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Est-ce qu’il y a une organisation qui représente tous les Canadiens et les Canadiennes ayant des déficiences?

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À la tête du mouvement canadien pour les personnes handicapées

While all of these things were happening in the United States, Canadians with Disabilities were beginning to organize themselves as well. This effort began in 1976 with the establishment of the Coalition of Provincial Organizations of the Handicapped (COPOH) 4. Another significant milestone was the founding of the Canadian Association of Independent Living Centres (CAILC) in 1985. This signalled a new era in the Canadian disability movement.

"Having a board position set aside for a person with a disability in the Student Association makes representation easy at that level." (Student, University, Manitoba, National Approach to Services Project)

Canadian issues were different from those of the U.S. They had no social programs for their disabled citizens. Canada had many, but they weren't meeting the needs of disabled citizens. Self-advocacy efforts in the U.S. were often merged with the creation of new services. In Canada, however, alternatives to pre-existing but often inadequate or inappropriate service systems were the focus of organizations of people with disabilities.

CAILC's mission statement contains the key concepts reflecting the values of the Independent Living movement: "To promote and enable the progressive process of citizens with disabilities taking responsibility for the development and management of personal and community resources."

As noted above, by the mid-1980s, Canada had a well-developed self-advocacy track record. The most organized and vocal of the Canadian organizations was the COPOH, along with its affiliates. COPOH focused on collective solutions, but recognized there was a gap in support to individuals from the disability rights movement. Recognition of this gap is what led to the creation and mobilization of Independent Living Centres (ILCs).

ILCs with membership in CAILC are committed to offering programs in four core areas: providing information on available services, developing and delivering "peer" support, "coaching" and advising people on strategies to get what they need, and developing programs.


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