Community Living changes name May to be busy month

To celebrate “Community Living Month,” the Fort Frances and District Association for Community Living announced its name has changed to “Community Living Fort Frances and District” yesterday afternoon.
“This year, we are celebrating 40 years of providing support to individuals with an intellectual disability,” said Denise Bliss, chairperson of the CLFFD board of directors during a flag-raising ceremony yesterday at the CLFFD office here (990 Scott St.).
“During our 40 years, this is our third name change. Each change reflects the changes in the way people think about disabilities and how we might bring people and their communities together,” she added.
The name change is part of a province-wide mandate to put the “community living” part of the title first and foremost, as opposed to the name of the respective community (as it was with “Fort Frances and District Association for Community Living”).
“Community living is something most of us experience naturally, as part of our daily lives. We live in communities, our children go to neighbourhood schools, we have the opportunity to work at real jobs for real pay and contribute as productive citizens, said Bliss.
“But, for many people who have an intellectual disability of developmental disabilities, community living is a dream, an objective yet to be realized,” she added. “Some still live in institutions. Others may live at home but with little connection with the community around them—as children, they may be in segregated classrooms in a school far away from neighbourhood children; as adults, they are largely excluded from the workforce.
“At all ages, many face physical and social barriers that keep them from participating in the social, recreational and economic world around them,” noted Bliss. “Today, we are celebrating inclusion in our community. Inclusion is everybody living together, working together, learning together, and respecting each other, even though we are all different.
“We believe that this is the vision and goals that you will share for your community,” she concluded.
Given that it is “Community Living Month,” CLFFD will have an extra busy schedule over the next four weeks.
For instance, this Thursday through Saturday, the annual Mother’s Day flower sale take place at the 990 Scott St. location.
Then, on Monday, May 9, there will be a grand opening of the new satellite office in Rainy River (113 Fourth St.).
And the annual bedding plant sale will then take place May 18-21 at the 990 Scott St. location here.