“Alice Saddy Association envisions a community that welcomes every person equally with respect and acceptance.”
This year, the theme at Alice Saddy Association has been “Building Our Inclusive Community.” The entire organization has been using this theme as a springboard to increase our effectiveness in helping people with intellectual disabilities become better connected to their community.
As such, we were excited about a variety of events we participated in throughout the Spring entitled “Building Our Inclusive Community Series.” The purpose for this annual series is to educate and equip as it relates to the issues of value and belonging for those often marginalized by society. Our goal is that it becomes a catalyst for authentic and natural relationship-building within the community.
Throughout February, we were honoured to attend different workshops led by Bruce Anderson including Discovering the Good Life, and Core Gifts, among others. As described by Brianne, a Coordinator of Community Support, “the topic of the ‘good life’ was about opening your mind and thinking outside the box for independent community living.” Core Gifts focused on discovering the gifts within each of us which can contribute to our community, thereby giving us value. Lorie, a Manager of Community Supports, who attended the workshop, said, “Everyone has a gift, no matter how well a person can communicate [and] no one’s gift is better than the next. It allows each person to understand their value. If you have value, society views you as a person to be included.” As an agency, we hope to enable each of the people we support to discover their core gift, and then use that gift to fully participate in their community.
In March, we were excited to host, along with Community Living St. Marys, Ingersoll Support Services and London Family Network, Building a New Story: a Facilitation Leadership Workshop, developed by John Lord. The workshop is designed for those who have a desire to help people build meaningful lives through helping to plan with those who want support to participate in community life.
Wanda, one of our Board Members, learned how to feel more confident when in a group setting and come out of her comfort zone when speaking. She also realized she has been practicing some of the elements of Facilitation Leadership in her own life but can now take what she learned at the workshop and use it in the community.
As Alice Saddy Association looks to the future, we hope to see the “Building Our Inclusive Community” series grow and continue to challenge our way of thinking when it comes to community inclusivity.