“We advocate, promote and facilitate the full participation, inclusion and citizenship of all people.”
– Chris Beesley, CEO
TOGETHER WE’RE BETTER
Community Living Ontario is a non-profit association that advocates for people who have an intellectual disability to be fully included in all aspects of community life, including education, employment, recreation and social opportunities. It assists people who have an intellectual disability and their families to lead the way in advancing inclusion in their own lives and in their communities. The association promotes positive change in public policy; builds public awareness; develops, nurtures and supports community leadership, capacity and innovation; and provides expertise, resources, information and education. Community Living Ontario has partnered with Level Access to provide free assistive technology to help navigate the website.
Community Living Ontario is involved in several initiatives that facilitate the full inclusion of people with an intellectual disability in all aspects of life. They include Ready, Willing & Able, which works to increase labour force participation of people with an intellectual disability and those on the autism spectrum, as well as school programs that instill positive attitudes in young people, provide mentorship to transitioning young adults, and support students looking for opportunities to explore their interests and refine their skills.
The Community Living movement was started by families who worked together to advocate for human rights and equal opportunities for their loved ones with intellectual disabilities. To support families in connecting with each other, Community Living Ontario launched its Family Engagement Project in June 2017. This initiative helps families share information, explore innovative ideas and build relationships, which in turns strengthens families and their communities.
Each year, Community Living Ontario recognizes individuals and groups for their efforts and contributions in support of the Community Living movement. The organization presents awards for inclusive education; leadership and innovation; communications and social media; challenging injustice in society; exemplary dedication to inclusion; and lifetime achievement. It also presents an award to journalists who have raised public awareness of issues important to Community Living Ontario.