The Victoria Disability Resource Centre (VDRC) is starting a new chapter in how we offer peer support.

Our Goal

The VDRC’s goal is to provide and promote opportunities for people with disabilities to share information, ideas, life experiences and skills. We believe that it is through the context of a supportive peer environment that individuals can gain the skills and self-confidence needed to overcome barriers and learn to better manage personal and community resources.

Peer Outreach Program

The VDRC Peer Outreach Program is for anyone in the persons with disabilities community who is experiencing isolation, loneliness, and disconnectedness due to the restrictions put in place because of the pandemic. By signing up for the program, you can look forward to regular one-on-one check-ins from one of our friendly outreach workers, either via phone or internet.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a huge impact on the persons with disabilities community. Many of those that belong to that community are more at risk to experiencing serious short and long-term health complications if they contract the virus. Therefore, they are more likely to isolate themselves to protect their health. Depending on certain factors, such as care needs or living situations, remaining indoors may be their only safe alternative. As a result, many of these individuals are vulnerable to emotional and mental health deterioration. They feel disconnected from their friends and family, as well as the outside world.

The Peer Outreach Program is designed to allow you to experience some much needed social interaction, as well as get reconnected with the greater community-at-large. Members of the program can set up scheduled check-ins with one of our outreach workers over several different platforms, including phone calls, email, texting, and video conferencing.

During these check-ins, you and the outreach worker can:

  • talk about how you have been coping with being isolated. If you have been feeling upset or depressed about being stuck inside, feel free to chat about it and maybe develop some ideas or strategies on how this can be addressed
  • identify areas that you need help with. If you are experiencing a problem related to your disability or being isolated, the outreach worker can help put you in contact with resources that could potentially aid you
  • just talk. If what you are looking for is a friendly voice to chat with, the outreach worker can provide that, too

Our hope is that, through this program, the persons with disabilities community can further strengthen itself during this unprecedented time. When people with disabilities feel socially connected, it encourages them to reach out to other community members and support each other, it increases their likelihood of having better mental health, and creates a sense of pride as they, in turn, help others. This is what creates a resilient community that can withstand hardships.

For more information or to sign up for the program, please contact: 250-595-0044 ext. 112 or peersupport@drcvictoria.com

Peer Groups

PLEASE NOTE THAT ALL PEER GROUPS ARE MEETING VIRTUALLY AS A RESPONSE TO THE COVID-19 PHYSICAL/SOCIAL DISTANCING MEASURES.

Current peer groups at the VDRC are:

*Please note that the Coffee Social and PEER Time groups are now being held only once a month each*

Coffee Social  

A space for persons with disabilities to connect with each other and share thoughts, experiences, knowledge and skills! Chat about important topics! Listen to guest speakers! Make new friends! Have fun!

Meets the second Friday of each month from 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm

To access the group on the second Friday of each month:
Click here https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81997014843 or call 778-907-2071 and use Meeting ID 819 9701 4843 or find your local number here: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/kkYSCezA

For more info or help with connecting to the group chat, please contact us at 250-595-0044 ext. 112 or peergroups@drcvictoria.com

PEER Time (People Encouraging Each other Respectfully) 

To engage in conversations about specific topics. Sometimes view short videos from Ted Talks, YouTube, etc. then have discussions about the information. This is a welcoming, safe space to explore and learn, as well as to share your experiences with others so we can grown together.

Meets on the first Tuesday of each month from 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm

To access the group on the first Tuesday of each month:
Click here https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83111338813?pwd=b01WcDR5VlRva2tMVnU3VjdQUHp6Zz09 or call 778-907-2071 and use Meeting ID 831 1133 8813 or find your local number here: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/kkYSCezA

For more info or help with connecting to the group chat, please contact us at 250-595-0044 ext. 112 or peergroups@drcvictoria.com

Queerabilities (in partnership with AVI Victoria)

Meets virtually every Monday from 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm and every second Thursday from 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm (see the Facebook page for more information)
This is open to anyone who is 18+, from the queer community and has a disability. Meeting content will vary each week.
For more info or help with connecting to the group chat, please contact us at 250-595-0044 ext. 112 or peersupport@drcvictoria.com or Marshall at 250-812-2670 Marshall.Kilduff@avi.org

Groups under the umbrella of Spinal Cord Injury BC

Women Only Group
Meets the *first Monday of every month from 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
For more information, contact Scott Heron at sheron@sci-bc.ca
*If the first Monday of the month is a holiday, then the Women Only Group will meet on the Second Monday of the Month from 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm.

Aneurysm & Stroke Group
Meets every 3rd Friday of each month from 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm
For more information, contact Scott Heron at sheron@sci-bc.ca

Final Stages (currently on hold)
Meets the 3rd Monday of each month from 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
For more information, contact Scott Heron at sheron@sci-bc.ca

“Bean There” Coffee Group
Meets the second Wednesday of every month from 1:00pm – 3:00pm
For more information, contact Scott Heron at sheron@sci-bc.ca

Peer Coffee Drop-In Group
Meets the fourth Thursday of every month from 1:00pm – 3:00pm
For more information, contact Scott Heron at sheron@sci-bc.ca

Reach Out – Duncan & Vancouver Island Peer Group
Meets the second Tuesday of every month from 2:00pm – 4:00pm
For more information, contact Scott Heron at sheron@sci-bc.ca

To see other SCI BC Peer Groups and Events, currently offered via Zoom Media during the COVID-19 physical distancing measures, on their Monthly Events Calendar at this link: https://sci-bc.ca/events-directory/monthly/

Lived Experience Around Disabilities (LEAD)

LEAD, which stands for Lived Experiences Around Disability, delivers innovative presentations about what it is like to live with a disability to students (K-12) in Victoria. This program is delivered by persons with disabilities who have spent a lengthy period of time navigating their daily lives within their abilities. These speakers work in partnership with students with disabilities at each school, giving the students an opportunity to anonymously (via the speaker) or personally share what they have experienced at the school in terms of social and environmental barriers.

Click here for more information.

Past Groups

Intro to Dungeons and DragonsImage of two Celtic dragons on either side of a 20-sided die
This was a 3-session peer group that introduced the table top role-playing game in an adaptive, fun, and interactive environment.

CodeAbled
CodeAbled was a 3-week course where young women with disabilities, between the ages of 19 and 25, were taught the basics of coding in the popular Python programming language. The program was for self-identified women, ages 19 – 25, with self-declared disabilities.

The program taught young women with disabilities, who were experiencing restrictions in inclusive learning opportunities of STEM based skills taught by a supportive female role model, the basic concepts of coding in Python and the critical analysis skills needed for all programming languages. Guidance and support was provided by a qualified instructor, who was also a female with a disability, who had a personal perspective on the social and physical barriers experienced by the participants.

Who to Contact

If you have any questions about peer support at the VDRC, please contact us at peersupport@drcvictoria.com.