The Saskatchewan Association for Community Living (SACL) is a non-profit, registered charitable organization founded by a small group of parents in 1955.
It is governed by a voluntary Board of Directors, many of whom are parents and family members, people who themselves have a disability, friends, volunteers.
The provincial head office is located at 3031 Louise Street in Saskatoon. The John Dolan Resource Centre, a public lending library, is also housed here.
The SACL is part of a Canadian federation of ACLs in every province and territory, with a national office in Ontario, and a membership of over 40,000.
The SACL is made up of 22 active branches which provide local support in their communities.
The SACL represents families and people with disabilities all over the province.
The SACL works in a variety of areas including individual and family advocacy, self-advocacy support, counseling, information services, policy and legislative development, special projects, employment support, public awareness, education and training, and community development.
The Association employs 25 full and part-time people, and routinely offers work experience and employment opportunities to people with intellectual disabilities.
Seventy-five per cent of its income is from charitable donations and a variety of fundraising campaigns and 25 per cent is generated through a variety of project grants and other sources.
In 1990, the Association created the Institute on Community Living and a partnership with Value Village Thrift Stores. The Institute collects quality used clothing and other donated items throughout the province and sells them to Value Village. This supports the ongoing work of the Association. The Institute employs 25 people in the province.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the SACL?
The Saskatchewan Association for Community Living (SACL) is a non-profit provincial association dedicated to promoting the participation of people with intellectual disabilities in all aspects of community life.
When and why did the organization begin?
We were founded in 1955 by parents of children with intellectual disabilities who wanted supports and services within the community instead of in institutions. Over the years, we have grown into a provincial organization with 20 branches throughout the province. We are a member of a Canadian federation of 10 provincial and two territorial associations comprising 420 local associations and over 40,000 members.
What is your purpose?
We are an association dedicated to growth and change for both individuals with intellectual disability, and for society as a whole. Since our founding, we have worked ceaselessly to ensure that people with intellectual disabilities are able to enjoy their right to lead active and productive lives in their communities. Home and community-based supports help people with intellectual disabilities live as valuable members of our communities.
What is an intellectual disability?
An intellectual disability is a limited ability to learn. It sometimes causes difficulty in coping with the demands of daily life. It is a condition which is usually present from birth or before the age of 18. There are many causes and it is not the same as mental or psychiatric illness.
Historically, society referred to people with intellectual disabilities or mental handicap (formerly known as mental retardation) with stigmatizing names. For this reason, we always refer to people first, and then their disability. Preferred terms are "people who have an intellectual disability" or "people who have a developmental disability" when it is necessary to label people at all. We were once known as the Saskatchewan Association for the Mentally Retarded; people with intellectual disabilities told us that was hurtful and demeaning. So we changed. Our name reflects the fact we are dedicated to the idea that people deserve a good life in the community.
What is inclusion?
Inclusion means accepting the contribution that people with intellectual disabilities can make as equal citizens of society. It means playing with neighbourhood children, being educated in a regular classroom, working in real jobs, and living interdependently in our communities with the supports we need. Inclusion enables people with intellectual disabilities to lead lives of achievement with fellowship and dignity.
What is meant by community living?
Community living is a simple concept; most of us experience it every day. We live in integrated communities, we work with our peers and our children go to school with their neighbourhood friends. However, for the nearly 900,000 Canadians who have an intellectual disability, these simple things that we take for granted are not a reality. Although people with intellectual disabilities are capable of learning in regular schools, working at real jobs and contributing to our communities, they are often excluded simply because of their disability. People with intellectual disabilities want and deserve to participate in all of these activities. They want to contribute to society, be a part of it, and they want to lead normal lives in the community -just like you.