Who is Muki Baum?

Michael “Muki” Baum was born with cerebral palsy and a severe hearing impairment. When he was five months old, his parents were advised by his doctor to put him in an institution, because he would be “a piece of meat you will carry with you all your life.” Contrary to that doctor’s assessment, Muki developed and evolved to lead a rich, fulfilling and independent life despite his severe physical and auditory challenges.

Muki inspired his mother to dedicate her life to supporting other families so that their children with disabilities would not fall through the cracks of the education and healthcare systems. Dr. Nehama Baum founded the Muki Baum Association (operating name: Muki Baum Treatment Centres) in 1979 and the MukiBaum Accessibility Foundation in 2011. In 2016 the Foundation was renamed the MukiBaum Accessibility Centre.

Muki has spent his life working tirelessly for change. Shoppers from downtown and west Toronto will recognize Muki from his fundraising efforts in these communities. Over the past 24 years, Muki has personally raised over $600,000 for programs benefiting children and adults with complex disabilities and their families. In 2013, he received the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal in recognition of his contributions to his community. Find out more about how you can Match Muki!

How can I become a volunteer?

Volunteers are an essential part of our programs, and a great opportunity to learn new skills while making a difference in the lives of people with complex disabilities. Please fill out our volunteer form and we will be in touch soon.

How can I make a donation?

Thank you for your support! To make an online donation, click here, or call us at 416-630-2222.

Does the MukiBaum Accessibility Centre receive government funding?

No. As a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), we do not receive government funding. We rely on support from the community, including organizations, foundations and individuals.

What is the difference between the MukiBaum Treatment Centres and the MukiBaum Accessibility Centre?

Dr. Nehama Baum founded the Muki Baum Association in 1979. After over 30 years as the executive director, she stepped down to establish the MukiBaum Accessibility Foundation in 2011. in 2016 the Foundation was renamed the MukiBaum Accessibility Centre. The MukiBaum Treatment Centres receive funding from the Ontario government as a transfer-payment agency. Unlike the Treatment Centres, the MukiBaum Accessibility Centre is an NGO (Non-Governmental Organization), and, as a result, does not receive government funding.

The MukiBaum Accessibility Centre aims to change the landscape of service provision by presenting innovative community-based programs for people with complex disabilities and their families, including those who are not yet eligible for traditional programs because they have not been formally diagnosed. Early intervention can have an enormous impact on the development of a child. Unfortunately, diagnosis can take years, as can locating appropriate, funded services once diagnosis has been made. The MukiBaum Accessibility Centre addresses this gap by providing families with immediate programming prior to diagnosis. Comparable in cost to common extracurricular activities, our programs are affordable for families who do not receive government assistance.

Another important difference is the Centre’s focus on including the whole family – parents, caregivers and siblings – in our Family Outreach programs. Family members are welcome to attend and participate in our programs, creating a unique opportunity for the entire family to learn, grow and have fun together.

What is the Multi-Focal Approach?

A key element of the MukiBaum Accessibility Centre’s philosophy is the unique Multi-Focal Approach, which was developed in 1971 by Dr. Nehama Baum.  The approach focuses on seeing a person as a whole human being, as opposed to only focusing on his or her challenges and disabilities. Unlike Applied Behavioural Analysis (ABA), the Multi-Focal Approach addresses the causes of challenges and needs expressed through them, not only the symptoms expressed by their behavioural communication. For example, we treat behaviour as a means of expressing needs, challenges or desires and as a reaction to environmental messages. To bring about a change in behaviour, we must attend to underlying emotional, psychological and sensory needs of the individual. This humanistic approach gives the child or adult a sense that they are being heard, seen, accepted and respected and opens the door for growth and development through new self-confidence, better self-esteem and improved quality-of-life.

What is autism (ASD)?

One of the Centre’s primary purposes is to support children and youth with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), a condition that affects the social, developmental and communication abilities of 1 in every 88 children born in North America. The prevalence of ASD has grown considerably in the last decade, leaving service organizations struggling to respond to need.

Early intervention can have a tremendous impact on the abilities and development of children with ASD. Unfortunately, diagnosis can take years, as can locating appropriate, funded services once diagnosis has been made. The MukiBaum Accessibility Centre addresses this gap, providing families with immediate, low-cost programming to address their unique needs, even if they have not been formally diagnosed.

Who is eligible for programs?

Children and adults with autism and other complex disabilities are eligible, even if they have not been formally diagnosed. To find out more, please visit our Community Outreach page.

What is the MukiBaum Foundation?

Founded in 2011, the MukiBaum Accessibility Centre is a Toronto non-governmental organization (NGO) which provides inclusive, community-focused support to children and adults with complex disabilities and their families. Our mission is to Provide the Key to Accessing Ability by to enabling all citizens with complex disabilities to grow and succeed through innovative, creative and sustainable programming. Learn more!

Can my company or organization become involved as a sponsor or community partner?

We welcome your interest in partnering with us! Please contact us for more details.