At 4:30 pm on 2015.10.15, approximately 80 people from all over Green Bay attended an Inclusion Event at the Manual Hall, Springdale, to commemorate Community Living Month, October.
The National Community Inclusion Initiative is a partnership between the Canadian Association for Community Living, People First of Canada and Provincial / Territorial Associations for Community Living, made possible through the financial support of the Government of Canada.
The purpose of the initiative is to promote the inclusion, full participation and citizenship of Canadians with intellectual disabilities and their families. Its goal is to ‘assist communities to develop the capacities they require to successfully include people with intellectual disabilities in ways that promote their roles as full citizens; to assist communities in becoming more welcoming and supportive of people with intellectual disabilities; in becoming places where people in all their diversity belong.’
The initiative is focused on affecting needed changes in policies and practices across community sectors, bringing innovation to these sectors through a process of changing values, policies, and/or practices at municipal, regional, and provincial/territorial levels so that the full inclusion of all people is strengthened.
The CI initiative, while focusing on policy and practice change, remains centered on community and on individuals with intellectual disabilities and their families. The project ensures that they are fully, actively and centrally engaged in the process of informing and influencing practice and policy. Since its inception, the project has enhanced the lives of thousands of individuals and families in communities, large and small, throughout this country.
What is inclusive education?
Inclusive education means that all students attend and are welcomed by their neighbourhood schools in age-appropriate, regular classes and are supported to learn, contribute and participate in all aspects of the life of the school.
Inclusive education is about how we develop and design our schools, classrooms, programs and activities so that all students learn and participate together.
Attempting to navigate the system of Disability Supports and Rebates off ered for individuals with low incomes can be complex and confusing.
This family guide may be a useful tool for individuals and families needing direction:
‘Meaningful and Active Partnerships’ is at the core of our Community Inclusion Initiative. Building on the results of extensive focus groups with individuals and their families, we are working closely with our partners to build inclusive communities.
One of the key messages from teachers and parents is the need for effective teaching strategies to enhance inclusion in our schools. We are working with the Department of Education to provide professional development to 150 school leaders. The primary intent of the professional development is to provide practical strategies to make classrooms more inclusive for students with intellectual disabilities. This partnership allows us to help them proceed with the adopted recommendations from the ISSP/Pathways Commission report.
With our support, the Department of Education has rolled out an Inclusion Pilot Project which focuses on all aspects of inclusion for 30 school communities. We are continuing to partner on professional development for teachers through workshops on Differentiated Instruction and co-teaching, which have been identified as concrete strategies for inclusive education students with intellectual disabilities and their parents have expressed a need for students to more fully explore post school options.
In response, we developed ‘Students Exploring Through (SET) Mentoring’, which is an in school opportunity to involve students who face barriers and help them explore future career, community, and post school options. This is achieved through meaningful and active partnerships with NLACL, the Department of Human Resources, Labour and Employment, Employment Corporations, Nova Central School District and participating schools.
Individuals and families continue to express their concern about planning for the future. We are committed to improving the quality of life for the families we represent and we are achieving this by educating families about the Registered Disability Savings Plan. Families now have a sense of security when planning for the future, which will enable their sons and daughters to participate in all aspects of community life.
The Vision of In Unison states: Persons with disabilities participate as full citizens in all aspects of Canadian society. The full participation of persons with disabilities requires the commitment of all segments of society. The realization of the vision will allow persons with disabilities to maximize their independence and enhance their well-being through access to required supports and the elimination of barriers that prevent their full participation.
IN Unison translates the vision of full citizenship into objectives and policy directions within three interrelated building blocks: disability supports, employment and economic independence.
Flo Paul had a lifelong commitment to this Vision. She lived it every day through her tireless advocacy and generous spirit. Her family was central to her life and this caring approach was brought to all her interactions. Whether leading a protest over an exclusionary government policy, hosting a town hall meeting or having a quiet conversation with a frustrated caregiver, Flo exemplified the values of compassion, dignity, sharing, fairness, and equality. Flo passed away in 2008 but her positive contributions, accomplishments and legacy lives on.
The Flo Paul IN UNISION Award will honour individuals, groups or an organization that exemplifies the values and principles articulated by In Unison.
The Award will focus on those who are successful in moving the Vision to Action. The Vision is based on the values of equality, inclusion and independence.
This award is sponsored by Supported Employment NL (SENL) and the NL Association for Community Living (NLACL.).
Any citizen of NL who has worked or volunteered in any capacity related in advocating for or serving the needs of people with intellectual disabilities in meeting the vision of full citizenship. To be eligible for this award an individual or an organization must be nominated and meet the criteria outlined in this document.
The following criteria will be used to evaluate nominations for the Flo Paul IN UNISON Award. Nominations should address each of these topics.
The Selection Committee will be made up of representatives from SENL and NLACL.
The award will be a commerative engraved plaque. In addition plaques displaying the names of the annual recipients will be located in the offices of the NL association for Community Living. The presentation of the Flo Paul in Unison Award will usually be made at/ or in conjunction with the annual conference of SENL