They had been told by medical professionals, Social Workers, Educators and others in the community that their children needed to be sent to institutions and forgotten.
Parents initiated a pilot project to have their children in a classroom to demonstrate that kids with disabilities can learn and teachers can teach.
School program established for six students by parents and volunteers. The first class was in Kintown Clubroom School.
The Lethbridge and District Associated for Retarded Children was organized.
With volunteer dollars and government help, Dorothy Gooder School was built for 50 students
The organization helped build the school named it after parent and visionary Dorothy Gooder.
The school was segregated, but not because she wanted it to be. It was because Ron, her son, could not get into the neighbourhood school. Dorothy started the school as a demonstration that learning was possible. She successfully proved her point!
First “Flowers of Hope” campaign in Lethbridge.
- Dorothy Gooder
- William Stanton
- Roy Whitfield
- Beth Sweitzer
- Dave Roberts
- Jake McCallum
- John Thackray
As students graduated school they needed employment opportunities so they started the greenhouse and garden known as Sunrise Ranch. This gave rise to more vocational services and supports.
First Executive Director of the LACL, Len Wright, was hired. In 1973, he moved to Edmonton to take on the responsibilities of the Executive Director of the Alberta Association.
The first Auction was held at the Lethbridge Exhibition Park. Families raised $1475.
The Lethbridge Association coordinates transportation for family visits to and from Michener Center.
First Greenhouse built at Sunrise Ranch to serve adults who needed vocational services.
As students graduated from Dorothy Gooder School, parents allowed themselves to move onto the next step and allowed Lethbridge School District #51 take over the running of the Dorothy Gooder School.
Name changed to Lethbridge Association for the Mentally Retarded (LAMR).
Woodwork program started at Sunrise Ranch.
Social-domestic program began at Sunrise Ranch.
Oliver II residence completed.
Com-Serv concept promoted for comprehensive Community-Based Service System with families running services and fundraising.
Malcolm Jeffreys was Executive Director of LACL.
Lethbridge became the first Experimental and Demonstrated Com-Serv Project in Canada for the next five years.
Bricks and mortar services are turned over to agencies. LACL (LAMR) continues monitoring, advocacy and advocacy and advisory role.
LAMR turned over operation of all facilities to Com-Serv Board.
LAMR now able to concentrate on support programs for people with developmental disabilities.
LAMR developing monitoring and advisory task forces to safeguard the quality of services provided.
The Parent to Parent Support group began.
Family and volunteer training and development were extensive as informed connected families proved to be the most effective advocates.
- Nina Kuzyk
- Joyce Dunlop
- Betty Anderson
- Anna Penner
Much was left to be done to develop needed services and a “true-system” to accomplish this.
One key principle emerged with a great clarity for the Association: to center all planning and services provision around the needs of the individual being served.
Southern Alberta Community Living Association established to create homes.
Citizens Resource Centre for the Handicapped developed to continue coordination.
LAMR continued to be strong support and advocacy organization.
Dorothy Gooder School closed as a segregated school. The community had learned that kids with and without disabilities enhance each other’s school experience.
- Joyce Dunlop
- Ken Newton
- Bill Secretan
- Anna Penner
- Betty Grigg
- Myrtle Wilson
Dr. /Father Patrick Mackan moves to Lethbridge.
AACL starts “Family Conferences.”
Helped to facilitate the start of Friendship Series Bible Study at Barb Michealis’s home.
- Mary Hyder
- Janet Ross
- Barb Nish
- Miriam Ciarciaglini