an update from the board of directors
Over the past year, the NSDRC has demonstrated it resilience and dedication to its clients, volunteers and staff as the coronavirus pandemic continued to impact nearly every aspect of our community.
We continued to monitor and adapt our service delivery models as the situation evolved to ensure that the people we serve received the best possible care and support. We all look forward to returning to “normal.”
The Board commenced a strategic planning exercise that will culminate in the delivery of a new Strategic Plan by the end of 2021. It became clear we needed to set a vision and goals for the future that will be forever impacted by the pandemic. Organizations like the NSDRC have been under financial pressure for some time, and that is likely to continue post-pandemic. However, the NSDRC has demonstrated that it is resilient and that its dedication to the people it serves is unwavering, and we believe that those principles will generate new opportunities in the future.
On behalf of the Board, I would like to say thank you to our staff and to those volunteers that help make the NSDRC a great organization. We also want to say thank you for continuing to put your trust in the NSDRC to serve and support those in need. We are proud of the role that we play in the community, and we welcome you to provide feedback to the Board and management.
Chair, Board of Directors
If you would prefer, you may download a PDF version of this annual report by clicking this link.
Our program participants have handled pandemic restrictions with grace and good humour!
an update from our executive director
As I sat down to write this note, I found myself looking back on our Annual Report from 2020 and was struck by how much has changed and stayed the same over this past year. At the time of writing one year ago, we were six months in and hopeful we were nearing the beginning of the end of the pandemic. Yet here we are 18 months later, and we are watching case numbers increase across the province. We are no longer adapting to the implications and realities of COVID-19, but rather we are now living our “new-normal.” As I approach two years as Executive Director with the NSDRC, I remain awed by the resilience and strength of the people we support and their families, as well as the unwavering commitment of our staff and volunteers.
Over the course of the past year, we have seen our staff adapt to the ever-changing realities of COVID-19, alternating between virtual and in-person community-based programming for infants, children, teens and adults as indicated by Public Health. Our Community Housing and Inclusion Program (formerly Residential Services) staff provided essential services and support while simultaneously balancing their own personal realities associated with COVID-19, supporting our community every day in the absence of a vaccine for months on end.
I know I speak for all our stakeholders in extending my continued appreciation and gratitude for this incredible team.
PLANNING FOR CONTINUED CHANGE
With the pandemic as a backdrop, important work has continued within the organization. Infants and their families have not missed a beat in the support being offered by our amazing Infant Development Consultants. Our children’s and teens program have been revitalized over the last many months and the STAGE program continues to evolve. We remain focused on exploring approaches to ensuring affordable, accessible housing and have expanded our housing offerings over this past year. Thank you to the senior management team and the Board of Directors, who have all played an important role in helping to move the organization forward.
LET’S CONTINUE TO CONNECT
Please continue to subscribe to our newsletters and on social media, and don’t hesitate to reach out with questions or 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
an update from community housing and inclusion program services
Over the course of the past year, we have continued to adapt to a new way of thinking and supporting individuals who live in our Community Housing and Inclusion Program (CHIP) Services. In adherence with the Public Health Orders we have adapted our protocols as indicated and are so impressed by the continued flexibility of those we support, their families and our staff. Our CHIP team has continued to be present at work, offering not only physical support but increased emotional support to ensure that the individuals remain healthy, safe and happy. Kudos to each member of our team – you have been extraordinary.
Adult Supported Living Program
In 2020-2021, the Adult Supported Living Program provided support to 21 individuals as follows:
- 22,000 hours of community inclusion staffing support in order to assist each individual to work towards their personal goals in the time of COVID-19.
- 67,020 hours of community housing staffing support to assist with all aspects of daily living activities, an annual total of 89,200 hours of support.
- Core funding provided by Community Living BC (CLBC).
Children’s Supported Living Program
In 2019-2020, the Children’s Supported Living Program provided full-time support to four children at Quinton Place.
- 19,000 hours of staffing support to four children within our group home with full-time daily support which included daytime at home school support during the pandemic.
- Core funding provided by the Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD).
In 2020, the NSDRC expanded our supported living program with funding from the Ministry of Children and Family Development. Eagles Nest now provides housing for two young men (who recently moved out of their family homes) in a shared apartment living situation.
- In the first seven months, the NSDRC provided 6,427 hours of support.
Core funding provided by MCFD.
Adult Independent Living Program
The Adult Independent Living Program provided 19 individuals requiring varying degrees of assistance with activities of daily living. Three of those we support have enjoyed a brand-new unit in the centre of Lynn Valley, with easy and accessible access to shopping, services, and transit.
- 22,00 hours of staff support.
- Core funding provided by Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH).
The individuals living in our Independent Living Program were thrilled and grateful to have received a $10,000 donation from G3 Terminal, which was used to purchase items that they would typically buy with their own funds. To date they have purchased; BBQs, vacuums, dishes, blenders, pots and pans, patio furniture, televisions, microwaves, kitchen chairs and new phones.
Mill House 4 one-bedroom apartments
Mill House has been open for over four years. All four individuals continue to enjoy living and thriving in their homes and appreciate the opportunity that the NSDRC has offered in providing everyone with accessible and affordable housing.
The NSDRC’s newest housing project provides an owner/ tenant agreement supporting individuals with disabilities to share an apartment with a live-in roommate which has offered the individuals the opportunity to thrive and grow.
an update from infant development program
The Infant Development Program (IDP) provides family-centred services for families with infants and children from birth to 3 years of age who have delays in their development, or who are at-risk for developmental delays.
Services include home visits, developmental assessments, referrals, parent and child playgroup, parent educational workshops, toy and book lending library, as well as information and resources. We provide services to families in North and West Vancouver, including Bowen Island and Lions Bay.
It has been a busy year for us with many staffing changes, however we are very fortunate to have been able to provide services to families during COVID-19 and to have had such a committed team of consultants.
Due to COVID-19, our staff were no longer doing in-person home visits or conducting our playgroup for the past year; however, we were able to connect with families virtually via Zoom, FaceTime, email and phone, and offered some outdoor visits early this Spring. Families have all
appreciated the support and connection, as many were feeling very isolated.
We offered some virtual groups for parents, including Infant Massage, and “Circle of Security”, as well as a parent support group, which gave parents the opportunity to connect with one another.
Our program was also able to offer parents some webinars on such topics as feeding and behavioural challenges with children 0-3 years, and the importance of attachment and building strong relationships in the Early Years. Our program staff have also participated in webinars such as the Neufeld Institute, Autism Navigator, Day-C 2 Assessment, and Kim Barthel courses, for professional development and support.
IDP Program at a Glance:
- Core Funding by the MCFD.
- 194 infants and children served.
- 643 home visits to families provided.
Other Services and Partnerships:
- All in-person groups were cancelled due to COVID-19, including our playgroup, Upside Down Group, Parents Night Out Group,
Inter-Agency Picnic for families, VCH Parent-Infant Classes, Family Services Parent and Child Community Drop-ins.
- Inter-agency community meetings via Zoom with VCH Early Intervention Services (Speech and Language, Physiotherapy, Nursing Support), as well as Centre for Ability and North Shore Connections.
- Regular Zoom meetings with Coast Fraser IDP Programs and Supported Child Development.
Throughout the past year, our program participants’ creativity has thrived. Clockwise from top left, artwork by Carissa; Hunter, Amy and Lisette; Sheila; Shannon.
an update from supportive services programs
ZAP (Zoom Adult Program) is a 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.
ZAP provides services for people from across British Columbia. We have 25 participants registered in the program and 5-10 people attending every day.
STAGE (Supportive Transition Adult Group Education) is a transition program offered to young adults between the ages of 19-29. STAGE is available to high school graduates who are looking to continue to develop skills, continue their education or move into the workforce. STAGE is open daily Monday to Friday throughout the year.
Due to the pandemic, STAGE moved all its programs online and solely delivered services virtually until July 2020. In July, STAGE was able to gradually re-open its doors, to welcome up to nine participants daily, while continuing classes online.
- STAGE has welcomed four new participants this year.
- Ninety-six episodes of the STAGE report and stand-alone episodes were recorded and uploaded to the NSDRC YouTube channel.
- Virtual STAGE remained opened for the winter holidays. It was well attended and quite a success!
- More than 40 bunches of flowers were delivered anonymously in the Norgate neighbourhood by participants. All the flowers came from the STAGE garden.
STAGE continued to work with community members to offer a variety of learning experiences. Abby from Pulse Play Circle hosted some workshops on body percussions and multicultural dances. Kaori offered some music therapy in the form of STAGE’s Got Talent and Russell continued to offer Reel World acting classes.
STAGE acknowledges the financial support of the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction to offer three work experiences.
The NSDRC has an employment specialist dedicated to working with individuals to explore their skills, abilities, and goals and connect with local businesses and employers who understand their needs. The goal is to work with the individual to find and apply for jobs and connect with prospective employers to create a role that will benefit both the individual and the employer. The employment specialist then supports the job seeker as they transition to the workforce until natural supports are created.
- Employment services supported a total of 12 individuals in the past year.
- Seven participants found paid work.
- Job Club was offered virtually for participants throughout the Lower Mainland four times a week for 12 weeks and served an average of 16 participants monthly.
- The NSDRC employment specialist collaborates on three different employment committees throughout the Lower Mainland.
The Life Skills Program is for adults aged 19 and over who have disabilities and are interested in continuing to learn life skills in the community or at home. In this pandemic year, participants found ways to celebrate birthdays, Halloween and other seasonal celebrations.
Twenty-two participants were supported in the Life Skills program via a blend of virtual and in-person services.
Participants and staff demonstrated great creativity while the province was in lock down. They found new trails to hike, covered locations to have lunch and participated in online learning.
an update from disability community connection network
Moving into our fifth year, the Disability Community Connection Network (DCCN) went international and online! Due to COVID-19, DCCN moved online using Zoom. Our online presence empowered DCCN to reach even more individuals with a disability, including participants from across Canada and the United States! The new online space helped DCCN become even more accessible to a broader audience, allowing DCCN to host its largest session to date. Our Disability Tax Credit and Registered Disability Savings Plan Information Session set a new record of 31 participants.
DCCN provides a safe space for disabled speakers to tell their stories and reclaim the expertise of their own lived experiences.
DCCN is a unique cross-disability group run by the disabled community for the disabled community. The group connects with and reaches people with all different types of disabilities and ages. DCCN brings disabled people together through our shared experiences to gain a deeper understanding of our similarities and differences within the community.
Topics we have covered this year include:
- COVID-19 and how it has affected the disabled community.
- Disability Tax Credit and Registered Disability Savings Plan Information Session.
- Music and Disability.
- Travelling Europe as a Disabled Couple.
- Being a member of the LGBTQ and Disabled Communities.
- Unique Experience with Deafness.
- Travel is an Important Part of Disabled Life.
- The Process of Adaptive Accessible Yoga.
Thank you to all our speakers: Dave Symington, Shayne De Wildt, Stacey Francis, Rob Berkowski, Stephanie Alexandra, Raven Mack, Toni van der Marel, Salina Dewar and Sophia Underhill.
DCCN is growing fast! Over the past year, DCCN has gained 49 new DCCN members. We hope to continue to grow and provide even more insightful and diverse perspectives on the disabled experience in the years to come!.
Thank you to everyone who has supported DCCN over the last five years.
“DCCN was super welcoming and very informative with a great sense of community – which is so hard to do on Zoom during the pandemic! I found the session I attended to be very thought-provoking and the facilitation was so great in creating space for everyone to participate to whatever extent folks wanted to. We need more spaces like this!” DCCN Participant.
an update from information and advocacy program
Our Information and Advocacy Program had a busy year where our services had to pivot to provide all services by telephone, email, and video conferencing.
Our two advocates helped people with disabilities with Persons with Disability applications, Canada Pension Plan Disability applications, BC Housing applications, Canadian Disability Tax Credit applications. We provided information and referral services for the Canadian Emergency Recovery Benefit which was available through the Federal Government to help people who were laid off due to the pandemic.
Between April 2020 and March 2021, we had a total of 969 contacts to our program. During this unusual year we assisted 32 people with disabilities to apply for Persons with Disability benefits. We helped 34 people with disabilities to apply for Canada Pension Disability and Retirement benefits, and we assisted 10 people with disabilities with their Persons with Disability reconsiderations.
Many Provincial and Federal Government programs are reliant on clients having access to internet. Because public libraries were closed for in-person services, including internet provision, our clients relied on our help to access information and apply for programs for which they might be eligible.
The Information and Advocacy Program welcomes people with disabilities of all ages who live in District of North Vancouver, City of North Vancouver, and District of West Vancouver.
We would like to extend our gratitude to the Government of British Columbia for helping us help people in the community. We extend our kind thanks to District of North Vancouver, City of North Vancouver, and District of West Vancouver for their support of our program.
As always, we thank our donors for their continued support and for helping us provide this important service in the community.