Community Living Out Loud

What is Community Living Mississauga?

April 30, 2023 Peter Reynolds Season 1 Episode 1
What is Community Living Mississauga?
Community Living Out Loud
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Community Living Out Loud
What is Community Living Mississauga?
Apr 30, 2023 Season 1 Episode 1
Peter Reynolds

Community Living Out Loud is a podcast that celebrates the lives of people with intellectual disabilities and the advocacy work done on their behalf.

In this first episode, host Peter Reynolds talks with Laura Sluce, CPA and partner at Ernst & Young, and Keith Tansley, Executive Director of Community Living Mississauga. They delve into what the organization does, the services it provides, and how individuals with intellectual disabilities can access these services. The discussion also covers advocacy work being done on behalf of people with intellectual disabilities and how listeners can help support them in their own communities.

You can also watch this episode on YouTube

If you're enjoying this podcast, please be sure to subscribe. We'd also love to hear any episode suggestions you may have.

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Community Living Out Loud is a podcast that celebrates the lives of people with intellectual disabilities and the advocacy work done on their behalf.

In this first episode, host Peter Reynolds talks with Laura Sluce, CPA and partner at Ernst & Young, and Keith Tansley, Executive Director of Community Living Mississauga. They delve into what the organization does, the services it provides, and how individuals with intellectual disabilities can access these services. The discussion also covers advocacy work being done on behalf of people with intellectual disabilities and how listeners can help support them in their own communities.

You can also watch this episode on YouTube

If you're enjoying this podcast, please be sure to subscribe. We'd also love to hear any episode suggestions you may have.

Peter Reynolds:     Hi and welcome to Community Living Out Loud, a podcast brought to you by Community Living Mississauga. I’m your host Peter Reynolds. In this podcast we celebrate the lives of persons who have an intellectual disability and the incredible advocacy work that’s being done on behalf of them and their families. In our very first episode today we’re going to learn a little bit more about what Community Living Mississauga is, the services they offer, and how you can not only access those services but how you can help an individual or support an individual with an intellectual disability in your community. 

                               And joining me are two people who understand everything there is to know about Community Living Mississauga – at least I hope so – and that is Laura Sluce, who is a charter professional accountant and partner with Ernst & Young; she joined the board of directors at community living Mississauga in 2015 and was appointed president in 2022. And Keith Tansley is executive director at Community Living Mississauga and he’s been with the organization since 1982. Welcome to the podcast. 

Laura Sluce:          Thank you, Peter. 

Keith Tansley:       Thank you, Peter.

Peter Reynolds:     Maybe we could just start with the simplest question and that is: what is Community Living Mississauga. 

Keith Tansley:       Sure. Community Living Mississauga is a local organization and our mission is to support people who have an intellectual disability. We also support their families but we look to support them in all walks of their life from early childhood to retirement. 

Peter Reynolds:     Laura, what kind of services do you offer individuals at Community Living Mississauga? 

Laura Sluce:          Hey Peter. I mean, we offer people with an intellectual disability all types of services. So as Keith mentioned, you know, we start out with children in our early childhood programs and take that right through to summer recreational programs that support children and teens. To people that are adults, and that this through our 24-hour residential support. WE support people through independent living programs; there are day programs that support people to get out within their communities. 

                               And that’s just sort of some examples of our programs but I think really truly all of the programs come down to the belief of the organization that really is supporting people to be active in their communities and really allow individuals and people to have their lives within – on a daily basis within the community. So all of our programs are geared around that fundamental belief.

Peter Reynolds:     It seems like a really holistic approach. 

Laura Sluce:          Definitely. And I think, you know, building upon Keith’s statement, you know, it really is supporting people from, you know, as children right to adults to ensure that they have a meaningful life within their community.

Peter Reynolds:     Keith, you’ve been with the organization for, if my math is correct, 42 years. And I’m just wondering: how – can you tell us a little bit about how community living got started and how it’s evolved from then to now? 

Laura Sluce:          Sure. I think there’s lots of community living associations across Ontario. Almost every town has one. And they started back in the mid-50s. We were one of the earlier ones in Mississauga. But really it was a group of parents that, you know, had children who had intellectual disabilities. And they, you know, at that time, unfortunately a lot of people, yeah, doctors would recommend that people be institutionalized because of, you know, a lot of different things like that. But these parents really wanted a couple of things: one: they wanted to keep their sons or daughters at home; and two: they wanted to be accepted. 

                               OK. So some of our early mission statements, yeah, were really more around acceptance and respect for people who have an intellectual disability. Over the years that has changed as our services has, and now we’re, yeah, more into certainly respect is a big thing but we’re looking at – we want people to be included in their communities. And not only included as Laura mentioned, but we want people to be, yeah, to be able to actively participate. We want people to have jobs. We want people to go to wherever you and I go. Right? Everybody should be doing that. 

                               OK. In the early days, again, they’ll go back to some of our services. The very early ones were started as a resource for, I would say, almost a preschool. So, yeah. Young parents had to work and, you know, a lot of preschool settings were not, you know, adapted to support children who had an intellectual disability. Again, not quite sure why because, you know, just exporting any other child. But unfortunately in those days, you know, services were segregated. Over time that’s changed. Now all children are in their neighbourhood schools and their preschools et cetera.

                               Also in the early times were, you know, day programs. [Rennis? 00:05:19] looked at shelter workshops and basically the definition is shelter workshops. It was a workshop. It was a business. Some businesses thrive. But the whole sort of background they were called ARC and [unintelligible 00:05:33], which is adult retraining centre. But unfortunately even though, you know, they were there making some money it was in a very sheltered environment, nobody was really being trained. 

                               So in the early 80s we actually took that model and started insisting that people go for active employment. You know? First it was just, you know, in the community and nowadays we have hundreds of people out in our community; they’re being paid a livable wage. 

                               Over the time, though, we also grew – I mentioned, you know, unfortunately back in the early 50s people were still being sent off to answer institutions. Right? And so during the 70s and 80s and right up until the 1990s we played a major part because all associations did in bringing people back from these large-scale institutions and bring people into, you know, their arms and community. Right? So, we offer many different models now. 

                               And really for services now really involved it evolved to working on people’s goals. And again, going back to that inclusion work, we want people to be included, respected and actively participating in our community. 

Peter Reynolds:     Keith, you talk a lot about this idea of inclusion but also the idea of integration. And I want to know if you or Laura could talk a little bit about the importance of having that sort of seamless, you know, that your programs are sort of seamless with the larger community – that there’s that integration. 

Keith Tansley:       Sure. Laura, do you want me to take this? 

Laura Sluce:          Sure, Keith. Why don’t you go ahead?

Keith Tansley:       Really inclusion and integration are two words. They tend to be overlapped. Yep. Integration means, yeah, you’re sort of coming into the community. Inclusion means you’re actually being, you know, part of the community. You’re part of the group. You’re part of, you know, everyday life. And there’s no segregation at all. A really, again, the words are, you know, fairly similar. That’s really what we want. And our whole philosophy is based on I think what many of us want for society as a whole. It really doesn’t matter what your background is or what your intellect is, creed, colour, whatever, we want everybody to be on an even, you know, footing. We want people to have access to jobs, access to their local religious – you know, good choice of religions. Whether they get married or not. Yeah. Everything that you and I take for granted, yeah, I think all people should have that and that’s really our vision and our philosophy. 

Peter Reynolds:     Laura, I just want to ask you about this idea of sort of choice and individualized programs. So we can, you know, from what Keith was saying, you know, in the past we had individuals being put in institutions, you know, where they had no choice. And then we moved into programs in the community where the organization was determining what programs. They might be inclusive but perhaps the individuals did not have as much choice. Can you talk about that shift to more personal choice on the kind of programs and services that individuals who have intellectual disabilities are able to participate in?

Laura Sluce:          Yeah. No. I think it’s an important question because I think it’s important for people that we support as well as their families to feel as though they’re part of the decision making and allowing people to choose what programs they’d like to participate in as well as being able to choose the support that’s available to them. And very much we’d like their involvement so that things are customized – that people, again, are choosing where they are actively involved in the Canadian and, you know, is it the job that they’d like to participate in or is it a program they’d like to be involved in? 

                               So no. I think choice is very important and where choice is available I think it’s critical that the people that we support and their families are involved in that. 

Peter Reynolds:     Can you give me an example of if somebody is getting involved in a day program or perhaps in looking at an employment program that you might offer? What those choices could be. Keith? 

Keith Tansley:       Sure. We offer many day programs and, you know, quite a few of them start off at one centre. And really what we say to people is you can come to this centre and we have lots of activities but we want you to be out in the community and doing something different. Whether you’re going to a gym or a yoga class. Go to a movie; whatever. You should be out in the community and we ensure that our employees offer these choice choices to people. So while you may be in the – say in our day program – we call them base sites but there’s a variety of different terms. It’s just a central location where people come together. But it really comes around choice. So what do you want to do today? 

                               And choice is sometimes limited. When you’re going out in the groups at three or four, yeah, people have to agree, we all want to go to the movie or whatever. And we’re, yeah, we’re trying to evolve those really so – yeah. Not so much that we get rid of base sites right away or going from the opposite spectrum where how do we support people and how do we ensure those friendships are out there? So people don’t need to come to our base sites; they’re already actively involved. 

Peter Reynolds:     And I would think that funding plays a role in that. You know? In the fact that you want to give as many choices as possible but we have to sort of work within the resources that we have available.

Keith Tansley:       Absolutely. I mean, we’re pretty good at, yeah, stretching a dollar. But there’s many things. Most of our funding for day programs comes from the Ministry of Children and community and social services. We haven’t had a base increase for, oh, probably about 11 years. So we get some program expansions every so often, but yeah, we don’t even get increases for price of food or car allowances or whatever. So funding is always tight. 

                               Also, you know, we really advocate for the salaries of our employees. Yeah. They earn an OK wage. But certainly, yeah, we want them to be respected. And yeah. Part of that, there’s people coming into this field: they’re looking for higher salaries. Higher salaries so they can actually live in Mississauga and they don’t have to travel from other communities to come here. 

Peter Reynolds:     Laura, we’ve touched on the idea of funding which I’m sure is something that’s constantly top of mind. I’m wondering: what are some of the other challenges that are facing Community Living Mississauga today?

Laura Sluce:          Yeah. No. And I think, you know, funding, you know, as Keith mentioned, a lot of our programs are funded but really it’s ensuring that there’s sufficient funding to go around. But also I think some of our unfunded programs such as our summer recreational programs and for supporting children and just ensuring we’re continuing to look for ways to, you know, raise additional funds so we can continue to expand those programs and support as many children and teens as we can in that – as an example of an unfunded program. 

                               You know, Keith touched on recruiting so I won’t touch on that but obviously that is an area that, you know, we have many employees with many passionate, dedicated employees that do fantastic work. But, you know, obviously we’re always looking to recruit to, again, to ensure that we have enough staff to continue to expand our programs. 

                               And I think the last thing just on advocacy, you know, we’ve touched on this but obviously that is continued challenge, just continuing to advocate and it’s truly important that we continue to do that amongst ourselves as a voice but also amongst the community to ensure people are being fully inclusive of all individuals, as was previously mentioned. 

Peter Reynolds:     When it comes to recruitment obviously, you know, salaries are going to be a factor. Do you think that also sort of public awareness that help is needed: is that part of the challenge? Getting the word out. 

Laura Sluce:          Keith, why don’t you take that question? 

Keith Tansley:       Yeah. That’s funny. We were just talking about that this morning. And the change in, you know, how people get jobs, what they’re looking for. And unfortunately in our service I think we’ve fallen behind in, you know, the public and the school system knowing about us. OK? So not that many people are coming into field. Partly is, yeah, things change with the pandemic. We saw the crisis in long-term care. They didn’t have enough staff. They weren’t paid; they were very poorly paid. So a lot of their focus has gone on to actually pay for education for more people to become support workers. Also they’ve been trying to raise the wages. And now all of a sudden our sector is getting pushed so people that would have been coming into our sector are now sort of going somewhere else. 

                               And sometimes, you know, a lot of our staff go to the school for us. So I think a big part is, yeah, sometimes it does come back down to money. But a lot of times it does, as you say, come down to public awareness. Do people know? Even from a high school level. Are the guidance counsellors talking about, yeah, this is a possible career choice? Are the colleges pushing development service workers as a real career? 

                               And also, I know provincially we’re trying to professionalize. OK? Much like the nurses did, you know, back in the 70s and 80s. Right? This is a real profession. Something you can call a career. Well, environmental service workers have been [unintelligible 00:15:21] many times, but I think we’ve lost some ground through the pandemic. So we’re working through some of those issues. 

Peter Reynolds:     Laura, what do you see the future for Community Living Mississauga in the next five or ten years? 

Laura Sluce:          Well, I hope it continues to move in the in direction we’re moving and continue to expand our programs to allow us to support more people. And again, you know, in the current world technology obviously has come in to be a big portion of this, you know, through COVID-19, how we’ve been able to adapt and, you know, do programs on a different way and be able to still connect with people. I think we’ve learned a lot through that we’re happy to be back in person and doing a lot of things together in our community but I think using technology and being able to support people in different ways is definitely the way of the future and something that I think we can continue to adapt with. But we obviously want to continue to build on inclusion and that will remain the forefront and importance of this. 

Peter Reynolds:     Laura, I know you’ve gone from board member to vice president to now president. What keeps you going? What keeps you coming in? What keeps you passionate? 

Laura Sluce:          Yeah. No. I think, you know, truly believing in everything that Community Living Mississauga does. I have a personal connection. So my oldest son has an intellectual disability and that’s how I originally was connected with Community Living Mississauga; he was supported through a preschool program, so through the early childhood development support. And I think from there it just had been a great relationship, but truly have a personal connection which continues from my own, you know, meaning towards this but being able to meet the people that we support, the employees, the other board members that we work with. We all have a common passion in that we all want to support all people with a disability and obviously here specifically with intellectual disabilities and truly just, you know, why I continue to be involved with the organization on a day-to-day basis. 

Peter Reynolds:     And Keith, how about yourself? 

Keith Tansley:       I think many factors. One is sort of, yeah, just my love for our mission and stuff like that. But I think something that keeps you going is really the response we’re getting from everybody. Yeah. Our board of directors; our volunteers. We have over 400 active volunteers, student placements, right? The families that we support are great. They’re very grateful. They’re very, yeah, in touch with what we want to do. People we support, for sure. Yeah. I mean, they want their lives to be better. Right? So they believe in the vision that we have for them. 

                               Certainly our employees are – we have over 500 employees. I mean, just an amazing group of people. And we know they’re not here just for the money. Yeah. They’re here for their passion; they’re here to make a difference.

                               And, you know, a lot of our employees. You know? You ask them why. They’re here for the people they support. That’s how much we’re Community Living Mississauga. We want them to be here for us too – to be part of the bigger picture. But they really enjoy their work. And that really keeps inspiring me after all these years. 

Peter Reynolds:     So for those people listening, perhaps they’re a family with a child who has an intellectual disability and they’re either – maybe they’re living in Mississauga now or maybe they’re thinking of moving to Mississauga, and I’m sure that’s a huge factor when it comes to moving into a new community. Will there be the services out there? What would you say to them? And in terms of how they can reach you and how they can start to access your services? 

Keith Tansley:       I think certainly the easiest way and quickest way is just check out our website. It’s, so that’s Community Living Mississauga. But it’s With that we have all of our information. We talked about our wide variety of programs on that. We talk about our mission. You know? We have the articles there about success stories of people working in our community, living independently et cetera. What our board is doing et cetera. So that’s a really good start for a source of information. You can always contact us. 

                               Now to actually access our services you have to go through Developmental Services Ontario. It’s more of a government thing of how to access all services in this sector, but that’s also listed on our website: how you get in contact with them. 

Peter Reynolds:     And Laura, for those people out there who are looking to support Community Living Mississauga or support individuals who have an intellectual disability in the community, is there anyone specifically that you’re looking for? Can anybody help if there’s somebody from someone who’s retired to somebody in high school? Is there a place for them at Community Living Mississauga. 

Laura Sluce:          Yeah. No. We’re always looking, obviously, for active volunteers. If you want to get involved as a volunteer or through some of our fundraising we have events that happen throughout the year that we’re – obviously we’re happy to have people join us to ensure that, you know, we continue to support people. 

                               But yeah, there’s many ways that you can get involved. And again, you know, the website that Keith mentioned is a great starting point on how you can look to volunteer, you know, contribute, donate or get involved. 

Peter Reynolds:     That’s terrific. And actually, a great segue to a segment that we’re going to have as a regular feature on the podcast. And we’re going to be talking to a featured partner, somebody who’s committed their time, expertise to Community Living Mississauga. And today our featured partner is Greg Symons who is a director and portfolio manager for ScotiaMcLeod, and he is a member of Community Living Mississauga’s board of directors. Greg, welcome to the podcast. 

Greg Symons:        Thanks for having me, Peter. 

Peter Reynolds:     Well, you’ve been hearing what everyone’s been saying up to this point. Maybe you can tell me a little bit about why you decided to support and donate your time to this organization. 

Greg Symons:        Sure. I’d be happy to. I guess my involvement goes back just a little over 20 years ago. And it was actually on a professional basis. They were looking for someone to help manage the Community Living Foundation funds. And that’s how I got to know the organization. And once I assumed that role I became more curious about what they were doing in Mississauga so I started to nose around and see what I could do to help out. 

                               I also have a personal connection to people with an intellectual disability. My nephew has one and although he doesn’t live in Mississauga I was keen to find out about what other services were involved in the Community Living network in Ontario. 

                               So I took a pretty keen interest in it. Because of my background in finance I decided to see if I could help out personally by helping with fundraising. So I got involved in the very first Community Living golf tournament many, many years ago. And it was quite small and because I’d done that kind of thing before I was encouraging everybody to see if we could expand it, which we were able to do, thankfully. 

                               And then of course once you get involved on a regular basis Community Living is always actively recruiting their volunteers to become even more active. So I started to work on committees. And then through committee work got to know a lot of the management at Community Living and was very impressed with their dedication and their passion for helping. So, just evolved that I was eventually asked to sit on the board of directors. 

                               I can’t recall exactly how long but I think it’s about 10 years. 

Peter Reynolds:     Can you tell us a little bit about, you know, sort of this idea of obviously volunteering or having your business volunteer and support Community Living Mississauga is the right thing to do. Can you talk a little bit about maybe the business case? You know, the advantages that the businesses can receive from supporting the organization. 

Greg Symons:        Yeah. Absolutely. I happen to work for the Bank of Nova Scotia and there are five other banks in Canada that are major employers. We have 90,000 employees across Canada. So we’re very, very employee-intensive. And, like most good employers, they encourage our workers to go into the community and see where they can help out and bring our resources to bear. 

                               So when it comes to volunteering it’s always a good idea to have a personal stake in the game and whatever organization you’re going to get involved in is going to is going to value your services when you have that kind of commitment to them. 

                               So Scotiabank has been a real leader in terms of promoting the idea of community involvement. And I like the idea of using leverage. And in this case it’s corporate dollars. So I started sniffing around about how I could get the bank to pitch in as well. And I guess that’s my message to anybody who’s listening who works for a major corporate employer. I would be very surprised if you could find a major corporate employer who didn’t have a charitable foundation of one sort or another where they encourage their employees to take advantage of the funds that are available. And whether it be a bank or a life insurance company or anybody who works for a major corporation, they – we as good corporate citizens want to be involved. And the more local it is the better it is. 

                               So from Scotiabank’s point of view, what really was exciting to me was would they would leverage up the amount of involvement they would have by the number of people we could recruit Scotiabankers in the community. So they would have different levels of funding based on the number of people that were actually involved on the ground. So naturally we went for the most funding we could possibly get, which meant that we had to get 30 different Scotiabankers in Mississauga to get interested in the cause. And the way we did that was by bringing around committee members to do lunch and learns or breakfast and learn sessions in the individual branches. 

                               And the interesting thing about doing that was that once we introduced ourselves in the initial stages, without fail people in the branch would say, oh, we know somebody who’s supported by Community Living or we’ve met a volunteer who’s come in with a Community Living-supported individual. So that’s who you guys are. So pretty soon they all became quite interested and we’ve had to turn away volunteers who want to get involved, and that’s a good thing. 

                               So what we try to do is make sure that we revisit the branches in the community so they could see that we’re actively involved and try to rotate the people who help. 

                               I’d be remiss not to talk about some of our other sponsors. I know you’ll be speaking to them over time. But you’ll often see major corporations – Tim Hortons comes to mind immediately – who are supporting individuals with an intellectual disability and welcoming them out to the work site. So the more we can do to have corporate involvement in our cause, the more we are able to be successful at our cause, which is Community Living. That’s getting the people involved in their own community. And getting away from the stigma of people who are isolated or treated like a different entity and they only have access when they’re moving in groups together rather than moving with their peers in the community. 

                               So, yeah, so I’ve been excited about the opportunity to use my corporate [appearance? 00:27:36] leverage wherever we can. And the more I learned about Community Living the more I wanted to help out. 

Peter Reynolds:     That’s great, Greg. Thank you very much. Laura, your thoughts on what Greg was talking about in terms of nurturing that that corporate involvement and corporate partnership. 

Laura Sluce:          No. I think, you know, very appreciative of all of Greg’s involvement and him bringing sort of his corporation behind him. And we are definitely very appreciative of all of our corporate partners and sponsors through many, many years. And, you know, Greg’s mentioned, you know, Tim Hortons as one that’s significant. There’s many others. And it’s critical for us to be keep them engaged and involved because, you know, people that are supported are out there in the community working in some of these organizations or, you know, as Greg mentioned, visiting our customers. 

                               So it’s critical that we get the word out of what we’re doing so that we can engage more corporations to be involved in whatever capacity they see fit. But, you know, education is a big piece of that. So, you know, it’s been very important to us and we’re very thankful for mill companies and involvement such as Greg. 

Peter Reynolds:     And Keith, it’s interesting what Greg was saying about how, you know, when you start to reach out within the community everybody knows somebody who’s impacted or is supported. And often it’s just a question of increasing that reach and increasing that awareness. 

Keith Tansley:       Absolutely. And I think you see that through our whole community. One thing you asked me about, you know, what inspires me to keep going and that. And I was waiting for Greg to come on. I mean, Greg is just an example. You know, Laura is an example of one of our own volunteers. Greg is a corporate volunteer and a corporate partner and we have so many corporate partners. And whether they’re involved in our fundraising, our generating different activities. Certainly we have so many, so many great partners that, yeah, provide employment opportunities to the point where, yeah, I think sometimes we have more employment opportunities than we have people to take the jobs. 

                               But also in general, yeah, I mean, our local politicians. Our community itself, Mississauga community is an incredibly rich community and very accepting. You’re always turning on the news and hearing and not so great things but I think really at the roots of the Mississauga community they’re very accepting of, yeah, everybody, and especially people who have an intellectual disability. And I think we’ve been very, very fortunate to sort of ride on their coattails. And that helps us get people jobs. That helps us get volunteers. That helps us get, you know, employees. We still need employees, but yeah. It’s certainly a big thing. It gets our name out there. 

                               So when we go to, yeah, the local gym and stuff like that. People are very welcoming. We had a situation. I could just tell you a little story work where people were meeting at a local mall. You have [unintelligible 00:30:49] do a day program on a Saturday and they were having this trouble getting this young lady out of the mall to come to the [unintelligible 00:30:57] group that they were going to – wherever they were going that day. But she was more involved with the tai chi people that were already participating in the mall. She was having too good of a time and they were very welcoming of her. 

                               So, yeah, that’s a really, yeah, that’s a good problem to have. 

Peter Reynolds:     She wanted to stay there. She wanted to –

Keith Tansley:       And they wanted her to stay too. Yeah. Well, we want out but she did go on to have a great day out in the community. 

Peter Reynolds:     Oh that is a good problem to have. And definitely that idea of integration. I know my son in his school, you know, there are individuals with intellectual disabilities, there are people on the – that have autism. And he doesn’t think twice about it. They’re part of the school; they’re part of the event; part of friendship. So that’s definitely the goal and looks like you guys are have been doing it for many years and are continuing to look to ways to improve the situation. 

                               I’d love to end the podcast by maybe you – each could just tell me sort of one thing you’d like somebody listening to this podcast to take away. And perhaps we could start with you, Laura. 

Laura Sluce:          Yeah. I think, you know, sort of building upon that story you just said, Peter, with your son is I think the concept of inclusion is not that people look at someone as though they’re labeled with something. So not to look at someone as though they’re labeled with an intellectual disability but just they are a person just like the rest of us and we don’t enter a room with a label; we just enter the room as ourselves. And I think if you look at everyone as though they’re no different than anyone else regardless of how they may look, the disability they may have, then that, you know, we’ve made progress. And I think that’s important for people just to try to think – not to think differently but just to look at everyone the same. 

Peter Reynolds:     Keith. 

Keith Tansley:       I think Laura just took mine but it really comes down to [unintelligible 00:33:01] and yep, we want people to be included. And part of being included is people have to participate in the community. Right? So there’s a certain responsibility on all community members and certainly not just people with support. But I think that’s really what we want for, again, everyone in our community. It just makes for a healthier – everybody has, you know, a lot better time. There’s, you know, a lot of good things to go around. 

Peter Reynolds:     And Greg, yourself? 

Greg Symons:        I think what I’ve learned over the years is that Community Living supports a broad range of individuals with intellectual disabilities. And that goes all the way from people who are on our board as active participants, helping us with their input and helping us to direct policy for people such as themselves. To the other end where we have people who aren’t able to communicate with words but still have a wonderful involvement in the community and with their families and need to be welcome to that community and given every opportunity to participate. 

                               So it’s a very broad range of people that we support. And it’s important that everyone in the community understands that they have a role to play in helping these people to have a great quality of life. 

Peter Reynolds:     Well, I just wanted to thank the three of you for joining us for this inaugural episode of live Community Living Out Loud. I’m really excited to see where things go and the kind of people we’re able to talk to. But we’ve been joined by Laura Sluce, who is the Community Living Mississauga board president. Keith Tansley is executive director at Community Living Mississauga. And Greg Symons is a Community Living Mississauga board member. Again, thank you all for joining us for this podcast. 

Greg Symons:        You’re welcome. 

Keith Tansley:       Thank you very much.

Laura Sluce:          Thank you very much.

Peter Reynolds:     And thank you of course to our listeners, for without you this podcast would be very quiet. And we need to hear from you and we would love to get your comments on the podcast. Any suggestions for future episodes. Let us know the kind of things you want to hear and we’ll be sure to bring it to you. And of course you can listen to this wherever you get your podcasts. You can also watch a video version on YouTube. And there are links on Community Living Mississauga’s website. 

                               So for our guests and everyone at Community Living Mississauga, I’m your host Peter Reynolds and we’ll see you next time. 

Community Living Mississauga
Inclusion and integration
Personal choice in programs
Funding challenges for day programs
Professionalizing service work
Supporting Community Living Mississauga
Corporate social responsibility
Corporate involvement in community living
Inclusion in the community
Inclusive community living