Useful Links

Support Organizations

Canadian Down Syndrome Society (CDSS): The national organization focused upon human rights, health, social participation, inclusive education, and employment for those with Down syndrome.

Down Syndrome Resource Foundation (DSRF): Empowers people with Down syndrome to achieve their potential, lead independent and fulfilled lives, and participate fully in the communities in which they live.

National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS): US National organization. The mission of the NDSS is to benefit people with Down syndrome and their families through national leadership in education, research and advocacy

Community Options For Children and Families (COCF): A welcoming, innovative organization that supports children and adults with developmental disabilities and their families. They in partnership with other organizations, individuals and government to ensure the inclusion of all people in our community.

Community Living Victoria (CLV): Supports people with developmental disabilities together with their families and support networks by promoting their full citizenship and inclusion in the community. As the largest non-profit community living service provider on Vancouver Island, Community Living Victoria provides a range of support services to children and adults with developmental disabilities and their families.

Community Living BC (CLBC): Delivers support and services to people with developmental disabilities, children with special needs and their families in British Columbia. It has a board of self-advocates, family and community members, as well as staff located throughout the province. We believe that people with developmental disabilities and their families know best when it comes to their needs, goals and planning for the future.

Victoria Society for Children with Autism (VSCA): Promotes awareness of autism, provides support and information to families, supports the development of alternative living and vocational situations for autistic persons and supports research in the field of autism.

Inclusion BC : A non-profit provincial organization that advocates for the rights and opportunities of people with intellectual disabilities and their families. We are a federation of members that include people with intellectual disabilities, their families and agencies that serve them.

Autism Community Training (ACT): A province-wide information and referral service created to support families of children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. We offer families and professionals a wide range of positive and practical information on everything from sleep problems and diet, to core issues such as diagnosis and aspects of intervention, including information on setting up programs for their children. Need support and information? Call us at 604.205.5467 / 1.866.939.5188 or email! GREAT Training Opportunities here that support families and professionals with various diagnoses!!

STEPS-Forward Inclusive Post-Secondary Education Society (STEPS or IPSE): Inclusive College or University option for Adults with an intellectual disability. Any prospective student (age 19+) wishing to can apply to the service. Prior academic performance or IQ/Functional assessment is not a criterion for selection.

Supports for Inclusion and Integration

Contact us at to be connected with other families who have used or tried to use these services for information and experience.

Awards, Scholarships, and Funding Sources

Is your child eligible for the AT HOME PROGRAM? Contact us at  to be connected with GVDSS families about their experiences and suggestions for qualifying. The At Home Program (AHP) is intended to assist parents with additional costs of caring for a child with disabilities. The At Home Program provides assistance to families with Respite Benefits and/or Medical Benefits.

BC Provincial Parks

BC Provincial Park camping fees will be waived (there are other benefits too!) if you show the following documents to the Park Facility Operator at the park you are camping in:

  1. If you are designated a “Person with Disabilities” you must show your signed Release of Information Form issued by the BC Ministry of Employment and Income Assistance AND a second piece of ID.
  2. If you have a child registered through the “At Home Program” you must show a current Letter of Eligibility from your caseworker, stating your child is eligible for the “At Home Program” issued by the BC Ministry of Children and Family Development AND a second piece of ID.
  3. If you are receiving disability benefits from a First Nation Administering Authority you must show your signed Release of Information form issued by a First Nation Administering Authority AND a second piece of ID.

Other Services

Rick Scott: Canadian Children’s Entertainer An award winning singer, songwriter and actor who combines music and laughter in lively, participatory concerts for all ages.

Victoria Conservatory of Music, Music Therapy: As children enter the music therapy clinic at the Victoria Conservatory of Music, they are often drawn to the music coming from the music therapy room. With guidance from the music therapist, the children enjoy taking part in a variety of musical experiences.

Zajac Ranch for Children:
 Hosts hundreds of children with chronic illnesses or disabilities who might not otherwise have a chance to enjoy a summer camp experience.

The Family Support Institute‘s mission is: “To strengthen and support families faced with the extraordinary circumstances that come with having a family member who has a disability”.

CanAssist: Formerly known as the University of Victoria Assistive Technology Team (UVATT), is dedicated to developing technology, devices and services that improve the quality of life of those with special needs. Our goal is to harness and marshal the extraordinary resources on campus and in the wider community to achieve this end.We are passionate in our belief that those with special needs be given every opportunity to participate in, and contribute to society.

Planned Lifetime Advocacy Network (PLAN): Mission is to help families secure the future for their relative with a disability and to provide you with peace of mind. This means ending isolation and loneliness, creating financial security, enabling everyone to make a contribution, ensuring choice, and creating genuine homes.

BC Associations for Child Development and Intervention (BCACDI): A provincial association of agencies that provide child development and therapy services to children and youth with special needs and their families in British Columbia.

The GVDSS does not necessarily endorse or promote any of the above services, businesses, philosophies, or websites. The GVDSS accepts no responsibility for information provided by or action taken by the owners of these sites.