FASlink Fetal Alcohol Disorders Society
The TRIUMF Project

The TRIUMF Project

An individual’s place, and success, in society is almost entirely determined by neurological functioning. Many of society’s most persistent problems stem from a single source – pregnant women drinking alcohol causing neurological damage to the child. The injured child is unable to meet the demands of parents, family, peers, school, career, adherence to rules, and goes through a lifetime of failures. Often the neurological damage goes undiagnosed, but not unpunished.

Our Mission - Teaching and Research for the Identification, Understanding and Management of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders.

The TRIUMF Project is a concept proposal for a series of self-sustaining residential village / farm / campground / rehab and conference centres specializing in Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders and other disabilities.


The process begins with diagnosis, preferably as an infant, but more likely as an assessment referral by a school or the courts. Many referrals will come through adoptive and foster parents who have struggled with a child who does not respond to normal behavioral interventions. Formal diagnosis must be made through a specialized clinic such as the Fetal Alcohol Diagnostic Clinic at St. Michael's Hospital, Toronto, Ontario.

The diagnosis includes a complete physical examination, personal history review, caregiver interviews and a series of adaptive tests to determine functionality in a variety of areas. From those results, a multi-disciplinary team develops a plan, accessing suitable existing resources within the community and developing other interventions where advisable. In some cases, the diagnostic results and recommendations will form part of a pre-trial or pre-sentence assessment. A key objective is to identify women who are at risk of producing additional FASD children and to develop effective intervention strategies.

Although FASD and its sub-diagnoses is a medical diagnosis, recommendations and referrals are rarely medical in nature. Many referrals center on education-related issues. These can range broadly because there is such a wide variation in disabilities among affected individuals. Referrals are directed toward existing community-based programs and resources that are not necessarily FASD-specific, but can still meet the family's needs.

Early FASD diagnosis has been shown to be a strong protective factor against secondary disabilities such as mental health problems, dropping out of school, trouble with the law and substance abuse. After diagnosis, parents often find that their ability to cope with the child's behavior changes dramatically when they understand that the problems are most likely based on organic brain damage, rather than the child's choice to be inattentive or uncooperative.

Professional and Caregiver Training

The TRIUMF Project will operate training facilities and seminars for physicians and staff at CHC's, teachers, social workers, police officers, corrections officers, lawyers and judges as well as FASD oriented parenting courses. Children with FASD are very high needs and require very unique parenting and teaching skills. TRIUMF facilities will be able to provide education and work experience for students in university and community college.

The TRIUMF Project will work closely with Provincial and local FASD organizations to assure they are the primary focus of FASD family and community support. They have the on-the-ground experience and can provide local child advocacy support and local training support. They will also facilitate local parent support networks and access to Internet support groups, such as FASlink.

The TRIUMF Village and Farm

will be a self-sustaining, working village / farm / campground / conference & rehab center. Individuals with FASD are targets for predators and the unscrupulous. They are followers, easily misled, conned and set-up in the normal urban environment. They act impulsively and don’t understand consequences. They are the "pigeons". There is a need for longer term facilities with various levels of specialized residential care and security, special education, job training and career opportunities. Parents of children with disabilities are deeply concerned about their child's long-term future, particularly after the parents can no longer physically care for them or have passed away.

TRIUMF Villages are designed to be self-supporting and revenue generating after initial start-up. They will include farming, light manufacturing, rehab (particularly for pregnant women with their families), camping, entertainment and conference facilities. This is NOT an institution. It is a "theme park" designed first for those with disabilities and then for the general public. TRIUMF facilities are designed to be run by those with disabilities and to attract revenue from the general public.

Resident Education and Training

Individuals with FASD learn quite differently from the way the traditional schools teach. Emphasis will be on life and work skills. Adaptive technologies, such as computer assisted learning, will be emphasized. Teaching will use both an indoor school setting and hands-on experience in various enterprises. Abstract concepts will be converted to concrete learning systems. Much of the construction at TRIUMF will be done by the residents themselves as they learn a variety of skills, under close supervision.


Individuals with FASD often do very well with computer skills. Computers will play a major role, allowing students to progress at their own speed and repeat the lessons as often as needed. The structured, repetitive nature of the computer is ideal as a teaching tool. The computer reduces their over stimulating 360° environment to a manageable monitor which never tires of teaching them. The Internet will be a vital part of the facilities. An intranet will be installed on-site. The residents will participate on a listserv with other FASD'ers and caregivers across North America. There they can develop pen pals in a safe environment.

Becoming Self-Supporting

Tourists, local visitors, corporate and organization conferences and contract services to various agencies will provide on-site revenue. Outside sales of production not consumed internally will generate additional revenue. Bequests by people concerned with the issues of FASD, and possibly their own child's future, will also be important. This will be a thriving enterprise full of training and career opportunities, on a level playing field. It is a cooperative venture where the key message is helping each other to succeed.

The facility will be designed to be as accessible as possible for residents and visitors with disabilities. As the facilities will be designed to be fully accessible, TRIUMF would be ideal to pair physically handicapped adults (with teaching & mentoring skills) with an adolescent or adult with FASD.

Energy Efficiency

The facilities will be designed to be as energy efficient as possible, including the use of wind, water and solar energy and renewable fuels processed to synthetic gas in a high temperature plasma chamber. The buildings will be well insulated and fully sensored for light, heating and cooling efficiency.

The Restaurant will provide most meals for the residents and will be a profit centre for visitor meals and for attracting traffic to the Gift Shops.

Farming will provide training, a career and revenue for TRIUMF and the residents. In addition to raising animals which provide eggs, milk, wool and other renewable products, we will use hydroponic equipment to grow high value cash crops in greenhouses. Resident housing will be attached to the greenhouses. This will provide a more pleasant year around environment, sheltered connection of the main buildings and energy economies. An integrated environment will be more natural for the residents. Fish farming will raise a variety of fish, some in the greenhouse / hydroponics operations and some outdoors in ponds.

The Conference Centre and Cabins will be revenue generating and will cater to organization and company retreats as well as village recreational functions. When not in use by a conference, the cabins will be available for visiting families and for respite.

A wheelchair accessible Campground will be developed. The campground will be available to family visitors and the general public. Many adults with FASD come from adoptive homes where children with other disabilities are fostered and adopted.

A Rehab Centre for pregnant mothers (and their children) will be available. It is likely some / many of the existing children will have been affected in utero and this would be a good place to diagnose and help start to build their futures. The mothers too, may have FASD and need to live in this safer environment. Family facilities would be available. This facility could help break the cycle of multi-generational FASD.

The Village Shops will be in an enclosed mall (with pioneer theme). Goods made on-site by the residents will be sold there and supplemented with other arts, crafts and souvenirs from outside, particularly from northern reserves. The residents will produce a range of products, such as:
Specialty gift items Herbs & spices Natural medicines
Native clothing Native crafts Wool products
Screen printing Painting Cabinetry
Antique reproductions Lapidary / jewelry Jams & preserves
Candles Toys Sculpture
Pottery Candy Stained glass
Christmas ornaments Poetry on plaques & household items Wholesale novelties for the tourist trade shops.
Cheese Beef & fish jerky Inspirational gifts
Contract assembly Wrought iron Bulk re-packaging
Rock & mineral collections Science Kits Fine lath cedar strip canoes


Safety and security are major issues with FASD. This will be a wired village. Each potential candidate will be carefully screened to assure they are not a danger to the other residents.

Profit Sharing

The residents will become shareholders in their own ventures. Profits will be managed to provide financial stability for TRIUMF and long term financial security for the individuals as well as immediate reward for their efforts. Funds would be managed to maximize the residents' accessibility to entitlements.

Fund Raising

We need your help. Fund Raising is critical, to provide start-up capital, operating reserves and to allow project duplication. Whether you can help through money, gifts-in-kind, center-of-influence contacts, or volunteer services, we need you to help make TRIUMF a reality.

  • corporate sponsorships
  • philanthropic organizations
  • individual donations
  • bequests
  • gifts-in-kind
  • government funding, including fee for service contracts
  • infomercials

The TRIUMF Project
2448 Hamilton Road
Bright's Grove, Ontario, Canada N0N 1C0
Phone & Fax (519) 869-8026
E-Mail: info@faslink.org
Website: http://www.faslink.org