OIFN’s Core Beliefs:

We believe in the rights of all people to set the pace and direction of change in their lives so that they will be included in their neighbourhoods and communities and have the same freedoms and responsibilities of any other citizen, as upheld by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of People Living with Disabilities, Article 19.

We believe in people having support to determine their lives, so that their voices are strengthened and amplified, as they take control of their own lives, with the support of their families and/or loved ones.

We believe in ensuring that people have meaningful support for decision-making and that each person has the capacity to express their will and their preferences in some way and can be involved in directing their life and taking charge of key decisions with the support of others.

We believe that natural neighbourhood connections and community resources are the first resort for people to learn and contribute in meaningful ways and become known and valued as contributors. People having strong and ongoing relationships based on mutuality and trust is fundamental to genuine inclusion and belonging.

We believe in reflective practice and shared learning through a Community of Practice that engages people with disabilities, family members and/or loved ones, independent facilitators, and other allies, in a collaborative approach, to co-create knowledge and reflect deeply on principles and practice.

We believe that partnerships and collaboration are necessary vehicles for bringing about justice and social change. We seek common ground with others to make shifts within systems and in society to achieve equity, fairness and respect for all.

We believe in a new framework for developmental services that acknowledges the uniqueness of each person and affords people freedom and support to direct their lives, rather than “doing for” people. We believe that sustainable options must be available for people and families who are looking for ways to manage their own housing, staffing, direct individualized funding, facilitation, and support resources, rather than control resting with any single organization.

We believe that Independent Facilitation has an action and change orientation with a focus on assisting to clarify vision, goals, and needs. Facilitators support people and their families and/or loved ones to identify next steps, so that they can take action on a day to day basis, move closer toward their vision, and shift what is possible. Through ongoing reflection, people and their families and/or loved ones think about their adult roles and what it takes to create and maintain these roles in their chosen neighbourhoods and communities. Facilitators focus on revising next steps so that goals and plans are clear to everyone involved.

We believe that independent facilitators must be free of conflicts of interest in order to be in right relationship with people and families. Independent facilitation safeguards are maintained through reflective practice and clearly defined roles and responsibilities. Independent facilitation refers to person directed facilitation and planning supports that are offered by people and/or organizations who are “free of conflicts of interest” and do not:

  • deliver residential or day services
  • manage people’s funding allocations
  • employ or provide support workers
  • have responsibility related to assessment or eligibility, funding determinations, and/or oversight
  • in the role as a facilitator, also enter into or assume the role of community support worker

Independent facilitators are not employed or paid directly by and do not take direction from organizations that offer the services listed above. As well, to be “free of conflicts of interest” means that independent facilitators are accountable to the people and families with whom they work and, if applicable, to the Independent Facilitation Organization by whom they are employed.