STEPS Forward is a family-driven organization founded to ensure that people with developmental disabilities are included as students in the academic and social life of colleges and universities of British Columbia.
STEPS Forward was formed in 2001 when a small group of parents gathered to consider the question “what can I do to make sure that my son or daughter with a developmental disability will lead a full life in his or her community?” This fundamental issue is the driving force behind the work of STEPS Forward.
These determined parents identified a significant gap. They realized that the lack of opportunities for inclusion in tertiary education left a significant gap in creating the world they wanted. At the time, the only post-secondary opportunities for young adults with developmental disabilities were separate, not inclusive. Looking forward, the founding parents set out to change this. They wanted to create campuses where students with developmental disabilities would be ordinary members of a diverse community, regardless of the nature of the disability.
Ten years later, with the post-secondary experience as a pivotal catalyst, we see changes in the expectations of communities. We see that young adults with developmental disabilities, who have learned, laughed and worked with their non-disabled peers at college and university, are well on their way to inclusive lives.