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Monique Lévesque-Lamontagne

Among the heart and soul of women who have made a mark on the history in the intellectual disabilities movement, it is certain that the name of Monique Lévesque-Lamontagne occupies an important place and deserves mention. In discovering the journey of this exceptional woman, it’s equally the progress of all women born in the thirties that is revealed to us, taking the full measure of their role as pioneers in the evolution of our Quebec society. The advance of the rights of people living with a disability is not unrelated to the feminist movement. These two “revolutions” have benefited from an engaged and persevering solider in the form of Monique Lévesque-Lamontagne.

Since the birth of her daughter Hélène and with the absence of support and services, a major personal undertaking had been necessary in order to face this reality. During these years, she made a return to studies that would give her the means of helping her daughter, but that would also give her knowledge that she would bring to parents and professional associations.

In Lanaudière, the region where she lives, she participated in the establishment of an association (The Friends of Intellectual Disability Rive-Nord) of which she was president for six years. At the same time, Mrs. Lévesque-Lamontagne enlarged her involvement to the regional, provincial (sitting on the administrative council for the Quebec Association for Social Integration (1988-89) and national levels (as delegate from Quebec on the national committee of employment of the Canadian Association for Community Living). For ten years she sat on the Users Committee and on the administrative counsel for the Rehabilitation Centre in La Myriade, Quebec.

During these years, Mrs. Lévesque-Lamontagne had been driven by an insatiable desire to learn everything in the domain of intellectual disability, both the aspects related to the family and the community, as well as those related to clinical the intervention.

She is a founding member of DIDA (Défi-Intégration-Développment-Accompagnement), an organisation whose mandate is to develop work activities for adults who are without services, as well as for those completing their education and living in this same reality.

Monique Lévesque-Lamontagne is the author of the book Au-delà de la déficience intellectuelle (Beyond Intellectual Disability) published in 2009 by Éditions La Semaine, a piece of work that has been very well accepted by both the movement and the general population.

Jacqueline Babin – When Determination is Combined with Heart

Jacqueline Babin is an exceptional woman. Committed for nearly three decades, she works and advocates for the improvement of living conditions of persons with disabilities and their families. Being the mother of Peter, who lives with an intellectual disability, she is able to understand what the families go through. She uses her expertise to put the Rehabilitation Centre Gaspésie through various platforms such as the Users' Committee, the Vigilance Committee, the evaluation of customer satisfaction as well as Committee member of the Board of Directors. With some parents and special educators, she works to establish an association in the region to provide respite for parents while providing recreation for their child on the basis of the open air. In addition, she has served on the committee, is responsible for the process of accreditation, and monitoring the Quebec Accreditation Board and the board of directors of the Agency for Health and Social Services Gaspésie-Îles- de-la-Madeleine. Since 2008 she is a member of the Board of Directors of the Quebec Association for Social Integration and has assumed the presidency since 2012. Seeing her career all these years, it is fair to say that the committment of Mrs. Jacqueline Babin is a reflection of her personality: dynamic, passionate and human. It is important to note that the presence of her son in her life was a revelation of all abilities we know her to have. But what is unique is that she has decided to put her knowledge into serving others with intellectual disabilities and to allow their families to live a life of pleasure and relaxation, and to know they are not totally incongruous with the presence of a different child.