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Who the
program serves

St. Jude’s serves individuals age 18 and older who have intellectual and/or physical challenges, by integrating them with “able” peers. The program employs professionals in the area of theatre/drama, music, dance, and literacy. Through this collaboration and artistic experience, participants gain life skills, social skills, independence, and self-esteem in an inclusive environment.

What our program offers:

Our dramatic arts program provides an opportunity for self-expression and promotes self-confidence. 

Our music program allows clients to express their individual and collective vocal talents.

Our arts and crafts program provides an opportunity for visual expression.

The Academy’s performances strengthen the connection between intellectually and/or physically challenged individuals and their community. These performances also promote awareness and a positive view of the disabled within the community.

  • We provide all clients with an inclusive opportunity to interact and collaborate with able youth in a variety of artistic, academic and social activities. This provides each client with a smooth transition from the familiarity of the high school program to the world of the adult; thus illustrating our Motto which is “We Can Live as One”.

  • Our visual arts program provides sensory stimulation and fosters the development of fine and gross motor skills.

  • Clients are able to express their individuality through movement in our dance program.

  • Each year participants have the opportunity to perform at our You Are the Light of the World Youth Rally which invites thousands of youth to participate.

  • We foster the growth and development of body, mind and soul of all who attend.

  • Our staff assists in the development of life skills and independence by leading classes in cooking, money management, computer skills, and facilitating group discussions.

  • Participants learn literacy and math skills.

  • Snoezelen Multi Sensory Environment

  • Daily physical activity is incorporated into our program to promote a healthy lifestyle.

  • The summer program serves youth ages 15+ and includes weekly fieldtrips and swimming.


We have dedicated a room for SNOEZELEN a Multi-Sensory Environment which incorporates various lighting equipment and materials that offer a broad range of sensory experiences. SNOEZELEN offers a relaxed atmosphere with pleasant surroundings, soothing sounds, captivating aromas, tactile experiences, vibrosonic sensations, and gentle movement. Interesting light effects and comfortable seating allow an individual to self regulate by choosing sensations.  It is specifically designed to offer individuals that opportunity to exercise choice. It bridges cognitive, perceptual, behavioral, physical and other conditions to provide a sense of empowerment.


  • Communication
    St. Bernadette’s F.R.C. is committed to communicating with clients with disabilities in different or alternative ways that take into consideration their disability. Staff will be trained on how to interact and communicate with clients with disabilities in a manner that is respectful of a client’s dignity and independence. Alternative methods of communication will be provided as requested. Staff will be trained to communicate with clients over the telephone in clear and plain language and to speak clearly and slowly.
  • Use of Assistive Devices
    Assistive Devices, guide animals and/or support persons may be used by clients to assist in accessing services at St. Bernadette’s F.R.C. Bernadette’s F.R.C. may require a person with a disability to be accompanied by a Support Person where it is necessary to protect the health or safety of the person with a disability or the health or safety of others on the premises. All service animals must have proof of inoculations/vaccinations required under the Day Nurseries Act. Staff and volunteers will be properly trained in how to interact with clients with disabilities who are accompanied by a service animal a support person or an assistive device. The use of such items must be in compliance with the regulations outlined in the Day Nurseries Act and the Toronto Operating Criteria or other regional requirements.
  • Notice of Temporary Disruptions
    St. Bernadette’s F.R.C. will notify clients if there is a planned or unexpected disruption of a facility or service persons with a disability use to access our services. The notice will be posted at the entrance of the applicable premises and as well as being provided verbally, electronically or in person as applicable. The notice will include the following information: That a facility or service is unavailable. The anticipated duration of the disruption. The reason for the disruption. Alternative facilities or services, if available.
  • Feedback Procedure
    AODA requires Organizations to implement a feedback method that allows clients to provide feedback on perceived barriers, including how to ask for assistance. Bernadette’s F.R.C. accepts feedback in a variety of ways including in person, by telephone, in writing or electronically. Our feedback protocol requires St. Bernadette’s F.R.C. to respond to all client inquiries within 10 business days.
  • Training and Records
    St. Bernadette’s F.R.C. will provide training and ongoing training as required under the Act, to all persons to whom this Policy applies as well as to those persons charged with developing this Policy and related procedures and practices. Content of Training Training will include: A review of the purpose of the Act and requirements of the Standard. A review of the Policy. How to interact and communicate with persons with various types of disabilities. How to interact with persons with a disability who use an Assistive Device or require the assistance of a Service Animal or Support Person. How to use equipment or devices made available on our premises to assist persons with a disability to obtain, use or benefit from our goods and services. What to do if a person with a disability is having difficulty accessing our premises and/or services. Timing of Training Training will be provided to all persons to whom this Policy applies as soon as practicable after he or she is assigned the applicable duties. Documenting Training Records of the training provided, including the training protocol, the dates on which the training is provided and the number of individuals to whom the training is provided shall be maintained in accordance the requirements of the Act.


St. Bernadette’s Family Resource Centre initiated a day program called St. Jude’s Academy of the Arts on December 8, 1997. It was established in response to a need for more effective day programs that provided clients with an inclusive environment with “able” youth. At St. Bernadette’s, we believe that each individual we serve develops best in a welcoming environment within the community. Therefore, we have successfully developed programs where individuals with special needs are part of collaborative learning with “able” peers. Our top priority is to enrich the life experience of each client we serve through programs which focus on personal growth and development of body, mind and soul.

We believe in greater independence through freedom of expression. We aim to empower each participant by allowing them to enhance their own unique gifts.  St. Jude’s success is attributed to our focus on the arts, literacy and the development of life skills. Through our inclusive programs and mentoring, all participants learn and collaborate with each other. St. Jude’s offers continuity in programming once the individual leaves the high school learning environment. This method of learning fosters community education and acceptance of all individuals. This effectively demonstrates our motto, “We Can Live As One”.

Our program has become an effective role model for other day programs within the community. Due to our nurturing and loving environment, we have witnessed many miracles.

Registration Procedures

Those interested in our day program are required to set up an appointment, which will enable the potential client to visit the program site, find out more about what is offered, and complete the registration process.

Upon acceptance, authorization forms are to be signed. The duration of the registration process varies according to the potential client’s needs. All clients are subject to a two-week trail basis to ensure that the program is suitable.


St Jude’s Academy of the Arts
1795 Lawrence Avenue West
North York, Ontario M6L 1E3

(St. Bernard de Clairvaux Hall)

Intersection: Lawrence and Jane


Monday through Friday

9am - 3pm

For information and/or to register, please call
(416) 740-7187

Subsidy available to those who qualify.

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