Think about the lives of most people who live in Canada. Life starts with family, growing up at home, being loved and wanted, going to play school, childcare and/or kindergarten and school, having and making friends throughout the journey, having friends and family who support you and your dreams, developing a career identity, participating in community activities, being a teenage, developing a positive sense of self over time, having dreams, playing sports, possibly involved in music/dance/art, going to college/university, traveling, falling in love, getting a job, pursuing a career, perhaps owning a business, finding a soulmate, owning/renting a home of your own, having friends over for dinner, looking after your parents, growing older and continuing to contribute at every step of the way. It is assumed and expected that you will grow, relate, adapt, contribute and be included in the fullness o community life amidst your family, friends, and colleagues.
Inclusion happens when the lives of children and adults with an intellectual disability unfold no differently; immersed together with their peers without a disability in the same pathways and experiences of life common to us all.
An institution is any place in which people who have been labeled as having an intellectual disability are isolated, segregated and/or congregated. An institution is any place in which people do not have, or are not allowed to exercise, control over their lives and their day to day decisions. An institution is not defined merely by its size.