Exclusion to Belonging houses three web-based projects developed by L’Arche Toronto
Listen to My Story is a collection of personal stories of institutional life by those who lived there and their families. Birds Make Me Think About Freedom is a multi-media meditation on interdependence, inclusion, transformation and imagination, based on the testimonies of persons who were institutionalized, their families and friends. Healing and Belonging explores creative ways to listen to and support institutional survivors who have complex needs and limited means of communicating.
THE TRAGIC LEGACY OF INSTITUTIONS:
Time for meaningful change for persons with intellectual disabilities
The history of abuse at Ontario institutions for persons with intellectual disabilities and the ongoing struggles and discrimination they experience comes to life in three new web-based educational initiatives that feature stories from institutional survivors, younger generations of persons with intellectual disabilities, and families who have experienced significant harm first-hand.
Survivors know the terrible impact of being separated from their families and communities, locked up and forgotten in institutions. Experiences of abuse, neglect and violence were common. They believe that people need to know the truth of what happened to them not only for their ongoing healing, but also because these harms are still happening to younger generations of persons with intellectual disabilities today. We have failed to learn from the mistakes of the past.
Survivors and younger generations want their stories told. They want to educate everyone about their past and present realities in order to change systems and attitudes to better support people to live the lives they want to live.
The launch of these initiatives coincides with the United Nations’ International Day of People with Disabilities on Thursday, December 3, 2020.