About Beyond 21
At Beyond 21 we are dream chasers. We partner with adults who have a developmental disability to identify their dreams and empower them to learn the skills and build the connections they need to achieve them!
To enable adults with disabilities to live connected, respected, and contributing to our community.
- To create and offer uniquely structured programs that are meaningful, inclusive, and community-based.
- To highlight and maximize each participant’s potential.
- To create a safe environment where participants can thrive and grow socially, physically, emotionally, and intellectually.
- To connect participants with the skills and community knowledge they need to succeed in their futures.
- To build and foster local partnerships that help support adults with disabilities in the community.
- To promote and encourage lifelong learning for adults with disabilities.
- To provide participants’ families with peace of mind and respite.
- Honesty & Respect
- Empathy & Caring
- Opportunity & Empowerment
- Security & Safety
- Excellence & Accountability
- Meaningful Engagement
- Inclusivity & Genuinity
Founder Tish Humphries’ daughter Emma was born with a rare chromosome disorder called mosaic trisomy 9. When Emma turned 18, Tish became aware aware of the lack of support for young adults with disabilities who leave formal secondary education by the age of 21.
A grassroots group of concerned parents and educators was formed and began meeting to discuss prospects to support these individuals and their families.
A town hall was held in partnership with the Upper Canada Leger Centre for Education (UCLC) and the Upper Canada District School Board (UCDSB) to discuss concerns and seek input from the community.
With over 100 attendees, this town hall brought to light that this issue was systemic and Beyond 21 was born to meet this need.
Beyond 21 Interim Executive Director, Kevin Cooper, and retired principal, Gary Atchison, visited similar programs through Ontario including Crossing All Bridges (Brantford), Dreams (Markham), PADDLE (North Bay), and ABLE (Aurora).
Commonalities across these programs became the basis for Beyond 21’s program structure. It became clear that an emphasis on community integration and partnership, as well as a strong volunteer base, would be important for Beyond 21.
A working group was formed and began meeting on a monthly basis to better understand the issues and develop a plan of action. General Vanier, a Cornwall high school set to close, was chosen as the “Hub” from which Beyond 21’s programs would be implemented.
Soon after, Beyond 21 became incorporated as a not-for-profit organization, and formed a Board of Directors with Tish Humphries as Board President.
Beyond 21 has grown substantially over the past decade thanks to support from staff, community partners, volunteers, donors, and most of all, our participants and their families.
Since 2011, Beyond 21 began by supporting just 10 families out of one room, to now supporting over 50 families at our new, permanent home at 1924 Pitt Street.
The grand opening of Beyond 21’s new Hub, “a Place to Belong” took place in December 2020. This newly-renovated space is fully-accessible and purposefully designed to meet the sensory and physical needs of adults who have a developmental disability.
We are excited to welcome participants at our new Hub in early 2021! To learn more about the “a Place to Belong” Capital Campaign, click here.
Thank you for your interest in Beyond 21!