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E-newsletter for COVID-19 on May 6, 2020

The information provided in this newsletter is for reference only. It is not intended as a recommendation or endorsement of organizations, news sources, policies or political parties, or as a comprehensive resource list.

You can also access this newsletter online at 

Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital 

COVID-19: Tip Sheets and Resources  * updated as of May 5

Holland Bloorview Family Support Fund - Virtual Town Hall (May 13) 
In response to the financial stress caused by COVID-19, Holland Bloorview has doubled the funding available through the Family Support Fund. Tune in to this virtual Town Hall to learn about the new funding available to you and your loved one. Note: To qualify for the Family Support Fund, clients must have had a clinical appointment at the hospital within two years of submitting an application; and must be 18 years old or younger.

Not a Holland Bloorview client? Please e-mail to find out about other funding resources available to your family and child with a disability.

Ontario Disability Employment Network (ODEN)/Holland Bloorview

What can I be when I grow up? Free workshop for parents & caregivers of youth with disabilities

In the news

Ministry of Community and Social Services
You can now use your child’s funding from Special Services at Home program, Assistance for Children with Severe Disabilities, or Passport program for goods and services that may make it easier for you to stay at home during this time and practise physical distancing. New eligible expenses include certain sensory items, technology, art supplies, fitness equipment, personal protective equipment (PPE) and more.

Ministry for Seniors and Accessibility/ Ontario Community Support  Assoc.
Meals-on-Wheels has expanded its services from food delivery to now include delivery of medication and other essential needs such as groceries or prescription medication. Seniors, persons with disabilities and people with underlying medical conditions, their families or caregivers can access delivery services by visiting

If you need assistance requesting a service, or do not have internet access, you can call 211 or 1-877-330-3213 (toll free) or 1-888-340-1001 for TTY service.

Operation Ramzieh
Crisis Relief Team Delivery of free food kits in the Ottawa and Toronto area (M postal code area) to seniors, individuals with physical disabilities and those most vulnerable. If unable to access by computer, telephone assistance available 9-5, Monday to Friday, 1-800-321-5973.

Walmart Canada
Eligible seniors, people with disabilities and people with vulnerable health conditions can now order their groceries by phone and schedule a time for pickup or delivery with a Customer Service Representative (1-800-328-0402). The new program exists in communities where they offer pickup or delivery. Check if the service is available for you here

Autism Speaks & Samsung Canada
Samsung Canada and Autism Speaks Canada to provide 1,000 tablets for the autism community across Canada. Apply here

Supports for caregivers

Family Service Toronto
Virtual counselling walk-in Free 50 minute session open to persons 18 years and older

Partners for Planning

  • FREE check-in calls  with a P4P facilitator.  Facilitator Chats will be check-ins for your family and loved one. Based on your concerns during COVID-19 our facilitator will discuss and offer ideas and resources that may be helpful. There is no charge for these sessions
  • Staying Connected Resource provides information and strategies to deal with self-isolation.
  • Covid-19 FAQ Resource provides current and practical information to critical questions you may have in accessing resources.

Community Living Toronto
Mom’s Zoom group gathering To share, strategize and support each other especially at this time. Every Monday evening 7:30-9:30 pm & Thursday afternoon 2:00-4:00 pm

Ontario Caregiver Organization (OCO)
Online peer support group Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday Connect with others in a peer support group and share your caregiving experience, challenges and solutions

Autism Ontario
Online support groups Looking for a way to connect with other families during this time of social isolation?  Join Autism Ontario Service Navigators and other family members in an online support group forum. Service Navigators will facilitate theme-based, guided conversation on timely topics.  This is a great way to connect with other families and brainstorm ideas on different supports and services in your area.

Children’s Treatment Centre Simcoe-York
CTN virtual coffee chat (Thursdays)

Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital

Support for siblings

Young Caregivers Association
Stay-at-home kit for siblings who are helping to care for their sister or brother right now in any capacity. Click here for Part 1 and Part 2

Kids Help Phone

  • Text CONNECT to 686868 to reach a trained volunteer Crisis Responder 24/7.
  • Call 1-800-668-6868 to speak with one of our professional counsellors 24/7.

Ontario Caregiver Organization (OCO)
Young Caregiver’s online support group (ages 15 - 25, Wednesday evening) Connect with others in a peer support group and share your caregiving experience, challenges and solutions.

Webinars/virtual event series

Autism Ontario
Virtual OAP Information sessions
For families interested in accessing the Ontario Autism Program (OAP), or who are currently registered in the program and waiting for a Childhood Budget or Interim One Time Funding,  or are families currently receiving services. For a full schedule by region,  go to the events calendar

Microboards Ontario
Microboards 101: Introducing Microboards (May 21)
Microboards help people (with disabilities) to express their hopes and dreams. By creating a Microboard together, the family sets out to assist their loved one to strengthen and sustain their relationships and decision-making powers for when they as a family, are no longer alive or capable to assist.

Be Strong Families
Provides weekly webinars on COVID-19 support. Also available in Spanish/Español

Crisis and Trauma Resource Institute

Centre for Leadership and Workplace Performance (ACHIEVE)

  • Managing your stress during COVID-19 (pre-recorded): This webinar will offer you a deeper understanding of stress and how it can impact you, especially as it relates to the COVID-19 crisis. Practical strategies for managing stress will be provided. Viewers will also be guided through a few experiential exercises to help reduce stress and feel renewed.
  • Working From Home During COVID-19 (pre-recorded): This webinar offers suggestions for maintaining communication with other staff and supervisors, and explores strategies for how you can maintain personal motivation and manage your time while working remotely.

Triple – P (Positive Parenting Program)
Parenting during COVID-19 Practical tips and strategies to help parents to support their children and look after themselves during this difficult time.


Planned Lifetime Advocacy Network
Staying socially connected during the Covid-19 pandemic - five ideas to get started

People First Ontario, ARCH, Health Care Access Research and Developmental Disabilities (HCARDD)
“What’s Up?” Wednesdays: COVID-19 Information in Plain Language
Send in your questions about COVID-19 to help everyone feel well, safe and connected

AIDE Canada

Supporting Children and Youth with Autism and Intellectual Disability and their families during COVID-19

Tips include how to create a ‘care pack’ which outlines a list of care strategies and tools for alternative caregivers in case you are not able to be with your child (for instance, if you were quarantined in a different setting)

Communication Disabilities Access Canada (CDAC)
COVID-19 Communication Rights Toolkit
Resources for those who need communication tools and supports due to speech-related disabilities face greater risks of discrimination and isolation during this pandemic. For example, for safety reasons, your family members and others who help you communicate may not be allowed to join you in the hospital.

Things to do

Planned Lifetime Advocacy Network
The Power of Disability Concert (May 9) A live-streamed celebration showcasing the power of disability through music, storytelling, and humour.

Vibrant Healthcare Alliance
Virtual Health and Wellness Series -Tuesdays and Thursdays 1 – 2 p.m.

Community Living Toronto
Facebook Live schedule - things to do while physically distancing

Miles Nadel Jewish Community Centre
Daily fitness programming and activities for inclusion and access families

Azrieli Adult Neurodevelopmental Centre
Mindfulness Mondays and Fit Fridays

Free online mindfulness sessions for caregivers and loved ones in the developmental disability community, regardless of age or disability and fitness sessions.

ASD/Social Skills

Autism Ontario
Check the Autism Ontario events calendar for information on

  • Online music classes on Wednesdays for ages 3 - 5 and 6 -10.You register for each week separately
  • Pottery painting kits - Scarborough (May 11 pick-up)

Geneva Centre for Autism
Online Social Skills Programs

ISAND (Integrated Services for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders)
Body Breaks online interactive and movement based group

Brighton Social Groups
Friday night e-social (FNS-E Social) (ages 13+ and young adults)


Steps to Justice (formerly known as Community Legal Education Ontario)
Questions related to COVID-19 Employment and Work

Pooran Law
COVID-19: estate planning, virtual signings, family law, income tax filing deadlines, government benefits round-up

Partners for Planning
COVID - 19 FAQ about community supports such as SSAH, OAP and support workers



This e-letter belongs to a set of specialized resources for the COVID-19 and Coronavirus outbreak period. If you are looking for other family resources that have to do with childhood disability, please

Holland Bloorview’s Grocery Foundation Family Resource Centre is a place where you can find information and resources on childhood disability that are helpful to you and your family.  We have information on: respite, recreation, housing, funding, education, parenting and more. 

All Holland Bloorview workshops and events are listed on Questions?  Please e-mail