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VITA ADVOCACY – Speaking up!

Self-advocacy is embedded in VITA’s DNA. Difference is still feared and misunderstood by many people.

In 2007, VITA initiated a self-advocate group. The group asked that the agency stop using the word ‘client’ and use the word ‘Member’ instead to identify them. We are one community with staff Members, board Members and Members who receive service.

Our advocacy group works to dispel fear, enhance understanding and eliminate stigma. We actively promote self-advocacy through the following initiatives:

Self-Advocate Groups

The Rights Group

The Social Group

Self-Advocate Groups

Vita is proud to host three self-advocate groups. As an organization we have made a commitment to ensure that our members with disabilities have an opportunity to meet together to discuss concerns that are vital to them, to plan for things that they’d like to see happening with in the agency and to develop a voice that is heard both within Vita and within the province. Starting with one group, we now have grown to three, all at the request of our members; they, too, wanted choices and options for expressing their involvement. Our Self-Advocate Group has presented throughout the province and has provided consultation on how to set up a healthy self-advocacy organization.


Advocates against Abuse

Advocates Against Abuse is an initiative that engages people with intellectual disabilities to teach other people with intellectual disabilities about abuse prevention. The program was developed in collaboration with four other agencies and has proven to be a powerful and effective way to get the message out about abuse prevention, voice and self-advocacy to our members. Click Here to learn more about the group


Advocating for a Better Future

Advocating for a Better Future was established in 2006 in partnership with The Griffin Centre and Family Services Toronto to co-facilitate, organize and support this community-based advocacy group. Contact us as supportservices@vitacls.org for more information


sprOUT

sprOUT is an organization supporting people with intellectual disabilities who are LGBTQ. It is supported by three-member agencies: the Griffin Centre, Community Living Toronto and VITA. Contact us as myvita@vitacls.org.com for more information.

The Rights Group

The Rights Group meets to discuss issues regarding living with a disability and the inherent rights that people with disabilities are entitled to. The Group provides direction and consultation to VITA and reports directly through VITA’s Executive Director to the Board. Click here to learn more about the group.

The Social Group

Some Vita members wanted to become involved in organizing activities for other self-advocates within the organization. Beginning with taking over planning for the big holiday celebration in December, the group is now taking on the organization of monthly dances and is looking at setting up other events within Vita. This group is self-directed and their activities touch the lives of many within Vita.