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This article was published 7/5/2015 (1659 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Community Living Brandon is an advocacy organization committed to the inclusion of people who live with an intellectual disability in their community.
The non-profit group has been active in Brandon for more than 50 years, and joins other provincial, national and international organizations that provide support, services, resources and action to move inclusive childcare, education, employment and community living agendas forward.
The Community Living movement was built on the voices of individuals and families who were promoting the right to inclusion in the life of the community for everyone, regardless of disability.
Today, Community Living is a strong network working together with families, local and provincial associations, partners, and governments.
Fifty years ago, families were denied a place in the school system for their children; young men and women with intellectual disabilities were left at home with their parents when their brothers and sisters moved on to employment and their own homes.
The local Community Living organization was responsible for the first school program in Brandon for children with intellectual disabilities, the creation of what is now a thriving day service COR Enterprises, the integrated preschool Beginnings Preschool, and was the launching pad for many of the current community residential service agencies in our community.
Services today are located in the community, and individuals are actively participating in active lifestyles.
It is, however, still difficult to overcome the label of disability. The percentage of individuals with intellectual disabilities in the workforce is dismally low, although many have skills that are required in the workplace.
Many live isolated lives, with few relationships outside of family and those paid to be in their lives. Few are included in the usual social fabric of our communities.
Over the last 25 years, as students have been mainstreamed in their neighbourhood schools, sometimes intentional circles of support have been built around students with disabilities with the support of adults, in an effort to create the environment for natural friendships to develop.
It is a sad truth that often those perceived as ‘different’ are not included naturally in the social settings of children or adults.
In today’s social climate, bullying has become a huge concern. The ability to accept difference, and to develop positive relationships with everyone regardless of label or difference, is the necessary mindset to eliminate bullying. It is our children that can be the catalyst for this societal change, so critical to a positive future for everyone.
Community Living Brandon is excited to bring to the schools in Brandon a musical performance that will assist in sharing this message.
The energetic musical “Spikey’s Points” is a universally appealing family show suitable for young ages, from kindergarten to Grade 5.
Spikey — in costume, with spongy quills — is a porcupine with mostly good points. He makes a point of making the world a better place.
The script’s theme is about inclusion, self-esteem, attitude, accepting differences, anti-bullying, care of the environment and relationships.
“Spikey’s Points” was performed during the July 2014 Winnipeg Fringe Festival and has been positively received at more than 15 Winnipeg elementary schools and other Winnipeg venues.
The production is directed by Joyce Winter-Schmidt, an actor and director familiar to Brandon.
Community Living Brandon and Spikey’s Productions will bring “Spikey’s Points” to a full house of young Brandon students at the Lorne Watson Recital Hall at Brandon University on June 5.
Community Living Brandon is pleased to bring this performance to Brandon in partnership with Spikey’s Productions to raise awareness of the importance of inclusion in our communities.
If you would like more information about how you can facilitate the message of inclusion in your setting, or where you might see “Spikey’s Points” in Winnipeg, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 724-2348.