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Inclusive Commities

As a member of Community Living Ontario, Community Living Welland Pelham is committed to building inclusive communities as outlined by Community Living Ontario.

Why is inclusion important?

It's the way in which all people experience their right to full participation and have the opportunity to make their contributions as citizens. Through participation and inclusion all people have value.

Community Living Ontario is proud of the work we’ve done to further inclusion. Over the past ten years we have focused on:

  • building inclusive school cultures
  • building inclusive communities
  • creating inclusive organizations

Community Living Ontario has developed these resources:

An Inclusive School Culture - Indicators of Success – the purpose of Inclusive School Culture is to motivate school communities to promote, create, and sustain inclusive environments. It is designed to help all stake holders including students, educators, parents and guardians, support staff and administrators to feel they belong to and fully participate in the life of the school.

Engaging People in Building Inclusive Communities: A Planning Guide – this book designed to help community leaders develop a plan to nurture a more inclusive mindset and behaviour in their towns, cities or neighbourhoods. It is targeted to all those who might feel excluded because of abilities, race, culture, circumstances, gender or sexual orientation.

A Focus on Inclusion for Organizations Supporting People with an Intellectual Disability - the intent of this tool is to encourage and help those organizations supporting people who have an intellectual disability to build a culture, policies, systems and practices that lead to inclusion within the organizations and in the community. It identifies the critical success factors that must be in place within the organization in order to be inclusive and build inclusive communities.

This work has been part of the national Community Inclusion Project which is funded through the federal Department of Social Development. Each province and territory across Canada have identified priority areas and developed strategies to advance the inclusion of people into their communities.

In Ontario, over 85 local community projects have been supported to further inclusion of citizens. To learn more about these local community initiatives, visit the Inclusion Projects section of national website Community Inclusion Initiative You will also find many publications which were created as a result of this initiative.

Community Living Ontario gratefully acknowledges support from the Laidlaw Foundation for Ontario's Community Inclusion Project.

Lifestyle Planning

Our research has shown that many of the rights restrictions that occur within agencies were related to systems issues that arise when planning is conducted based upon group needs rather than individual needs. In response to the organizational shift a pilot study was developed to systematically transform the planning for individuals to be more person-centred. Individual Lifestyle Planning is our approach to designing individualized services and supports with people who have intellectual disabilities. Similar to other person-centered approaches, the goal was to provide a means to reorganize and reorient existing service systems to achieve global, long-range positive outcomes for persons with intellectual disabilities within the system. Individual Lifestyle Planning provides a baseline on which the principles of rights and self-determination can build.

Shifting a system to an individualized approach to planning requires human resource changes, attitude and thinking changes, and pragmatic changes in how services are provided. The objective of the shift was to improve personal outcomes for individuals and a greater opportunity to exercise human rights. However, it is not sufficient to assume these objectives will occur. The system must demonstrate the achievement of the objectives. The goals of the Individual Lifestyle Planning project are to shift a traditional planning approach within the agency to a more Individual Lifestyle Planning approach over a period of two years and to evaluate the impact of the shift on the personal outcomes and exercise of rights for the individuals involved.

Individual Lifestyle Planning, like other planning approaches that are person-centred, focuses on setting lifestyle goals and objectives based upon the "voice of the individual". With other persons that the individual chooses to involve in his or her lifestyle planning process, individual likes and dislikes, dreams and fears are explored to determine goals and supports that could move the person's life to greater fulfillment and independence or interdependence. The measure of success is threefold: achievement of the identified goals, expansion of the range of personal outcomes and supports, and increased exercise of personal rights. In North America one of the most widely used methods of service evaluation is "Outcomes Measures"; in Ontario this method of evaluation is provided through Accreditation Ontario. Their measure contains 25 items on which quality of service is evaluated for persons with disabilities, one of the items is the exercise of rights.

The 3Rs project is completing a two year pilot study. In year one, ½ of the individuals in residential support services were planned for traditionally and the other ½ received individualized lifestyle planning. The three success indicators were evaluated for both groups. Preliminary indications are that individualized planning increases the achievement of both personal outcomes and the exercise of rights for persons who are given an active voice in their planning.

Credo For Support

Do Not see my disability as the problem
Recognize that my disability is an attribute.

Do Not see my disability as a deficit
It is you who see me as deviant and helpless.

Do Not try to fix me because I am not broken
Support me. I can make my contribution to the community in my own way.

So Not see me as your client. I am your fellow citizen
See me as your neighbour. Remember, none of us can be self-sufficient.

Do Not try to modify my behaviour
Be still and listen. What you define as inappropriate may bemy attempt to communicate with you in the only way I can.

Do Not try to change me, you have no right
Help me learn what I want to know.

Do Not hide your uncertainty behind "professional" distance
Be a person who listens and does not take my struggle away from me by trying to makeit all better.

Do Not use theories and strategies on me
Be with me. And when we struggle with each other, let that give rise to self-reflection.

Do Not try to control me. I have a right to my power as a person
What you call non-compliance or manipulation may actuallybe the only way I can exert some control over my life.

Do Not teach me to be obedient, submissive, and polite
I need to feel entitled to say No if I am to protect myself.

Do Not be charitable towards me
The last thing the worlds needs is another Jerry Lewis.
Be my ally against those who exploit me for their own gratification.

Do Not try to be my friend. I deserve more than that.
Get to know me. We may become friends.

Do Not help me, even if it does make you feel good.
Ask me if I need your help. Let me show you how you can best assist me.

Do Not admire me. A desire to live a full life does not warrant adoration
Respect me, for respect presumes equity.

Do Not tell, correct, and lead
Listen, Support and Follow.

Do Not work on me.
Work with me.

By: Norman Kunc & Emma Van der Klift
Dedicated to the memory of Tracy Latimer


Inspiring Possibilities 

Community Living provides supports and services to people with Intellectual Disabilities, their families and the community of Welland and Pelham.

Contact Us At Community Living Welland Pelham

535 Sutherland Avenue
Welland, Ontario, L3B 5A4
Tel: 905-735-0081
Fax: 905-735-9431