Our History, The Struggle for Inclusion
Prior to 1950, families with children diagnosed with mental retardation, (as it was called in those days) had very few options. They could place a child in a provincial facility or maintain the child at home with virtually no support.
It was the parents’ movement that began in Kirkland Lake in 1947 and quickly spread through almost every community in Ontario. In London, the Association for the Help of Retarded Children began in 1951 and was legally incorporated on January 31, 1952 (now known as the Ontario Association for Community Living). With the assistance of the Kinsmen Club of London, the parent association opened the Kinsmen School on Trafalgar Street.
During the 1960′s, the Association focused much of its energy on the development of preschool services and services for adults. The Rainbow Nursery was opened in 1962, and a workshop facility that had opened in 1959, was expanded in 1965.
As we celebrate 70 years of Community Living London, the agency continues to advocate for and develop services that will enable people with developmental disabilities and their families to live fulfilled lives.