Black History Month at Surrey Place

To our clients, families, and community: 

Today marks the first day of Black History Month, a time to honour the social, political, and economic achievements and other valuable contributions of Black Canadians. 

Black History Month dates back to 1926 in the United States when historian Carter G. Woodson proposed an observance to highlight Black Americans’ accomplishments. This effort led to the establishment of Negro History Week, eventually expanding into Black History Month by 1976. The Parliament of Canada officially recognized February as Black History Month in 1995, after a motion was introduced by the first Black Canadian woman elected to Parliament, the Honourable Jean Augustine, MP for Etobicoke-Lakeshore. 

From civil rights activist and businesswoman Viola Desmond to Black Lives Matter Canada’s co-founder Janaya Khan, Black Canadians have empowered generations of Canadians throughout our vibrant history. However, the past year has taught us that as a society, we still have a long way to go in making sure that we all understand the racial injustice that Black people face on a day-to-day basis. Research shows that systemic anti-Black racism exists in Canada and globally, meaning that Black individuals face unequal opportunities, lower socio-economic status, higher unemployment, significant poverty rates and overrepresentation in the criminal justice system. 

At Surrey Place, we help children and adults living with developmental disabilities, autism spectrum disorder, and visual impairments live healthy and socially inclusive lives. We’re participating in Black History Month to shed light on the lived personal experiences of self-identified Black clients, staff and caregivers accessing and providing services within the developmental services sector. We’re determined to affect positive change, and that starts from within our organization. Please take a look at our complete Anti-Black Racism Statement to see how we plan to better support the Black staff, clients, caregivers and community we serve. 

From here on out, let’s continue to listen and reflect on how we can each learn and unlearn concepts related to anti-Black racism, what it means to be an ally, how to talk to your children about racism, white privilege, racial bias and more. Here are some resources that we hope will help you in your journey of self-reflection. 

Additional resources on Black History Month: 

During Black History Month at Surrey Place, we will be sharing educational videos and articles about the Black experience. Make sure you follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn

If you have any thoughts you’d like to share with us, please feel free to reach out to us at 


Terri Hewitt, Ph.D., C.Psych 
Chief Executive Officer 

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