For Community Integration Services Society, Community Inclusion Month is a time of celebration and an opportunity to address the barriers for the full inclusion of people with disabilities.
“Support services must be delivered in a way that respects an individual’s diverse history, culture, race, religion and sexual orientation,” says Shari Mahar, Executive Director of Community Integration Services Society.
“Real work means real pay; and on the children’s side, all children have the right to be educated in regular classrooms with appropriate levels of support.”
This year during Community Inclusion Month (October), Community Integration Services Society is encouraging the communities of the Lower Mainland to look at how people with disabilities activate their rights decades after the final closure of Woodland Institutions in 1996 – the last known registered mental institution in the lower mainland.
“In 1990 we first opened our doors at CISS in response to the people who were leaving the institution and moving back into community where they rightfully belonged,” says Mahar. “Since 1990 we have come a long way—but we’re now moving into the next phase: thinking critically of how people with disabilities activate their rights to love, learn, vote and work in today’s age.
“Putting these rights into action is an integral part of participating in society as a full citizen and something we have to consider actively.”
With 26 years of experience in the Tri-Cities community, Community Integration Services Society is proud to provide important integration and inclusion services such as: educational, vocational, recreational and social aid throughout the Lower Mainland in the hopes of fostering contributing members of society.
“The quality of one’s life is measured against rights and opportunities and CISS firmly believes that all citizens have the same rights,” says Mahar, whose not-for-profit organization is a proud inclusive employer and has created a renowned social enterprise named Melissa Park Catering Service. “No matter who the person is, we are all equal.”
Community Integration Services Society is proud to work in the community and are thankful that Mayor Greg Moore and his council have proclaimed October as Community Living Month. The Mayor and citizens of Port Coquitlam believe that all are entitled to the same rights and opportunities.
Please join us in celebrating community living month!