May is Community Living Month

May 9, 2016

Posted in: Uncategorized


Working for full inclusion in all aspects of community life

May is Community Living Month

Flag Raising 2016 024

Corey and Jen Jarick with Mayor Jamie McGarvey

It was a beautiful spring day on May 2nd and the sound of bagpipes floated through the air as a pleasant crowd gathered to watch Mayor Jamie McGarvey raise the Community Living flag to honor the mission of this non-profit organization. Community Living Parry Sound is an innovative and dynamic organization that supports people with developmental disabilities and their families to ensure inclusion in all aspects of the community.  Community Living Parry Sound works hard to move the agenda of full inclusion forward through innovative housing projects, individualized planning for people, and creating inclusive employment opportunities for people with disabilities.

Moving from a social service system approach to a grassroots goal of working directly with the community and with families one on one is how the dream of full inclusion will be realized. Success has been witnessed in employment as employers embrace diversity and benefit from the advantages of hiring motivated and reliable staff. We have seen that inviting conversation with parents about special education around a kitchen table at the new Family Resource Centre builds relationships between families and the school system.

Recently Community Living Parry Sound has been encouraging independent facilitation to support people to identify their personal goals and to put in place the resources they need to achieve those goals. This personalized approach is highly effective and satisfying because it helps create the plan for a unique, meaningful life and provides the person with support, a roadmap, and steps to get there.

deb and shirley

Teacher Debbie McGibbon with her Student Shirley

Identifying people by the roles they play in our community is vital to valuing everyone equally. The Inspired Artists group, who choose to pursue their talent with weekly art classes taught by Debbie McGibbon, are making a difference in our community.  Local artists have responded to some of the pieces that are currently being shown at the 2016 show Colours, recognizing the skillful use of colour and blending that they see in the work these artists produce.

Empowering people’s abilities, looking to the community for innovative partnerships and creating opportunities for genuine and natural relationships to form is the exciting way that together we will create inclusive communities for future generations.

By Tricia Bain, Communications & Event Coordinator

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