In 1998, 6 Foothills families gathered, seeking support and were compelled to make a difference. They believed they could influence their communities to invite those with any disability to be included in normal life. Research told them that diversity brings strength and resiliency to people and places where they learn, play, work and live. Experience showed them the isolation and exclusion of their sons, daughters and loved ones was not only painful but unnecessary. Mission is to provide advocacy and support for individuals with pan disability and their families/guardians so they: enjoy all rights, responsibilities, and benefits of citizenship, be valued and included as equal/valued citizens and be free of discrimination. In 2011 we served 67 families, in 2023 we currently serve 1224 families and individuals (3700+ individuals). Partner with 4 School Divisions, numerous industry, business and non-profits so that all funds and opportunities make maximum social impact. Inclusion Foothills is a rural charity serving from the edge of Calgary south, being rural brings many challenges for services.
ABC’s of Family Centred Supports: Advocate: as a parent, sister, brother, cousin we have all had to stand up for what’s right, try to be heard and even helped that friend find their voice. Believe: we all need someone to believe in us and for us to believe in something. A dream of being a teacher, to ride a horse, to have a puppy… but to dream you need to believe it’s possible. Complete: with the help of family centred supports we see the dream to reality. Sometimes it doesn’t look like we first thought but through collaboration, discussion and people in our camp, families are able to access what they need, navigate systems. Families are given the tools to carry out what is best for their family member.This program is important to the community because Family Support is the resource to assist families to navigate all the required systems that a family with a family member has to wade through over their lifetime. An inclusive pathway is the primary route to a life of meaning, belonging and possibilities. An inclusive life requires immersion in valued, normal, social, family & community life over the life-span: birthday parties, 1st day of school, dance, soccer, friends, volunteering, homework, part-time student jobs, careers, family and such. Inclusion Foothills Family Support provides, at the earliest opportunity, a wide array of proven, innovative and unduplicated services to help envision & sustain those with disabilities as active participants in their communities. Family Support builds efforts for everyone to become fully involved, rather than isolated and underachieving, bringing diversity & strength to the Foothills region. Without accountable advocacy & intentional intervention, those with disabilities have some of the least opportunity & the most isolation and disadvantage with poverty, unemployment and homelessness being the prevalent outcome for most.
As a family governed association committed to creating inclusive communities, Inclusion Foothills Association will:
1. Be a strong, effective, active organization.
2. Inform and empower families.
3. Reach out to new families.
4. Provide opportunities for families to support one another.
5. Provide advocacy and support to individuals with pan disabilities and their families.
6. Advocate for community inclusion practices and policies.
7. Represent the interests of families in the Service area.
8. Work collaboratively with other organizations who share common values.
9. Establish goals with expected outcomes and performance measures annually through the strategic planning process. Monitor vs measured.
10.Monitor the goals and key performance indicators annually and adjust as needed.
Family support: Whether it is a new diagnosis or you are new to the area. Inclusion Foothills understands that this can be very overwhelming for anyone and having some extra support can help you make informed decisions for your family. Inclusion Foothills is here to provide support, advocacy, and inclusion to those who need it.
Families have the opportunity to access the connections registry, one-to-one support, support in advocacy for Education, Transition Planning, an advocate while attending medical appointments, help filling out funding applications, and more.
Inclusion Foothills offers group support programs such as monthly Sibshops programming and the Step-Up Parent Support Group.
Best of all, these programs are at no cost.
Inclusive Employment: We offer programs to assist people who are facing barriers to employment. Support is focused on an individual’s needs in finding and keeping a job.
The Having Inclusive Rewarding Employment (H.I.R.E.) program empowers potential employees ages 16 to retirement and equips employers to sustain an inclusive and productive workplace. Contact: [email protected]