Community Living Ontario advocates for the full inclusion of people who have intellectual disabilities in all of our communities.

We work together with people who have intellectual disabilities 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 their voices heard

Social Policy Issues:

  • Inclusive Education
  • Employment
  • Deinstitutionalization
  • Individualization
  • Supports and Services
  • Freedom from Harm
  • Health and Well Being



CLO By-Laws Current April 2019 603.50 KB 2086 downloads


What does it mean to have an intellectual disability?

You know that feeling you get when a word is on the tip of your tongue? Being a person who has an intellectual disability is very similar. Just like you can still talk while a word is on the tip of your tongue, a person who has an intellectual disability can still participate in all aspects of life. Just like how you need extra time to find the word, people that have an intellectual disability may need extra time or some assistance to learn tasks and adapt to changes in their daily routines.
There is often confusion around the words developmental and intellectual.
Society has started to show favouritism towards the words “intellectual disability,” but that doesn’t mean that using the words “developmental disability” is wrong.
At Community Living Ontario, we use the words intellectual disability only to conform to society and to create consistency throughout our federation.

What does it mean to be a citizen?

Disabled Little Boy and Brother

To be a citizen is such a powerful feeling. As a citizen, you get to experience the same rights, responsibilities and opportunities as the next person. You have the right to find a job if you need to. And you have the right to create a family if you choose to. You have the right to change the world if you want to.
At Community Living Ontario, we aim to ensure that people who have an intellectual disability are treated as citizens within their communities, at every stage of their life. This means that people who have an intellectual disability are welcomed at day cares, can pursue meaningful education, find jobs, as well as date and marry anyone they choose.
But, life is about more than what you can do. Life is also about feeling like you belong. When you are part of a community, you gain a whole new look on life. Communities provide a sense of respect and acceptance.


  • All children are nurtured within the family and, because of this, enjoy the benefits of family life;
  • All children go with their neighbourhood friends to their neighbourhood schools where they grow and learn together;
  • All people live with a sense of security and freedom from harm;
  • All people have access to adequate income, quality health care and supports that respect the official languages of Canada, First Nations languages and other languages and cultures;
  • All people have the opportunity and freedom to contribute to, and participate in, their communities through political and religious expression, voluntarism, leisure activities and in other ways;
  • All people can aspire to and have typical expectations of worthwhile career options, real work for real pay and fair recognition of accomplishment;
  • All people have access in adulthood to decent and appropriate homes which they are able to call their own; and
  • All people can retire to enjoy the lifestyle and activities of their own choosing.


Did you know that people with an intellectual disability are five times more likely to be abused? That’s because they are often unaware of their rights. So we help educate people, as well their families.

We have compiled a list of laws, acts, and charters. You can learn more about each of these by clicking them.

Because of the AODA (Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act), businesses and organizations now know they must provide access to transportation, customer service, information and communication, employment and any building or outdoor space.

The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms states that every Canadian has the freedom to believe, think, protest, say and belong to any group they want. It also says that every Canadian has the right to vote, life, liberty, equality and security. Also, as a Canadian, you have the right to not be subjected to unusual punishment or treatment.

Sometimes it doesn’t matter how many actions are put in place, rights will still be violated. The Canadian Human Rights Commission was created for occasions when this happens. When rights are ignored, this is the place that will give the proper attention to every complaint.

A treaty created by the United Nations contains a set of rights and freedoms for people with a disability across the world. Every country belonging to the UN must promote, protect and ensure these rights and freedoms. Canada belongs to the UN, so they must maintain this treaty. This treaty is called the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

The Accessibility Directorate of Ontario and Freedom from Harm are both groups dedicated to ensuring these rights are maintained.