Kindale began in Armstrong in 1959 as a small school for children with special needs. The original school was the vision of Lydia Boss, a public health nurse serving Armstrong and Enderby. She was aware of a number of children in the area with developmental disabilities, including her own son Gary, who had no access to public education. Lydia presented her ideas to the Armstrong Kinsmen’s club who convinced other members to take up the challenge to make her vision of a special school a reality. A new society was formed and members promoted the ideas and raised funds. Volunteers from the Armstrong Kinsmen Club and the Enderby Lion’s Club, as well as many other people in the community, worked evenings and weekends until the school was completed – in record time. This spirit of ‘community building’ is an integral part of Kindale’s history and this spirit continues in our motto, mandate and philosophy to the present day.
From those humble beginnings as a small school more than 50 years ago, Kindale has now grown into a large Community Living Agency with fulltime, part-time, and casual staff, contractors, and volunteers serving adults and youth with disabilities and their families in most communities throughout the North Okanagan and Columbia Shuswap. The services we offer are determined by the needs, goals, and dreams of the people we serve, identified through their person centred plans. Our day program centres are no longer sheltered workshops, but rather they are meeting places from which persons served participate in community activities, just like everyone else. Employment, too, is integrated and consists of both paid and volunteer opportunities. As we continue to learn from the people we serve, we look forward to further innovation and growth in the decades to come.
A list of historical highlights can be found here.