Text Size

Watch our 60th Anniversary video that honours and remembers the civil rights history of people with intellectual disabilities in BC. Read more about our history here.

Our new report shows the continued systemic use of restraint and seclusion in BC schools. Read more.

From December 1-3, we're celebrating the UN International Day of Persons with Disabilities. Film festivals will be held in 5 locations across BC. Stay tuned for details!

What are Disability Supports?

The term disability supports refers to any good or service that helps a person overcome barriers that come with having a disability. These barriers may get in the way of carrying out activities of daily living, or cultural, political and social activities and economic participation.

There is no fixed list or category of disability supports. Any good or service is “disability-related” when it is used to assist a person or persons in overcoming barriers and in independent living. To show the range of such goods and services, they include the following*:

  • personal help/attendant care
  • personal planning supports
  • homemaker services
  • brokerage services
  • technical aids and devices
  • respite and training for family caregivers
  • specialized features at home and in work and learning environments
  • medications, developmental/therapeutic services
  • transportation supports specific to a disability
  • accessible community infrastructure
  • human capacity at the community level to include people with disabilities.

Supports are required of different kinds and in different forms, at all stages of the life span: children, youth, adults and seniors.

*The above definition was created by the National Action Committee on Disability Supports. Inclusion BC acts as secretariat to this committee.

Community Living Definitions and Programs, Supports and Services

Behavioural Support for Children with Autism Program: Provides specialized behavioural support for children with autism and autistic-like behavioural concerns. Behavioural support services may include child-specific planning, training, intervention and family support.

Child & Youth Care Worker Services for Families with Children with Special Needs: Child and youth care worker services provides children and families with a specialized child care worker who assists the child to learn social, life skills and/or the family to learn parenting/child management skills.

Children with Special Needs: have significant developmental delays in one or more of the following areas: health, cognition, communication, sensory motor, social/emotional/behavioural or self help (adaptive), and requires specialized supports to enhance or improve their health, development, or participation in daily activities at home, in school and in their communities.

CLBC: Community Living BC is the crown agency responsible for providing supports and services for adults with developmental disabilities and their families in British Columbia.

Community Living Supports & Services (Adults): CLBC provides a range of support services for adults that including staffed residential, model homes/semi-independent living situations, family support, respite and day support and employment services.

Community Living Supports & Services (Children): The Ministry of Children and Family Development provides early intervention and support services for children and youth with special needs and their families.

CLBC Waitlists: CLBC’s Waitlist Policy applies to eligible individuals whose requests for funded supports or services to meet their current needs have been approved in principle but where CLBC has insufficient funds to meet the requests. Individuals requesting support will be placed on the waitlist in order of priority based on assessedcriteria: length of time waiting followed by specific individual requirements.

Developmental Disability: A developmental disability is a lifelong condition that means a person grows and develops differently and more slowly than others. Individuals with a developmental disability may have difficulty learning and processing information, understanding abstract concepts, or adapting to some of the demands of daily life. This disability varies greatly between individuals and may or may not be accompanied by other physical conditions.

Employment Support: Support available to individuals to obtain and maintain work experience, to access job search/placement services, or to explore employment options and find competitiveemployment. Support can also increase opportunities for paid employment throughskills assessment, job matching, job search, on the job training and ongoing monitoring.

Homemaker Services: Services to assist individuals to maintain independent or semiindependent living by offering direct homemaking or household management services when a person is unable to manage these activities on their own.

Infant Development Program: The Infant Development Program serves children from birth to three years old, who are at risk for, or who already have a delay in development. Programs are available throughout British Columbia. Each program brings parents and professionals together to help children overcome developmental difficulties.

Ministry of Children and Family Development: In order to assist and support families and children and youth with special needs from birth up to age 19, the Ministry of Children and Family Development offers a range of services.

Outreach and Professional Supports: Outreach services for children and youth with special needs are provided by community service providers. Outreach services include prescription and fitting of customized assistive devices, complex feeding and nutritional assessment and psychology assessment or consultation.

Parent Support for Families with Children with Special Needs: Provides a range of community-based services including parent support groups, parent skills training, counselling, life skills, and organized activities.

Professional Support: Licensed psychologist or health care provider will prescribe or provide assessment and authorize treatments for people with developmental disabilities.

Respite Services: A service that gives a break to the family member who provides full-time care. Service is provided in the respite caregiver’s home, in a community setting or in a facility or group home. This is for individuals and families who do not receive other residential services.

Supported Child Development Services: Supported Child Development agencies contract with the Ministry of Children and Family Development to provide a range of consulting and support services for children with special needs, ages birth up to 12, to be included in regular child care settings. SCD supports professionals who plan, provide training for child care support staff and assist children to adapt to and be included in regular child care and/or preschool settings.

Therapy Services: The Early Intervention Therapy program provides community-based physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech-language pathology and family support worker services to preschool children who have or are at risk of a developmental delay or disability. These services are available from the time of a child’s birth or after identification of need, until school entry.


Community Living BC


Ministry of Child and Family Development


Inclusion BC