One of the pleasures of being a small, specialized consulting firm is that we have the privilege of partnering with clients with whom we share important values. It matters to us that we use our expertise to advance those values and support amazing organizations.
I am very proud to announce our partnership with People First of Canada (PFC), the only national self-advocacy group for people with intellectual disabilities in Canada.
This unique group has a long history of advocacy and activism on behalf of folks with intellectual disabilities. They’re present in every Canadian province and territory. They’ve tackled issues like de-institutionalization, employment, independent living and income security. They did a bus tour across the Prairies to raise awareness about institutionalization in Canada, called the Freedom Tour, which turned into an inspiring documentary film. Most recently, they are organizing to raise awareness about the different articles of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
There are a few different ways we are partnering with PFC. First, we’re helping to build the capacity of local and regional PF chapters by helping the national office become more strategic and reflective in how they support their members. A key element here is the creation of an ongoing learning function, so that PFC and its chapters can acquire and use information they need about their activities and impact.
Second, we’re establishing tracking and measurement mechanisms for PFC’s initiatives. For example, PF members will be travelling to middle schools across the country to raise awareness about the negative and discriminatory language that so often harms people with disabilities. PFC is also creating videos together around the UN convention on topics like awareness, legal capacity, independent living and employment protections.
While we at TNC know the phenomenal impact that PFC has on behalf of the communities they serve, the increasingly complex world of funders and grants requires clearly demonstrating and measuring that impact. Local and regional chapters will now be able to show their reach into communities and the impact they’re having. Clearly measuring and reporting outcomes to funders gives PF better access to funding that can enhance their long-term vision as an organization.
People First of Canada has a powerful voice. We’re excited about helping them make sure that voice reaches communities, institutions, and government in an impactful way. We can help them be strategic, systematic, and accountable in doing so.
We’re thrilled to be working with these dynamic and inspiring individuals who are on the front lines of changing people’s perceptions regarding the capacity of people with intellectual disabilities. I’ve seen it time and again at conferences and other national gatherings. When members of People First get up to speak, there may often be an air of scepticism or paternalism in the crowd. But then, every time, they provide a compelling story or perspective that hits home the importance of rights for people with disabilities.
The power of People First of Canada is that they live what they advocate for – equality, independence and inclusion. Everyday People First members demonstrate these values.
TNC is proud to partner with PFC to advance this important work.