Parkland CLASS

Parkland Community Living and Supports Society (Parkland CLASS) is a not-for-profit corporation and a registered Canadian charity. Utilizing a staffing base of 600 employees, Parkland CLASS provides a wide range of disability supports on behalf of approximately 450 disabled adults and children from Central Alberta, and the Nunavut and Northwest Territories of the Canadian Arctic.

Mission Statement
Parkland Community Living and Supports Society exists to improve the quality of life of the disabled through individual choice, dignity and rights.

Guiding Values
In support of Parkland Community Living and Supports Society’s Mission Statement, the following values, as they relate to disabled children and adults, serve to guide the Society:
  • Citizenship - which is based on the principles of individual value and worth, individual rights and freedom, and equality which recognizes the physical, mental, social and spiritual needs of the individual;
  • Choice - which empowers the individuals to make real choices about real options in life, including where they will live and what they will do;
  • Support - which implies that every individual, regardless of their disability, is entitled to receive those technical, personal, and financial supports which are necessary to live as independently as possible within the community; and
  • Equality of Opportunity - which ensures that disabled individuals have, wherever possible, equal access to those aspects of life which are often taken for granted including an education, employment, their own homes, social interaction and friendship, and access to generic community services.
Our History
Parkland CLASS (Community Living and Supports Society) was registered as a Canadian charity and incorporated as a not-for-profit society in May, 1963. At that time the society had 6 member families and focused on education for special needs children.

Over the next 25 years the society slowly expanded its services to include advocacy, in-home support, and respite care for families. In 1988 Parkland CLASS had 45 staff and supported approximately 42 families through the above mentioned services.

After 1988, the agency became significantly involved in deinstitutionalization for adults with developmental disabilities. With support from various federal and provincial housing programs, Parkland CLASS commenced an aggressive accessible housing program which facilitated a large movement of individuals from institutional services to community living. Currently, Parkland is one of the largest providers of special needs - accessible housing in the Provincial of Alberta.

In 1994, Parkland CLASS focused its attention on the repatriation of aboriginal adults who had been removed from their home communities in the Canadian Arctic to receive services in southern Canada. Parkland’s initiative included creating partnerships with significant tribal councils and band leaders in the Arctic. As a result of these activities, direct services have been established or improved in a number of Arctic communities, outreach training is provided to local government and school staff, and more children and adults are being served in, or closer to their home communities. Currently Parkland CLASS is one of the largest providers of services in the Canadian Arctic.

Since 1999, Parkland CLASS has directed its attention to supporting international development initiatives. The agency has developed a number of partnerships with substantial organizations in Argentina and Peru. Through these partnerships a variety of educational, parent support, and self-advocacy initiates have been successfully developed. The agency’s mandate in this regard is “To Advance the Status of Intellectually Disabled Children, Adults, and Their Families in Developing Nations”. Parkland’s mandate also supports the Pan American Health Organization and World Health Organization’s 2004 Montreal Declaration.

Scope of Activities
For over 45 years, families and individuals have benefited from the services that are offered by Parkland CLASS. The agency currently delivers 16 different programs within 6 service areas: Parkland School, Children Services, Residential Services, Adult Day Programs, NWT Services, and a unique Latin America project. All of Parkland's Canadian programs are accredited or certified by independent accreditation authorities. Currently Parkland CLASS supports over 450 children, adults and families using its 600+ employees and caregivers.

Governance and Administration
Parkland CLASS is governed by an elected community Board. Parkland's Board has a clear mandate that focuses on strategic planning and establishing the future direction of the agency. There are eight Board members, four of whom are directly impacted by disability within their families, and four of whom have strong business backgrounds. The Board approves all program criteria which define what agency services and programs will be developed in support of what groups of individuals or families. On a regular basis, the Board monitors and evaluates the quality of all of Parkland's programs and services.

Parkland CLASS has a strong administration team which oversees the day to day operations of the agency. The organization has a comprehensive policy and procedure foundation that ensures consistent approaches to service delivery and problem solving. A Service Management Team, with representatives from all program areas, oversees every aspect of consumer services, while an Employee Relations Committee has input into all Human Resource initiatives and policy development.