About Elves

Elves Mission

Elves  provides individuals with severe disabilities and special needs with a unique, individualized educational or day program to promote their maximum development and to enhance the quality of life of the individuals and their families within a supportive and caring environment.


Elves Vision

The vision of Elves Special Needs Society is to offer developmentally appropriate activities that are foundational to the physical, cognitive, and social wellbeing of every individual.


Elves Values

  • Fostering supportive, inclusive opportunities for all children, youth, and adults.
  • Facilitating learning across the lifespan.
  • Promoting family centred services, and family wellbeing.
  • Supporting service excellence and professional learning.

Elves History

Since it was first established over 40 years ago, Elves has always been about providing programming that supports both growth and learning for all ages and abilities.

In January 1973, Elves began in an upper room of Pineview Residences  with only three staff and seven children thanks to the vision of our first Executive Director, Sheila Perry, and the parents wanting more for their children.

Today, Elves has grown to 200 staff serving over 240 learners across three facilities in Edmonton, Alberta.


The “Elves” Name

For those wondering about the unique name, Elves is in honour of our benefactor, Milton E. Elves.  He was an Alberta entrepreneur, a pioneer in the promotion of modern technology, and  a valuable community member who attributed his success to “honesty and hard work.”

After his passing in 1972, his will stipulated that funds be assigned to the construction or establishment of a centre for children with disabilities.

It was through his estate that Elves was able to purchase its first facility in 1976. This was also made possible through the Government of Alberta providing a tract of land, as well as many private foundations/groups donating equipment and furnishings.

To this day, we still provide services within our first building at Elves Child Development Centre on 10825-142 Street.


Elves Today

At Elves, possibility can become ability. The key is a partnership between the learner, their family, and our experts in the field of learning and development. Family is critical to an individual’s success, and instrumental to progress across a lifespan.

Elves’ professional programs are individualized and aimed at supporting every learner in achieving success in life.

Elves serves all ability levels, and specializes in supporting learners with autism, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome and fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) from ages 2.5 into late adulthood.

Elves is much more than a program provider. It’s a community that learners can call their own.  Our programs are designed to meet learner needs, promote their growth, and ensure every day is a great day!

We offer the following services within Edmonton, Alberta:

  1. Early Childhood Services – For learners ages 2.5 to 6 years of age with a diagnosis such as a speech delay, Down syndrome, fine/gross motor delay, autism, fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD), and cerebral palsy.
  2. Grades 1-12 – For learners ages 6-20 with severe multiple disabilities who are medically fragile.
  3. FASD Respite Program – For learners ages 3-8 with a diagnosis or query of FASD, while also providing parents with time and resources to meet their family’s needs.
  4. Adult Day Program  – Offered to learners ages 20 and up with severe, multiple disabilities who require meaningful, engaging opportunities for growth.
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