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History

Breaking Down Barriers opened its doors on February 25th of 1985 as a resource centre for people with disabilities. BDB was the first to establish information and referral services for people with Disabilities in the Georgian Triangle. The organization was founded by a group of concerned citizens- Kathryn Bloomfield, Betty Meacher, and Chris Bouwkamp- who felt that people who lived between Barrie and Owen Sound needed a place to turn that would help them to address the issues they had in their lives as people with disabilities. Back then, the doors of what came to be affectionately known as BDB opened, closed, and reopened three or four times according to the availability of funding. In the early years, most of the funding was for projects. These projects included a study of accessibility in the Georgian Triangle, a study on transportation needs and a job seekers club for people with disabilities. To keep the doors open, BDB had to do some fundraising and developed an annual truck/car raffle which ran from 1991 – 2006 and successfully raised funds for the organization. In 1989, BDB received permanent core funding from the Province of Ontario through the Ministry of Health and began offering Information and Referral Services

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