Victoria Disability Resource Centre
Our Impact Why We Exist
The Victoria Disability Resource Centre is a charitable organization that exists to provide support to persons with various disabilities within our community who need help with overcoming the barriers present within society. We provide a safe and welcoming atmosphere at our centre where people can feel heard, respected and understood. We alleviate the fear of feeling lost and alone in tackling complex issues related to disability. Our team is comprised almost entirely of persons with disabilities, and they bring a unique and compassionate understanding to the difficulties people with disabilities face. We play an important role in making sure people have the relevant information and resources that are needed to support themselves best. We help normalize the experience of disability whilst working with our clients to create a more inclusive society where people with disabilities are valued equally and have the opportunity to participate more fully within their own community.
“I felt alone and scared and that I had no one in my corner, The Victoria Disability Resource Centre made me feel welcome and that I had support." — Karen
“I spent my first meeting just talking with the information coordinator, and it was the first time I felt like I was truly being heard. The staff were so knowledgeable about supports and services available for people with disabilities, they even helped me fill out my forms I had been putting off out of fear. I just want to thank everyone for making me feel welcome, safe and that I still matter.” — anonymous
In 2015, thanks to a generous grant from the Victoria Foundation, we were able to deliver a series of workshops to promote independent living skills. This series of ten workshops, delivered over 31 sessions, cover topics such as financial literacy, connecting to the community, computer skills, transportation and healthy eating. We are hoping to repeat several of these workshops in the future.
Our Story What We Do
The VDRC works to promote independent living for people with all types of disabilities. We have four core program areas: information and referral, peer support, employment and community development.
People with disabilities and their families and friends often do not know about services available to them in the community or how to access those services. The Information and Referral program helps people navigate through the maze to find the services they need and to successfully access them.
The Peer Support program is composed of a number of peer support groups in which people with disabilities can talk to each other, find companionship, learn from each other and exchange experiences.
Employment is one of the key elements enabling independence and self-determination. As with non-disabled people, through employment disabled people are able to meet every day needs, build self-esteem and have a sense of belonging to the community. Currently, the VDRC is the local delivery point for the Neil Squire Society's computer based Employ-Ability program.
The Community Development program aims to develop innovative and proof of concept programs which respond to the many unmet needs of people with disabilities.
Our Programs How We Do It
Thanks to a 2017 grant from the Victoria Foundation we are able to continue with the Enhanced Employability Program for People with Disabilities. This program, run in partnership with the Neil Squire Society, assists persons with disabilities to find employment or return to an education program. It also provides valuable skills to help people take up volunteer opportunities which in turn contributes to improved quality of life and perhaps employment at a later time.
What You Can Do
The VDRC is dependent on volunteers to maintain its daily operations. People who want to volunteer are interviewed by the Volunteer Coordinator and the type of work they want to do is identified and then practical training is provided. Reception, administration and the parking permit desk are places where unskilled volunteers can best make a contribution, become accustomed to being in a workforce and develop their skills. We also have spaces for various practicum students especially from the schools of social work and computer science.
And, of course, we are always seeking donations to pay for the ongoing operation of the Centre.