The Active Lives journey began with a coffee date in April 2014. With eight mothers at the table, all of them having children with special needs approaching adulthood, the conversation inevitably turned to the future. Concern was expressed by all about their future once they completed school. We did not want our young adults facing endless days of isolation and with very little to do.
The options in our community were limited and involved long waiting lists.
We decided to take matters into our own hands. Although we envisioned having a facility on a large piece of property that would meet all the needs of our exceptional population, we decided to address the more immediate concern of day programming.
We believed in our young adults! We believed that they were more than capable of continued growth in life skills, job readiness skills, leisure activities and continuing education.
Nobody’s personal growth ends after secondary education, why should it end for our exceptional adults? All persons with exceptionalities deserve and have the right to be active and visible in their community. Our dream was to make this happen.
“Determination is the wake-up call to the human will.” – Tony Robbins
Armed with a $12k grant, mothers’ determination and commitment, we opened our Active Lives After School Dufferin day program in April 2015. We had three participants, one staff and a shared space with storage. Active Lives now has two campuses, one in Orangeville and the other in Shelburne. We employ over 10 staff and provide services to over 25 families.
Active Lives Canada will expand on our original dream, by providing a one stop organization for the special needs community. Active Lives will offer a clinic where physicians and therapists specialize in providing care for this community and will work collaboratively as a team.
We will never stop until our special persons have the life they deserve.