HCI and SMILE Canada Working Together to Meet the Needs of Racialized Children and Youth with Disabilities

There are more than 1 billion people across the globe who live with some form of disability. With the numbers dramatically increasing, there is an urgent need to scale up services offered to persons living with disabilities (PWD). We understand the concerns that families in Canada have as they try to access the limited resources available to them. This is why HCI is working closely with organizations like SMILE Canada. Together, we are committed to offering culturally diverse services for racialized persons living with disabilities.

With a contribution of $100,000 from HCI, SMILE Canada was able to scale its COVID-19 emergency response, as well invest in various forms of education, outreach and advocacy work. Despite their status of being at an increased risk of contracting COVID-19, people with disabilities simply do not have enough services available that cater to their needs.

HCI worked with SMILE Canada to provide groceries, basic essentials, PPE, safety items, and other forms of support to racialized families who have children and/or youth with disabilities. This helped ease the financial, physical, and emotional burdens of these families.

In addition, SMILE Canada also increased their social media outreach, engaging in more conversations with community leaders in professional and academic settings. HCI helped SMILE Canada to reach more than 5000 followers on social media platforms, which will help strengthen the advocacy work around the need for systemic change if we are to address the barriers faced by racialized persons living with disabilities.

Finally, HCI’s funding helped SMILE Canada create a culturally relevant database to help families find and meet with healthcare professionals that can tend to their needs. Many registered families at SMILE Canada are new immigrants and refugees fleeing war torn countries. They face cultural, language, and communication barriers upon entering Canada, and have difficulty navigating the Canadian healthcare system.

Consider Noor’s story. She is a single mom with 3 children, 2 of whom are diagnosed with Autism. Noor lived in a shelter for over a year and recently moved into an apartment. We placed our effort in trying to help her secure employment and provide therapy support for her children. Both children require services such as ABA and SLP to support their
development and wellbeing.

Children and youth with disabilities are in need of more consistent and long-term healthcare support that is tailored to their specific needs. Countless families are left without the critical resources they need in order to maintain a satisfactory quality of life. HCI will continue to partner with organizations like SMILE Canada to advocate for a more inclusive and equitable healthcare system, while providing as much financial support as possible to scale the important work they do.

In The Field

Human Concern International’s staff, volunteers, and partners actively take photos of their time and their work in the field with our beneficiaries as they receive food baskets, medical care, warm meals, and more. To see the latest photos from the field, follow us on Instagram and Facebook.

In The Field

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For more information on Human Concern International’s work
please contact us on: info@humanconcern.org