The information provided in this newsletter is for reference only. It is not intended as a recommendation or endorsement of organizations, news sources, policies or political parties, or as a comprehensive resource list. Past newsletters and COVID-19 specific tipsheets can be accessed here.
Events | Workshops
- Parent Support Network: 8-week Mindfulness Course for Parent/Caregivers: Working with Stress & Anxiety Through Mindfulness (Thursdays for 8 weeks starting April 14): Alongside discussion and practice of the foundations of mindfulness, participants will learn to cultivate ways to deal with difficult habit patterns, emotions and beliefs, areas of experience where we often find ourselves stuck, and practices geared towards enhancing resiliency and well-being.
- Spring 2022 Holland Bloorview FIRST Robotics - Science Club (starts April 19): Intake required. For ages 6-14 years. The program is a safe space for young students who have disabilities, to explore science.
- Family-friendly, sensory-friendly and fully accessible vaccination clinic (April 29): For children aged 5+ (born in 2016 or earlier) with disabilities and/or complex care needs as well as their siblings and family members. Doses one through three available.
- The Journey to Kindergarten: Transitions-based tips and resources for parents and caregivers of kids with disabilities (April 27, afternoon and evening sessions): Suggestions, lived experiences and resources for your home and community will be shared that can support your child and family’s upcoming transition to kindergarten. The webinar will end with a Q&A and live demonstration of resources and practical ideas to prepare for school (Holland Bloorview, the Toronto District School Board and ConnectABILITY.ca).
- Family Resource Centre: Virtual workshops and events for families (March - June 2022): Includes new events for parent support network, family workshops and family navigation hub.
Holland Bloorview resources
- BLOOM March 2022
- ASD FEED-Ed is an education platform designed for the purpose of educating children, youth, parents, caregivers and healthcare professionals about feeding in autistic children.
- ‘All About Me' Infographic (recorded) can help you advocate and make it easier to explain what it is you or your child need. A series of learning modules and resources have been created to help you and/or your child create your infographic. Free ‘All About Me’ template available from Piktochart.
- HB Podcasts Podcasts on a variety of themes and topics to support and connect with children, youth and families living with disabilities.
- HB Info Line helps children, youth and families learn about and get connected to the many programs and services at Holland Bloorview.
- Parent Voices@Holland Bloorview Facebook & BLOOM@BLOOMHollandbloorview Facebook
- ASD Dads drop-in on Friday night. E-mail Peter Welsh at ASD.Fathers.firstname.lastname@example.org
COVID-19 vaccines and resources
Vaccine clinic for Cantonese and Mandarin speaking families (April 24) ; Accessible COVID-19 vaccine clinic for Toronto residents age 5+ with developmental disabilities & their families (by appointment only) This clinic will have a Cantonese and Mandarin translator on-site. To register, please call (416) 925-5141 ext 4444 or email@example.com
parent homework.ca: Medical experts from top hospitals including Sick Kids, Kids Health Alliance and Holland Bloorview answer top COVID-19 questions asked by parents about children’s vaccine.
Mental Health and Wellness
Vibrant Healthcare Alliance
Mindfulness 8-week series (starts April 12): For Women, Girls, Trans, Two Spirit, Non Binary Peoples and Other Marginalized Genders with and without Disabilities.
Bereaved Families of Ontario (BFO)Toronto & Down Syndrome Association York Region
6-week virtual grief group (starts April 14): For adults 18+ who have lost a loved one and identify as having a cognitive, developmental or intellectual disability.
Scarborough Centre for Healthy Communities
- Medical Cannabis Use (April 14): This medical overview will address how medical cannabis is prescribed and what forms are available it can come in. We will also discuss conditions where medical cannabis could be used.
- Recreational Cannabis Use (April 21): Understanding recreational cannabis use, the “how” and “why” you can access cannabis for recreational purposes, the laws in Canada that apply to recreational consumers, and review any risks or side effects that we should be aware of.
Wellness Together Canada
Mental health and substance abuse support platform: Provides free access to tools, apps & programs to support your wellness.
Ontario Caregiver Organization
Boost Your Well-Being with a Nature Prescription (May 3): Learn about science-proven mental and physical health benefits of nature, and how including “green time” in your schedule can help our planet; tips on how to fit outdoor time into your busy routine: the “Park Prescription Program” (PaRx), now available in Ontario
Variety’s Virtual Adventure: Join this fun and free virtual program. Anyone can access it individually, one-to-one, in groups, classes or even the entire school. Any skill, any ability. This interactive exercise program can be done by anyone. Variety Staff will be available along the way to ensure exercises are adaptable for everyone's abilities.
March of Dimes (adults)
Virtual Exercise Program: A group-based program for adults with physical disabilities who have some independent mobility. This program focuses on using the whole body; incorporating mobility, strength, aerobics, and mindfulness into each class. You can participate either standing or seated.
Toronto Public Library
Understanding Care Options in Later Life Workshop (April 12):For older adults and caregivers to help find the right mental health and well-being supports. The workshop covers the challenges of navigating the care system, points of access and types of treatment. Participants will also learn about their rights when seeking care.
Toronto District School Board
Virtual Community Fair for parents/caregivers of children, youth and young adults with special needs (April 13 and April 20): For more information contact Jill Elliott Brennan at 647- 229-0728 or Larena Case at (416) 570- 3314 or Vanessa Wong at (647) 229- 0730 or Irene Au-Yeung at (416) 420-3559
Sources shared living and caregiving options for families.
University Health Network (UHN)
A Guide to Finding Individual Therapy for Children and Youth: a resource to help you understand what are the different therapies and how to find a therapist for yourself or your child.
Children’s Mental Health Ontario (CMHO) & Ann Douglas
Parenting Survival Guide with tips and resources: In Ontario as many as 1 in 5 children and youth will experience some form of mental health problem. This guide offers tips and helpful information.
Taxes | Finance | Future Planning
Bright Futures Ability Network
Workshop: Financial Planning: ODSP, Henson Trust and RDSP (April 13)
Canadian Revenue Agency
Get ready for the 2021 tax year: If you need a quick answer to a question, there is an online chat function “Chat with Charlie” on the CRA homepage; or go to Get ready to do your taxes page.
Provides free tax clinics, budgeting workshops, debt management and other resources to improve financial literacy: Income tax clinic; Do it yourself tax helpline; Financial Empowerment Counselling
- Planning Network or P4P has planning for the future resources, including webcasts,
- Person Directed Planners are facilitators that can help families plan for the future and create a plan together. P4P has a web page on where to find a facilitator. They are also offered through the DSO if the child is connected later on when they are 18+.
- Safe and Secure Futures Networks are groups created through to talk about future planning with other parents- they meet every once in a while and have a group for Toronto East and Toronto West (Extend-A-Family)
- Webinar (recorded): Brendon Pooran RDSP, Wills and Estates (Holland Bloorview)
Autism CanTech! Program (start date April 18 or Sept 5): A free certificate program for people with ASD who are 18-30 years old. It is a national, federally-funded, program for autistic youth where participants will develop the skills and strategies that they need to work effectively within the digital economy.
Ontario Federation for Cerebral Palsy & Ontario Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services
Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) Information Service (April 21): Presented by the Lawrence Heights ODSP Office.
Developmental Services Ontario (DSO)
- Technology to Support Independence (April 21): Join a Developmental Service Ontario Housing Navigator for a virtual presentation on various types of technological assistance available today and how it might be used to support independence.
- Exploring Affordable Rental Options (April 28): Join DSO Housing Navigators for a free virtual presentation on various types of affordable rental options and resources.
Jobs Ability Canada
Jobs Ability Canada is an innovative and accessible platform designed by and for job seekers who have a disability. It is an Artificial Intelligence (AI) driven virtual recruitment platform that connects you to job opportunities.
Accessibility | Advocacy
Institute for Work & Health
Webinar: The Employment Quality of Persons with Disabilities (April 12)
Dr. Faraz Vahid Shahidi shares findings from a recent nationwide survey examining the employment quality of persons with disabilities in Canada. He documents the nature and extent of employment inequities experienced by persons with disabilities, as well as the consequences of these inequities for support and accommodation in the workplace.
Toronto Public Library
My visit to Toronto Public Library: A Social Story for Everyone
The social story is about a visit to the library. It takes readers through things a person might do when they visit. TPL's social story was created in consultation with a group of children with disabilities and children who are Deaf, their families, and some of the agencies that support them. The social story is available in multiple formats, including eBraille and video with American Sign Language (ASL) translation.
Holland Bloorview Kids Rehab & Ontario Ministry of Education
Project Inclusion: A learning resource for Ontario educators built around the voices and experiences of students with disabilities, their families, and school board staff. The website offers five learning modules on disability, accessibility and inclusion for staff working with students in kindergarten to Grade 12 (Holland Bloorview & the Ontario Ministry of Education).
For more events for caregivers, children, youth and young adults, you may also want to access the following links:
Autism Ontario;Children’s Treatment Network;Connectability.ca; Community Access Learning Centre; Family Service Toronto;Kerry’s Place Autism Services;My Community Hub;Meta Centre; Sunflower Developmental Services; Surrey Place - Wellness Services
Holland Bloorview’s Grocery Foundation Family Resource Centre is a place where you can find information and resources on childhood disability that are helpful to you and your family. We have information on: respite, recreation, housing, funding, education, parenting and more. All Holland Bloorview workshops and events are listed on www.hollandbloorview.ca/familyevents Questions? Please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org