Decades of Progress:
Nurturing an Inclusive Community
The Stories of Inclusion Regina
It all started with Breg de Groot and Beth Dechief. They had started the school because they had children who needed help, but there was no school for these children. Classes started in Beth’s attic and they eventually convinced the school board to pay to open a school.
Across the country, there were various local, provincial, and national associations for community living that were advocating for the dissolution of institutions. Inclusion Regina, or RDACL, was an information hub for the Regina community, supporting families in advocating for meaningful inclusion of their loved ones who experience an intellectual disability.
Creative Options Regina is demonstrating with its range of services and philosophies that even people with high and complex support needs can thrive in community. The strength of the association is that we are able to develop strong circles of support around people that truly want to be with that person, because they see the value of who that person is.
To provide some peace of mind for families in knowing that they’re not in this alone, that there are people who care for their child. And that we’re going to work together as partners in providing that support for their loved one in a way that’s reflective of their hopes and their goals and their dreams and their needs.
She was a 20-year-old new immigrant to Canada when she had her son Johnny. Not knowing the language, she didn’t know what was happening or what to do. Nobody took the time to educate her on how to raise and care for an intellectually challenged son.
Watching your child not be accepted in society and having no resources to help him, she had to find the courage and say, “Okay, we know our children are different. But we have to show the world just because they’re different, they are not a danger.”
Her life and her family’s life have been enhanced by having Johnny as a member of their family so they devote their lives to enhancing his. Through her support of the Cosmopolitan Learning Center, RDACL (Inclusion Regina) and COR, Voula works tirelessly to support families in whatever way she can so that no family has to feel scared or confused the way she was all those years ago.
Problem displaying Facebook posts. Backup cache in use.