Tetra Society’s Fully Accessible Workshop – Thursdays 10:30am-2:30pm

The Tetra Society's Vancouver workshop is open to people with disabilities.  Over the past year, a number of people with a range of disabilities have completed projects in the shop.


The workshop provides a unique opportunity to learn and practice craft skills in a 620-square-foot, fully accessible workshop.  The shop is located in the Blusson Spinal Cord Centre (818 West 10th St., Vancouver) and has power saws, drills, sanders, wood burning kits and a variety of hand tools.

“We encourage people to do whatever they can physically do,” explained Tetra volunteer George Shipley. “We are there to advise and instruct people, and to guarantee safety when using the tools.

“Some people that come along to the workshop are just curious to see what there is, and some are there because it will give them broader experience, and some have a specific project in mind. In addition, there’s definitely a social aspect.   Woodworking projects that have been completed in the past year include a birdhouse, woodburning pictures, painted cutout figures, a rack for holding earrings, a step stool, picture frames, small tables, a chair and coat racks. 

Sessions are currently underway, every Thursday between 10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m., with time for a lunch break.

New participants are welcome to join any time for what typically becomes a four-week program. Shipley explained that their 1:1 instructor-to-client ratio allows them to stagger start dates in this way.

Program Info

What:  Woodworking
Where: 818 W. 10th Avenue, Vancouver 
When: Thursdays, 10:30 am to 2:30 pm
How much: $10/session
Who to contact: George Shipley at 604-596-9404 or george_shipley@telus.net   


Elaine’s story

Opportunities to create art in a new medium are opening doors for Elaine Lee.
But then, as Elaine is proud to say, she’s spent her whole life overcoming obstacles. “With hands as tiny as a newborn baby, nobody knew what I’d be capable of – not even I knew,” she said.

“Born with a rare condition known as osteogenesis imperfect – known as brittle bones – I was never expected to live past the age of two. I spent my first five years living in the hospital where I baffled doctors, family and friends by overcoming every fathomable challenge.”  

RCDLast year Lee got to try woodwork through the Tetra’s woodworking shop, and one of her decorative projects is pictured here.

“Never in a million years did I ever imagine that I would be getting down and dusty on a scroll saw, electric drill, banging nails, creating everything from small wooden animals, designing unique benches and making pretty pictures with wood burning tools,” she said.