Image of two women walking on a rocky beach in Eastern Canada. The text next to the women walking reads "Inclusion Matters - News from the Canadian Association for Community Living"
Inclusion Matters
August 2020
This month, we're discussing the health and wellness of people with a disability and family members during COVID-19, the federal government disability relief benefit, and more!
A brother in sister sitting together in a car, smiling with their masks on
Family Health & Wellness in the Era of COVID-19
COVID-19 has presented many new and unique challenges for people with an intellectual disability and their family members.

We spoke to several family members about how they've been addressing the mental health needs of themselves and their loved ones during the pandemic.

CID Plain Language Guide to Mental Health during COVID-19
How are you coping with the coronavirus? The Australian Council for Intellectual Disability has created a plain language guide to taking care of your mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Blue and white text on pink background reading  Stay Safe mental health
A women with her arms crossed anxiously stares out the window of a coffee shop
CAMH Self-Help Booklet Series
COVID-19 has impacted everyone differently. Anxiety, depression, and even sleeping poorly have been linked to the pandemic.

The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) has created several self-help booklets for people with intellectual disabilities. They include information on developing strategies to deal with emotions and stress during this time.

CACL in Action!
  • Director of Policy & Program Operations, Tara Levandier, presented to the Family Support Institute of BC on CACL's national housing inclusivity initiative, My Home My Community.

  • CACL was granted leave to intervene at the Supreme Court of Canada in the R v. Slatter case. The final factum focuses on equal access to justice for witnesses with disabilities, particularly women with disabilities, whose credibility and reliability are often attacked when testifying as complainants in sexual offence trials.

  • The federal government is consulting with CACL on whether or not the Criminal Code of Canada should contain a test for capacity to consent to sexual activity.
Two sisters sitting next to each other on a grass field smiling at the camera.
Family Matters

The COVID-19 pandemic clearly illustrates the dangers of congregate housing for vulnerable populations. However, many people with a disability in Canada do not have access to inclusive affordable housing and support options they require and often find themselves in a group home or residential care settings.

In response to this difficult situation for individuals and families, CACL released a summary scan of the visitation policies in different residential care settings across the country. The policies consistently deprive people with a disability access to essential support provided by family and staff alike.

In a recent blog post, Director of the Health Care Access and Development Disabilities Program at CAMH, Yona Lunsky, discusses the need to develop a national approach to visitation that is flexible, compassionate and considers the needs of people living in residential care settings.

RDSP & Homeownership: How We're Working to Reform the RDSP
For more than a year we’ve been working on creative ways to use the Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP) as a tool for achieving homeownership. We recently shared our design for the RDSP Homeownership Plan which would help people with developmental disabilities save money in their RDSP more quickly and allow them to withdraw that money to buy a home. 

A pig-shaped piggy bank with coins spilled out across the screen and a hand putting a coin into the bank.
Federal Government Announces COVID-19 Relief for People with Disabilities
The federal government has announced a one-time payment of $600 in COVID-19 financial relief for people with a disability and their families. We've created a Frequently Asked Questions post to answer questions about eligibility, fund distribution, and more!