its kind in Canada. Money raised has enabled us to purchase a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Van, have it retrofitted with an accessible lift, and purchase multi-sensory Snoezelen products. Grand opening of the mobile room will be fall 2020.
In December 2019 we introduced a newly revised agency website.Thank you to Michelle Cormack from A Girl Named Fred for continued design work.
The NSDRC completed the 2019 fiscal year with a surplus from ongoing operations of $28,000.
We were proud to be the beneficiary of the 2019 North Shore Community Foundation Mayor’s Golf Tournament.
thank you to our mobile-multi-sensory room sponsors
an update from community based services
infant development program
Part of a provincial network of Infant Development Programs (IDP) and often the first point of contact for families on the North Shore, the IDP team looks at all areas of a child’s development, providing family-centred services for children from birth to 3 years of age. Services are targeted to those who are experiencing delays in their development or who are at-risk for developmental delays.
This past year, our team served 215 infants & children and completed 658 home visits. Our core funding is from the Ministry of Children and Family Development.
Services include home visits, developmental assessments, referrals, parent and child playgroup, parent educational workshops, lending library, as well as information and resources. We also work closely with early intervention therapy services provided
by Vancouver Coastal Health and the BC Centre For Ability, as well as Supported Child Development.
Infant Development Program services and partnership (currently on hold due to COVID-19):
- Twice weekly playgroups at Maplewood Thrive Family Centre
- Regular presentations at Parent-Infant groups with Vancouver Coastal Health
- Liaison with Family Services Thrive community drop-ins as well as JBCC
- Host of the Lower Mainland Upside Down Group sessions at Maplewood
- Thrive Parents Night Out Support Group meetings and events
- Regular Inter-Agency community meetings with BC Centre for Ability, and North Shore ConneXions
Due to COVID-19, as of mid-March, staff were no longer doing home visits or our playgroup, but continued to connect with
families virtually (Zoom), as well as by phone, emails, etc. Families have all appreciated the contact and support. Staff have also participated in on-line autism training through Autism Navigator (University of Florida, with funding provided through MCFD), as well as taking part in a variety of webinars offered to support staff in their work with families.
special services to children
The Special Services to Children department serves an average of 77 children each month in our 1+1 program, Teen/Pre-Teen Program and afterschool clubs. Highlights of the year included overnight camp at Camp Capilano, Spring Break 2019 Day Camps and 2019 Summer Day Camps.
In 2019 the NSDRC was able to serve three times more children during Summer Day camps than previous years.
With support from the Ministry of Children and Family Development, the department was pleased to partner with TMG Consulting to provide parent sessions and staff training. Teresa Grech facilitated a group made up of parents/guardians who experience complex challenges with their children. We hope to continue our partnership with Teresa and her team.
STAGE (Supportive Transition Adult Group Education) is a transition program for adults graduating from high school that addresses the gap between higher education and/or employment. STAGE provides services to 18 participants Monday to Friday.
Like most things, COVID-19 interrupted classes at STAGE. Our last day in the building was March 16 and by March 19, we had set Virtual STAGE in motion.
Virtual STAGE provides classes to STAGE participants and other isolated adults in the community. It is a way to connect online using Zoom. Faciliated by our skilled staff, participants are provided with social and educational classes and programs from 9am to 4pm daily. The virtual STAGE program was fully functioning by March 30, with 18 participants attending daily classes.
The STAGE hip hop class performed at Centennial Theatre with Shift Dance. Participants did so well that they were asked to come back the next day!
Highlights of the STAGE program over the past year include:
- A professional photoshoot with Richard Paris. You can see our pictures on his website by going to this link.
- The development of creative comic books using participants as characters. In the comic book class, participants explore social stories, safety and have fun joking around! They also started to learn about GarageBand and created their
- STAGE offered their services to the community in the form of volunteering. Our participants were seen at Quest, repackaging food, sorting clothing and moving boxes. RePurpose was also a place that participants took pride in helping moving boxes and organizing newly received donations. At ReStore, participants organized the books and were given extra books to relocate to the Little Library Project.
- STAGE participated in some craft fairs to sell their products as part of their getting ready to work program. They attended the Shipyards fair, Arts in the Garden and North Shore Art Crawl. Many birdhouses were sold but mainly, new friends and connections were made.
- Prior to COVID-19, participants went to Whistler for a couple of days to promote their birdhouses, and went to Coldwater Ranch for their third annual retreat.
Participants of the life skills program access the community to work on their personal goals.
- Provides services to 21 individuals for 217 hours on a weekly basis
- 13 participants were employed during the year
- Seven chose to volunteer their time to serve their community.
The Thumbs Up Café continued their operation at the kiosk at Karen Magnussen Community Recreation Centre. Three participants and one staff make over 360 grilled cheese sandwiches a year for their satisfied customers. The Café has been open for the past 16 years and the staff has been supporting participants for 12 of those years.
The Employment Service has supported 11 participants seeking employment. Eight participants found paid employment and were employed for part or the entire year. Worksites included the Summer Camp with Children’s services and the NSDRC front office. Two participants are in the discovery stage of employment.
Information & Advocacy
The Information and Advocacy program marked 22 years of supporting people living in North and West Vancouver with applying for benefits and providing information and referral services.
The NSDRC is the only agency that assists anyone, regardless of age, with any kind of disability, who resides on the North Shore. We work in partnership with community agencies such as North Shore Multicultural Society, North Shore Crisis Society, Hollyburn Family Services and Canadian Mental Health Association to help clients access the benefits and services that can help improve their quality of life. With two devoted part-time advocates, the team have:
- Assisted 65 people applying for Persons with Disability benefits.
- Completed 11 Persons with Disability Reconsiderations.
- Assisted 40 people with disabilities and seniors apply for Canadian Pension Plan Disability, Retirement and Old Age Security benefits.
- Made 499 referrals to individuals for a variety of community programs and services designed to support financial stability.
Our advocates often help clients with disabilities access other benefits, such as the Canadian Disability Tax Credit, the Fuel
Tax Rebate, or obtain necessary medical equipment and various health supplements associated with their disability benefits. These programs and benefits are useful for individuals and families to obtain some limited tax relief to help pay for disability-related expenses such as money for gas to drive a family member with a disability to a doctor’s appointment, or to cover the cost of expensive mobility aids or special dietary needs.
We would like to acknowledge the Government of British Columbia for their valued support of our program. We would like to thank the District of West Vancouver, City of North Vancouver, District of North Vancouver for their continued support through their community grant programs. Our thanks and gratitude go out to all donors who help make it possible for this unique program to be delivered to the community.
an update from residential services
We have been working and living in unprecedented times that forced us to reconsider how we provide services to some of the most vulnerable citizens in society. We have had to refine how we deliver services while ensuring the safety of the people we support and our staff. “Bubbles” were formed around entire program sites impacting families and service provision.
This pandemic has impacted participants and staff alike and throughout, each and every staff member has continued to be present – offering physical support, emotional and cognitive support to ensure that the individuals we are supporting remain healthy, safe and happy.
Gordon House received a donation of free labour from Twin Lions Contracting towards the renovation of both their kitchens. In addition to saving the NSDRC more than $25,000, Gordon House now has two brand new kitchens..
adult supported living
In 2019-2020, the Adult Supported Living Program provided support to 21 adults as follows:
- 14,997 hours of community inclusion staffing support to assist each individual to work towards their personal goals.
- 66,425 hours of residential staffing support to assist each individual with all aspects of daily living activities.
- Core Funding provided by Community Living BC.
children’s supported living
In 2019-2020, the Children’s Supported Living Program provided full-time support to four children at Quinton Place, as well as respite support to three children and their families for 168 days over the course of the year.
- 18,802 hours of staffing support to children within our group home setting (including respite support).
- Core Funding provided by Ministry of Children and Family Development.
Quinton Place received a Variety, the Children’s’ Charity grant of approximately $38,000 towards a new van for the home. The Ministry of Children and Family Development also provided $25,000 for the accessibility retrofits required for a new van for the children at Quinton Place.
adult independent living
The Adult Independent Living Program provided 20 individuals, requiring varying degrees of assistance with daily living activities.
- 22,252 hours of staffing support.
- Core funding provided by Vancouver Coastal Health.
Four individuals that were living in the program site on Hendry Avenue have relocated due to the sale. One individual moved into Rufus and the other three have moved into an apartment in The Residence in Lynn Valley on July 28, 2020. A quote from one individual with a big smile: “I used to hike in the mountains a lot before my disability, it was my happy place, and now every morning when I wake up I see the mountains and it brings me such joy and calm.”
Shone Road Highlights: Twin Lions Contracting also donated their time to build two raised garden boxes at Shone Road. The participants are gardening and enjoying the fruits of their labour. Shone Road also received a donation of lease payments for a new van from Jim Pattison Lease and Save-on-Foods, totaling $28,800. Finally, the families and participants of Shone Road made donations to assist in the purchase of the accessibility retrofits required for the new van.
Mill House 4 one-bedroom apartments
Mill House has been open for over three years. Four individuals continue to enjoy their new homes and appreciate the opportunity that the NSDRC has offered in providing each individual with accessible and affordable housing. Mill House is currently operating at cost neutral.
Special update: BOSA
After seven years and countless staffing hours, the NSDRC is proud to announce the acquisition and occupation of three 3-bedroom apartments in the newly developed The Residence in Lynn Valley on July 20, 2020.
- The first unit supports two young people with 24-hour care and is funded by Ministry of Children and Family Development.
- The second unit is an owner/ tenant agreement supporting two adult roommates (and a live-in roommate).
- The third unit is occupied with three individuals who lived at the Ranch and remains an Independent Living Program site funded by Vancouver Coastal Health.
The Disabled Community Connection Network
The Disabled Community Connection Network (DCCN) is now in its fourth year with the NSDRC. The DCCN is a cross-disability group run by the disabled community for the disabled community. The majority of our speakers and experts have identified as part of the disabled community. Too often the disabled community is not given the platform to share their narratives. DCCN focuses on the empowerment of disabled voices.
Topics we have covered this year include:
- How to be an ally to the disabled community
- Disability and Parenthood
- Disability and Fitness
- Disability and Mental health
- Deaf identity and self-worth
- Disability identity within art
- Disability and sport
Thank you to our wonderful speakers: A.J. Brown, Al Etmanski, Gary Birch, Stacey Francis, Christa McDiarmid, Elizabeth Dagg,Erik Le Anderson, and Nathan Shipley.
“[DCCN is doing] a great job! Soooo many things I’m grateful for especially getting to hear from a diverse range of experiences. I really appreciate that the atmosphere in the room is majorly positive which shows that a life with a diverse ability experience can be a very happy one.” – DCCN participant 2019
We are eager to continue improving as we move forward providing DCCN on an online platform. We are excited for the new and exciting topics to come. Thank you for all the support!
social media stats
Our Facebook page showed over 15% growth in followers over previous years. Our Twitter feed had an increase of over 27% growth in followers. This is a 17% increase from our previous year. This year our NSDRC Twitter account @NSDRC was able to surpass the number of followers on our old account.