In 2009, a small group of Victoria families started talking about transition plans as their soon-to-be young adults left the school system.
Recognizing the social and fiscal reality into which our children with developmental disabilities were making the transition to adulthood, we were facing a number of challenges and opportunities:
- In that year, CLBC would be experiencing a shortfall and would not be able to support full community inclusion. A majority of us were on the request for services list and we started operations in September 2010 with CLBC funding for 2 of our original 7 participants.
- “Full” community inclusion currently from CLBC means e.g., 12 hours weekly for Level 3 or 17.5 hours for Level 4 of support. This is not sufficient “inclusion” time, given the needs of the participants and the reality of working parents.
- We thought that by pooling our funding we could offer more inclusive programming and support.
- Families wanted to take greater responsibility in partnership with the public sector. A small group creates economies of scale and avoids the threat of isolation that each could face on their own.
- No existing program in Victoria fully met our goals and wishes for citizenship and inclusion.
- There were a few vacancies in traditional “day” programs and these programs tend to support an aging population with different needs.
- Youths with developmental disabilities have been fully integrated during their years in the education system and fully expect (and deserve) this to continue.
- We could find a like-minded partner to be our “host agency”. The Host Agency administers the funds and works with the individual and family to arrange and manage the supports required.
The families opted to pool our human and financial resources and InclusionWorks started in Falll 2010, with a five year plan to meet our inclusion goals.
Each spring since the first group formed, another group of families whose young adults are or about to turn 19 have come together and set up an InclusionWorks “grouping”. As of Fall 2012, there are 3 groups operating in the Greater Victoria area. We have a newsletter and keep in touch through volunteer activity.