The primary purpose of this initiative is to raise awareness among our elected representatives about issues faced by individuals with intellectual disabilities and their families. It is strictly a non-partisan endeavor, which, in addition, will hopefully heighten knowledge about intellectual disabilities among the general population. A spin-off potential outcome is that it will help to increase the capacity of communities in supporting individuals and their families to lead the way in advancing and realizing full participation and inclusion.
One family in each of the 48 NL Provincial Electoral Districts will extend an invitation to their local MHA to their home or place of employment for a coffee, light lunch or some other type of social get-together, and let him/her see first-hand the lives of a family when one member has an intellectual disability. The visit may only be for an hour or less. The goal is to help build positive relationships between families and MHAs, intensify disability awareness, focus on the importance of inclusion and sustained efforts by all stakeholders to make continued improvements in the community for individuals with intellectual disabilities.
The initial start-up of Adopt-A-MHA was June 2013. It is hoped that by June 2015 the connectivity between MHAs and District Families will have happened throughout NL.
This NLACL venture in co-operation with our MHAs, properly executed with tact, judiciousness, care and precision, should present a win-win situation for individuals with intellectual disabilities, their families, the MHAs, NLACL, and the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador. There are no negatives, no costly budgets and no losers – “Everyone’s A Winner”