Our History

A brief history of the Dartmouth Adult Services Centre:

2017 – DASC participated in consultations for the new Nova Scotia Accessibility Act, advanced our work with Client Council development by attending and presenting at provincial conferences. Additionally, the Peer Greif Support Group will present at a National Conference in Ontario. DASC is a leader in Social Enterprise as a contributor to the Government Framework on Social Enterprise and Social Enterprise Sector Strategy.

DASC was recognized by the Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters Association (CME) as a recipient of the Diversity in the Workplace Award. Our executive director is the recipient of the Canadian Progress Woman of Excellence Award in the category of Health, Sport and Wellness.

2016 – ‘My Information My Decision’ was officially launched as an approach to assist clients in deciding who has access to their personal information. As well DASC has initiated a Client Advisory Council ensuring that our clients and participants have an active role in DASC as an organization and a voice in how we as an agency will grow and prosper. The government of the day has initiated a process of Transformation of services for persons with disability and DASC is participating as a member on the Advisory Committee.

2015 – We were sad to say goodbye to the Altar Bread Company and the Archives but we began a new adventure with recyclables at the Halifax Stanfield International Airport.

2013 – A grand opening was launched for our new building. We also added two new programs: Recreation & Leisure and Individual Support.

2012 – DASC purchased two accessible vans for clients and construction began at our new 59 Dorey Avenue location.

2011 – On January 29, 2011, DASC unveiled a sign at our new site on 59 Dorey Avenue.

2010 – DASC became more active on the political front this year; writing to all MLAs introducing or re-introducing them to DASC and our need for both program expansion and increased financial support. We exchanged visits with MLAs to ensure that they had a fuller appreciation of our work and to allow them to better represent our interests.

With the expertise of BDS Group we have our 26,000 square foot facility concept drawing and floor plan completed. This year marks the launch of our capital campaign to raise the necessary funds of 3.5 million dollars. A task we hope to accomplish within 18 months!

2009 – The most exciting piece of our building plans this year has been the negotiated purchase of almost two acres of prime Burnside property at 59 Dorey Avenue. We were able to acquire this building site from the City at the significantly discounted price of $50,000 – where the original market value of the land was $338,000! We extend our sincere thank you to Halifax Regional Municipality for supporting our dream.

2008 – DASC announced that it will institute a one week “summer closure” for August 2008 and a two week summer closure in subsequent years. With summer closures, DASC is following the practice of many other agencies who realize the benefits of closure including a rested workforce and the ability to schedule facility maintenance.

DASC received a bequest from the estate of Joan and Susan Loveridge totaling just under $300,000! The Loveridge bequeath has been designated towards our capital fund and we are now actively negotiating with HRM to secure land in or near the Burnside area.

2007 – DASC turned 40. A Building Committee was established as we begin planning for a space to call our own. This will be a huge undertaking and we anticipated a 3-5 year plan to reach our goal.

2006 – In August, the Vocational Review was called by DCS and DASC was a very active participant. Our executive director participated with DCS Senior Policy Analyst, Sandy Graves in regional meetings around the province outlining the intention of the reviews and attended all 28 provincial agency reviews.

As part of our Program Expansion plan, DASC acknowledged that we needed to change some of the programs and so we dissolved the program known as General Contracts and rearranged our physical plant to accommodate more persons in the Vocational program as well as giving our Lifeskills program more space and privacy. Over the Christmas holidays, with the help of many volunteers, we accomplished this goal. Thank you to all our volunteers. The change in the physical environment has been wonderful!

The DASC Board also approved an entire review of our Employee/Client Policies and approved a new Policy on Conflict Resolution.

2005 – A much-needed Privacy Policy was approved. Our Client Services Supervisor traveled to New York City in December, to participate in a Snoezelen Workshop presented by the American Snoezelen pioneer, Linda Messbauer. DIRECTIONS hosted the Innovations and Challenges Employment 2005 Conference in Halifax. We added to our button equipment with a new set of oblong dies for the kick press and corresponding die cutter. New machines were ordered from Germany for the Alter Bread Company and arrived in late June 2005.

2004 – The launch of our new logo, signage and website.

2003 – Air Conditioning finally arrived at DASC along with an awning for the deck. It was the year to provide some comfort in the physical environment at DASC. The Value statements were officially approved at our Annual General Meeting.

2002 – What a wonderful time to introduce the concept of Snoezelen to the clients of DASC. Our Snoezelen Room was officially opened with the generosity of all who contributed to the fundraising campaign.

2001 – Broadening day options, “The Active Lifeskills Club” became a reality and we began providing a recreation and leisure program operating out of the North Woodside Community Centre.

2000 – The Department of Community Services introduced Core Competencies as minimum standards for all staff working in vocational centres.

1999 – DASC continued to provide vocational services to persons with an intellectual disability, now serving individuals in all areas of vocational programming – prevocational, vocational, work enclave, community employment and piloting a new program entitled Broadening Day Options.

*The Job Brokerage Centre no longer serves DASC clients and our job coaches return to DASC.

1998 – An investment with the help of ACOA provided much needed baking irons for The Altar Bread Company and equipment for button production. Volunteers built a wonderful deck for us.

1996 – The Workshop Council of Nova Scotia and the Department of Community Services coauthored two very important documents: Vocational and Day Program Services in Nova Scotia and Standards for Vocational Day Services in Nova Scotia.

1995 – DASC launched its Strategic Plan for the next five years after much community, staff, client and board consultation. A new Mission Statement was officially approved on June 22, 1995.

1993 – The development of a new Transitional Program. The goal of the program was to provide a “bridge” between DASC’s Prevocational and Vocational Services. The development of a new Job Brokerage Centre meant that our job coaches were seconded there and our Community Employment services were offered in one centralized location.

1992 – DASC relocated to a new and larger facility at 10 Akerley Boulevard. This included the consolidating of all programs into one physical space.

1990 – The purchase of a small business, the Altar Bread Company, to augment the range of services offered. This operation was responsible for the manufacturing of communion wafers sold to local and provincial markets.

1989 – The establishment of a community-based Board to govern the operations of DASC Industries (DASC Industries Association).

1988 – The establishment of a Supportive Work Program with a mandate to place adults with an intellectual disability into the competitive labor force and provide the necessary supports to ensure success. This program served as a vehicle to promote the ultimate goal of DASC Industries.

1980 – We expanded services to include a specialized program for adults with intellectual disabilities who had demonstrated inappropriate social interactions with others and an inability to cope (Developmental III). We established a work enclave within the Federal Archives at Thornhill Drive.

1979 – We expanded the production of our promotional buttons and also expanded our range of services to include a specialized program to accommodate adults who have profound intellectual disabilities (Developmental II). During this time, we began the integration of individuals into the competitive labor force. DASC also moved to its present location at 10 Akerley Boulevard.

1978 – We changed our name to DASC Industries and shifted from craft-oriented products to an industrial model, procuring meaningful work contracts from community businesses.

1977 – Opening of retail outlet Touch of Class to market craft projects, which at this time included pottery and ceramics.

1972 – Promotional button production was established.

1970 – We moved to a new location on Jamieson Street and changed our name to Flower of Hope Centre.

1967 – Program expansion to approximately ten clients. We moved to a larger facility on Dundas Street. Introduction of contract work, including woodworking and Kentucky Fried Chicken utensil kits.

1966 – Dartmouth Activity Centre began operations at the South Woodside Annex School. The Program served five adults with intellectual disabilities and focused on craft oriented activities.