DABC’s History

1977 – Present
“Nothing About Us, Without Us.”

Systemic Advocacy

In 1977, a group of committed activists with disabilities created the BC Coalition of the Disabled. It was run by people with disabilities for people with disabilities. Its founders wished to address systemic inequality and work towards ensuring that people with disabilities can live with dignity and independence. The organization began small, with limited staff and a very hands-on Board of Directors.

Key focuses of our systemic advocacy over the years have included:

  • Transportation
  • Health
  • Income security
  • Law reform
  • Independence and control

We have written close to 30 position papers addressing these issues.

Systemic Issues and Campaigns


  • 2012 –2014: worked with Vancouver Taxi Association to develop training manual for taxi drivers
  • Prior to 2008: advocated to TransLink for HandyDART to be under 1 service provider in Metro Vancouver
  • 2008 – 2015: hosted the Coalition of HandyDART Users, which worked to improve wait times, ride availability, service eligibility and application process.

Disability Supports

  • 2002 – 2014: Formation of the Provincial Equipment and Assistive Devices Committee (PEADC)
  • Did extensive lobbying for a provincially funded program for disability supports
  • Partnered with province to design the Provincial Model for Personal Supports.
  • Led to 2 personal supports centres: Victoria and Prince George
  • 2008 – 2014: PEADC developed the Equipment and Assistive Technology Initiative (EATI)

Income Security

  • Ongoing work since our beginnings to improve income supports and security for people with disabilities.

Guide Dog Act: Mid – 1990’s –2016

  • Worked towards the Guide Animal Act being amended or replaced to improve access rights for people who use guide or assistance animals
  • BCCPD/DABC had several consultations with the Ministry of Attorney General after the Provincial White Paper Summit in 2014
  • March 2015: the Guide Dog and Service Dog Act was introduced in the House – it came into law as of January 2016

Part 7: ICBC Act: 2007 – 2018

  • Began work to improve Part 7 compensation to people injured in motor vehicle accidents in no-fault situations
  • Our position paper was distributed to 1,750 groups and signed off on by community and professionals supporting our campaign
  • 2011: A stakeholder table was established, led by BCCPD (DABC)
  • Significant improvements were announced in February 2018 – all changes we had been advocating for were adopted.

Direct Advocacy Service

The Advocacy Access Program began in 1988, when the Board changed its mandate from only systemic advocacy to include advocacy services for people with disabilities. Robin Loxton was the first advocate (1989 – 2016).

Key Programs and Projects Over the Years

  • Adult Guardianship Law Reform: 1991 – 2000
  • Provincial Respiratory Outreach Program: 1997-2006
  • Individualized Funding Project: 1997 – 2004
  • The Community and Residents Mentors Association (CARMA): 1997 – present
  • AIDS & Disability Action Program and Wellness and Disability Initiative: 1987 – 2015
  • Emergency Preparedness for People with Disabilities: 2006 – 2018
  • Anti-Violence Projects: 2012 – 2022
  • The Right Fit Program: 2017 – present
  • Tax AID DABC: 2015 – present
  • Access RDSP: 2016 – present
  • Disability Law Clinic: 2020 – present