We are called LiveWorkPlay because each of the three parts of our name represents a particular value. There are no spaces between the words because each value is linked to the other.
When it comes to “Live” our membership wanted to make sure it was clear that we believe in a particular assumed norm for people with intellectual disabilities: that they will live in regular homes just like non-disabled citizens; that they will receive medical care just like non-disabled citizens; that they will be treated with dignity and have their privacy respect just like non-disabled citizens.
We try to live these values every day. We enlist the support of individual citizens and partners in the public, private, and non-profit sector to help make it happen.
When it comes to “Work,” the harsh reality for people with intellectual disabilities in Ottawa and throughout Canada is they face very high rates of unemployment, usually in the range of 75%. There are many reasons for this. People with intellectual disabilities have been largely denied the possibility of paid employment in community due to false assumptions and myths about their abilities and value. They have also been deliberately channeled into segregated activities that have denied them of any opportunity to explore paid work as an option.
So we proide support with matching potential employees to your business needs, on-the-job training at the point of hire for the employee at no cost to the employer, personalized on-site training and on-going follow-up, ongoing on-the-job support and problem-solving for both the employee and employer, on-the-job training for employees when job changes occur and accommodation solutions for interested employers.
When it comes to “Play,” if we can’t all bowl together, we’re doing something terribly wrong. And yet, all across the city, province, and country, people with intellectual disabilities are being congregated and segregated, isolated and de-humanized. This ranges from denial of sexual information and decision-making to exclusion from sports and cultural activities that are open to other citizens. There are “special” swimming classes and art classes – you name it, there’s probably a “special” version of it.
LiveWorkPlay helps remove barriers in many different ways. We network in the community to identify people and places that think and act inclusively, while at the same time we try to educate those who segregate and exclude. Hence, our members are bowling, curling, running, worshipping, and advocating alongside other citizens with ever-increasing frequency, as contributing members of society.