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Today in Canada, thousands of Canadians with intellectual disabilities remain trapped in large, segregated institutions — inappropriately and unjustifiably segregated from society. They remain, for the most part, hidden and removed from mainstream society despite a collective knowledge, based on research and practice over the past 30 years, that with proper community based supports all persons with intellectual disabilities thrive in the community. They remain in these institutions as a result of inaction by governments and communities.

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2017-09-29 10:41 am

People First of Canada (PFC) and Canadian Association for Community Living (CACL) Task Force was formed in 2002. The Task Force held its first meeting in Halifax (June 15 – 16, 2002) during a CACL Board Retreat. Through the establishment of this Task Force, People First of Canada, the Canadian Association for Community Living (CACL), and their provincial and territorial associations, commit to highlighting the continued and unacceptable incarceration of persons with intellectual disabilities in institutions throughout this country. Purpose To get deinstitutionalisation back on the national agenda To develop a plan to make deinstitutionalisation a national priority To develop the relationship between CACL and People First of Canada, and agree to keep working together Objectives The Task Force has adopted several objectives that guide its ongoing work: Develop a framework for a National Plan on Deinstitutionalisation, Develop a working definition of "institution", Identify actions that can be taken by People First and CACL to more actively oppose the continued institutionalization or re-institutionalization of persons with intellectual disabilities in this country. Provide leadership and coordination to the CACL Federation Action Planning process, and Establish appropriate linkages with other Federation Action Planning Committees. Guiding Values and Beliefs The Task Force believes it is essential, in order to ensure positive outcomes within a deinstitutionalisation initiative, that persons with intellectual disabilities have: The right to choose where they will live, and with whom; Services/programs that are directed and controlled by the person and that are respectful of their right to make choices, and take risks; The right to individualized living arrangements and control over the required individualized funding; The necessary disability related supports needed to fully participate in the community; Recognition of the supported decision making model and support from friends/family/advocates necessary to ensure an appropriate planning process; The Task Force believes that deinstitutionalisation must be about more than simply closing large institutions, about more than simply replacing large institutions with smaller ones, about more than creating networks of group homes, and ultimately about more than substituting isolation outside the community for isolation within the community.

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