The Delta Association for the Handicapped now serves approximately 200 families through its 4 programs; The Delta Child Development Centre preschool; Penny Sunshine Preschool; the Infant Development Program and the Respite Program. These programs are housed in various locations throughout Ladner. The volunteer Board of Directors, led by President Debbie Foggo, work towards finding a home for the associations programs in one location: the Variety Farm Training Centre, which is now underutilized with residents having moved into community group homes. The expected date of completion of renovations and preschool playground is July 1990.
1990: Delta Association for the Handicapped moves into its current location at #3 3800 72nd street in East Ladner.
1991: Delta Association for the Handicapped starts new special sitter program training youth to become sitters for children with mental and physical special needs.
1992: The Delta Association for the Handicapped opens LEAP Preschool. LEAP, which stands for Learning Experiences-An Alternate Program for Preschoolers and Parents, is an early intervention program modeled after the program and school developed by Dr. Phillip Strain in Pittsburgh in the early 1980’s. LEAP’s guiding principles state that “All children can benefit from an integrated early childhood environment; young children with autism benefit most from early intervention when intervention efforts are conducted across school, home and community environments; young children with autism can learn important skills such as social skills, language skills, and appropriate behaviour from their typical same-aged peers; young children with autism benefit most from early intervention when intervention efforts are planned, systematic, and individualized; both children with and without disabilities benefit from curricular activities that reflect developmentally appropriate practices.” The LEAP program in Delta is comprised one classroom that supports six children within the autism spectrum and a maximum of thirty-six children who are typically developing. At any one time, there are three children within the autism spectrum and nine children who are typically developing. The children within the autism spectrum attend preschool everyday either in the morning or afternoon for two hours and forty-five minutes. Children also are assessed for and are provided with speech language therapy and physiotherapy supports. In addition to the preschool program, LEAP provides a family support component. The range of services and intensity of involvement is driven by family requests. These supports include resource information both from the resource library and other sources, parent-to-parent support, and home support around specific concerns such as toileting, eating, sleeping, and challenging behaviour and transitions. Originally, LEAP served the communities of Delta and Richmond. In 1995, the boundaries changed so that LEAP served only Delta.
November 24th, 1995: The Delta Association for the Handicapped changes its name to The Delta Association for Child Development.
1997: The Delta Association for Child Development opens a Supported Child Development Program , and a Therapies Program that provides Speech Therapy, Occupational Therapy, and Physiotherapy to children with special needs.
1998: The BC government province-wide attempt at streamlining 12,000 contracts worth $800 million annually from Health, Women’s Equality, Education, Skills and Training, Attorney General and Social Services Ministry. The claim is that restructuring will be more efficient and eliminate overhead, administration and duplication. The Ministry for Children and Families terminates contracts of about 80 % of agencies across B.C. that provide special services and programs to children, families and adults with disabilities. The municipality of Delta is a big loser in the government’s restructuring with Delta Association for Child Development (loss of $750,000), Deltassist and Delta Family Services (who later amalgamate) and Delta Hospice Society all receiving cuts and being forced to the brink of closures. The contention by the government was that services would be ‘streamlined’ by shifting the administration of programs to a small group of agencies. The community is up in arms, and families organize marches, letter writing campaigns and rallies’. Delta Association for Child Development is at risk of shutting down its programs: parents of children in its programs, most specifically in the LEAP preschool take action to stop the cuts and closures…
Letters to the editor:
Mayor steps in to Try to help local agencies Feb 21
1998: In March of 1998 the Ministry announces six-month extension of service contracts and a 60-day review of the restructuring process.
1998: Parents begin litigation against the BC government demanding that children with autism receive publicly funded treatment. Delta Association for Child Development starts a new Special Sitters program: training program for teens 15 years and older to learn babysitting skills for children with special needs.
1999: Delta Association for Child Development parents and board take action and stand up against education cuts. Eight special education assistants, a resource room and Seaquam high school alternate program will be cut from Delta’s 1999/2000 budget to save approximately $378,000. The school board makes 1.7 million in cuts in total. “Without adequate support in the classroom our special needs children cannot learn” stated the 1999 DACD Board president Renie D’Aquila" Delta Optimist. She along with other parents of children with special needs make an appeal to the school board to reverse its decision. Read about the issues in the press clippings below.