CACL leads the way in helping Canadians build an inclusive Canada by strengthening families, defending rights, and transforming communities into places where everyone can belong.

Our Vision and Mission

Vision: An inclusive Canada in which people with an intellectual disability and their families are valued equally and able to participate fully in all aspects of society.

Mission: The Canadian Association for Community Living (CACL) is a family-based association assisting people with an intellectual disability and their families to lead the way in advancing inclusion in their own lives and in their communities. We are dedicated to attaining full participation in community life, ending exclusion and discrimination on the basis of intellectual disability, promoting respect for diversity and advancing human rights to ensure equality for all Canadians.

Our Values and Principles
CACL is guided in all of its actions by principles that are consistent with its values and beliefs. Every action, statement, policy, or publication will honour and promote the principles of:

  • Respect
  • Dignity
  • Equality
  • Diversity
  • Human rights
  • Justice
  • Self-determination
  • Mutual responsibility
  • Inclusion
  • Moral courage

We believe:

  • All members of the human family are full persons. Our human essence cannot be reduced to words, labels, categories, definitions or genetic patterns. Every person is unique. No one can be replaced or copied. All persons are ineffable.
  • All persons are entitled to respect. Respect requires recognition of and concern for the dignity of every person. Dignity is fragile. It must be protected from all harm.
  • All persons have inherent dignity. Dignity belongs to us just because we exist. It is not something we earn or receive.
  • All persons have inalienable dignity. Dignity cannot rightfully be ignored, diminished or taken away.
  • All persons have equal dignity. Dignity does not depend upon physical, intellectual or other characteristics. Neither does it depend upon the opinions that other people have about these characteristics.
  • All persons have inherent and equal worth. Our value as persons is neither earned nor accumulated. It is unrelated to health status or any genetic or other personal characteristic.
  • All persons have inherent capacity for growth and expression. Every person has the right to be nourished physically, intellectually, socially, emotionally and spiritually.
  • All persons are entitled to equal access and opportunity. Equality demands protection from all forms of discrimination or harm, and access to the supports necessary to enable equal participation.

Applying a Family Lens to Our Work
Our vision and resolve is rooted in the experience and aspirations of families who have fought tirelessly for the equality rights, full citizenship and inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities. Families are the heart of the national organization and movement. We understand family to consist of two or more people, living together or apart, related by blood, marriage, adoption or a commitment to support one another. Click here to download our Family Lens.

These guiding principles remain paramount to our work:

  • Families are the cornerstone to inclusive community life and inclusive communities.
  • Supporting and strengthening diverse families contributes to the community’s well-being as a whole.
  • Families provide the greatest degree of continuity in the lives of their sons and daughters with intellectual disabilities and that connection should be honoured and supported.
  • Policies should be designed to strengthen all families, respect and honour all families and facilitate inclusion in all aspects of family and community life.