Celebrating more than half a century of inclusion




SaltWire Network



The Bay St. George Association for Community Living (BSGACL) recently had a big presence for Inclusion Canada Newfoundland and Labrador’s celebration of a major milestone. The 65th Anniversary Conference for Inclusion Canada Newfoundland and Labrador was held in Gander last month. BSGACL sent 37 participants to the proceedings, providing individuals, with families and friends, the opportunity to share stories, learn from each other, network and socialize. “Something that we all needed after two and a half years of COVID-19,” says BSGACL treasurer Debbie Hawco. According to Hawco, through the efforts of the BSGACL, Inclusion Canada NL and local organizations and businesses, they were able to send such a large contingency. She expressed gratitude to The Rotary Club of Stephenville, Blair Holdings, Elaine’s Variety, Stephenville Lion’s Club, W.E. Cormack Development Centre, Keyin College-Western Campus, People of the Dawn Indigenous Friendship Centre and Our Lady of Perpetual Help Knights of Columbus for supporting their trip to the conference. “We were thrilled with the number of individuals who were able to attend,” she says. The BSGACL is a non-profit advocacy group that helps individuals with intellectual disabilities live full productive lives in their community. The group is part of Inclusion Canada NL, who, per its website, “works with and on behalf of persons with intellectual disabilities and their families.” The organization “promotes a vision of communities where everyone belongs and has a rightful place; where families support a person’s right to full citizenship.” At the conference, the provincial organization was renamed from Newfoundland and Labrador Association for Community Living. The conference displayed many storyboards depicting the history of the organization during the past 65 years. These storyboards will later be displayed at the Rooms in St. John’s.