Progressive politics, ideas & culture


Alternate Routes: Alternatives to Institutions

This Magazine Staff

Dom and Shayna have reached Quebec as part of their summer-long road trip to explore the meaning of community in Canada, and this dispatch is part of their latest post on the Alternate Routes blog:

At Maison Emmanuel, people with disabilities are encouraged to focus on their abilities by working in a variety of areas: the garden, the woodworking shop, the bakery, the pottery workshop, or with the farm animals. Many of the products they create are sold, to cover some of the community’s costs, but we were told that the biggest value in the work that they do is that personal sense of accomplishment that we all feel from creating something with our own two hands.

By creating a safe space for people with disabilities to share their lives with others, both l’Arche Saint John and Maison Emmanuel are effective and beneficial alternatives to institutionalization or total dependency on family forever. The sense of belonging that comes from being valued for their unique gifts is something that no institution can provide.

Check out the blog’s front page for more.

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