Improving health and wellbeing across the lifespan for persons with a developmental disability

The Canadian Health and Wellbeing in Developmental Disabilities Conference is an interprofessional conference where health care providers and community partners connect to share educational and informative updates and practical, innovative, promising and effective practices that improve the health and wellbeing of people with developmental disabilities across the lifespan.

The conference strives to achieve equity, diversity, and inclusion through recognition of intersectionality—the inter-connected nature of social categorizations such as race, class, and gender as they apply to people with developmental disabilities, creating overlapping and interdependent systems of discrimination or disadvantage.

Learning Outcomes

After participating in this conference, relating to supporting people with developmental disabilities across the lifespan, participants will be able to:

  • Discuss innovative, promising, and effective practices that contribute to positive physical and mental health outcomes, interprofessional collaboration, and strategic leadership
  • Identify possible solutions for core issues and challenges faced by the people being supported, their families, and community partners
  • Explore evidence-based clinical best practices relating to physical and mental health
  • Discuss the role of community healthcare in maintaining and improving quality of life
  • Develop, maintain, and expand interprofessional partnerships in order to provide more effective supports

Target Audience

Recognition of the importance of collaborative partnerships, particularly among health and social services, allied professionals, education, as well as community partners; coupled with recognition of the importance of self-determination and advocacy for people with developmental disabilities, the target audience for this event includes, but is not limited to:

  • Healthcare Providers and Clinicians
    Behaviour Professionals, Counselors, Family Physicians, Medical Specialists, Mental Health Therapists, Nurses/Nurse Practitioners, Occupational Therapists, Oral Health Professionals, Physical Therapists, Physician Assistants, Psychologists, Social Workers, Speech Language Pathologists
  • Administrators
    Case Managers/Planners, Government Officials & Ministry Staff, Policy and Decision Makers, Program Managers, Senior Leadership
  • Partners in Health and Wellbeing Across the Lifespan
    K-12 and Post-Secondary Educators, Academics, Direct Support Providers, Families, People with Developmental Disabilities & Self-Advocates, Post-secondary Students

This above list is not intended to be exhaustive. Attendees should include anyone who wants to learn more about supporting the health and wellbeing of people with developmental disabilities.

Conference History

The Canadian Health and Wellbeing in Developmental Disabilities conference initially ran as two separate alternating biennial events:

  • The Health and Wellbeing in Children, Youth and Adults with Developmental Disabilities Conference ran in Vancouver, British Columbia, from 2008-2020, and was organized by Interprofessional Continuing Education, Faculty of Dentistry, University of British Columbia
  • The Health and Wellbeing in Developmental Disabilities Conference ran in Toronto, Ontario, from 2013-2017, and was organized by the Community Networks of Specialized Care and Continuing Professional Development, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto

The main goal of both events was to engage healthcare providers and community partners from a wide range of professional disciplines in knowledge transfer and interdisciplinary collaboration in order to help improve the health and wellbeing of people with developmental disabilities.

The new committee hopes to build on this legacy and to honour the work that has been done to date.