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About Us

posAbilities provides a broad range of services to persons with developmental disabilities and their families. Our team of approximately 600 employees includes community and residential support workers, community connectors, employment specialists, behaviour consultants, other professionals and a network of shared living contractors. We currently serve more than 1,200 children and adults in Metro Vancouver and other parts of BC.

We offer five primary service areas:

Our mission is to “assist persons with developmental disabilities to lead meaningful and healthy lives by partnering with the community to provide a comprehensive range of person-centred services for individuals and the families who care for them.” We are committed to building an inclusive community characterized by diversity, hospitality, belonging and respect; where all persons are welcomed and valued for who they are and for the contributions they make.

At the same time that we try to make our professional services better—more responsive and person-centred, we are also trying to catalyze the power of natural community to care for each other and to celebrate diversity. How do we create more conditions for reciprocity and engagement? How do we embed people who are socially isolated into their neighbourhoods and communities? How do we foster hospitable spaces and natural friendships?”  To learn more, please read about our experience so far, a brief summary of our innovation and social R&D initiatives over the past decade.

posAbilities has the capacity and flexibility to support an individual throughout their life, assisting with navigating transitions to and through adulthood. We work in collaboration with other service providers and community partners to find innovative ways to strengthen our services, and to be responsive to the diverse and changing needs of the persons we serve and their families over time.

To learn more about our vision, strategic goals and initiatives, read our Strategic Plan, 2018-2021 and view the summary graphic below, or contact us.

About us - posAbilities' strategic plan

posAbilities’ Board of Directors

posAbilities‘ Board of Directors develops policy and the long-term vision for this Association. They are our valued volunteers. The operational team is led by Fernando Coelho, our Chief Executive Officer.

To apply for membership, please download a copy of the form here.

Board of Directors:
Celso A.A. Boscariol
Linda Eaves
Chris Doerksen
Trish Burleigh
Nicole Moore
Stuart Carmichael
Joanne Gauthier
Vincenzo Guerriero
Anita Lee
Helen Premia
Lorie Sherritt

Chief Executive Officer:
Fernando Coelho

Program Director:
Gerry Fremming

Our History

posAbilities is the product of four community living societies merging in 1998 under the new name of Mainstream Association for Proactive Community Living. The fifth organization, an autism treatment centre called Laurel House, joined the Association in 2002. The merger was prompted by the agencies being small and scattered across a large geographic area. Although the range of programs they offered was impressive, the effectiveness of some programs operating as stand-alone services without tie-ins to other essential programs were not what they could be. The reach and impact of these smaller agencies as part of a larger more effective whole would be greater, and given the shared philosophy and values of the group, a merger was the next logical step.

In 2010, the Association chose a new name, posAbilities, a contraction of the word positive (pos) and abilities. This name reflects our focus on diversity and the abilities of all persons served. The change marked a departure from the prevailing view of prior years, which included normalizing or mainstreaming people to fit into existing social structures. We view, diversity as an asset that strengthens our communities, as inclusion means that no one is left behind or excluded.

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