On Dec. 14, Yukoners have the option to put some of their holiday shopping dollars towards the support of local entrepreneurs who are living with intellectual disabilities. Inclusion Yukon will host a Christmas Fair alongside its annual open house.
“We wanted to create a barrier-free market where we could showcase people with diverse abilities and make a space for a more accessible Christmas market,” said Shonagh McCrindle, executive director of Inclusion Yukon. Inclusion Yukon, formally known as the Yukon Association for Community Living, aims to promote meaningful inclusion for people with intellectual disabilities and their families into all aspects of community life by providing advocacy, public awareness and education, community capacity development, and program support. Put more simply, it is dedicated to including all people living in the Yukon in every walk of life.
“We consider intellectual impairment or developmental delay as part of life’s diversity and a component of community to be included rather than excluded or hidden,” said McCrindle. “We seek to promote inclusion for individuals and families by finding ways to educate the public, inform professionals, and develop services and strategies. We also work in partnership with parents, government and other community agencies to provide opportunities for everyone to reach their potential and feel like they belong.”
Inclusion Yukon tackles this work through a wide range of initiatives.
“We focus on employment support, inclusion support, school transitions, advocacy, education to the public about diversity and education tailored to neurodiversity (neurological differences are to be recognized as any other human variation),” said McCrindle. “We also do personalized planning and an annual yard sale, and we always have a coffee pot on and love to chat with whoever walks through the door.”
If you would like to try walking through that door on Dec. 14, it will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Inclusion Yukon offices in Suite 7 of the Yukon Inn Plaza.
If you would like to learn more about Inclusion Yukon in general, including how to volunteer or donate to support their work, check out InclusionYukon.org