An Alberta Society for Citizens with Disabilities.

Chrysalis offers personalized services designed to meet the needs of individuals with disabilities while providing meaningful opportunities for growth and community inclusion. 

With services in Edmonton and Calgary, Chrysalis celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2018. Our Innovative organization uses Human Centered Design as a service delivery model to create opportunities for people by designing programs and services based on individual needs and goals.

Faces of Chrysalis banner
The Faces of Chrysalis


At Chrysalis, we are guided by a vision, where people with disabilities are accepted by and included in society for their ability to contribute and where these individuals have the same rights and privileges as all citizens. We provide personalized services to empower individuals with disabilities to accomplish their employment, volunteer, and recreational goals. This is our passion.


Your donations help ensure that Chrysalis can provide the highest quality programs, providing value, encouraging purpose, and discovering meaning for the individuals we serve. Should you contribute to Chrysalis, your generosity will directly benefit the individuals we serve. Your support helps write their success stories. Your support helps enrich their lives. 

The Human-Centered Design Process


Inspiration, learning and assessment phase


Brainstorming opportunities and solutions

Prototyping & Implementation

Testing and bringing ideas to life

Chrysalis Edmonton staff helping individual

Employment Services at Chrysalis

As a signature program, Employment Services works to match the skills, talents, and abilities of people with disabilities with employers looking to hire dedicated employees to contribute to their company’s mission and success through part-time, full-time, or contract work. The program builds confidence through skill development and helps job seekers find meaningful employment. 

Support for Job Seekers:

  • Receive one-on-one support from a dedicated job coach
  • Learn how to effectively search for jobs
  • Build a compelling resume and cover letter
  • Receive interview support (before, during, and after)
  • Gain insight on developing a career path
  • Find mentorship, job shadow, or work experience opportunities
  • Access weekly “Job Talk” sessions
Calgary Chrysalis outdoor building

Support for Employers:

  • Determine duties and tasks that can be job carved
  • Identify employees that would fit well within the company
  • On-board new employees to increase retention
  • Provide awareness training for your team
  • Regularly check in with supervisors and employees
  • Develop a transition plan to support successful, independent employment
  • Receive additional support as needed

Occupational Therapy

Chrysalis employs an on-site occupational therapist (OT) who completes formalized assessments (cognitive and sensory) to support individuals as they prepare for employment. The OT can:

  • Evaluate and address sensory, motor, and perceptual abilities of the individual as part of a vocational needs assessment
  • Assess the work site for environmental factors, such as noise and clutter, and the sensory, motor, and perceptual requirements of specific work tasks
  • Determine accessibility and safety of the work area
  • Match the client’s abilities and interests with specific job requirements and recommend any necessary supports
  • Perform a task analysis of job requirements and outline the components into a sequence to ensure that multiple helpers follow the same sequence
  • Create programs for skill development necessary for successful job performance
  • Provide additional support as needed
Chrysalis Calgary closeup of exercise equipment

Join The Chrysalis Foundation Board


A Message From Our CEO

Blayne A. James Blackburn

Blayne Blackburn Headshot

In this ever-changing society, the most powerful and enduring brands are built from the heart. They are real and sustainable. Their foundations are stronger because they are built with the strength of the human spirit, not an ad campaign. The companies that are lasting are those that are authentic. – Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks


By definition, a Chrysalis is a safe and supportive environment which fosters growth, development, independence and freedom. Aptly named, our organization provides the opportunity for us to walk with adults with disabilities and assist them in achieving their dreams and aspirations. We are learners and teachers every day. Together we strive to ensure full inclusion and citizenship in society where everyone’s unique strengths, talents and gifts are recognized and contribute in a meaningful way.


Started in 1968 under a federal centennial grant for vocational training, our organization was first known as the Industrial Training and Research Centre. Over time we have evolved to where we are today, a place where people become their best. We offer services to adults 18 years and older with intellectual disabilities, helping them to achieve their employment, recreational, volunteer and other life goals. We create personalized services and individual plans, meaning we tailor our services around each person’s needs. If we don’t have an existing program or service to meet specific needs, we create it. We have many provincially recognized programs which include; a six week personal development course, toastmasters, creative arts programming, dance, music, employment services (job preparation, search, placement and maintenance) and many diverse community recreation and volunteer activities. In 2020, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we recreated how we deliver programs and now offer mobile, virtual and in-facility service streams. We focus on quality of life improvement with defined qualitative and quantitative outcomes. We measure progress continuously and change our approaches as needed. Remarkable things and successes happen every day at Chrysalis. 


In 2021, we celebrate the full adoption of Human Centered Design in Chrysalis. This new service delivery model is based on an innovative scientific engineering methodology used to transform customer experiences. It was developed by thought leaders at IDEO and optimized at Stanford University’s D-School. This game changing model has significantly improved our ability to help clients discover and realize their potential and grow from life’s challenges. We embody the mindsets of design thinking and have adopted them as key tenets of our practices, organization wide. 


Community is everything to us at Chrysalis. Our rich history and success is contributed to and shared by; our staff, generous donors, sector and business partners, our clients, families and loved ones and a broad network of friends and volunteers. We are guided by a Board of Directors who set the strategy for Chrysalis to achieve our mission and vision. A charitable Foundation Board provides their many talents and expertise in fund development and supports Chrysalis’ fundraising activities. 


If you are not already a friend of Chrysalis, we welcome you with open arms into our community. Contact us if you are interested in building a partnership or developing a relationship in some way. Please reach out if we can provide services to you or a loved one. 

Welcome to Chrysalis.

Chrysalis Edmonton Butterfly Banner
Chrysalis butterfly icon

“When I wake up in the morning and I know I am coming to Chrysalis, my heart fills with joy knowing that I’ll be surrounded by beautiful people. Being fully present in the moment is a wonderful feeling each day.”

Donna Cardinal, Community Disability Services Practitioner (Edmonton)

Chrysalis butterfly icon

“I like my job at Chrysalis because of what they do for the citizens with disabilities in Alberta.”

Paul Stuckless, Supervisor, Plastics Division (Edmonton)

Chrysalis butterfly icon

“I love to work at Chrysalis because I’m proud to be part of a team that is dedicated to creating an inclusive society, where everyone is respected and engaged in a meaningful way. At Chrysalis, I believe every small thing I do with great love will make the world a better place.”

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