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The Community Living movement has reached its half-century mark. In 2008 the Canadian Association for Community Living (CACL) celebrates 50 years as a national movement and association — of making a difference in lives of individuals, families and communities. In celebrating 50 years of accomplishment, we are aware that the full inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities is not yet a reality for all.
Adults with intellectual disabilities must have their legal capacity – the right to make decisions about their own lives – recognized and supported. Adults with intellectual disabilities have the right to act legally independently and must be provided appropriate accommodation to exercise this right. Where required, adults with intellectual disabilities must be assured access, with appropriate safeguards, to needed supports.
The issue of assisted suicide has recently been brought before the courts in British Columbia and Quebec and continues to be brought before Parliament in the form of private members’ bills. It has emerged as an issue at the forefront of media and public attention and there is the appearance of growing support for measures to remove the Criminal Code prohibition against provision of assistance in suicide.
In taking this position we are concerned with the extremely high rates of termination of fetuses thought to carry disability related traits and the process and flow of research, development, assessment, approval and clinical and health care application of genetic and testing technologies (hereafter referred to as genetic and testing technologies) as well as the associated clinical, health care and public policy regulations and protocols for such technologies.
The interrelated issues of euthanasia, assisted suicide and withholding and withdrawing of medical treatment have been long standing issues for this association. The Values and Ethics Task Force has had considerable discussions of these issues, has produced background papers and reports, brought resolutions to CACL Annual General Meeting, responded to media stories and engaged with other groups.
Adults with intellectual disabilities must be afforded the opportunity to live in typical houses and communities where they can exercise their full rights and responsibilities as citizens. Living in the community is a right of all Canadian citizens and thus public policy in Canada must facilitate, accommodate and enable the free and full exercise of this right.
This booklet is a guide for community and government leaders involved in planning the closure of institutions for persons with intellectual disabilities and the creation of supports to enable individuals to move from these institutions to their own homes in the community.
Families supporting a family member with an intellectual disability must have the supports and services necessary to assure the full inclusion of their family member. Including a family member with intellectual disabilities within the family unit must not negatively impact a family’s economic security and financial well‐being. An inclusive and accessible Canada recognizes that families are the fundamental unit of our society and that families provide an essential bridge to the realization of citizenship and the full inclusion of their family members with disabilities.
People with intellectual disabilities must have the income and resources they need to secure a good quality of life and fully participate in all aspects of their communities. Where income support is required to assure income security, it must provide an adequate and appropriate income in a progressive, responsive and non‐punitive manner. People with intellectual disabilities must have the means to live life with dignity.
Working‐age adults with intellectual disabilities, regardless of perceived level of disability, must have choice and opportunity to earn a living through paid employment in the open labour market. For employment opportunities to be meaningful working‐age adults with intellectual disabilities require appropriate employment‐related supports and job accommodation as needed. Employment rates and compensation must be commensurate with that of people without disabilities.
CACL in partnership with CASDA is pleased to release Volume 4 of the newsletter for the Ready, Willing and Able (RWA) initiative, which profiles employment success stories from across Canada. Stories that illustrate and demonstrate the fact that regardless of label or perceived level of disability, adults with developmental disabilities can participate in and contribute to the labour market within this country.
January 11, 2014 the community living movement lost a dear friend and mentor, Peter Dill. Working at the Canadian Association for Community Liv- ing’s National Institute (NIMR) in the 1970s, Peter was part of that gifted and remarkable group of volunteers and staff who did so much to lay down the tracks of values, beliefs and principles which continue to guide us today; a group who tirelessly reached out to and supported families and as- sociations across the country. Peter’s passing has drawn from so many stories of the profound ways in which he touched others and the legacy he leaves.
Monthly update from CACL: Announcement of Volume 4 of the Ready, Willing and Able newsletter.
Monthly update from CACL: Announcement of the second issue of Community Living Commentary.