In 1959, Dr. Ross Cairns, along with several other parents in the community realized the need for a special school for handicapped children. The group started a school using the Beaver Bennet Scout Hut for the classroom and Dorothy Cairns as their teacher. The organization, the Vegreville Association for the Mentally Retarded (VAMR), was formed. Word spread quickly and handicapped children from surrounding communities soon filled the small classroom. It wasn't long before space became a problem; thus, Dr. Cairns School was built and opened in 1963.
The Association was growing rapidly and looking to expand. When St. Martin's convent was destroyed by fire, the Association decided that the land the convent was located on, would be ideal for future expansion and bought it. The next big step was the opening of the first residence in 1972. The residence was home to eight children and so named Children's Residence. Another home opened in 1976, this being the East Residence, which housed six adults. Through the years the Association continued to grow, as did the children attending the school. In 1978, a group of parents and community members got together to discuss what was going to happen to those individuals who were getting too old for school. The group decided a sheltered workshop was the way to go and enlisted the help of the Vegreville Rotary Club. The One Hundred Ten (110) Workshop opened its doors in the Spring of 1979.
Around the same time, Dr. Cairns School was taken over by the county, making the Vegreville Association for the Handicapped (formerly VAMR), strictly residential services. Many of the residents of the Vegreville Association for the Handicapped, attended the 110 Workshop including six adults from the newly opened West Residence in 1982. In 1983, the 110 Workshop purchased the building they had been renting and traded the convent land for the vacant lots adjoining their building. The workshop continued to expand and in 1985 it underwent renovations and reopened as the 110 Vocational Training Centre. The RO-10 Bargain Centre also opened that year and was a joint venture between the 110 Vocational Training Centre and the Rotary Club.
Integration was becoming popular and those children left at Dr. Cairn's school were integrated into the public school in the fall of 1987. The year 1987 saw the closure of Dr. Cairns School at the end of the school year. The 90's brought great change to the Vegreville Association for the Handicapped. In 1990, the Children's Residence closed and two new homes opened, namely South Residence and 45th Avenue Residence, with three residents in each. 1991 was an exciting year with the opening of 51st Street Home. This home, which was specifically designed for the physically challenged, was the result of a joint effort between Vegreville Association for the Handicapped and the families of a few physically handicapped individuals. Although the home only had two residents when it opened, it quickly filled to its maximum capacity of four residents. In 1992, the Vegreville Association for Living in Dignity (VALID), was formed as a result of the amalgamation of the Vegreville Association for the Handicapped and the 110 Vocational Training Centre.
In 1995, VALID and the Town of Vegreville formed a partnership by setting up the Vegreville and District Recycling Depot. The Depot was housed at the back of the old Heather Curling Club. In 1997, the Training Centre was renovated and officially reopened. Pot-O-Gold was relocated to the front of the Training Centre to join the Community Access Supports Program located in the back of the building. In January 06, 2000, VALID was accredited by the Alberta Association of Rehabilitation Centres. This three year accreditation demonstrated a commitment to ensure quality services and recognized the supports we provide to individuals with developmental disabilities.
In 2001, VALID realigned residential services to better meet the individuals' needs, interests and abilities. The 51st Street home is now better utilized and South residence was closed. West residence was restored into its original duplex structure with two separate programs. East residence utilized its downstairs suite, thus splitting East residence into two separate and distinct programs.
In July 2001, the Family Intervention Services (FIS) program was implemented as VALID secured a contract with the Sakaigun Asky Child and Family Services Authority, now Region 5, Children's Authority. This was a great accomplishment as VALID now provides a wide array of services such as In-Home Care and Family Support to surrounding areas.
In April 2002, VALID was successful in securing a contract for Early Intervention program. This program is called "First Step" and was managed by Family Intervention Services program. First Step worked with families prior to child welfare involvement. The First Step Program was later discontinued.
On October 1, 2002, the Cafeteria Services located at the Alberta Research Council opened its doors. The cafeteria offered food services training to persons with disabilities, and was an additional source of income.
In 2006, VALID made the decision to end their contract with the Alberta Research Council. In the Summer of 2007, the Community Access Supports Program moved to the VALID Aministration Office.
In May 2009, VALID received their 3 Year Certification from ACDS. This Certification expired in May of 2012.
On September 23, 2009 at VALID's AGM, a presentation was made for the Transfer of Ownership of the Dr. Cairns School Property. Gus Borzel, Chair, presented the Mayor of Vegreville, with a cheque for $1.00.
In September 2011, a Four Plex was purchased which resulted in an increase in the number of residential services that were provided by VALID. This new model is able to provide a unique service.
In January 2013, VALID received their 3 Year Re-Certification from ACDS.
In July 2013, VALID purchased property on the corner of 48 Avenue and 49th Street.