The Resource Magazine for Families with Special Needs reported on the DDRC’s history in its Summer 2011 issue. Click here to read the article.

DDRC Timeline

The vibrant history of the DDRC from its foundation to 1996 is explored in colourful detail in the May 1997 publication, Then and Now... The History of the Developmental Disabilities Resource Centre of Calgary, by Harry Sanders and Lorelei Piotto, published by the DDRC in honour of its 45th Anniversary. What follows is a brief timeline, largely excerpted from that publication, which gives an overview of the DDRC’s history and the foundations of our mission and values.


March 9, 1915 has been called the DDRC’s “spiritual birthdate” as Trustees of the Calgary School Board attend a presentation on the need for special classes for “mentally deficient children.”


Forerunner of the DDRC, the Southern Alberta Council for Retarded Children, formed


Classes begin in Christine Meikle’s “kitchen school” for 6 students


Agency renamed Calgary Association for Retarded Children (CARC); the Alberta Association for Retarded Children is formed


Christine Meikle School officially opens as the first school in Alberta for children with developmental disabilities


Emily Follensbee School opens


Advance Industries, a vocational training workshop, opens in Bowness


Calgary Board of Education takes over operation of Christine Meikle and Emily Follensbee schools; CARC helps to develop the Vocational and Rehabilitation Research Institute (VRRI) near the University of Calgary


CARC is renamed the Calgary Association for the Mentally Retarded (CAMR)


Bow Centre, activity centre for 45 adults, opens


Independent Living Skills program created


CAMR becomes the Calgary Association for the Mentally Handicapped (CAMH); is responsible for the Approved Home Program


Community Job Options Program launches with the goal of finding employment opportunities in the community


Bow Place, relief home for children with significant developmental disabilities opens


CAMH renamed Developmental Disabilities Resource Centre (DDRC); award-winning Personal Lifestyle Alternatives Program launched


Bow Catering launches, providing full service catering, mobile catering, full banquet
facilities, gift baskets, event planning, and city-wide delivery seven days per week. All revenue generated by Bow Catering and Executive Gifts supports the work of DDRC.


Participation in Academics and Career Exploration (PACE) program is established in partnership with Alberta Vocational College; Awards of Distinction held for the first time


Inclusive Schools Initiative partnership with Calgary Board of Education launched


Increasing Community Inclusion through Partnership (ICIP) project launches, partnering with more than 20 ethnocultural communities. This is a joint initiative of the DDRC, the Calgary Catholic Immigration Society, Heart of the Northeast Solutions Resource Centre, and the Calgary Mennonite Centre for Newcomers.


everyone belongsTM campaign launched May 28, 2003; October 6, 2003 Everyone Belongs Week declared


IT for Inclusion program launches in April, supporting 15 participants


More than 120 clients have been supported to procure the most appropriate alternative system to communicate ideas, feelings, and needs through the DDRC’s Augmentative and Alternative Communication Centre (AACC)


Comprehensive CareTM launches, replaces In Home Support Services; the DDRC receives a May 2010 Lighthouse Award from the Calgary Board of Education at the conclusion of the 10-year-long Inclusive Schools Initiative


Inclusion Awards (formerly the Awards of Distinction) celebrate 15th Anniversary; Stampede Breakfast serves 1,000 guests


The DDRC celebrates 60 Years of Service; Learning and Leadership Centre opens


Everyone BelongsTM social marketing campaign turns 10 years old