Durham College’s new Social Impact Hub receives more than $300,000 grant from the College and Community Social Innovation Fund

Research to focus on addressing issues that impact parents with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities 

Oshawa, ON – Durham College’s (DC) Office of Research Services, Innovation and Entrepreneurship (ORSIE) is pleased to announce it has received a SSHRC College and Community Social Innovation Fund (CCSIF) Grant for over $300,000.

Awarded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the funds will support DC’s recently launched social innovation applied research centre, the Social Impact Hub, in developing a model of support that is proactive and addresses the social issues that impact parents with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities (ID/DD).

Designed in response to their needs, the project will identify and remove barriers for children, youth, and families impacted by ID/DD by seeking their feedback, along with input from key partners to create a model that addresses the obstacles they face, while building the capacity of the service providers supporting these families.

The project is being led by DC professors Kay Corbier and Amanda Cappon, who both teach in the School of Health & Community Services.  “Parents play a critical role in child development, especially in the early years,” said Amanda Cappon, project co-director. “As individuals with ID/DD and cognitive challenges become parents, they may require individualized supports to learn skills such as diapering, feeding and bedtime routines, to foster a safe and healthy environment. This in turn helps avoid removal of the child from the family home. Unfortunately, research has shown skills-building supports are not always appropriate or available to these members of our community.”

This research project also directly supports the redesign of the Child Welfare System in Ontario. By incorporating the voices of parents with ID/DD challenges, and then creating a model that service providers can use to address those barriers and deliver assistance, trauma can be avoided by preserving the family unit.

“We are very grateful for the support of Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and the CCSIF Fund,” said Debbie McKee Demczyk, dean, ORSIE. “This project is a prime example of why we launched the Social Impact Hub – so Durham College can leverage faculty expertise, student talent and strong community partnerships to identify creative solutions to complex social challenges through leading-edge social innovation projects and initiatives.”

To learn more about the Social Impact Hub visit www.durhamcollege.ca/socialimpacthub.


About Durham College

With campuses in Oshawa and Whitby, Durham College (DC) offers over 11,000 full-time students access to more than 140 post-secondary programs, including four honours bachelor degree and nine apprenticeship programs.

DC enables students to develop career-ready skills for the ever-changing job market by offering an exceptional college education. With a focus on experiential learning, led by experienced faculty, through field placements, applied research, co-ops and other hands-on opportunities, DC grads are known for having the skills and knowledge employers need.

At the Oshawa campus, the Centre for Collaborative Education brings together local, Indigenous and global communities, featuring the Durham College Spa, Global Classroom and interprofessional simulation and anatomy labs. The campus is also home to several of the college’s applied research centres, including the AI Hub, Centre for Cybersecurity Innovation and Mixed Reality Capture Studio. Additionally, the flexible, fully automated, and industrial-grade Integrated Manufacturing Centre serves as a model of the new standards in education in advanced manufacturing, mechatronics and engineering.

At DC’s Whitby campus, construction has begun on the new Skills Training Centre. Designed to shine a spotlight on skilled trades training, innovation and education, this building will expand the college’s capacity to provide students with hands-on training, access to simulators and other forms of instruction in shop labs for carpentry, HVAC, welding, elevating devices, crane operation, automotive, millwright and plumbing, among others.

The campus also features the W. Galen Weston Centre for Food, which includes the award-winning Bistro ’67, a full-service, teaching-inspired restaurant, and Pantry, a retail store featuring food grown and prepared by students in the college’s horticulture, culinary and cook apprenticeship programs.