PLAN’s mission is twofold:
- To give parents peace of mind about the future, knowing their children with disabilities will be safe and secure for the rest of their lives.
- To empower people with disabilities to live good lives as part of the community.
PLAN works together with families to help them define what a good life looks like, think beyond reliance on professional services, and get the support that they need achieve their goals and priorities at every step of the way.
To PLAN, the concept of a good life means that every person:
- Knows the loving support of nearby friends and family
- Contributes to, and participates in a caring and inclusive community
- Is respected and empowered to make decisions
- Lives in a place they call home
- Enjoys a meaningful and financially secure life
- Has a well planned future, enabling their family to have peace of mind
Our founders were pioneers in the Community Living movement. They encouraged and participated in the evolution of local associations and watched as they grew from small, family directed groups into large multi-million dollar service agencies. They observed the tendency to move away from the core values of parents to an administrative focus. They also noticed that as organizations became increasingly dependent upon government for their financial survival, they became increasingly unwilling to challenge government’s treatment of people with disabilities.
When they created PLAN, our founders were inspired by four core values, all of which still guide us today:
- Caring relationships are the key to being safe, secure and living a good life. Safety is directly related to the number and quality of relationships in one’s life. Collaborating with families and people with disabilities to build personal support networks is the heart of our work. PLAN facilitates the development of relationships between people and their community. Relationships help ensure peace of mind.
- Contribution equals citizenship. People with disabilities have important contributions to make to our communities, and PLAN works to ensure they are seen and recognized. Sometimes our community needs to be nurtured to . PLAN believes that it is simply a matter of providing opportunities to make this happen. The community also needs to be assisted to see the gifts that each person brings to contribute.
- Self-sufficiency makes us more effective. Independence from government funding provides us with freedom to advocate for people and families without compromise. As a result, we speak with a very strong voice – the voice of families.
- We must always be led by, and accountable to, families. PLAN was founded by families, and our structure ensures we are always directed by and accountable to families. The majority of our Board of Directors are parents, caregivers and people whose family includes someone with a disability. Our work is also guided by a series of family-led committees.