Winnifred Stewart Association's Story

Winnifred and Parker Stewart

Winnifred and Parker Stewart

Mrs. Winnifred Mary Stewart was a very determined woman who had a son named Parker, born with a developmental disability. She wanted to give her son every possible chance to grow and develop to his full potential, but she encountered obstacles and resistance from a society that, at the time, felt children like Parker were lost causes.

Winnifred strongly believed that people with developmental disabilities had more to offer to society than society was prepared to offer them-a revolutionary thought at that time. Along with a small group of parents, Winnifred started the Edmonton Association for the Mentally Handicapped and the Winnifred Stewart School, which was the first of its kind in Canada. At its peak, the school served over 450 students, until 1982 when children with disabilities were integrated into the regular school system.

Original Association building in 1950s

Original Association building in 1950s

Today, Winnifred Stewart Association (WSA) carries on the legacy started by Winnifred, and the spirit of its remarkable namesake continues to live on through the organization. WSA has come a long way from its early days as a school, and it continues to build on Winnifred's work of helping people with developmental disabilities. More than 200 people are currently involved in the Winnifred Stewart Association's residential, community recreation, and volunteerism and employment support programs.

Secret Edmonton: The Legacy of Winnifred Stewart

A documentary filmed and produced by Spotlight Productions and supported by Telus.  


Strength, Vision and Courage

Strength, Vision and Courage Winnifred Stewart Cover

"Strength, Vision and Courage: The Story of the Winnifred Stewart Association" is now available.

Read about WSA's early years and its continued growth over 50 years. Share in the triumphs of individuals with developmental disabilities as they stretch their wings and become part of the community. Filled with photos and notable moments, this book captures their strength, courage, and successes and will undoubtedly capture every reader's heart in the process.

Purchase your copy today: $15 GST, available by calling 780-453-6707 or ordering via email.