Founded in 1958, the Ridge Meadows Association for Community Living is a nonprofit agency that provides services and supports for more than 600 children and adults with developmental disabilities, and children at risk of developmental disability or delay, and their families. Services include developmental, educational, recreational, vocational, and residential programs.
RMACL takes pride in its mission to provide services and advocacy in the community that support children and adults with developmental issues and their families.
RMACL has deep roots in the local community and was formed in 1958 out of action by a group of families with a dream that their young children receive a school program in Maple Ridge. To meet this need, the early Association opened Chicken Little Kindergarten which operated from the basement of the United Church. Funding to run the original kindergarten came from the local school board.
In 1967 a workshop for adults, the Harold E Johnson Centre, was opened with money raised through fundraising efforts. The Harold E Johnson Centre was eventually designated an “achievement centre” and marked the start of a contractual relationship with the Provincial Government.
In 1974 these families again raised money and established Magaw House as a residential option for their children who had become adults. These early community-living pioneers had a desire to see their children live, work, and grow in a non-institutional environment. Similar efforts by families in 1979 resulted in the opening of Meadows House, a home for six children.
Much of the funding for these early projects came from the community and many of the individuals and families originally served still participate in RMACL services today. This continuity of service has provided security for families and individuals who feel confident in the relationships that they have established with RMACL.
As people’s dreams and circumstances changed the early projects grew and evolved into more meaningful and progressive opportunities in the community. Today RMACL offers a diverse range of services including residential programs, employment and community programs, and services for infants, children, and families. These services are provided in homes, daycare centres, preschools, at community employers and volunteer jobs, in recreation centres, seniors groups, and other natural settings. RMACL strives to create an environment that respects and promotes dignity, individuality, and freedom of choice.