What is Inclusion?

Think about the lives of most people who live in Canada. Life starts with family, growing up at home, being loved and wanted, going to playschool, childcare and/or kindergarten and school, having and making friends throughout the journey, having friends and family who support you and your dreams, developing a career identity, participating in community activities, being a teenager, developing a positive sense of self over time, having dreams, playing sports, possibly involved in music/dance/art, going to college/university, traveling, falling in love, getting a job, pursuing a career, perhaps owning a business, finding a soulmate, owning/renting a home of your own, having friends over for dinner, looking after your parents, growing older and continuing to contribute at every step of the way. It is assumed and expected that you will grow, relate, adapt, contribute and be included in the fullness of community life amidst your family, friends, and colleagues.

Inclusion happens when the lives of children and adults with an intellectual disability unfold no differently; immersed together with their peers without a disability in the same pathways and experience of life common to us all.

Inclusion Canada leads the way in building an inclusive Canada for people with an intellectual disability and their families by strengthening families, defending rights, and transforming communities into places where everyone belongs.

Our Vision and Mission

Vision: An inclusive Canada in which people with an intellectual disability and their families are valued equally and participate fully in all aspects of society.

Mission: Inclusion Canada is a national federation of people with an intellectual disability, their families, allies, and organizations working to advance the full inclusion and human rights of people with an intellectual disability. Inclusion Canada leads the way in building an inclusive Canada by strengthening families, defending rights, and transforming communities into places where everyone belongs.

Our Values and Beliefs

Our core values and beliefs inspire and guide our work.

  • Inclusion
  • Equality
  • Diversity
  • Moral Courage

We believe:

  • The lives of people with an intellectual disability should unfold no differently than those without disabilities; immersed together with their peers without a disability in the same pathways and experience of life common to us all.
  • All people 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.
  • In the fundamental value and dignity of all people, and honour and respect diverse identities and experiences. Our humanity and uniqueness cannot be reduced to words, labels, categories, definitions, or genetic patterns.
  • In speaking up and taking action on our values and beliefs, even when it is difficult.

Applying a Family Lens to Our Work

We believe that families are unique and diverse, and can only be defined by the ties of love and caring that exists between family members – not limited by traditional definitions. Families with a commitment to inclusion hold the greatest hope for inclusion for their family member with an intellectual disability, and offer the greatest  degree of continuity in the lives of family members with an intellectual disability. For those reasons, family commitment and connect must be honoured and supported.

Click here to download our Family Lens.

These guiding principles remain paramount to our work:

  • Families are the cornerstone to inclusive community life and inclusive communities.
  • Supporting and strengthening diverse families contributes to the community’s well-being as a whole.
  • Families provide the greatest degree of continuity in the lives of their sons and daughters with intellectual disabilities and that connection should be honoured and supported.
  • Policies should be designed to strengthen all families, respect and honour all families and facilitate inclusion in all aspects of family and community life.