Links to Important Information and Services in Victoria and BC for Families with Children with Special Needs



  • The Cridge Centre for the Family Respite & Respitality Service: Assists families who have a child or youth under 19 with a disability: The Cridge Centre for the Family: Respite and Respitality Services
  • Community Living Victoria: Supports people with intellectual disabilities together with their families, support networks and community: Community Living Victoria (CLV)
  • Developmental Disabilities Association:  A community living agency that provides over 50 community-based programs and services to children and adults with developmental disabilities and their families in Vancouver and Richmond: Developmental Disabilities Association
  • The Family Support Institute of BC (FSI): A provincial not-for-profit society committed to supporting families who have a family member with a disability: The Family Support Institute of BC
  • Inclusion BC:  A non-profit provincial organization that advocates for the rights and opportunities of people with intellectual disabilities and their families: Inclusion BC
  • The BC Association 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 BC Association for Child Development and Intervention
  • The BC Centre for Ability: Provides community-based services to enhance the quality of life for children, youth with special needs and adults with disabilities, and their families, in ways that foster inclusion in all aspects of life: The BC Centre for Ability
  • Little Steps Therapy Services: Offers assessment and treatment services to children and adolescents including behaviour consulting, speech-language therapy, occupational therapy, and physiotherapy as well as clinical counseling services. Their services can be used to address a number of developmental or learning challenges, including Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD), Down Syndrome, Angelman Syndrome, and Undiagnosed Social Deficits:
  • Victoria Disability Resource Centre (VDRC): A cross-disability, grassroots, not-for-profit organization run by and for persons with disabilities. They work closely with people who have a disability and with other community organizations to find and remove barriers that prevent full participation in life:
  • Cerebral Palsy Guidance:  Provides answers and assistance to parents of children with cerebral palsy. Their goal is to reach as many members of the cerebral palsy community as possible, building up a network of support, as well as providing necessary assistance: Cerebral Palsy Guidance: educational support website that provides detailed information on cerebral palsy
  • Inclusion Canada, formerly the Canadian Association for Community Living (CACL):  The national federation working to advance the full inclusion and human rights of people with an intellectual disability and their families: Canadian Association for Community Living ( )
  • Community Options for Children:  A welcoming, innovative organization that provides a wide range of services to people with developmental disabilities, their families and their caregivers on South Vancouver Island. They work in partnership with other organizations, individuals and the government to ensure the inclusion of all people in our community:


  • Children’s Health Foundation: Supports children and youth living with complex needs: Children’s Health Foundation of Vancouver Island
  • BC Children’s Hospital: Provides care for the most seriously ill or injured children from across British Columbia:
  • BC Women’s Hospital: A hospital dedicated to improving the health of women, newborns and families through a comprehensive range of services, research and education: BC Women’s Hospital
  • Sunny Hill Health Centre for Children: This site is a joint project of Sunny Hill Health Centre for Children and the Children and Youth with Special Needs area of British Columbia’s Ministry of Children and Family Development. The page features pointers to other sites containing child development and (re)habilitation resources: This site is a joint project of Sunny Hill Health Centre and British Columbia’s Ministry of Children and Family Development (well worth a visit)
  • Sunny Hill Health Centre: Provides specialized developmental assessments and rehabilitation services to BC children and youth and their families. We are located at BC Children’s Hospital: Sunny Hill Health Centre
  • Canuck Place: BC’s pediatric palliative care provider for children with life-threatening illnesses and the families who love them. Their team of physicians, nurses, counsellors, therapists, staff, and volunteers provide medical respite care, pain and symptom management, art, music, and recreation therapy, end-of-life care, grief, loss, and bereavement counselling. All at no cost: Canuck Place Children’s Hospice
  • Island Health (formerly VIHA):  Delivers many types of health care services for residents, clients and patients: Island Health (formerly Vancouver Island Health Authority)
  • Queen Alexandra Centre for Children’s Health – Consists of four main buildings:


  • One Ability: The Greater Victoria Collaborative for Adapted Sport and Physical Activity Facilitating athletic and recreational opportunities for people across the age and disability spectrum:
  • Victoria Therapeutic Riding Association: VTRA offers programs to children and adults who live in the Greater Victoria area. The disabilities include but are not limited to cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, autism, intellectual and emotional challenges, and hearing or vision impairment: Victoria Therapeutic Riding Association (VTRA)
  • PowerToBe: Based in Victoria and Vancouver; operating on the belief that everyone belongs in nature. They believe finances shouldn’t prevent anyone from accessing nature and work to remove cognitive, physical and social barriers to the outdoors.  They encourage participants to explore who they are and what they are capable of with the support of staff, volunteers and each other:
  • Victoria Conservatory of Music – Department of Music Therapy: The non-verbal, creative, and affective nature of music facilitates contact, learning, self-expression, communication and growth. The VCM’s Music Therapy sessions meet the needs of children from as young as 18 months old, to the elderly. They work with those of all ages with exceptionalities, conditions, or illnesses and to improve the quality of life for all:
  • CanAssist: Located at the University of Victoria, CanAssist is dedicated to helping people with disabilities improve their quality of life, with a focus on promoting independence and inclusion:
  • Operation Trackshoes: An annual sports festival for British Columbia residents with a developmental disability:
  • Variety Club: This children’s charity steps in where health care ends, providing direct help to children with special needs in BC. For over 50 years, Variety Club has ensured that children have the support to reach their potential and thrive:  f
  • Easter Seal House: Easter Seals BC/Yukon is a service of the BC Lions Society for Children With Disabilities. As a trusted charity since 1952, Easter Seals is dedicated to providing programs and services to persons with diverse abilities that help build their self-esteem, self-confidence and sense of independence:
  • Ronald McDonald House: When parents have a child who is battling a serious illness and the specialized care required is hours from home, the situation can feel overwhelming. For over 35 years, it has been their mission to offer accommodation that keeps children and families close to that specialized care and an incredible community of support. They are here to keep families together when it matters most:




  • Transition to Adult Care:  The goal of Transition to Adult Care is to support youth with special health care needs and their families or caregivers to gain the confidence, skills and knowledge to be ready to enter the adult health care system: Transitioning to adult services