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Family Engagement-backup

Community Living Ontario / Family Engagement-backup

Connect with other families,
organizations and school boards

Taking us back to our roots, whereby we work with families and local associations to enhance our understanding of families’ priorities, how to build networks and how to become better advocates, is what family engagement is all about. Working with families throughout the province, Community Living Ontario assists them to envision what successful family engagement can look like, to craft a new vision for the future, and to develop a plan to move it forward.

“As a parent of a young man living with an intellectual disability who is able in so many ways, I have had and continue to fight to have him partake in the same opportunities as his brothers: a quality education in a fully inclusive system, suitable employment geared to his abilities, long lasting friendships, and a place of his own – these should all be available without any need to justify why.”

“I feel that it is time that we see and refer to all our neighbours and co-citizens as ‘people first’ and forget the differences that make us see
them as less of a person.”

Hélène Morin-Chain
Mother and President of Community Living Ontario

The history of the Community Living Ontario movement is the story of families that gathered together to challenge the status quo, advocate for human rights and equal opportunities for their family member who had an intellectual disability and develop a variety of services and supports through local initiatives. This family-led movement, originating in small meetings across the province, eventually altered the landscape with the advent of institutional closures, governmental declarations of human rights and freedoms for people with disabilities, person centered approaches to service and support and a more inclusive nature to our communities.

Forum with multiple categories

Family Leadership Series

Over the past 7 years, Community Living Ontario has been bringing families together through our Family Leadership Series of weekend retreats, learning how to connect with families in a way that informs and empowers them to have a vision of good lives for their sons and daughters. The Family Leadership Series is critical to establishing capabilities in the member organizations of Community Living Ontario to better understand what Family Engagement is and what it requires of them. As a result, families will be better connected with each other. They will be strengthened by their knowledge sharing and this will be instrumental to informing Community Living associations on their role to support families. This will guide Community Living Ontario as they develop an online hub to virtually connect families from across the province.

The series for Family Value and inclusion is a 4 part series and spans over 4 weekends:

Weekend 1 

A Vision for Families – Power and importance of creating and holding a vision of a full, meaningful, and inclusive life with/for your family member.

Weekend 2 

Deepening the Vision of Social Value and Inclusion

Weekend 3 

Analyzing Services/or Supports

Weekend 4 

Sharing and Celebrating Vision and Inclusion

Goals of this series: 

  • Strengthen families in tier advocacy for their family member with a disability.
  • Assist families to develop a vision of the “good life” with/for their family member.
  • Offer strategies that can be used to make the vision a reality.
  • Provide an opportunity for families to learn indicators (The Dimensions of Social Value and Inclusion), which can be used to design and evaluate service arrangements and supports.
  • Strengthen family networks.
  • Develop values based leadership among family members e.g., brothers and sisters, grandparents, parents, etc.

Family Engagement Steering Committee