Leanne and Dale Froese (seated) are self-advocates for the developmentally disabled with the Centre for Inclusion and Citizenship. Sara Lige (back left) is special projects officer and Rachelle Hole is co-director of the centre.

Leanne and Dale Froese (seated) are self-advocates for the developmentally disabled with the Centre for Inclusion and Citizenship. Sara Lige (back left) is special projects officer and Rachelle Hole is co-director of the centre.

Campus urges inclusivity

The Centre for Inclusion and Citizenship will be officially inaugurated at a ceremony today

A place that advocates for people with intellectual disabilities is opening at the University of B.C.’s Okanagan campus.

The Centre for Inclusion and Citizenship will be officially inaugurated at a ceremony today.

“The centre seeks to further the inclusion and full citizenship of people with intellectual disabilities and their families, on a local, national and global basis,” said Rachelle Hole, associate professor with the School of Social Work and co-director of the centre.

The centre was created to conduct research and create knowledge that will influence and inform policy and practices, says Hole.

The CIC is the only university-based research centre in Canada with a dedicated focus on intellectual disability policy and practice.

Leanne and Dale Froese are self-advocate advisors who work with the centre.

“The centre has helped me be more assertive,” said Leanne, who has worked on a variety of projects with the centre, such as home sharing.

“I am more outgoing and this helps me get into the community and talk to people and be comfortable.”

Dale has been a long-time advocate of people with Down’s syndrome.

“We are very active in self-advocacy. The centre helps us overcome these obstacles and limitations that we face in our lives,” he said.

Research is conducted in several key policy areas such as employment, transition planning for youth, non-residential supports and alternatives, home sharing aging, health care and assistive technology.

The centre also works closely with individuals with developmental disabilities locally and across the province.