Community Living Ontario advocates for the full inclusion of people who have an intellectual disability in all of our communities.
We work together with people who have an intellectual disability and their families to shape public policy by:
- Developing position papers on relevant issues
- Collaborating with organizations that share our vision
- Analyzing and responding to government policy and legislation
- Sharing what we know with the Government of Ontario
- Making sure our members have the right tools to make our voices heard
Social Policy Issues:
- Inclusive Education
- Supports and Services
- Freedom from Harm
- Heath and Well Being
Community Living Ontario Policies and Positions:
Article 19 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights for Persons with Disabilities states:
Persons with disabilities have the opportunity to choose:
- their place of residence
- where and with whom they live and
- are not obliged to live in a particular living arrangement.
- In Canada there are still thousands of men and women living in large institutions designed decades ago for people who have an intellectual disability.
- The Government of Ontario will close all institutions by March 2009. There are currently still hundreds of people living in institutions in Ontario.
- More than 6,000 people have left institutions in Ontario and are living successfully in their communities.
- For information about our position on deinstitutionalization click here.
- Canadians who have a disability are one of the most underrepresented groups in the workforce.
- In 2006, 14.3% of Canadians identified that they have a disability.
- Only 45% of people who have a disability were in the labour force in 2001.
- Employers rate employees who have an intellectual disability as positive (93%), reliable (90%) dedicated (90%) and hardworking 93%.
Freedom from Harm and Restraints
- People who have an intellectual disability have experienced higher incidence of abuse than others
- A person's lack of relationships and over reliance on paid services and supports can make them more vulnerable to being abused or harmed.
- For information about our position on freedom from harm and restraints click here.
- The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities states that everyone has the right to an inclusive education. Canada was among the first countries to sign the convention.
- "Educational services must promote inclusion and full participation." (stated by The Ontario Human Rights Commission)
- Children who have an intellectual disability should be in regular classrooms as a first option. (taken from Regulation 181/98 of the Education Act in Ontario )
- 67% of Canadian children who have an intellectual disability are not included in regular classrooms. Numbers are thought to be higher in Ontario. Controversial documentation and complications because of inconsistent information make this fact difficult to determine.
- For more information about our position on inclusive education click here.
People who have an intellectual disability often face service systems that categorize, group or label them. It is easy for someone's individual goals, strengths and needs to get lost in such a system. Too often people who have an intellectual disability are left out of plans and decisions about their own life. Individualization means that every person has unique capabilities, interests and needs. It means that a person is at the centre of all decision making and plans that affect them.
'Individualized Planning' and 'Individualized Funding' are examples of individualization.
An individualized planning process:
- focuses on the desires and strengths of the person
- reflects what the person wants and how they want to live
- often includes perspectives from family and other people who the person loves and trusts
- develops resources in the community the person can use
- monitors action and outcomes
- For more information about Individualized Planning click here
- Funding for services is goes directly to the person and/or his family/network
- Person and/or their family either manages the funds or has someone to help
- Funds are portable - they move with the person. This means the person can choose who they buy their supports from and can move within the province and keep their funding.
- Costs for individualized funding are about the same as traditional supports, while quality of life outcomes are much higher.
- For more information about Individualized Funding click here.
Supports and Services
- The Government of Ontario provides community services and supports for people who have an intellectual disability and their families through a branch of the Ministry of Community and Social Services called Developmental Services. Given the type and range of supports provided through Developmental Services, the sector receives far less than others do
- Wages paid to workers in this sector are far below those paid to workers in other sectors doing similar work.
- Despite incremental increases, the funding support people receive through the Ontario Disability Support Program for day to day living expenses is more than 18% lower than the funding support received in 1993 when compared to inflation.
- For more information about our position on Supports and Services click here.