Skills Development

Life & Living Skills Development

Giffard Centre Description – Day Services-Fee for Service

This program is offered during day time weekday hours, and can be customized to your financial ability, individual interests, and to meet your specific support needs.  It is best suited for individuals that require more intensive support in order to fully participate in their community and in learning opportunities.

Support Model:  Individualized
Date:  Monday – Friday 
Time:  9:00am – 4:00pm
Cost: Individualized
Intake: on going –Spot availability

Programs offered at and through Giffard Centre can include:

  • Access to Community venues such as Libraries, Fitness and Art Centres

But are not limited to:

  • Self – Advocacy – Mission Possible
  • Overcoming Barriers
  • Life Skills Development
  • Creative Arts
  • Healthy living
  • Music Therapy

Direct Support Professionals will support each participant to access personalized activities during their day. They will ensure that each individual is focusing on their self-identified goals and assessing the progress.

Participation House is committed to providing a variety of skill enhancement programs, within our community. As goals are met, we encourage participants to embrace new opportunities for personal growth and development by promoting their roles in the learning opportunity from student to Mentor.  This progressive approach helps build confidence, solidify earning and prepare for future adult life skills.

**Families interested in this program will meet with management to determine the supports required to participate. The fee for service will be based on the support ratio required.

Program Materials:  As outlined in an individualized plan.

For more information contact Heather Hall, Service Manager-Community Supports and Respite at

Vocational (Volunteer)

Vocational – Volunteerism is an integral part of every community, it helps to enhance ones skills, while creating new connections and opportunities. At PH we strive to create a fully inclusive community, focusing on individual strengths and passions. Our vocational opportunities are Monday to Friday from 9-4. We have partnered with many not-for-profit community resources to provide adults with developmental disabilities the opportunity to give back to their community while promoting a positive self-image and enhancing their professional portfolio through volunteering.

 Support Model: 1:4
Date: Monday—Friday
Time: 9am-4pm
Cost: $60/day
Intake: ongoing -spot availability
Required: Bus Pass


This program is a fully inclusive day in the community.  The day will be comprised of community access, transit training with a primary focus on vocational opportunities.

Participants in this program will be accompanied by a Direct Support Professional, at a 1:4 ratio. Public transportation will be utilized to access their vocational site. Focus is on developing the skills necessary to use this service more independently. Vocational skills will be developed in a variety of professional settings. The tasks completed will be dependent on the volunteer opportunity selected.  

Participants meet at our 1003 Giffard location (Giffard Centre) at 9am and return 3pm. Families  are  required to coordinate transportation to and from the program location.

For more information contact Heather Hall, Service Manager-Community Supports and Respite at

Life-Skills Development (Meal Prep and Budgeting)

Life Skills- An interactive program, offering opportunities to strengthen people’s culinary skills in a group environment. Participants will collaborate to create a menu plan and ensure they work within their budget. Participants will travel to the grocery store to learn the layout of the grocery store and cost effective brand consideration for better budget planning.

Date: Monday & Thursday
Time: 9am-4pm
Location: Whitby
Cost: $65 per session
Intake: on going -spot availability

Date: Tuesday & Friday 9am-4pm
Cost:  $65/day
Intake: on going –spot availability


This program will include supported learning opportunities that will reinforce the transitional living skills needed for a more independent and healthy lifestyle.

Supported in a 1:4 staffing ratio, individuals develop a grocery list and meal plan based on a budget while focusing on practical and heathy choices. The group will be engaged in the entire process from meal planning to meal consumption. Fresh food purchases at a local grocery store every morning to practice independence and “brand awareness” product purchases.

Participants take part in facilitated group activities and practical experiences that will enhance their knowledge and skills around budgeting, healthy lifestyle, grocery shopping, cooking, kitchen safety, food handling, and cleaning.

Bowmanville Participants will take part in facilitated group activities and practical experiences that will enhance their knowledge and skills. This program will also incorporate social activities, art, music, movies and games as suited to each individual.

For more information contact Heather Hall, Service Manager-Community Supports and Respite at

Community Resources (Accessing the Community Socially in a group format to various outings)

Community Resource (Transit Training): An interactive program that is designed to promote independence in the community.  The Direct Support Staff support a group of people to access different Community Resources while familiarizing themselves with public transit. 

Support Model:  1:4
Date: Monday and Thursday
Time: 9am-4pm
Intake: ongoing -spot availability
Required: Bus pass


This program provides individuals with the opportunity to access the community and utilize public transportation.

Direct Care Professionals support participants to identify the Community Resources they would enjoy or benefit from attending. Some of these resources may include Coffee shops, Libraries, Paint night, Community Centers, the Movies, community events, swimming etc. A strong focus will be placed on transit training.

Participants collaborate in the development of the program schedule for each session. Direct Care Professionals will support in the planning process. While accessing the community support staff will ensure the program is reflective of the individual’s goals and identify and pursue all learning opportunities. 

**Individualized programming for individuals that require less hours per day, or more 1:1 support, is available.

For more information contact Heather Hall, Service Manager-Community Supports and Respite at

Social Club-Evening and Weekend

Social Club –The Social Club focuses on developing meaningful relationships while connecting people to their community. The program is self-directed, the first day of the program the participants spend time getting to know one another as well as plan the events that they will participate in. PH staff assists in the facilitation of the planning to inform participants of new opportunities in the Durham Region.

Support Model:  1:5
Date: Thursday-Oshawa Mall (Dollar store entrance) -Arrive and leave from same location each week
Time: 430pm-830pm
Cost: $480/ 12 week session (every week)
Program Dates: Feb 2019

Support Model: 1:5
Date: Saturdays (2 separate sessions)
Time: 1pm-4:30pm/ 5-8:30pm
Cost: $480/ 12 sessions (Every other Saturday) 
Program Dates: January 19th, Feb 2, 16, March 2, 16, 30,
April 13, 27, May 11, 25, 
June 8, 22 -2019

Social Club is a group-based program, for those who desire to improve their social skills and social independence in a friendly environment.

The Social club is at various locations throughout Durham Region, with Participants picking the outings and developing the schedule. Social Club is committed to connecting people to their communities by engaging in a variety of community-based activities.

**Thursday Social Club uses public transit to get to each scheduled outing and will require a bus pass.

** Saturday Social Club sessions start and finish at the designated outing as participants do not utilize public transit.

For more information contact Heather Hall, Service Manager-Community Supports and Respite at

Life Readiness Program (LRP) 2019

LRP is a 5 day summer respite program where people can get a glimpse at independent living.  The program is designed to enhance skills through supported learning opportunities. Areas of focus include: Budgeting, community access, public transit, grocery shopping, meal preparation, personal hygiene and laundry. At the beginning of the week each participant identifies a skill they would like to develop, the staff at the program assist each participant in the development of their goal.

Program: 1 week Summer Respite Program
Support Model:1:6
Dates: July 1-5, July 8-12,  July 15-19, July 22-26,  July   29-Aug 2
Cost: Pending our funding- $450 per person

Life readiness (LRP) program is based out of the Durham College Residence, where participants arrive at 9a.m on the Monday and depart on the Friday at 4:30 p.m. This program focuses on independent living skills through supported learning opportunities, demonstrations and practical real-life experiences.

Trained Facilitators work with the participants to set objectives for skill development and provide guidance to attain their goals.

Areas of focus include, but are not limited to:

  • Independent living Budgeting
  • Community awareness
  • Public Transit
  • Meal preparation
  • Grocery shopping
  • Laundry 

For more information contact Heather Hall, Service Manager-Community Supports and Respite at

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