Group Programs

We offer educational and recreational group programs for youth and adults with Down syndrome. Please note: registration for Fall 2024 programs will open on May 3.

Available Group Programs

Reading and Communications Plus is designed to build on prior reading skills, with an emphasis on comprehension. Students are guided to ask and respond to who, what, where, and why questions through various texts, movies, and conversations. They explore content through report writing and oral presentations on topics of choice within thematic units.

Details + Registration

The ability to count, read, and budget money is a major contributor to independence. This program begins with the skills required to count out the money to purchase and identify correct change.

Details + Registration

GROW is a small group program for adults with Down syndrome focusing on two pillars of a rewarding, independent adulthood: meaningful relationships and gainful employment. It is about celebrating small joys in life, like sharing laughs with friends, conquering the nerves of a job interview, and flirting with your crush.

Details + Registration

Improvisation (improv) is acting without a script—everything is spontaneous and made up on the spot. Improv, like social interaction, depends on one’s ability to assess a situation, perceive the behaviour and social cues of others, and then externally adapt, initiate, or respond appropriately.

Details + Registration

Every Friday morning join the Friday Reads group as they explore themes in novels, short stories and other media that cover topics relating to their lives.

Details + Registration

In today’s world, there is a lot to speak out about, and people with Down syndrome should have their voices heard on all issues that impact their lives. Join our full year program of Speaking Out to learn about many of the important issues our community and our world is facing. More importantly, learn how to share your voice about matters that mean a lot to you in a fun and engaging class.

Details + Registration

This hatha-based, multi-level program is delivered in a gentle and therapeutic style. Each class follows the same outline with routines tailored to the participants. Students will participate in five essential yoga practices: music and sound therapy, breathing practices, eye exercises, asanas (yoga poses), and deep relaxation.

Details + Registration

The benefits of Taekwon-Do include increased physical fitness, coordination, balance, concentration, self-discipline, and self-confidence. The DSA Taekwon-Do curriculum is adapted to student needs while developing new areas of competence and strength. Students learn basic Taekwon-do techniques, including strikes, kicks, blocks, stances, and self-defense in a fun and supportive environment.

Details + Registration

The Adult Social Circle provides a space where adults can reconnect with their peers and be involved in the planning and making decisions about their group activities. A future goal for this group is to plan bigger social events for larger groups. Other activities could include cooking, guest speakers, outings to local cafes and restaurants, sports, music, art, etc.

Details + Registration

Students will learn the basics of digital photography including camera settings, composition and lighting styles as well as explore a variety of photography styles such as portraits, nature, landscapes, food and photo story telling.

Details + Registration

Kinder Kick-Off helps children with Down syndrome age 3-5 years and their parents/caregivers prepare for the transition into kindergarten. This program is a collaborative effort between the DSRF program team which includes teachers, speech language pathologists, occupational therapists, behavioral consultants, and mental wellness experts.

Details + Registration

Summer 2024 will be lots of fun at DSRF! Join us for photography, dance, music, and more! Participants must be between the ages of 13 to 25 and be successful in a group environment.

Details + Registration

Raise Me Up is a small group program for teenagers and young adults with Down syndrome focusing on self-esteem and healthy relationships. Each day we will spend time empowering and celebrating ourselves and discuss how loving and respecting ourselves can lead to meaningful and fun relationships with our family, friends, and potential dates. As we work on ourselves, we can talk about attraction, crushes, and dating.

Details + Registration

Join certified Trainer and Fitness Instructor Tony Gallo in a fitness journey filled with music, fun and supportive camaraderie.

Details + Registration

Participants will jump into the world of songwriting, where words and melodies come together to form powerful expressions of emotions, stories, identity, and dreams.

Details + Registration

Alternate Languages

For clients and families whose primary language is something other than English, we offer in person translation services for important meetings with DSRF service providers. Some therapists and teachers are able to provide services in alternate languages. Please email us for details.

Payment Policy

Families should inquire if a program offers financial assistance or if they qualify for funding (e.g. Variety, CKNW, At Home Program, CLBC) at the time of registration. Financial assistance allocation is at the sole discretion of the DSRF. Families not part of a funding program (such as the Autism Funding Unit or the At Home Program) are required to pay the full fee of the session. Sessions are billed once monthly. Depending on the funding model, you will receive an invoice for any monies owing and/ or organizations will be billed directly. You must pay in order to ensure continuity of services.

Attendance Policies


Emergency Cancellations:

We understand that emergencies, especially those related to health, but also last-minute school routine changes that are beyond a family’s control, happen from time to time and may require last-minute cancellation or rescheduling of your DSRF appointment. When these occur, you will not be charged for your cancelled session.

Non-Emergency Cancellations:

To provide the highest quality service to as many families as possible, DSRF requires sufficient notice to manage non-emergency session cancellations. Without sufficient notice, we cannot provide the cancelled spot to another family or reassign the time to other service delivery purposes.

As a result, the following will be strictly enforced:

  • Non-emergency cancellations require notice of one full week. (Note: Notice of more than one week is greatly appreciated if possible.)
  • Non-emergencies include vacations, pre-planned medical appointments, family events, school events, parties, sports events, a general lack of childcare, or anything that is not reasonably considered an emergency.
  • Non-emergency cancellations made with less than a one-week notice will be subject to a surcharge equivalent to the full cost of the scheduled session. (Note: This also applies to families who receive external funding such as the At Home Program, Autism Funding Unit, and Variety funding, whose regulations state that DSRF can only bill the funder for sessions delivered. Cancellation surcharges are the responsibility of the family.)
  • If there are more than three non-emergency cancellations in a three-month period, you may lose your spot in the therapist’s or teacher’s schedule.
  • A “No show” cancellation, other than one that qualifies as an Emergency Cancellation, will be subject to a surcharge equivalent to the full cost of the scheduled session. (Note: This also applies to families who receive external funding such as the At Home Program, Autism Funding Unit, and Variety funding, whose regulations state that DSRF can only bill the funder for sessions delivered. Cancellation surcharges are the responsibility of the family.)
  • Please note that the DSRF cancellation and ‘no show’ policy applies to sessions taking place in person or carried out via telehealth at home or school. If your child’s school cancels a session or there is a ‘no show’ the family will be subject to a cancellation fee.

DSRF Cancellations:

If a session is cancelled by the DSRF due to therapist or teacher absence, weather, or other any reasons, families will not be billed for the session.


  • If you are more than 15 minutes late for your appointment and we do not hear from you, it will be considered a “no show cancellation” and you will be charged the full cost of the scheduled session.
  • If you are late, your session time will be shortened. Due to client scheduling reasons, therapists and teachers are not permitted to go beyond the regularly scheduled end time.
  • Sessions shortened due to client lateness will be charged at the full cost of the scheduled session.
  • Repeated (two or more) instances of lateness may result in removal from the therapist’s or teacher’s schedule.


Make-up sessions are not guaranteed when there is a violation of the cancellation policy. For example, if you are charged for a no-show, we may not be able to reschedule that visit. Talk to your teacher/therapist directly about the possibility of scheduling a make-up session. It is not guaranteed that a make-up session can be scheduled. It depends on the individual therapist’s or teacher’s schedule.


If a parent, guardian, or caregiver leaves the centre or outdoor area while their child is in session with our team, they must have a cell phone with them that is charged and in working condition so they can be reached in case of an emergency. They must remain within 5 minutes (driving or walking) distance of the session location

Client Agreement: Group Programs

Tuition Fees

Families have the option to pay the full fee at time of registration or pay the first month fee and provide post-dated cheques or credit card information for a monthly payment schedule, as outlined on the payment information form. Program withdrawals for group yearly programs must be made by September 30th and are subject to one month’s fee and a $150 administration fee. After September 30th, program fees are non-refundable

Student Progress

Informal assessments are used to evaluate students’ progress.  This information, along with regular communication with parents, is used to set individual and group program goals.

For more information on policies of specific programs or for any questions please contact Eleanor Stewart at 604-444-3773 x111 or