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Watch our 60th Anniversary video that honours and remembers the civil rights history of people with developmental disabilities in BC. Read more about our history here.

Inclusion BC is proud to host String Ensemble Angelorum, an inclusive orchestra that is making waves in Korea and around the world. Read more.


Is Inclusion BC Part of Government?

No. Inclusion BC, formerly the BC Association for Community Living (BCACL), is a non-profit registered charity that has been around for 55 years. We advocate for the rights and opportunities of people with developmental disabilities and their families. We are often confused with Community Living BC, which was created in 2002 as the government funding body for services for people with developmental disabilities and their families.

What is a Developmental Disability?

A developmental disability affects an individual's intellectual development and is usually present from the time they are born or from an early age. This disability varies greatly and society provides accommodations that promote the unique and diverse abilities of each person. Real inclusion takes the onus off the person with the disability and recognizes our collective responsibility to ensure that individualized supports are in place so that everyone can contribute as full citizens.

Historically, people with developmental disabilities have been segregated from mainstream society. The result is that many of us have never met a person with this disability, but we've been deeply influenced by a variety of myths and stereotypes regarding their capabilities.

What's wrong with the word "retarded"?

Unfortunately, the stigma associated with terms like "mentally retarded" is so negative it can stop us from seeing the person hidden behind the label or from recognizing an individual's unique talents and abilities.

Many people with developmental disabilities refer to themselves as "self advocates" - focussing on an active role they play in their lives and their communities.

What is "community living"?

The move to end segregation and institutionalization of people with developmental disabilities has grown into the "community living movement." Our name is our goal - to ensure that everyone, regardless of ability, enjoys their right to live in the community and participate as a full citizen.

Today, people with developmental disabilities are participating in their neighbourhoods, communities, schools, and workplaces. Like everyone else, they have hopes and dreams and the desire to contribute and belong.

Why have the institutions closed?

For many years, people with developmental disabilities were segregated in institutions, separate schools, and segregated workplaces. Segregation deprives people of their rights, limits opportunities, and keeps people apart from family, friends and community.

Everyone has the potential to learn, and institutions cannot even begin to tap that potential. Over the past two decades we have learned that new opportunities foster new abilities, and no one needs to be separated from family and community because of a disability.

Are people really able to participate in community?

The abilities of individuals with developmental disabilities vary greatly. Most are able to carry on a conversation, engage in social activities, work, and participate in life like we all do. Others with more severe disabilities may participate in different ways, but, like all of us, enjoy the company of others and the opportunity to participate in whatever way they can.

Don't people with developmental disabilities need medical care?

A developmental disability is not an illness. Some people may need extra or specialized care, but most people are able to live in community with few additional supports.

How can I help?

Join Inclusion BC today. Inclusion BC members are committed to the vision of a world where everyone belongs. By becoming a member you stand with us as we provide support, education and advocacy where and when it's needed, breaking down barriers and building communities that include people of all abilities. 

Eighty percent of Inclusion BC's operating budget comes from public support. Visit the "Support Us" section of our website for ways you can support us financially.

You can also show your support simply by being willing to accept and include people as part of your community. If you meet someone who looks a little different, or who has difficulty speaking or walking, offer them the same respect you would give anyone else ... a smile, a handshake, a moment of conversation.