Projects

 

SDC has always has projects running at any given time. Some projects make up the core of our mission, while others are on a term-by-term or special events basis. Below is an overview of what we have currently running, or are in the works. The contact person for these specific projects are listed after each description, so if you are interested in helping out, please contact the listed person.


Core Projects:

 

Youth Training Workshops

SDC offers peer-to-peer education workshops on diversity, building community, and advocacy/activism, with a special focus on disability justice and awareness. For our Youth Training Workshop themed “Disability Justice,” we start with a conversation on disabilities comprehensible for all youth, whether or not they were previously socially aware. We talk about the different types of disabilities, from less-talked about invisible disabilities, to more widely-known visible disabilities. Then, we provide strategies and tips for inclusion and interaction with children with disabilities. Lastly, we open the floor to the youth to discuss current events surrounding people with disabilities that they should be more aware about. SDC offers this workshop because we have found that a lot of the time, people avoid meeting people with disabilities due to apprehension and misunderstandings of what disabilities are. We encourage our peers to start looking at others with more empathy and acceptance. For our Youth Training Workshop themed “#PowertothYouth” is more open-ended. We teach passionate youth how to start a movement. We go over the tools and resources for effective advocacy and activism. Youth also learn about how to create media stories that matter, and reach out to government officials to project your cause. There are many opportunities to to get involved: You can participate in a workshop or help us organize the next one! Have a group you’d like us to present to? Let us know!

Contact person: 
Serena Li
Executive Director
serena@socialdiversity.org

 

Creative Therapy Programs

The SDC Building Bridges with Music program is a music therapy and socialization program for children and youth with special needs. This after school program runs three terms a year, with 10 sessions each. Each session is two hours. In each session, there is one hour dedicated to community building. Children and youth with disabilities socialize and develop friendships with high school volunteers through friendship-building and team-building activities. The other hour in the program is dedicated to providing a safe learning environment for participants to express themselves through building their own beats, rhythms, and melodies, while working one-on-one with their music buddy. This portion of the program is taught by a certified music therapist instructor. With this program, SDC seeks to help children of all abilities enjoy the benefits of music, movement, creativity, and self-expression.

SDC’s Education Through Creativity Program is an art therapy and socialization program maintains a structure similar to that of the music program. As with the music program, the art program includes one hour of group activities that promote inclusion. The other hour  provides participants with a safe and fun environment to freely express themselves through art. We bring out all the crafting materials, hire certified teachers who implement different themes of art therapy activities, and encourage the children to openly express whatever it is that is on their minds. All participants are paired with a youth volunteer on a one-to-one basis to encourage positive social interactions and friendship. This program complements our music therapy program as it welcomes those children who are more sensitive to sound in its quieter environment.

Contact person:
Gaithre Kalainathan
Senior Program Coordinator
gaithre@socialdiversity.org


Secondary Projects:

 

Birthday Surprise

Due to financial reasons, many parents can only purchase little trinkets from the dollar store as birthday presents for their child (That’s if they can afford presents in the first place!). At SDC, we believe that every child deserves a fulfilling, well-rounded childhood, complete with magic, surprise, and joy. We hope to show children with disabilities that they have the support of many people, in addition to their families, who believe in them and their potential. With our Birthday Surprise program, we celebrate each child with disabilities’ birthday with a birthday party in their classroom at school. A meaningful birthday present, card, and cake is included; just a small gesture to show how much we appreciate them! Currently, the program is running in mainly Surrey, but we hope to expand the program elsewhere once we have more volunteers to help out from other cities! If you would like to get yourself involved, or know any school or child who would benefit from this program, contact us!

Contact person:
Serena Li
Executive Director
serena@socialdiversity.org

 

SDC Leadership Program

Most of our programs focus on empowering children with disabilities; however, some of the kids in our programs are growing up and transitioning out of the government assistance program and education system. Once they finish high school, many of them are left without the support they once had from Special Education teachers and Education Assistants to facilitate the use of life skills. SDC hopes to keep scaffolding these life skills through SDC’s Leadership Program for youth with disabilities. Leadership programs are very rare for youth of varying abilities, so SDC’s is quite special. Our program offers many chances for younger and older youth to socialize, network, and develop life and career skills for their immediate future. We are recruiting volunteers to help us organize, implement, and run the program.

Contact person:
Bianca Lau
Program Coordinator
bianca@socialdiversity.org

 

SDC Inclusion Project

The SDC Inclusion project is an arts-based disability inclusion project to further include students with disabilities into the school community. Using the arts as the basis of interaction between students with disabilities and students without, this project will require the help of the school-based arts community in Lower Mainland including, but not limited to: newspaper clubs, choir, band, dance teams, visual arts classes, and more. We are recruiting volunteers to set up this project at their school.

Contact person:
Serena Li
Executive Director
serena@socialdiversity.org

 

VisABILITY Project

This new project allows our youth members to work with media outlets to promote more appropriate and positive representations of children and youth with disabilities.

Contact person:
Serena Li
Executive Director
serena@socialdiversity.org

 

Global Impact Delegation

The SDC Global Impact Delegation aims to bring SDC’s experience and knowledge of children with disabilities to urban and rural locations outside of North America for a culture and knowledge exchange. In its first year in 2014, the SDC Global Impact Delegation travelled to China to plan and establish support programs for children with disabilities that involved both inclusion and integration. The team visited rehabilitation centres, orphanages, and schools for children with disabilities to work on the possibilities. The team also worked with government officials to improve the social welfare policies and services available, and met with the public to raise awareness of disabilities.  SInce then, SDC returns annually with a small group of delegates to check back, and add to, the social progress.

Contact person:
Serena Li
Executive Director
serena@socialdiversity.org