Daily Herald Tribune Articles... 1980's

What's happening: Barrydale Dorm closes as children move to group homes. The organization changes its name to “Grande Prairie and District Association for the Mentally Handicapped” as a move toward “non labeling” language.

Swan Industries buys the local bottle depot licence and opens on 124th Street, in the north end of the city. It is the first public step reflecting a belief in the productivity of persons with developmental disabilities. It is intended to run as a competitive business, with no financial involvement from any government source. The success of the first year of operation indicates the capability of the organization to hold more fiscal responsibility for its own future.

Swan Industries moves away from “hobby” products such as picnic tables and ceramics and proceeds to bid on and win its first competitively bid contracts. AGT and Dow Chemical become its biggest customers. The woodshop moves to a new building at 8702 113 St., its current location, along with the bottle depot, administration and related programs.

The local Grande Prairie economy collapses and every person Swan Industries has been able to help loses their job, the result being a commitment to never again lose control of all the economic factors affecting client employment outcomes.

The Association becomes the first in northern Alberta to learn and implement “Personal Planning” as the driving force of its services to persons with developmental disabilities.

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