Community Connections

You’re not alone

There are many resources out there for you and your family. We’ve provided a list of our favourites below.


211 is a three-digit non-emergency telephone number that connects callers to a full range of community, social, government and health service information in Calgary. Certified Information and Referral specialists answer 211 calls 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It is free, confidential and multilingual (150 languages). You can also search a province wide service directory/database for information by simply entering the subject and location.

Ability Society and Future Ways

The Ability Society provides a range of services, from information requests, skill and needs assessments to behavioral/developmental aide programs via the FutureWays program. FutureWays is a child/youth-centered skill development program aiming towards the goals of community integration and independence. It provides skill development for children with special needs and their parents/caregivers, so that they may achieve a significant measure of community integration and independence today.

Accredited Supports to the Community

ASC provides supports to adults and children with disabilities. Their Family Support Programs provides children from birth to eighteen and their families with a variety of services including an in-home worker who can assist with: behavioral challenges, developmental growth, community access and respite care. This program is available in Olds, Didsbury, Sundre, Three Hills, Strathmore, Mountain View County, Kneehill County, Drumheller/Hanna, Southeast Rocky View area and Wheatland County.

Aha! Parenting

This informative website includes articles and tips for parenting children from birth through the teen years.


The Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped (AISH) program provides financial and health-related assistance to eligible adults with a disability. The disability must be permanent and substantially limit the person’s ability to earn a living. AISH clients may also be eligible to receive supplemental assistance (a child benefit and personal benefits) through the AISH program.

Alberta Supports

An Alberta Government website that provides information on programs, services, locations, forms and more…

Search for details on Children with Disabilities, RDSP, Education, FSCD, Developmental Programs and Services, Health, AADL and more…

Calgary Youth Physiotherapy

Calgary Youth Physio provides a “hands on” approach to physiotherapy for kids that is fun! We work on self-esteem by providing a relaxing, supportive environment with knowledgeable, friendly staff who follow a “can-do” philosophy!

Canadian Down Syndrome Society

The CDSS hosts an annual conference, has a number of publications, and provides general information for parents.

Canadian Nanny

An easy way to find nanny services, babysitting, senior care, au pair services and pet care. Detailed profiles of caregivers are immediately available to you, complete with resumes, references and photos. Web site allows you to filter candidates by need and area of city; you screen and interview candidates directly. There is minimal registration and monthly fee to access complete profiles.

Canadian Centre for Child Protection

The Canadian Centre for Child Protection is dedicated to the personal safety of all children.  They offer a number of programs, services and resources for early years through teen years including:  Safety Habits for Life, Smartphone Safety, Parenting Teens in a Digital World, and much more.

Cherrington Sawer

Cherrington Sawer endeavors to provide exceptional and unique therapy services for children and adolescents, striving to strengthen their sense of self-efficacy and self-confidence. FSCD funded services include: clinic based social skills group and home based occupational therapy for children who are approved for behavioral/developmental aide contracts.

Children’s Link

The Children’s Link Society is a family-centered, community-based, central access point of information for families of children with special needs in Calgary and Area.

City of Calgary Fee Assistance

Some City programs and services are available at reduced prices; subject to eligibility criteria (i.e. low income). Subsidy programs included are: No cost spay/neuter for cats and dogs; Property tax assistance, including rebates on waste and recycling fees; Admissions to City-run registered recreation programs and facilities; Discounted monthly transit passes, including Access Calgary.

Community Education Service

The Community Education Service (CES) provides parents/caregivers and other community members with opportunities to access free, evidence-informed education sessions and resource materials to address child, youth, and family health and mental health needs.

Developmental Disabilities Resource Centre (DDRC)

DDRC is a non-profit organization that offers programs and resources for children and adults with disabilities, their friends and family, and other people in the community. Their mission is to promote awareness and supports communities to include persons with developmental disabilities. A few of their programs include:

  • Comprehensive Care programs provide respite support, home making and personal care assistance for individuals and their supportive networks. Services are for both children and adults who require assistance with daily living activities
  • P.A.C.E. (Participation in Academics and Career Exploration) program assists young adults in their transition from high school to the working world.
  • The Watson Family Foundation provides financial assistance to families with limited or non-existent means to help improve and sustain the quality of life for their special needs child.
  • Triple P – Positive Parenting Program equips parents with the skills and resources they need to successfully manage challenges in the family. Triple P Stepping Stones focuses on the specific challenges faced by parents of children aged 2 to 12 who have a developmental disability.

Down Syndrome Research Foundation

At the Down Syndrome Research Foundation we initiate and participate in research that provides insight into the unique learning style of these individuals. The data collected is analyzed and pilot interventions and educational programs are developed and offered.

Dreams Take Flight

Each year since 1993, Dreams Take Flight provides the trip-of-a-lifetime to Disneyland for medically, mentally, physically, socially, or emotionally challenged children.  A number of PREP students have benefited from this program over the years.

Edmonton Down Syndrome Society

The Edmonton Down Syndrome Society is dedicated to improving the lives of individuals born with Down syndrome by providing opportunities and experiences for them to learn, grow and strive for their individual potential in home, school and community life from Edmonton and area continuing to northern Alberta.

Families Matter

Families Matter provides parenting education resulting in healthy child development and confident and competent parents who are connected within their communities. Their programs include Mental Health support, parenting education sessions, including Triple P.

Family & Community Resource Centre

The Family & Community Resource Centre provides a comfortable and supportive environment where families, service providers, and community members can find reliable child health information, receive support, access child health education, and connect with community resources.

Family Support for Children with Disabilities Program (FSCD)

The FSCD program assists families with some of the extraordinary demands of raising a child with a disability. They can provide families with information, referral, advocacy and supports. This program is offered through Child and Families Services, Alberta Children’s Services.


Once a person turns 18 years old they are deemed an adult by the province of Alberta regardless of ability. It is important to apply for guardianship for your child with special needs so that important decisions can be made on their behalf. The office of the public guardian provide services to help all Albertans plan for the future and make the most of today if decision-making support is needed. Personal matters are the things we make decisions about that are not about money, like where we live, social activities, health care, education and training, and work.

Inclusion Alberta

Inclusion Alberta (formerly Alberta Association for Community Living) is a family based, non-profit federation that advocates on behalf of children and adults with developmental disabilities and their families. As an organization they support families and individuals in their desire to be fully included in community life.

Also, their Supportive Communities, Strengthening Families program assists families with connecting with ‘respite’ care by connecting them with potential staff through their online database.

Jumpstart Charities

Jumpstart gives kids a sporting chance.  1 in 3 Canadian families cannot afford to enroll their kids in organized sports.  Jumpstart aims to change that.  Jumpstart funding helps families that need a financial hand with registration, equipment and/or transportation costs.  Jumpstart also helps community groups provide high quality programs.

Just4You Family Services

Just4You provides care for special need/ typical children, youth, and seniors, including respite and community aide.

LEAD Foundation

Leads experienced teams work with children and their caregivers to help children develop the best possible language, social, play, and motor skills. We work with all children who have mild speech, language, motor or social delays to children with more complex challenges.

McMan Youth, Family and Community Services Association

McMan Youth, Family and Community Services Association is a dynamic not-for-profit social service agency that provides a comprehensive range of programs including the Milestones program. The Milestones program provides behavioral and developmental aide to support families who have a child with a developmental disability.

National Down Syndrome Society

The mission of the NDSS is to be the national advocate for the value, acceptance and inclusion of people with Down syndrome. Their website holds a wealth of information re: health, parenting, advocacy, education and more.


Pacekids is a qualified provider of Developmental/Behavioral Strategist Services, the Stepping Stones Triple P Positive Parenting Program, and Specialized Services; all of which are funded through Family Support for Children with Disabilities (FSCD). Specialized Services uses a multi-disciplinary team of expert therapists to teach parents and caregivers of children with disabilities the skills and strategies to assist their children with tasks of everyday life.


PDD funds programs and services to help adult Albertans with developmental disabilities to be a part of their communities and live as independently as they can. The program funds four kinds of staffing supports:

  • Community Living Supports help individuals in their home (for example: meal planning and housekeeping)
  • Employment Supports train, educate and support individuals to get and keep jobs
  • Community Access Supports help individuals participate in their community (for example: volunteering, going to clubs, sports and other activities)
  • Specialized Community Supports are generally short-term supports to help with special circumstances (for example: extra help when a person is having trouble

PlayFULL Potential

PlayFull Potential is a multidisciplinary practice whose focus is on home-based specialized services for children and families impacted by Autism Spectrum Disorder and other severe developmental needs.  The team includes Speech Language Therapists, Physical Therapists, Occupational Therapists and Psychologists.

Positive Behaviour Supports for Children (MRU)

This is a series of three, related websites developed for use by families, aides and school staff supporting children with disabilities! These interactive websites provide evidence-based strategies for promoting adaptive behaviour, while managing challenging behaviours. Anyone who is interested in gaining a better understanding of how to support a child with a disability is encouraged to use this resource.

Post Natal Helpers

Provides part-time child care services for families with newborns, toddlers, preschoolers and/or special-needs children (up to 6 years of age). While we are in the home, the parent has the option to stay, to rest or to leave. Post Natal Helpers are available in the daytime as well as evenings and weekends.

Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP)

A Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP) is a savings plan that is intended to help parents and others save for the long-term financial security of a person who is eligible for the Disability Tax Credit. See the following CRA website for eligibility and rules. Phone: 403-640-0844

SCOPE Society

Calgary SCOPE Society is a non-profit agency committed to providing a wide range of high quality, innovative services that support people with disabilities to be respected, contributing members of Calgary’s communities. They work in alliance with people with disabilities, their families and friends, and other community members to understand problems and create solutions to personal and social justice issues.


Sibshops are best described as opportunities for brothers and sisters of children with special health and developmental needs to obtain peer support and education within a recreational context. They often reflect an agency’s commitment to the well-being of the family member most likely to have the longest-lasting relationship with the person with special needs. Sibshops in Calgary is offered through Connections Counseling; a registered charity that provides vital counseling services to intellectually disabled Calgarians.


Specs4Us are frames specially designed to fit children and adults with Down syndrome and others with special needs. Visit this link to find a location near you.

Triple P Positive Parenting Program and Stepping Stones

Triple P is a scientifically researched family support strategy designed to help parents improve their parenting skills and build positive relationships with their children. It is funded by FSCD (Family Support for Children with Disabilities). Stepping Stones is a “sister” program for parents of children aged 2-12 years of age with an intellectual or developmental disability who have a behavioral or emotional challenge. Stepping Stones helps parents with teaching new skills and behaviors; using discipline strategies that are positive and effective; promoting children’s development, and much more.

Transition Services Listing (Children’s Link)

Visit this listing for transition information on a number of categories, including: Employment; Education; Respite; Community Access; Residential; Transition; Mental Health Service

Ups and Downs

Ups and Downs is a registered, non-profit, volunteer-run organization for parents, families and friends of people with Down syndrome. Founded in 1984 by a group of concerned parents, Ups and Downs now provides a wide variety of services and personal involvement opportunities to the Calgary area and Southern Alberta.