The Taylor-Birks Foundation was founded in 1975 by parents of people with an intellectual disability on the West Island of Montreal. The Foundation was a response to a growing need for support services and activities that the government of Quebec did not fund with its newly created public social service system. The founding Board of Directors was led by many of the original members of the Board of Child Care & Child Development Inc. (now part of the West Montreal Readaptation Centre). The Foundation took its name from the two institutional facilities of the new corporation, the Garry Taylor and John Birks Centres in Beaconsfield and Verdun respectively. Garry Taylor was the son of a founding member of the new public establishment and was intellectually disabled. John Birks was instrumental in creating the John Birks Centre in his role as Chairman of the Board of the Douglas Hospital.
Since the beginning, the Foundation has worked in partnership with the public establishment mandated to serve the anglophone community of the West Island and beyond.
In the early years, the Taylor-Birks Foundation provided financial support for activities, projects and events that fell outside the limited mandate of public readaptive programs. It supported summer camp experiences, recreational activities, the acquisition of specialized equipment, the setting up of group homes and other related projects.
Today, the Foundation remains true to its operating principle of supporting projects that fall outside the mandate of the public establishment, the West Montreal Readaptation Centre. Its major mandate is to support projects that facilitate the challenge of raising a child with an intellectual disability in natural surroundings, that is to say, with his brothers and sisters and under the watchful eye of his or her parents.
The Taylor-Birks Foundation is committed to lending a helpful hand to parents as they face the challenge of raising a child with an intellectual disability in today’s fast-moving society. Visit our website at http://taylor-birksfoundation.ca/ to read more about our foundation and how you can help the cause.