philosophies, integration and inclusion, mean more than mere tolerance
for people with different needs. Integration and inclusion must
involve a belief in equality and the spirit of meaningful and valued
In our society,
having a disability has long meant that many people think of you
as different in a negative way. Our culture values productivity,
skills, attractiveness, intelligence and wealth. But people with
disabilities and their families believe society is whole only when
all of its members are valued.
like normalization, integration and inclusion all boil down to
a few simple tenets. These philosophies encourage us to emphasize
not how we are different, but how we are more alike as human beings,
whatever our differences. We do not ignore the needs of an individual,
yet we recognize that we all have the same basic needs and rights.
- We pay
attention to what people can do, rather than to only what they
- We acknowledge
the needs and challenges faced by someone with a disability. We
use creativity and flexibility to support that person rather than
blaming the individual, giving up or relegating them to a life
we would not accept for ourselves.
- We place
an emphasis on inclusive environments and experiences where we
can be together and learn from one another. We assume all people
can and want to learn.
- We assume
that by separating and excluding any person whose differences
may be challenging, we are missing an opportunity for society
to embrace the gifts of all its members.
Canadian Association for Community Living Values and Beliefs
- All members of the human family are full persons. Our human
essence cannot be reduced to words, labels, categories, definitions
or genetic patterns. Every person is unique. No one can be replaced
or copied. All persons are ineffable.
- All persons are entitled to respect. Respect requires recognition
of and concern for the dignity of every person. Dignity is fragile.
It must be protected from all harm.
- All persons have inherent dignity. Dignity belongs to us just
because we exist. It is not something we earn or receive.
- All persons have inalienable dignity. Dignity cannot rightfully
be ignored, diminished or taken away.
- All persons have equal dignity. Dignity does not depend upon
physical, intellectual or other characteristics. Neither does
it depend upon the opinions that other people have about these
- All persons have inherent and equal worth. Our value as persons
is neither earned nor accumulated. It is unrelated to health status
or any genetic or other personal characteristic.
- All persons have inherent capacity for growth and expression.
Every person has the right to be nourished physically, intellectually,
socially, emotionally and spiritually.
- All persons are entitled to equal access and opportunity. Equality
demands protection from all forms of discrimination or harm, and
access to the supports necessary to enable equal participation.
Based on its belief in the dignity and value of all persons, CACL's
core mission is to ensure that people with intellectual disabilities:
- have the same rights and access to choice, services and supports
as all other persons
- have the same opportunities as others to live in freedom and
dignity, and have the needed supports to do so
- are able to articulate and realize their aspirations and their
CACL is committed to defending the rights and advocating for the
interests of individuals with intellectual disabilities, and to
promoting research and information that will further these objectives.
Families are at the heart of the Canadian Association for Community
Living and its federation. CACL recognizes that its mission cannot
be achieved unless families of people with intellectual disabilities
are valued, given status, and acknowledged for the central role
they play in ensuring dignity, rights, and inclusion for a family
member with a disability.