Ability Awareness Program – Community Outreach
Grandview’s Ability Awareness Program is a free service available to schools, daycares and community groups in Durham Region to enhance awareness about differences while advocating acceptance and inclusion. Our Ability Awareness presenter Marshall Hohmann provides group presentations tailored to various age groups to raise awareness of a variety of disabilities.
Our Family Engagement Coordinator Andrea Belanger is available to work with parents/guardians to develop a customized, positive presentation that focuses on valuing differences. Parents/guardians, principals, teachers and staff can request an Ability Awareness presentation. To request an Ability Awareness presentation, please contact:
Avori Cheyne, Director, Strategic Communications, Partnerships & Engagements
905-728-1673 x 2240
Toll Free 1-800-304-6180 x 2240
Feedback from Educators:
“The Ability Awareness Program promotes awareness and equity and highlights ways that students’ differences can be valued.”
“I like how the presentation got the kids thinking and sharing. It was worthwhile – and the presenter was enthusiastic.”
“…the presentation went very well. It has led to some of the students attempting to form some positive relationships with J. I think the most received and helpful part was the book about J. It led me to think that if I have/we have a student with J’s needs again it, would be great if they entered their new [school] environment with a book like this.”Paul Switzer, Kindergarten Teacher, Glen Dhu Public School, Whitby
“The Ability Awareness presentation that was provided by Grandview to my son Ryan’s class was exceptional! His Grade 4 classmates were very interested in the presentation and in learning ways that Ryan is just like them. They were given an opportunity to ask questions about disabilities and about Ryan. The students just wanted to understand him and his needs better so they can be a better friend to him. This presentation helped them to gain that understanding. Thank you!”– Kelly Smigielski, Ryan’s Mother
New Resource Books – 2020
- It’s Hard to Be Five – Learning How to Work My Control Panel
- Signs About School
- Fall Down 7 Times Get Up 8
- Superflex A Superhero Social Thinking Curriculum
- The Prodigy’s Cousin
- When Sophie Gets Angry – Really, Really Angry
- The Cerebral Palsy Tool Kit From Diagnosis to Understanding
- Anything But Typical
- It’s Haircut Time!
- Enabling Romance
- Feeding and Swallowing Disorders in Infancy in a Different Key – The Story of Autism
- More Than Words
- My Princess Boy – A mom’s story about a young boy who loves to dress up
Who can borrow materials from the Grandview Children’s Centre Family Resource Centre?
Full use, including borrowing privileges, is available to:
- Families and other caregivers of Grandview Kids currently receiving services at Grandview Children’s Centre
- Staff and volunteers of Grandview Children’s Centre
- Staff of related agencies providing service to Grandview Kids
Any member of the community (i.e. students or teachers) may visit our Family Resource Centre to view materials on-site.
For more information, please call the Family Resource Centre: 905-728-1673 x 2293 or toll-free 1-800-304-6180 x 2293
Family Resource and Reference Centre
Our Family Resource and Reference Centre make educational resources available to Grandview Kids and their parents/guardians and siblings, as well as to staff of Grandview Children’s Centre. The Family Resource and Reference Centre offers a wide range of information about children and youth with special needs, as well as information on general health, parenting and family life, all to help you understand and support the growth and development of your child.
You will find our Family Resource and Reference Centre in the waiting room at the Oshawa – Main Site. Some of the resources available include:
- Books including popular titles, topics and authors (3 week loan period),
- DVDs and videos (1 week loan period),
- Magazines and booklets,
- Brochures for services available at Grandview Children’s Centre, and additional services in the community,
- Forms, including: Disability Tax Forms, Accessible Parking Permits, and more.
All books, DVDs and videos must be signed out including your name and phone number. We thank you for returning all borrowed materials within the expected time frame.
Online Parent Support
If your child is currently receiving services at Grandview Children’s Centre, you are eligible to join this closed (non-public), members-only group. A Facebook account is required, and conversations are moderated and facilitated by the Family Engagement Coordinator. To get started:
- Go to: facebook.com/groups/Grandview.OPS
- Click on Join Group near the top right-hand corner.
- You can speed up the approval process by sending an email with your child’s name and/or client number to the Group’s Administrator: email@example.com
Anyone can request to join the group, but only those verified as parents/guardians of Grandview Kids will be approved to join by the Group Administrator.
“We want to thank you for the excellent presentation to our son’s class. He was thrilled, as was his brother and all of their classmates. The customized storybook you prepared was ‘bang on’ and targeted the concerns our son had [about the way his disability is perceived by peers] most appropriately. We plan to use it every year from now on to share with each classroom teacher. Your kindness, compassion and understanding of children with special needs is much appreciated in how you met with us and our son to learn about him and our family, and in how well you conducted the presentation to his class.”– Parent
Listed below are a number of organizations that are available to help families cover the cost of various equipment and services needs. Each organization has specific guidelines & policies that should be reviewed prior to applying. Families should be encouraged to contact their insurance companies first, prior to looking into additional funding. Note: this is a guide only, please verify details with individual organizations.
Most organizations have very specific policies around this, and all of them expect that the changes being made to the home are a necessity based on the special needs of the child (i.e. not a way to increase the value of the home).
Ontario March of Dimes – Home & Vehicle Modification Program: applicants must complete a screening tool prior to applying. Will also need to provide photos of area, & proof of total household income (cannot exceed $65,000 after deductions) at time of formal application. Maximum funding is $15,000 but awarded amount varies with income.
Easter Seals – currently has no income restrictions, but child must be registered first with Easter Seals (to qualify, must have a physical diagnosis). They have very specific rules regarding which portion of the renovation may be covered. Maximum funding is $3,000 and is awarded based on availability of funds & decision of board. Note also that families are limited to a max. of $3000 per year for all funding and must apply between Jan 1st – Sept. 30th each year.
For the Love of a Child – may be able to provide financial assistance. Absolute max received is around $500, based on availability of funds raised that year.
Muscular Dystrophy Canada (MDC) – must be registered first (to qualify, must have a neuromuscular disorder that has been included by MDA). Some assistance may be available. For details, contact MDA directly at 1-800-567-2873 x 160 or 164. They require 2 quotes and supporting letter from therapist and/or Registered Social Worker
Home Depot – handled by each local store. May be able to provide labour and/or materials to assist families. Contact the store closest to the client for details.
Other – other places that families can look into include local service clubs not included in the Partnership, Wish Organizations, and fundraising initiatives.
Ontario March of Dimes – Assistive Devices Program – applicants must be 19 years and older and complete a screening tool prior to applying. Will also need to provide photos of area, & proof of total household income (cannot exceed $65,000 after deductions) at time of formal application
Easter Seals – currently has no income restrictions, but child must be registered first with Easter Seals (to qualify, must have a physical diagnosis). Maximum funding is $3,000 and is awarded based on availability of funds & decision of board. Note also that families are limited to a max. of $3000 per year for all funding and must apply between Jan 1st – Sept. 30th each year.
For the Love of a Child – organization that may be able to provide financial assistance. Absolute max received is around $500, based on availability of funds raised that year. Applications are available in the Social Work Services office, Family Resource Centre or by contacting For the Love of a Child.
Muscular Dystrophy Canada (MDC) must be registered first (to qualify, must have a neuromuscular disorder that has been included by MDC). Some assistance may be available. For details, contact MDC directly at 1-800-567-2873 ext. 160 or 164. They require 2 quotes and supporting letter from therapist and/or Registered Social Worker.
Ontario Federation for Cerebral Palsy – Assistive Devices Funding Program – Available for any child or adult with CP in Ontario. Maximum funding is $2500/yr and cannot exceed 25% of total cost of item. Applications accepted from Sept. 1- June 1 each year. Funding available for communication & writing aids, feeding equipment, orthotic devices, respiratory equipment, mobility aids, bathroom aids & home accessibility aids. See website for specific details.
Assistance for Children with Severe Disabilities – may be able to help with some requests such as serial casting, and orthotics. Clients should contact their worker to discuss. Funding assistance reviewed on a case by case basis, and up to the workers discretion.
Other – other places that families can look into include local service clubs not included in the Partnership, Wish Organizations, and fundraising initiatives.
Advancing Access to Affordable Recreation in Durham Region – Contact information for municipal and not for profit organizations that may provide financial assistance for registered recreation services and programs for low income residents in Durham Region
Jumpstart Program – A registered charity of Canadian Tire providing funding for recreation opportunities for financially disadvantaged kids.
Ontario Federation for Cerebral Palsy (OFCP) Activity Funding Program – Available to individuals with cerebral palsy in the province of Ontario who are members of the OFCP.
Most organizations have very specific policies around this, and all of them expect that the purchase/changes being made to the vehicle are a necessity based on the special needs of the child.
Ontario March of Dimes – Home & Vehicle Modification Program – applicants must complete a screening tool prior to applying. Will also need to provide photos of area, & proof of total household income (cannot exceed $65,000 after deductions) at time of formal application. Maximum funding is $15,000 but awarded amount varies with income.
Easter Seals – currently has no income restrictions, but child must be registered first with Easter Seals (to qualify, must have a physical diagnosis). They may be able to assist with specific equipment needs. Maximum funding is $3,000 and is awarded based on availability of funds & decision of board. Note also that families are limited to a max. of $3000 per year for all funding and must apply between Jan 1st – Sept. 30th each year.
Muscular Dystrophy Canada – must be registered first (to qualify, must have a neuromuscular disorder that has been included by MDC). Some assistance may be available. For details, contact MDC directly at 1-800-567-2873 ext. 160 or 164. They require 2 quotes and supporting letter from therapist and/or Registered Social Worker.
These organizations are available to assist families with a variety of needs. Each has specific guidelines & policies that should be looked into.
Community Living Associations – may be able to offer some assistance for families already receiving services. Families should contact their child’s therapist or Registered Social Worker directly.
Incontinence Supplies Grant Program – handled by the Easter Seal Society. The program offers family assistance with the extraordinary costs associated with diapering a child with special needs. Applications must be completed & signed by a physician.
Social Services – may be able to assist families with transportation issues. Contact your child’s therapist or Registered Social Worker for details.
The Jennifer Ashleigh Foundation – funding available for children under 21 yrs old, for the following: emergency financial relief, care giving, therapies, education, computers, medical equipment & recreational activities. Funding is based on income, but consideration is given to living expenses.
Three to be – PAL Assist Program – includes: Respite Program (parent and family respite) and a Fee Subsidy Program designed to respond directly to the needs of families of children with neurological disorders.
Trillium Drug Program Ministry of Health – assists families with the cost of prescription drugs. Families have to pay a deductible first, based on net income, and then would pay a $2 dispensing charge for remaining prescription/year. Families can obtain applications kits at their local pharmacy or by calling the Ministry INFOline @ 1-800-268-1154.
Funding Sources for Private Speech – Language Therapy – Looking for funding information when it comes to private speech- language therapy? This brochure will help answer your questions and get you started.
Grandview Children’s Centre is proud to partner with MedicAlert® Foundation Canada (MedicAlert) and help raise awareness about the benefits of its life-saving medical IDs for children with special needs, most especially those with a tendency to wander – which can be a great source of stress for many parents. To combat the fear and anxiety that families experience, MedicAlert medical IDs are supported by a 24/7 Emergency Hotline which relays key medical and identification details to emergency responders, within an average of five seconds of a call.
What’s more, an exciting collaboration with Durham Police Regional Services now provides an enhanced support network that coordinates with family and law enforcement during a wandering incident to provide assistive services and reunite children with their families sooner. Already, Grandview parents are seeing the benefit of having access to this additional protection as part of the safety plan for their children.
“Like most parents you worry about your kids getting lost, but when your child has Autism that worry is even greater. Having the MedicAlert medical ID and service gave us peace of mind that if she got lost, emergency responders have access to all of our contact information.” – Erin McPhedran, mom of 6 ½ year old Molly
“Having a child with a developmental disability can be scary. Since he cannot always articulate what his name is or where he lives (especially in times of stress) and has medical needs that may need to be attended to, we feel more secure knowing the police will have 24/7 access to Owen’s vital information in an emergency.” – Matt and Andrea Belanger, parents of 6-year old Owen
Through our partnership, MedicAlert is extending a discount to parents here at Grandview that includes a Free ID (of $39 value) plus more.
Visit your Resource Centre or call MedicAlert at 1.877.217.7448. Please mention code GRANDVIEW16N to take advantage of the savings.
MedicAlert Foundation Canada is the largest subscriber-based registered charity in Canada and the most trusted brand for medical IDs among paramedics, police and other emergency responders since 1961. MedicAlert® saves lives.
Getting ready to file your Income Tax Return? Graeme Treeby of The Special Needs Planning Group has information that may be of assistance to you. Please note: this information is shared by Grandview Children’s Centre for your convenience; however, it is not to be taken as accounting or tax advice, but rather as a resource to provide a starting point for income tax preparation and planning for people with a disability and their families.
We are pleased to be offering a series of Parent/Caregiver Workshops to our #TeamGrandview family community.
Registration is limited, and participants are encouraged to contact Grandview’s Service Navigation at (905) 728-1673 ext. 2533 to register.