BC Resources

BC Resources

Listed below are websites and services that may be of interest and assistance to you. Please note, the BC Epilepsy Society does not necessarily endorse all content on these websites.

Medical Services

BC Children’s Hospital Seizure Clinic: This clinic provides comprehensive, specialized care to children and youth with neurological disorders.

BC Health Authorities: Provides contact and service information for public healthcare facilities in the province.

Clinic Support Services: Provides epilepsy resources and assistance with community services to patients living with epilepsy and their families at epilepsy clinics across BC.

College of Physicians and Surgeons of British Columbia (CPSBC): Provides a directory of physicians and medical specialists who are accepting new patients, and physician contact information.

HealthLinkBC: Provides non-emergency health information and support services online and by phone at 811.

Vancouver General Hospital Epilepsy Clinic: This clinic provides in-patient and out-patient care for diagnosis, medical management, and pre-surgical assessments for adults living with epilepsy.

Medical Therapeutics for Epilepsy

Vagus Nerve Stimulation: Vagus Nerve Stimulation (VNS) is a potential treatment option for people living with epilepsy which involves implanting a device similar to a pacemaker under a patient’s skin. The implant stimulates the vagus nerve, helping control seizure activity to make epilepsy more manageable by preventing seizures before they start and stopping them if they do. Find out more about VNS here.

Ketogenic Diet: The Ketogenic Diet is a diet that is high in fat, moderate in proteins and low in carbohydrates that can be used as a potential treatment option for people living with epilepsy. Find out more about the Ketogenic Diet here.

Provincial Government Disability Support Services

Community Living BC: Provides support to adults with developmental disabilities and/or special needs.

Infant Development Program: Provides specialized programs that focus on infants and young children who have a developmental delay or who are at risk for delayed development for established, biological and/or psychosocial reasons.

Ministry of Children and Family Development: Provides a range of child, youth, and family focused support programs, services and interventions, including services specifically for children and youth with special needs.

Ministry of Social Development: Provides access to employment programs and disability assistance for adults with disabilities

Persons with Disabilities Online: Provides extensive information about government services available for people with disabilities both provincially and federally.

Services BC: Provides information and referrals by phone about government agencies.

Health & Disability Support Organizations in BC

BC Aboriginal Network on Disability: Provides a variety of support services and resources for Aboriginal people with disabilities.

BC Centre for Ability: Provides medical, social work, and vocational services to children, youth, and adults with disabilities and their families.

BC Epilepsy Society: Provides information, advocacy and support to the over 50,000 people living with epilepsy in BC and their families, friends and loved ones.

Developmental Disabilities Association: Provides over 50 community-based programs and services to children, adults, and families with developmental disabilities in Vancouver and Richmond.

Disability Alliance BC: Provides support to people disabilities throughout BC.

Family Support Institute: Provides support and advocacy for people with disabilities and their families, as well as resources, information, and parent networks.

Inclusion BC: Provides support, education and advocacy where and when it is needed to enhance the lives of children, youth, and adults with developmental disabilities and their families.

Learning Disabilities Association of BC: Provides support to advance the education, employment, social development, legal rights, and general well being of people with learning disabilities in BC.

Planned Lifetime Advocacy Network (PLAN): Provides support to build personal support networks to empower contribution, security, and citizenship for people with disabilities.

Rare Disease Foundation: Provides support for children living with rare diseases and their families through social support, advocacy, and treatment-focused research.

Financial Help for Medical Costs

BC Lions Society for Children With Disabilities: Provides programs and services to children with disabilities that help build self-esteem, self-confidence and sense of independence. They also fund Easter Seals camps and houses.

CKNW Orphan’s Fund: Provides funding for medical equipment and services for children with disabilities and/or children in financial need.

Medical Services Plan (MSP): Provides information on coverage, eligibility, and enrollment information for medically-required services for BC residents.

Non-Insured Health Benefits for First Nations and Inuit: Provides coverage for benefit claims for a specified range of drugs, dental care, vision care, medical supplies and equipment, short-term crisis intervention mental health counseling, and medical transportation for eligible First Nations and Inuit clients.

PharmaCare: Provides coverage for the cost of eligible prescription drugs and designated medical supplies and provides access to drug therapy to residents of BC who qualify for PhamaCare coverage by registering with MSP, including the income-based Fair PharmaCare plan. Read more about general PharmaCare policies here.

Persons with Disabilities (PWD): Provides financial support for people with disabilities who are unable to seek or find employment.

President’s Choice Children’s Charity: Provides funding for mobility equipment, environmental modifications, or therapy for children under the age of 18 with a developmental disability.

Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP): Provides assistance to people with disabilities and their families in saving for long-term financial security.

Variety – The Children’s Charity: Provides financial assistance for children under the age of 19 who have special needs and their families with the costs of a wide range of equipment, therapies, and educational, social, and recreational programs. Also provides Emergency Response Grants to help children under the age of 19 who have special needs and their families access medical care, supplies, and related services not covered by MSP, Pharmacare, hospitals, or other agencies.

Employment Support Services

Back in Motion: Provides flexible and accessible health and employment services  designed specifically for persons with neurological disabilities.

BC Centre for Ability: Provides various vocational services for people with disabilities including:

  • Opportunities Fund for People with Disabilities: Assists people with disabilities to obtain employment by contributing to training plans and funding. Phone: 604-451-5511
  • Greater Vancouver Business Leadership Network: Offers services to link people with disabilities to potential employers, including a job database. Phone: 604-630-3031

CBI Consultants: Provides a customized employment program for people with behavioural, intellectual, or physical disabilities.

Community Futures B.C.: Provides programs designed to assist people with disabilities and/or people living in rural areas to start or grow their own business.

Community Living BC (CLBC): Provides supports and services to adults with developmental disabilities, individuals who have Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) or Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) and/or individuals who have significant difficulty doing things on their own.

Neil Squire Society: Provides services for individuals for whom a physical disability is the primary barrier to employment.

Jobs West: Provides people with developmental disabilities assistance in preparing for, finding and maintaining community-based employment placements.

Open Door Group: Provides assistance to help people find employment and connect to their community. They deliver services in Vancouver, Kamloops, the Sunshine Coast, Lillooet and the South Okanagan.

WayFinders BC: Provides information to people with disabilities how to best achieve employment.

WorkAble Solutions: Connects job seekers with disabilities to employers.

WorkBC: Provides assistance to people in finding jobs, exploring their career options and improving their skills with the purpose of supporting people in getting – and keeping – a job as quickly as possible. Phone: 1-877-952-6914.

WOWjobs: Provides information on jobs specific to people with disabilities in BC.

School and Child Care Support Information and Resources

BC School District Websites: Provides information on the school zones, procedures, and standards for education practices in BC.

Canada Study Grants for Students with Disabilities: Provides information on the application procedures and eligibility requirements for people with disabilities applying for the Canada Study Grant for Post-Secondary Accommodations by Human Resources and Skills Development Canada.

National Educational Association of Disabled Students (NEADS): Provides resources on education, inclusion, employment, and related issues for post-secondary students with disabilities.

Partners in Teaching: Provides free educational workshops on epilepsy awarenes and seizure first aid and safety at schools across BC.

Special Education Services: A Manual of Policies, Procedures and Guidelines from the BC Ministry of Education: Provides information on the policies, procedures, and guidelines that support the delivery of special education services in BC public schools.

STEPS Forward: Provides support for people with developmental disabilities to attend college or university in BC regardless of their level of ability.

Strategies for Effective School Meetings and Documentation: Provides an extensive collection of disability resources to support parental advocacy and ensure successful negotiations and outcomes.

Support Worker Central: Matches individuals, families, and agencies with support workers in their communities.

Your Future Now: A Transition Planning and Resource Guide: Provides a step-by-step planning guide to adulthood for those with disabilities who want to achieve their personal and professional goals.

Adult Education Resources

Adult Learning: Provides information on options for adult learners aged 18 or older.

Coursera: Provides individuals with access to free online courses from some of the top universities and colleges in the world.

Epilepsy Expert Webinar Series: Provides webinars on a wide variety of epilepsy-related topics presented by experts in the field of epilepsy.

Mental Health Support Services

BC Epilepsy Society In-Person Support Groups: Provides various in-person support groups including the In-Person Peer Support Group for people living with epilepsy, the BCES Men’s Circle for men living with epilepsy, the BCES Women’s Circle for women living with epilepsy, the BCES Young Adults Circle for young adults living with epilepsy aged 18-24, Epilepsy Friends Forever for children and youth living with epilepsy aged 6-17 and the BC Epilepsy Parents Network for the parents, guardians and caregivers of people living with epilepsy. Please note that due to the ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic, all BC Epilepsy Society In-Person Support Groups have been moved online and take place via Zoom.

BC Epilepsy Society Online Support Groups: BC Epilepsy Society Online Support Groups include the Online Peer Support Group for people living with epilepsy, the Family Peer Support Group for anyone living with or affected by epilepsy, the Young Adult Peer Support Group for young adults living with epilepsy aged 18-24, Epilepsy Friends Forever for children and youth living with epilepsy aged 6-17 and the BC Epilepsy Parents Network for the parents, guardians and caregivers of people living with epilepsy.

Bereavement Helpline: Provides the bereaved and their caregivers with assistance in coping and managing their grief.

Bounce Back: Reclaim Your Health: Provides people experiencing symptoms of depression and anxiety with support through online and telephone means.

Counselling BC: Provides a directory of psychologists, counselors, and other professional therapists who provide services in BC.

Crisis Centre BC: Operates a phone line to provide help, support and someone to listen to when you are feeling emotionally overwhelmed, vulnerable, or troubled.

Foundry BC: Provides young people aged 12-24 with health and wellness resources, services and supports both online and through integrated service centres in communities across BC.

Here to Help: Provides information on mental health, mental disorders and substance abuse issues as well as inspiring personal stories.

Kelty Mental Health Resource Centre: Provides information and resources on all areas of mental health and addictions to children and youth and their families.

Camps for Children with Medical Conditions or Disabilities

BC Easter Seals Camps: Provides camp sessions for children aged 6-18 who have a cognitive and/or physical disability. Camps are located at Winfield, Shawnigan Lake, and Squamish. The BC Epilepsy Society provides a camp subsidy for individuals who require it.

Elks Recreational Children’s Camp Society of BC: Provides a free camping facility on Denman Island for children who might not otherwise have an opportunity for a camping or holiday experience. Accommodations are available for children with special needs.

Eureka Outdoor Camp: Provides camp sessions for children aged 8-18 who have invisible disabilities (such as learning disabilities, ADHD, or epilepsy). Camps are located in North Vancouver and Princeton. The BC Epilepsy Society provides a camp subsidy for individuals who require it.

Zajac Ranch: Provides camp sessions for children with chronic health conditions and/or disabilities. Camps are located outside of Mission. The BC Epilepsy Society provides a camp subsidy for individuals who require it.

Epilepsy Information for Children and Teens

AboutKidsHealth.ca: Provides a wide variety of articles specific to children and parents on health-related issues, including epilepsy.

Epilepsy Friends Forever: Friendship groups for children and youth living with epilepsy run via Zoom. Three groups are offered (for age 6-8; for ages 9-12; and for ages 13-17). Find out more here.

Girls with Nerve: Provides information on reproductive and sexual health issues for teen girls with epilepsy.

For Youth with Epilepsy: Provides information specifically for teens with epilepsy.

Seniors and Veterans

Seniors First BC: Provides supportive programs for older adults, protects the legal rights of older adults and increases access to justice for older adults.

Veterans Affairs Canada: Provides pensions, benefits and services for war veterans, retired and still-serving members of the Canadian Armed Forces and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and their families.

Driving and Transportation

BC Bus Pass Program: Provides a reduced cost, annual bus pass for low income seniors and individuals receiving the Persons with Disabilities (PWD) benefit.

BC Ferries: Provides discount passenger fares for BC residents who have a permanent disability.

BC Transit: Provides information on regional transit services.

Drivers with Epilepsy: Provides information on the regulations and legal processes for drivers living with epilepsy in BC.

HandyDART: Provides a door-to-door shared ride service for people who are unable to use public transit without assistance due to a physical and/or cognitive disability.

Hope Air: Provides flights for medical care located outside of home communities.

TransLink BC: Provides information on Metro Vancouver’s transportation network, serving residents and visitors with public transit, major roads, bridges and Trip Planning.

Travel Assistance Program (TAP): Provides travel discounts to eligible BC residents who must travel within the province for non-emergency medical specialist services not available in their own community.

Housing Services

BC Housing: Provides a variety of subsidized and/or assisted living options for low-income families, seniors, people with disabilities, adults at risk of homelessness, and women at risk of violence.

BC211 Shelter List: Provides a regularly updated list of shelters.

BC Society of Transition Houses: Provides services and strategies to respond to, prevent and end violence against women, children and youth.

Vela Microboard Association of BC: Provides subsidized housing for people with developmental challenges in Metro Vancouver.

Legal Resources

Access Pro Bono: Provides free legal advice and representation services to individuals of limited means.

Advocate for Service Quality: Provides support to people with developmental disabilities and their families.

BC Human Rights Clinic: Provides assistance and representation to people who need help dealing with a provincial human rights complaint.

Community Legal Assistance Society: Provides legal advice and assistance to people whose human rights need protection and/or to people who are disadvantaged physically, mentally, socially, or economically.

Human Rights Tribunal: Provides assistance in accepting, screening, mediating, and adjudicating human rights complaints that arise in BC and are covered by the Human Rights Code.

Nidus Personal Planning Resource Centre and Registry: Provides information to people about making legal arrangements in case you need help managing your affairs during your lifetime due to an illness, injury, or disability.

Public Guardian and Trustee of BC: Provides legal and financial support for children under the age of 19 and/or people with developmental disabilities

Epilepsy Organizations and Resources Outside of British Columbia:

Anita Kaufmann Foundation/Purple Day Every Day: Educates the public not to fear epilepsy or seizures. Purple Day Every Day is an initiative by the Anita Kaufmann Foundation to make epilepsy awareness important every day of the year.

Canadian League Against Epilepsy (CLAE): Develops innovative therapeutic and preventative strategies to avoid the consequences of epilepsy with the goal of translating their discoveries into applicable therapies for all Canadians.

Dravet Canada: Provides a network families, friends, and caregivers of people with Dravet spectrum disorders in Canada.

E-Action: Provides interactive information about epilepsy, lifestyle tips, and stories from people who have it.

Epilepsy Association: Improves the quality of life of people living with epilepsy in Central Florida.

Epilepsy Canada: Provides support to enhance the quality of life for people living with epilepsy through promotion and support of research and facilitation of education and awareness initiatives that build understanding and acceptance of epilepsy.

Epilepsy Foundation: Provides support to people living with epilepsy in the United States by removing barriers to care, funding innovative research, and educating the public about epilepsy and seizure first aid.

EpilepsyU: An award-winning epilepsy news and education site that is used by over 4,000,000 people in 150 countries.

EpilepsyStore: A one-of-a-kind unique online store offering epilepsy awareness items.

International Bureau for Epilepsy (IBE): Provides information about their initiatives and about social and non-medical aspects of epilepsy, aimed at improving the quality of life of patients living with epilepsy and their caregivers. They link national epilepsy organizations around the world.

International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE): Provides the highest quality of care and well being for those living with epilepsy and other related seizure disorders through their association of physicians and other health professionals working towards a world where no person’s life is limited by epilepsy.

Intractable Childhood Epilepsy Alliance (ICE Epilepsy Alliance): Improves lives of children living with intractable epilepsy through evidence-based information, advocacy for appropriate medical treatment, promotion of drug development, data collection through patient registries, and funding of research that will lead to a cure for intractable childhood epilepsies.

Rare Epilepsy Network (REN): Provides information to people with rare epilepsies and their caregivers/families on researchers who are committed to improving the lives and quality of care for people living with epilepsy in cooperation with the Epilepsy Foundation, Research Triangle Institute, Columbia University and New York University.

Sudep Aware: Dedicated to raising awareness and understanding of Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy (SUDEP), with the ultimate goal of finding its cause(s) and prevention.

The LGS Foundation: Provides information about Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome (LGS), a rare and severe form of epilepsy and raises funds for research, programs, and services for LGS families.

Online Forums

AbilityOnline.org: Provides a chance for children and youth with disabilities or illnesses to meet others like them, make friends from all over the world, share their hopes and fears, find role-models and mentors, and feel like they belong.

Coping with Epilepsy: Provides a chance for people living with epilepsy, their families, friends, and loved ones to discuss aspects of living with and coping with epilepsy.

Epilepsy Foundation Community Forum: Online resource that allows people living with and affected by epilepsy to connect with others living with affected by epilepsy.

Living Well With Epilepsy: Provides personal stories, commentary, interviews, and awareness events for the global epilepsy community through a blog that offers insightful coverage addressing the spectrum of issues faced by people living with all types of seizure disorders.

Additional Websites of Interest

Lions Foundation of Canada Special Skills Dogs: Provides information on training assistance dogs for individuals with physical and/or medical disabilities with mobility concerns including a specific Seizure Response Dog training program.

Neurological Health Charities of Canada: Provides leadership, evaluation and collaboration on advocacy, education and research projects related to brain health for people with chronic, often progressive, neurological and/or neuromuscular diseases, disorders, conditions, and injuries (brain conditions) in Canada.

Rett Syndrome Society of BC: Provides information and support for families of those diagnosed with Rett Syndrome

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