About Us

The Yellowknife Association for Community Living (YKACL) supports people with intellectual and other disabilities and their families, across their lifetime.  We are here to help them live meaningful lives and be active in all aspects of community life.
We are a non-profit charitable organization and are part of the Canadian Association for Community Living, a national federation of more than 400 provincial, territorial and community partners.

We offer a number of integrated services including:

  • Supported Living, including independent living
  • Employment Services/Employability
  • Literacy Classes and Community Programs
  • Family, Children and Teen Activities and Advocacy
  • Respite Services
  • Skills Training and Employment Development
  • FASD Support Services

Our Mission

To help those with intellectual disabilities and their families to live meaningful lives in supportive communities.

The mission is carried out by:

  • Direct services to clients
  • Public awareness and education
  • Advocacy
  • Mutually supportive partnerships with other organizations
  • Consultation services to other organizations and interest groups throughout the NWT
  • Research into intellectual disabilities and related matters

The Association provides services in seven different programming areas including EmployABILITY, Family Project, FASD Services, Literacy Outreach Centre, Respite, Supported Living and Skills Training & Community Inclusion.

Board of Directors

The Board of Directors consists of elected members who are responsible for establishing the Association’s policies and overall direction. They are also members of Facility, Communications, Fundraising and Policy and Governance Committees.

  • Ben Russo – President
  • Pooja Chugh  – Vice President
  • Catherine Fairbairn – Secretary
  • Chris Cahoon – Treasurer
  • Directors
    Tony Florio
    Esther Rowe
    Karen Lajoie


27th annual Gumboot Rally: May 4, 2019


The suggested team theme for the 27th annual Gumboot Rally is: STAR WARS (Trekkers and other sci-fi folk welcome)
To register your  five-person (or other alien species) squad, contact our protocol droid at 920-2644 or

What is the Gumboot Rally?
The Gumboot rally is the major fundraising event for the Yellowknife Association for Community Living.
Teams of 5 people collect pledges for their team. On the day of the rally, teams dress up and compete against each other in skill testing trials such as the “boot toss” and the “bowl for boots.”
Thanks to the help of our supporters we were able to raise more than $25,000 during the 26th annual Gumboot Rally on May 5, 2018.
We hope to perform just as well this coming spring!

Where does the money go?
YKACL is a charitable organization that supports people with intellectual disabilities.
Funds collected by the rally go to run the services offered by YKACL. These are:

  • Family and Children’s Services including respite
  • Supported Independent Living
  • Skills Training and Community Inclusion
  • Employment Services
  • Literacy Outreach Program

How Can I Help?

Fund UsYour donations make a difference!

We are a registered charitable organization and can provide charitable tax receipts for any donations made. If you have goods or services to donate to the Association, please contact us.

Hire UsLet us help you!


EmployABILITY provides employment support to individuals who self-identify as having a disability. EmployABILITY works with the Yellowknife business community to create training and job opportunities and to promote disability awareness encouraging diversity in the workforce. The program continues its assistance to employees and employers once employment is established.

Skills Training & Community Inclusion

The YKACL Skills Training and Community Inclusion Service provides job training and employment opportunities for adults with disabilities while enhancing their life skills development and literacy skills.

The YKACL Business Services Team
The YKACL Business Services Team offers business services to companies, organizations, government offices and the public.

  • Recycling pick-up
  • Courier delivery
  • Mail preparation
  • Poster distribution
  • Document shredding
  • Special projects (such as assembling luggage tags, removing embroidered stitching, fixing promotional stickers to products and assembling conference info packages

All income generated through the program is paid in wages to the individuals providing the service

Service Volunteers

Volunteers can provide support directly to the association by contributing their time and talents. Some types of service activities include: client engagement, local fundraising, organizational support, construction, repairs and maintenance.
To become a volunteer, we request that you fill out and submit a volunteer application form with a copy of your resume and a police background check. We will invite you in for an interview to discuss how you can best serve the association.

Support Groups

If you have a talent, skill or presentation you would like to contribute to our Peer Support Group (For older youth and adults affected by FASD), the YaY Fusion! Group (Youth aged 13 to 21 who have special needs) or the Young Adult Group, please contact us to make arrangements.

Wheelchair Rental
YKACL has a new wheelchair available for short-term rental to Yellowknife residents.
The chair is available for one or two weeks at a time. (Payment to the Association by donation!)
You may wish to rent the chair if you have a family member recovering from surgery or a visiting relative with mobility obstacles, for example.
For more info, please call 920-2644 or email .