Inclusion and accessibility contribute greatly to the leadership and longevity of Surrey Place. We value and respect the diversity of our clients, families, teams, volunteers, staff and our community partners, ensuring that they all feel welcome. Through our actions, we aim to promote best practices and principles that result in better services, programs, partnerships and client experiences in a safe and healthy environment. 

We strive to make equal access and opportunity the norm for our clients and their families. Our staff and volunteers are given comprehensive training to ensure that they understand and meet the needs of clients and communities. Additionally, the organization embeds inclusion and accessibility into all policies, initiatives and plans to encourage underrepresented groups to join and participate at Surrey Place.  

We recognize the systemic barriers that can create unequal conditions that disadvantage vulnerable communities. As an organization that provides services and programs to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, we are determined to keep fighting for better right now and in the future. 

Accessibility Plan

A comprehensive approach to accessibility to reduce structural, information, communication and technology barriers and ensure that all clients, staff and community members feel welcome.  


Our Commitment to Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Accessibility

At Surrey Place, Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Accessibility (EDIA) are core to our guiding principles. We are committed to creating a collaborative and inclusive environment that celebrates diversity, eliminates barriers to accessing services and upholds the right to belong. We embrace and value individuals with diverse identities, backgrounds, cultures, races, and abilities.

Our mission is to deliver culturally sensitive clinical services and empower individuals and families at every stage of their journey. In our mission, we are rooted in respect and empathy, and working towards embedding EDIA practices by building a safe and accepting experience for everyone. We embody these principles in our actions, our curiosity, our collaborative spirit, and the ways in which we are open to varying perspectives. In turn, it has inspired us to approach concepts differently, express ourselves openly, and foster growth.

Surrey Place remains resolute to dismantle barriers of all kinds, creating a representative and inclusive environment for clients, families, staff and our communities, particularly those from underrepresented groups. We are developing awareness, so we can nurture a culture of mutual understanding and shared responsibility for the well-being of our community.

Our Commitment to Indigenous Inclusion and Reconciliation

We strongly believe in the value of building knowledge and understanding of Indigenous perspectives to continue broadening our inclusion, Reconciliation and accessibility practices at Surrey Place. Our team is working towards incorporating Indigenous perspectives, and building knowledge such as ongoing training, professional development and strategic planning. We continue to work closely with an Indigenous Strategic Advisor, Indigenous partners and staff to deepen our knowledge of historical and contemporary issues that Indigenous communities face. These steps have supported key components in our strategic plan, including strengthening our commitments to inclusion and cultural awareness for our clients. Additionally, we have created spaces for our staff, board members and clinicians to consult with the Advisor to ask questions and explore topics. So far, we have trained more than 500 staff, partners and board members. We look forward to continuing to learn how to better serve and work with Indigenous people and communities.

Our Commitment to Anti-Black Racism

We denounce anti-Black racism, violence against the Black community, and the systemic racism and oppression that continues today. At Surrey Place, we are grounded in empowering individuals and their families all throughout their lives. This cannot be achieved if we do not actively work against anti-Black racism and support the communities we serve and the employees we staff.

Our commitment drives us to continually review and enhance policies, processes and practices to fight against anti-Black racism. We are also dedicated to amplifying the voices of the Black community, including staff and clients by listening to and building lived experiences in our work plan and its outputs, including training, education and policies.

In 2021, we formalized our Anti-Racism: Black Cultural Awareness Consulting and Training Group, borne out of the advocacy of Black staff members of Surrey Place. The group provides invaluable direction and feedback to all levels of our staff on best practices for developing anti-Black racism work.

We continue to address and learn about anti-Black racist actions, practices and procedures to better support the Black community members we serve, and the society in which we live.

Land Acknowledgment

We recognize that Toronto is located on the traditional territory of many diverse Indigenous nations.


By 2 months

Has your baby had their hearing screened? YES NO

By 6 months

Does the child?

Startle in response to loud noises? YES NO
Turn to where a sound is coming from? YES NO
Make different cries for different needs (hungry, tired)? YES NO
Watch your face as you talk? YES NO
Smile/laugh in response to your smiles and laughs? YES NO
Imitate coughs or other sounds such as ah, eh, buh YES NO

By 9 months

Does the child?

Respond to their name? YES NO
Respond to the telephone ringing or a knock at the door? YES NO
Understand being told no? YES NO
Get what they want through using gestures (reaching to be picked up)? YES NO
Play social games with you (Peek-a-Boo)? YES NO
Enjoy being around people? YES NO
Babble and repeat sounds such as babababa or duhduhduh? YES NO

By 12 months

Does the child?

Follow simple one-step directions (sit down)? YES NO
Look across the room to a toy when adult points at it? YES NO
Consistently use three to five words? YES NO
Use gestures to communicate (waves hi/bye, shakes head for no)? YES NO
Get your attention using sounds, gestures and pointing while looking at your eyes? YES NO
Bring you toys to show you? YES NO
Perform for social attention and praise? YES NO
Combine lots of sounds together as though talking (abada baduh abee)? YES NO
Show an interest in simple picture books? YES NO

By 18 months

Does the child?

Understand the meaning of in and out, off and on? YES NO
Point to more than 2 body parts when asked? YES NO
Use at least 20 words consistently? YES NO
Respond with words or gestures to simple questions (Where's teddy? What's that?)? YES NO
Demonstrate some pretend play with toys (gives teddy bear a drink, pretends a bowl is a hat)? YES NO
Make at least four different consonant sounds (p ,b, m, n, d, g, w, h)? YES NO
Enjoy being read to and sharing simple books with you? YES NO
Point to pictures using one finger? YES NO

By 2 years

Does the child?

Follow two-step directions (Go find your teddy bear and show it to Grandma.)? YES NO
Use 100 to 150 words? YES NO
Use at least two pronouns (you, me, mine)? YES NO
Consistently combine two to four words in short phrases (Daddy hat. Truck go down.)? YES NO
Enjoy being around other children? YES NO
Begin to offer toys to other children and imitate other children's actions and words? YES NO
Use words that are understood by others 50 to 60 per cent of the time? YES NO
Form words or sounds easily and without effort? YES NO
Hold books the right way up and turn the pages? YES NO
Read to stuffed animals or toys? YES NO
Scribble with crayons? YES NO

By 30 months

Does the child?

Understand the concepts of size (big/little) and quantity (a little/a lot, more)? YES NO
Use some adult grammar (two cookies, bird flying, I jumped)? YES NO
Use over 350 words? YES NO
Use action words such as run, spill, fall? YES NO
Participate in some turn-taking activities with peers, using both words and toys? YES NO
Demonstrate concern when another child is hurt or sad? YES NO
Combine several actions in play (puts blocks in the train and drives the train, drops the blocks off.)? YES NO
Put sounds at the beginning of most words? YES NO
Use words with two or more syllables or beats (ba-na-na, com-pu-ter, a-pple)? YES NO
Recognize familiar logos and signs involving print (Stop sign)? YES NO
Remember and understand familiar stories? YES NO

By 3 years

Does the child?

Understand who, what, where and why questions? YES NO
Create long sentences using five to eight words? YES NO
Talk about past events (trip to grandparents house, day at child care)? YES NO
Tell simple stories? YES NO
Show affection for favourite playmates? YES NO
Engage in multi-step pretend play (pretending to cook a meal, repair a car)? YES NO
Talk in a way that most people outside of the family understand what she/he is saying most of the time? YES NO
Have an understanding of the function of print (menus, lists, signs)? YES NO
Show interest in, and awareness of, rhyming words? YES NO
Read to stuffed animals or toys? YES NO
Scribble with crayons? YES NO

By 4 years

Does the child?

Follow directions involving three or more steps (First get some paper, then draw a picture and give it to Mommy)? YES NO
Use adult type grammar? YES NO
Tell stories with a beginning, middle and end? YES NO
Talk to try and solve problems with adults and with other children? YES NO
Show increasingly complex imaginary play? YES NO
Talk in a way that is understood by strangers almost all the time? YES NO
Generate simple rhymes (cat-bat)? YES NO
Match some letters with their sounds (letter b says buh, letter t says tuh)? YES NO