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COVID-19 Update – DSRF Services Restoration

Details about the restoration of DSRF’s essential 1:1 Speech & Occupational therapies, Education and Mental Wellness services, and group programming

April 6, 2020

To: All DSRF families

RE: COVID-19 Update – DSRF Services Restoration

Dear DSRF Parent,

I am very pleased to be writing you for the specific purpose of providing more definitive details about the restoration of DSRF’s essential 1:1 Speech & Occupational therapies, Education and Mental Wellness services, as well as group programming. I am sure you are equally happy to be receiving this information.

I will start by thanking you for your patience and encouragement as our team of dedicated specialists and support staff worked extremely hard to adapt our services and programs to a new tele-service online system. This includes members of our fund development team and senior management who have been working equally hard to secure the necessary financial resources that supports DSRF’s work and ultimately, your family. 

We recognize that along with the serious health concerns being faced, the current situation continues to place many of our families under financial pressure. For this reason, DSRF remains committed to providing all programs and services free of charge. This will be done through the continued use of approved individual family financial funding from sources like At Home Program (AHP) and Autism funding, as well as DSRF’s Bursary Program for families who do not currently have funding from other sources. Through this supportive financial framework, families will not have to pay out of pocket at a time when doing so might mean choosing between getting the essential services their child needs and another essential need like food or shelter. 

At the Down Syndrome Resource Foundation, YOU ARE FAMILY and we will do everything within our power to make sure no member of our family is left behind.

Our funding partners like AHP and Autism have been very supportive and flexible by agreeing to broaden their guidelines for the types and amounts of services (e.g. adapted 1:1 sessions, consultations, etc.) they will fund. This helps families access the types and style of services that best meet their needs. Like DSRF, these funders believe that freedom to self-direct access to services is more important than ever at this time. Further details about this and other similar agencies we are working with to secure flexible funding, will be provided directly to families in the coming days.

For families without funding from other sources, DSRF’s Bursary Program is being changed to support you. This includes creating a rolling intake process with revised guidelines until further notice to address the current financial realities that families are facing due to things such as sudden loss of employment. Further details and application information for DSRF bursaries will be provided in the coming days.

I would also like to take this opportunity to encourage you to contact us if you have questions about this information or any other aspects of DSRF’s programs and services at this time. While our facilities may be closed, our dedicated team is most definitely still open for business. Nimet Tejpar, our Programs & Operations Coordinator, is at our virtual front desk to assist families and direct them to the right DSRF people and/or solutions. She can be reached by phone (604-444-3773, Ext.101) or email (nimet@dsrf.org).

The entire DSRF team is looking forward to the day when we can welcome you back in person. Until then, we encourage you to continue following the advice of officials to keep yourselves healthy and safe so that when we collectively emerge from this crisis, our Down syndrome community will be stronger and more unified than ever.

Yours sincerely,

Wayne Leslie
Chief Executive Officer

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Down Syndrome Resource Foundation
1409 Sperling Avenue, Burnaby
British Columbia, Canada
V5B 4J8

Fax: +1 604 431 9248
Phone: +1 604 444 3773
E-mail: info@dsrf.org
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