FASlink Fetal Alcohol Disorders Society


Contact Us

2448 Hamilton Road,
Bright's Grove, Ontario
Canada N0N 1C0

Phone: (519) 331-6408


URL:  http://www.faslink.org
URL: http://www.acbr.com


Biographical Abstract

Bruce Ritchie
Moderator, FASlink

Bruce is a single father, the biological and adoptive parent of a son, diagnosed with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome as an infant. Although there are still challenges, early diagnosis and intensive intervention have clearly worked. His son, after graduating from high school as an Ontario Scholar and with the Principal's Gold Honour Award, is now studying online for his BA.

Bruce is the recipient of the St. Michael's Hospital "Award for Pioneer Work in the Area of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder". St. Michael's Hospital is a teaching hospital affiliated with the University of Toronto.

Bruce was a founding director of the Fetal Alcohol Support Network in 1991 and was one of the first members of CCSA's FASlink. In early 1999 the Canadian Centre for Substance Abuse could no longer fund FASlink. Rather than let this critical support system die, Bruce took it over and personally provided the hardware, software, Internet services, and the funding.

FASlink has become the primary Canadian Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders information, support, advocacy and communications resource. FASlink serves parents (birth, foster, adoptive and grandparents), caregivers, adults with FASD, doctors, teachers, social workers, lawyers, students and government policy makers across Canada and worldwide. FASlink's Internet Home Page serves more than 400,000 people annually in addition to countless on-line searches of the more than 130,000 FASD related documents in the FASlink Archives. FASlink is in the top listings on Google for the term "fetal alcohol". FASlink does not accept funding from the beverage alcohol industry.

In the summer of 2007, Bruce spent 4 months and 22,000 km traveling coast to coast on the Great FASD Horseback Ride and Trek across Canada to raise public awareness of FASD. The route took him from Bright's Grove, ON to Halifax, NS to Victoria, BC and back to Bright's Grove, ON from May 10th to September 1st. His son, David, joined him June 22nd for the balance of the Ride after his Grade 11 final exams. The journey took them through many events in small towns and large cities as well as into Canada's wilderness.

During the trek, he was presented with two Eagle Feathers. To be given an eagle feather is the highest honor that is presented within the First Nations. One feather is to be worn on the hat and the other is for smudge, the traditional sacred purification ceremony. They are an indication of the high value placed on our mission.

Métis Sash. Presented by the Métis Nation to an individual it wishes to honor.

Bruce designs knowledge management systems and is a life-long advocate for children’s issues. He publishes the FASlink website, CD’s and other educational material and is Moderator of the very active on-line discussion forum that shares about 50 letters daily with the members. The FASlink Discussion Forum has been the primary communications vehicle for International FAS Day, organized and sponsored by FASWorld. He also deals with many direct queries from the general public and speaks regularly at seminars and conferences.

He has operated his own technology and imaging based businesses since 1972, established precedents in family law and courtroom procedure, was a charter member of Family Mediation Canada, and is a published researcher, author, photographer, artist and musician. Proceeds from his artworks and music help fund FASlink.

He has served for many years on School Councils and has been active in youth services, such as Scouts Canada and Harmony for Youth, as well as serving on the Board of Directors of the International Symphony Orchestra. As a youth, he worked on an archaeological expedition to the Yukon Territory.

"Let Life be a passionate journey in service to humanity. For if Death is our common destination, our only hope for Immortality lies in the hearts and minds of those whose lives we have touched."