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The I Belong! Project

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A New “Go-To” Resource for Young People with Intellectual Disabilities to Build a Lasting Network of Friends

What: A Highly Accessible, Interactive On-Line Resource and a Handbook with a Plain English component that will help young people, and their teachers, family members and others close to them in developing a group of friends and social contacts that will potentially last a lifetime.

For whom: Youth with intellectual disabilities in their final years of schooling or recently graduated, their teachers, family members, friends, and caregivers.

Why: Every person needs friends—and our society also benefits when each person can contribute to the lives of others. But every year across Canada, many young people with intellectual disabilities graduate from high school into a world of loneliness. They no longer have in their lives the loved friends, teachers and teaching assistants of their school days or the social life that was part of their school experience. Usually, at best, they have part-time work or day-programs.

Why L’Arche: For 40 years L’Arche has been developing networks of friends. We know how to foster mutuality in friendships across difference.

Where : This bilingual on-line resource and handbook will bring together stories, ideas, best practices, research and already proven resources from across Canada. It will be freely available to all.


  • Phase One: Research and Information Gathering, January – April, 2010
  • Phase Two: Gathering video and audio materials; Construction of On-Line Resource, April – September, 2010
  • Phase Three: Testing, Piloting, Fine-Tuning the new resource; Writing the Handbook with Plain English component, September – December, 2010
  • Phase Four: First public use and Assessment, Launch, January – March, 2011

A Project of L’Arche Canada supported by the Office of Disability Issues of the Canadian government.

L’Arche Canada
10265 Yonge Street
Richmond Hill ON Canada L4C 4Y7
Toll Free: 1-800-571-0212
Phone: (905) 770-7696 x 108
Fax: (905) 884-4819
Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


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