The centre will be a one-stop place for information and services for children and adults with autism spectrum disorders and other people with developmental disabilities in B.C.
The facility has technology that lets individuals and families connect to information and services wherever they live. There are plans to create eight mini-hubs in B.C. to further connect families to services. The first of these will be in Prince George and Kelowna, followed by one on Vancouver Island.
The main hub in Richmond is a modern, bright building with features for special needs individuals and families throughout its 58,000 sq.ft. of space. Among them is a 200-seat auditorium with broadcast capabilities that will be one of the ways families living outside the Lower Mainland can stay in touch.
The Richmond centre was largely funded by the provincial government after former premier Gordon Campbell pledged $20 million toward the cost, a commitment that Premier Christy Clark kept. The Pacific Autism Family Network raised another $11.4 million including a $5-million donation from David Patchell-Evans, founder and CEO of GoodLife Fitness.