About us

APPHBM – Family partner

The Association de Parents de Personnes Handicapées de Brome-Missisquoi (APPHBM) is a non-profit organization that brings together parents of youth or adults 12 years of age and older who have an intellectual disability or autism spectrum disorder. We serve members in the greater Brome-Missisquoi region of 21 municipalities..

Our mission

Provide parents, families, guardians, caregivers and loved ones of children, adolescents or adults living with an intellectual disability and/or autism spectrum disorder or other disability (under 18):

  • support and services they need to deal with their own realities and challenges. Among the following activities, but not limited to: reception, listening, reference, advice, representation, accompaniment, information, training, school daycare, respite, etc.
  • appropriate activities, services and support, with the aim of promoting their development, development, autonomy and social participation. Activities, but not limited to: daytime activities, sports and therapeutic recreation, development of various skills and abilities, integration, inclusion and social participation, support, integration and inclusion at work, development of a social network, transition from school to working life, etc.

To raise awareness among the general population, the community, school and business community, as well as the health and social services network, about the realities and needs of families, as well as the realities, needs and potential for social participation of people living with an intellectual disability and/or autism spectrum disorder or other disability (under the age of 18).


The APPHBM has been in existence since 1982. Its work has been based since the very beginning on the volunteer work of parents of people with disabilities and their willingness to work together to help each other and to advance the causes that are dear to them.
It all began in 1981, designated «Année Internationale des personnes handicapées». To contribute to this event and to respond to the request of several parents, the Cowansville Volunteer Centre agrees to sponsor a project to create an association of parents of people with disabilities. For example, the Centre de bénévolat, in collaboration with the Commission scolaire et l’Éducation des adultes, presented the project to the Ministre de l’éducation, who accepted it. The first meeting of the Association took place on November 5, 1981: 15 parents are present. In December 1981 a provisional board of directors was formed. In May 1982, the Association obtained a charter from the Quebec government for a non-profit association. The association then began to create activities such as «Vivre Pleinement» and «Jeux et sports collectifs». Following training for caregivers of disabled children, the respite-keeper service was set up and maintained assiduously until 1994. Between 1987 and 1990, a telephone information service was created to answer questions from parents.
In 1984, a real battle began to obtain speech-language services in the region. The Association urged the Commission scolaire D’Avignon to become more involved in the issue and raise awareness of the issue among parents and teachers. At the annual general meeting on May 17, 1989, Mr. Claude Beauregard, coordinator of THE GAPHRY, informed the meeting that a new project presented by the director of the Granby CLSC had been selected.
In 1991, the project in question led to the opening of the Centre Montérégie de Réadaptation, which would allow several children to benefit from speech therapy, physiotherapy and occupational therapy services.
In 2000, the APPHBM sponsored the social «Club les copains» which aims to allow members aged 16 and over to enjoy leisure activities on a regular basis, to integrate into a strong social network and at the same time to offer parents moments of respite. In the same way, in 2004, the APPHBM set up the «Club des génies» to provide activities for young people aged 6 to 15.
In 2009, the APPHBM came back to life after a period of floating and a year spent reorganizing itself. New members are involved in the Board of Directors and intend to bring the Association closer to its members. A three-year grant from the Fondation Butters allows the Association to provide respite services to parents of people with disabilities.
This period 2009 – 2012 is a key period for the Association, which is stabilizing and strengthening its achievements as well as its partnerships with the community and with stakeholders in the regional health network. A program of lectures on topics of interest to parents of intellectual disability and / or autism spectrum disorder people also emerged during this period.
In 2012, our Association is experiencing a new momentum and celebrates its 30 years of existence with a renewed dynamism, notably by the hiring of a coordinator of intellectual disability and/or autism spectrum disorder activities specializing in therapeutic leisure activities and by the gradual implementation of several innovative projects, in collaboration with the school and community circles. Examples include Saturday respite-youth days, respite-youth weekends, a Ministry-recognized outreach/volunteer program for high school students, adult community workshops, a new after-school daycare for 12-21 year olds!
Around 2012, in order to complement its service offer to 12- 21 year-olds and their parents, the APPHBM is starting a new project during the summer school holidays, namely: a “Specialized Day Camp”. This program, which has had a precarious start, increases its participation from year to year. Thanks to grants from the City of Cowansville, Minitère de la Famille,, Employment-Canada and the support of the management of Massey-Vanier High School, which agrees to lend the space and equipment required for certain activities that can be carried out. In 2019, we had 516 participations spread over 35 days, Monday to Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

In 2013, the APPHBM entered into service agreements with CSSS La Pommeraie (following the framework) to offer daytime activities to adult users in “maintenance of achievement”. These agreements allow us to create as a Parent Association the kind of day activities we want for our children and to assign competent staff to them. The success of the project at the Vignoble de l’Orpailleur encourages us to continue in this direction. Sometime later we moved to the Hameau l’Oasis / Auberge la Belle verte. Following the sale of this property, we had to relocate. From March to December 2017, we occupied two premises: the centre communautaire John-Sleeth and the Fabrique Saint-André in Sutton.

In January 2018, our La Clé des Débrouillards program moved to a 4 ½ apartment located in a duplex on J-A Deragon Street. Participants were more than happy to finally have a place of their own that they could decorate and leave their mark on. The administration office was located a few blocks away. In order to centralize our facilities, we were lucky enough to find a very nice and large room (# 111) for our Clé des Débrouillards activities and a second room (# 112) in the same building for our administrative office. We are now located at 370 rue de la Rivière, in Cowansville. From the first day, we could see the impact on the faces of our participants who find themselves in this beautiful place, all lit up and all in the same room. Our association is committed to providing quality services in order to meet the desire of parents who want rich and busy lives for their children who have become adults, where they can flourish and be happy.

February 27, 2020: arrival in Quebec of the Covid-19 pandemic. Our activities had to be cancelled for several months. From 2021, the cancellation of the loan of the premises at Massey-Vanier High School (day camp) as well as at the CRDI rue des Textiles (respite on Saturday) forced us to question ourselves. The request from parents for respite and from our participants for outings in the community, therefore led us to the conclusion that renting 4 new premises (107, 108, 109 and 110) had become a necessity. These premises are located opposite our large local 111 (Clé des débrouillards). So we moved all our equipment to the same place. From that moment on, it became much easier for stakeholders to organize activities and help each other.

The APPHBM, more than ever a partner of families, involved in its community!

Our Board of Directors

The APPHBM is a not-for-profit organization formed by letters patent under the third part of the Companies Act on May 14, 1982. Its Board of Directors currently consists of six (6) volunteer directors, parents of people living with intellectual disability, autism spectrum disorder, and other active members of the organization.

Rather, the day-to-day management of the Association and all its services and activities is the responsibility of our Managing Director Maurice Ménard.
Here are the board members who were elected at our annual general meeting on Tuesday, May 28, 2019:

  • Nathalie Robitaille, President
  • Marie-Line Bazinet, Vice-president
  • Hélène Goyette, Secretary
  • Joëlle Cyr, Administrator
  • Joanne Hamel, Administrator
  • Laurie Fearon, Administrator

The Board of Directors held nine (9) regular meetings during the year.