The resources with orange titles below, currently have adapted resources or services during the COVID-19 pandemic. Information changes frequently, so please check back regularly.
COVID-19 Family Updates
- Issue 1. Physical Distancing, Stay Safe, Stay Home
- Issue 2. Coping with Anxiety, Grief and Mental Wellness
- Issue 3. Physical Fitness for the Whole Family
- Issue 4. Do It Yourself, Masks, Haircuts and More
- Issue 5. Care for the Caregiver
- Issue 6. Primer on Mental Health Resources for All Ages
- Issue 7. Protecting your Physical, Mental and Emotional Health
Activities/Resources/Supports (Monthly Guide)
December 2021 – This document is put together by Julian Wilson and Meaghen Taylor-Reid with feedback from youth and families, as well as other community professionals. It is updated monthly. The December resource list has lots of information, including a section heading called “General and Holiday Programs, Supports and Activities” that includes some events from across the Lower Mainland.
Disability Alliance BC – An advocacy and information sharing organization for people with disabilities.
Inclusion BC – Non-profit federation working with partners to build community and to enhance the lives of children, youth and adults with developmental disabilities and their families.
Pandemic Canadian Autism Needs Assessment Survey – There are many uncertainties around the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic specifically on the autism community across Canada. The shared concern to understand the needs of the community led to the collaboration between Autism Speaks Canada, the McMaster Autism Research Team (MacART) and the Canadian Autism Spectrum Disorder Alliance (CASDA) to develop the Pandemic Canadian Autism Needs Assessment Survey.
If you would like to receive service in your first language, please contact us. Many of our Behaviour Consultants speak additional languages including: Cantonese, Mandarin, Hindi, Farsi, Korean, Spanish, and French.
British Columbia Aboriginal Network on Disability Society (BCANDS) – An Indigenous not-for-profit charitable society serving the unique and diverse disability, health resource and support service needs of B.C.’s Indigenous population. If you are an Indigenous person living with a disability within the province of British Columbia, or are an on-reserve organization requiring health information, resources and support services, BCANDS may be able to assist. You can visit their website here for information and links to Indigenous organizations and their responses in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic. You can also find details here about the BCANDS Persons with Disabilities (PWD) Program and its partnership with Indigenous Services Canada (ISC).
COVID-19 Provincial and Information Translated Content – The provincial government’s website shares important information and links for British Columbians and is updated regularly. Information on this page is also available in eight other languages which can be accessed by clicking the links in the “Translated Content” section at the top of the page.
COVID-19 Health and Wellness Resources for South Asian families – The South Asian Health Institute (SAHI), a program of Fraser Health, has compiled a list of resources, services and contacts to support the South Asian community during the COVID-19 pandemic, including information in multiple languages.
COVID-19 Shareable resources – Information and downloadable material to help answer questions about COVID-19. Posters and images to share in various languages
S.U.C.C.E.S.S. – A multi-service, multicultural agency that provides services in newcomer settlement, employment, community development, language training, family and youth counselling, affordable housing and seniors care. Programs are delivered in culturally appropriate ways to best meet the needs of their clients.
CAYA BC (Communication Assistance for Youth and Adults) – A province-wide service program that supports adults aged 19 years and older who require an augmentative/alternative communication (AAC) system due to a severe communication disability.
STEPS Forward’s BC Initiative for Inclusive Post-Secondary Education (BC-IPSE) – Provides inclusion support for students with developmental disabilities to access post-secondary education.
IN Demand from Douglas College – A 12-week program for teaching employment skills to people with disabilities.
posAbilities Employment Service – “Fee for service” – Assists job seekers with diverse abilities to prepare for, secure and maintain competitive employment.
Strive from YWCA – A holistic life skills and employment program for youths transferring out of care programs.
WorkBC Assistive Technology Services – Aid with getting disability supports and more for work.
Family Support Organizations
Family Support Institute – A provincial not for profit society committed to supporting families who have a family member with a disability. The Family Support Institute has been compiling relevant and accurate COVID-19 information, resources, and updates to better support families across the province. FSI has also been deeply listening to the family voice as it pertains to their biggest challenges, fears and struggles during these uncertain times. FSI has put together a great online set of programs, tools and supports specifically in response to families’ needs during the COVID-19 Crisis, which you can find on their website here. They also host regional Zoom hangouts every day, which are safe spaces for families and caregivers to come together for support, camaraderie, inspiration, sharing challenges and trouble-shooting. Whatever you might be feeling right now — overwhelmed, sadness, fear, anxiety — you are not alone.
PLAN (Planned Lifetime Advocacy Network) – Working in collaboration, they build personal support networks, make plans to secure the future, and bring families together for mutual support, learning and community leadership.
Family Support Resources
AIDE Canada – AIDE Canada is an exciting, free, new resource developed for the autism and/or intellectual disability community in Canada. Our website includes: a free, nation-wide lending library, a database of articles and research summaries focused on autism and/or intellectual disability, a national map of autism and/or intellectual disability programs and services, a calendar of events, including on-demand streaming of past recorded webinars, and several other features that we hope will be very valuable to our community.
BC211 – Specializes in providing information and referral regarding community, government and social services in BC.
Doing What Matters in Times of Stress – A World Health Organization management guide for coping with adversity. This illustrated guide supports implementation of WHO’s recommendation for stress management.
eBook – Going Back to School Well: A Practical Guide for Parents and Educators During COVID-19© – This e-book has been prepared to help parents prepare their children to return to learning as schools begin to reopen in various ways amidst the continuing pandemic. The book offers practical and actionable tips that caregivers can use to boost their family’s wellbeing. Their recommendations are drawn from the science of flourishing and evidence-based practices in the field of Positive Psychology.
Family Support Institute’s MCFD Plain Language Summary – Included in the BC Restart Plan, MCFD will continue to offer their interim measures in order to make sure children and youth with special needs and their families have the services and supports they need.
Life at Home During COVID – An e-book to help navigate this new ‘at home’ world in which we live.
Mask Wearing Resources – As the economy reopens, some activities are requiring the use of face masks. For other activities, face masks are suggested for optimum safety. The Down Syndrome Research Foundation has collected some great RESOURCES for helping individuals adjust to using masks. This YouTube VIDEO gives insight into some of the fears and concerns masks arouse in people with autism.
Managing Behaviour when Cooped Up with Corona (Podcast) – A short podcast from Behaviorbabe that discusses some strategies for families who may be faced with managing severe behaviour while cooped up with corona.
MyBooklet BC – A free online tool that families and people with disabilities can use to create a beautiful and personalized information booklet for a loved one or for themselves.
UBC’s Animated Video Teaches Kids about Coronavirus – An animated video is helping kids understand the ins and outs of COVID-19 to assist with returning to school.
UNICEF Parenting COVID-19 Guide for Parents – UNICEF Parenting is here to be your partner in navigating this health crisis by providing you with accurate, reliable information on the best ways to keep your family safe.
Ask an Advocate – Resources on disability and income assistance, tenancy, and other income supports.
Plan Institute – Learn about the RDSP, tax and estate planning and more.
Purpose Society Rent Bank – Housing stabilization program with locations in Burnaby, Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows, and New Westminster.
Government and Funding Supports
Variety BC Individual Grants – Individual grants for children in BC and the Yukon for equipment and services including private autism assessments.
Government Programs and Services – COVID-19
Government of British Columbia – list of all supports.
- Ministry of Children and Family Development, CYSN: Emergency Relief Funding, service changes, and family updates.
- E-learning sites curriculum and free resources for all ages.
- COVID-19 online self-assessment
Government of Canada – list of all supports.
Health and Wellness
Bounceback – A free skill-building program for stress, depression, anxiety, and low mood.
ConnecTogether – Regular events for the disabled community that can be enjoyed through either Zoom, Facebook Live, or YouTube. Topics range from meditation, to cooking, to adaptive fitness.
COVID-19 Self-Help Booklet Series – A booklet series for people with intellectual disabilities which can be used with the support of family members, friends, staff, and health care professionals. There is a how-to guide accompanying each booklet. The booklets are intended to give people with intellectual disabilities an opportunity to talk through their feelings and make plans for staying well at this difficult time.
The Federation of Community Social Services of BC COVID Wellness Resources – Working from home, parenting and wellness resources.
Foundry Virtual – An app that allows youth and their caregivers to access counselling, support, and groups.
Wellness Together Canada – Free, 45-minute counselling sessions over the phone for youth and adults, alongside a number of online resources for mental health during COVID-19.
Unique Get Together Society – Offers therapy, food baskets, a sensory room, a special needs daycare, behavioural intervention, and more.
Self Advocate Leadership Network – COVID-19 Tips – COVID-19 plain language information with a disability focus.
Self Advocate Net – This website was made by self-advocates with DiversAbilities for self-advocates and their supporters worldwide.
ACT (Autism Community Training) – An information and referral service that supports individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder and their families across British Columbia.
Autism Society of BC – A non-profit that is a parent based and directed society, providing support to individuals with autism and their families in BC.
BC Centre for Ability – Provides community-based services that enhance the quality of life for children, youth and adults with diverse abilities and their families.
Down Syndrome Resource Foundation – Empowers individuals with Down syndrome to reach their full potential throughout life by pioneering and providing educational programs and services, grounded in foundational research. Working with researchers, professionals and families, they are a bridge between research and practice.
Pacific Autism Family Network – Brings together state of the art resources for research, information, learning, assessment, treatment and support; and building capacity to address the lifespan needs of individuals with ASD and related disorders.
Sunny Hill Health Centre for Children – Provides specialized development and rehabilitation services for children, youth and their families.
Vela Microboard Association – A non-profit society that provides information and mentoring to individuals with disabilities and their families by exploring ideas and options that can lead to customized, inclusive and creative supports and services. This can be done by forming a Microboard and/or accessing Individualized Funding. Find a great summary of these supports, as well as links to more information, in the “How we can help you” section of their website.
Burnaby WebReg – Register for recreational activities in Burnaby this summer! Has categories for people with disabilities.
Canucks Autism Network (CAN) – Dedicated to providing programs to individuals with autism and their families, while promoting acceptance and inclusion through community engagement and training initiatives across BC and beyond.
Power for All Adventure Therapy – Recreational programs for disabled youth and adults.
Support Workers Central – Searching for one-on-one support to assist your childhood in thriving at summer camp? Start here!
BC Technology for Learning Society – BC Tech is a registered charity that collects donated computers (and all types of other tech devices), trains and hires youth to refurbish the computers, and then distributes the computers to schools, non-profits, libraries, Indigenous groups, and students.
Canadian Centre for Child Protection – Offering resources and information to keep families, schools, child-serving organizations, and, most importantly, children safe during this unprecedented time.
Five Tips to Make the Most of Video Chats – Video chatting is a great way for young children to stay in touch with long-distance family and friends. Here are 5 ways to help your child get the max from screen-time conversations.
I Can Be Safe Online – ICanBeSafeOnline.com was created as Community Living BC’s online safety website. The website serves as an important tool to help people learn how to be safe online while still having fun with their friends and family, and connecting with their community.
Mobility for Good® – Access to a phone can be a lifeline for youth aging out of foster care and low-income seniors, helping them stay connected to loved ones and vital support networks. Mobility for Good® supports these in-need community members with free or discounted phones and rate plans.
Resources for Families and Educators Staying Home During COVID – With all of us staying at home at this time, it can be tricky to maintain a balance with technology use. Media Smarts has put together a list of resources to help you and your family manage. It also has a list of resources for educators to help with distance learning.
Telus expands internet program for people living with disabilities – Telus has recently changed their Internet for Good Program allowing for persons receiving PWD to tap into the program. It provides internet service for $9.95/m for 24m & the option to purchase a low cost computer ($100-$120) through BC Technology for Learning.