Celebrate diversity and inclusion during Community Living Month

*Paid Business Feature*

Photo by Eleonor Egidio, Volunteer Services Coordinator

Editorial note: The following is a submitted article. The views and opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of Kingstonist. 

May is Community Living Month — when people across Ontario celebrate the successes of a more inclusive, welcoming society that serves everyone well and builds strengths based on a shared set of values.   

Established in 1953, Community Living Kingston and District (CLKD) was founded by parents of children with intellectual disabilities who gathered to spearhead efforts to build a more inclusive community in Kingston. Long before formal initiatives and priority of the terms ‘culture,’ ‘diversity,’ and ‘inclusion’ in day-to-day life, Community Living raised awareness of their importance. 

Those early CLKD pioneers forged ahead to make their vision a reality:  

To provide support to individuals with an intellectual disability and advocate alongside them, so they are welcome, included, and have every opportunity to participate fully in their community with dignity and independence. 

Photo by Eleonor Egidio, Volunteer Services Coordinator

CLKD created educational opportunities at a time when kids with intellectual disabilities were prohibited from attending public schools. CLKD also started a workshop to provide meaningful work in the absence of employment opportunities elsewhere. The founders of CLKD did not just talk about inclusion, they showed the rest of the world what it can look like — a spirit that continues to this day.  

The work continues. In 2022, CLKD: 

  • supports 700 individuals and their families with programs and services in the community 
  • employs more than 300 staff members  
  • benefits from the generosity of over 100 volunteers 
  • manages an annual operating budget in excess of $23 million  

Inclusion and diversity have relevance for the entire community, not only those with an intellectual disability. Come work with CLKD, whether as staff or volunteer, and together we will do great things.  

Connect with them today at (613) 546-6613 or online at myclkd.ca. Be part of a larger effort of social change to promote an inclusive community where everyone belongs and is respected.  

This article is sponsored by the Community Living Kingston and District, which also submitted the content. If you are interested in a Business Feature on Kingstonist, contact [email protected]

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