All individuals should be viewed as citizens of communities first – including individuals with a disability.
So often, due to legislation, funding, and service stove-piping, it is impairment and any resulting disability that impedes access to community services.
As we move towards the rights outlined in the UN Convention, community services in general will become more open and accessible. Accessibility has been enabled, to some extent, through improved access to information technology, but for many individuals there are still barriers, and in particular for individuals with an intellectual impairment.
Accommodations are part of the answer – in many cases these accommodations fall on the shoulders of individuals and family members to either initiate or put in place.
Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act has improved accommodation and accessibility in larger organizations and service centres. Many innovations have resulted from a growing awareness – but there is still room for advocacy.