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April 7, 2011 / Summer Street Blog

Changing demands. Evolving strategies.

In 1968 there were few, if any opportunities for intellectually disabled adults in Pictou County once they left the public school system. A small group of motivated parents got together with a vision of providing more for their nine children, Parkdale Activity Centre was formed and eventually it evolved into Summer Street. In 2008 when we celebrated our 40th Anniversary, we were serving 145. In 2011-2012 it’s anticipated that we will work with 191 adults!

That’s quite an increase and due to a large degree on new directions in programming and the success of our person-oriented philosophy. It’s also due to other factors including changes in society, education systems, health and community services. Strategic Planning is an ongoing and key initiative of the Summer Street Society and one of the ways we ensure that we are staying relevant and meeting new and ever-changing demands.

This winter a new Strategic Plan was established and some of our priorities include: consistent diligence and improvement to how we are impacting the quality of life of individuals based on the Personal Outcomes philosophy; evaluation of trends and changes in client segments as well as outreach opportunities and implications; the establishment of business strategies for our core in-house businesses; and overall improvements to internal and external communications.

We also revisited and revised our mission and vision statements. In both cases the importance of “engaging our community” was seen as critical in moving forward. As demand continues to grow, so does the importance of networking, partnering and working cooperatively. The good news is that we would never have made it this far without a highly supportive, willing and engaged community.

The vision of Summer Street is to achieve excellence in helping our clients reach their goals and engaging our community to create a better life for people with intellectual disability.

The mission of Summer Street is to help people with intellectual disability define their goals through exposure, experience, education and networking. Summer Street works to attain these goals by:

  • providing academic, life skills and vocational training;
  • employing people through social enterprise, facilitating community employment and engaging our community.

We partner with people with intellectual disability, those closest to them and the community to create opportunity and improve quality of life.


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