All people live a meaningful life within a welcoming and inclusive community.
CLA works alongside individuals with disabilities to achieve their own goals.
People – their unique capacities, gifts, talents and life experiences
Community – everyone should have the opportunity to contribute to their community
Choice – each person has the ability to impart meaning and direction to their own life
Relationships – genuine relationships are created through respect, integrity, communication and commitment
Innovation – in a constantly changing world, new support opportunities will arise and we will embrace them
The Disability Services Commission (DSC) established Local Area Coordination (LAC) in 1989 and CLA was originally incorporated as Lower Great Southern Community Living Association Inc. CLA grew out of this vision to build local capacity so that people did not have to leave the region for disability services.
Community Living Associations were initially a conduit for funding to support people with disabilities to live in their own homes and to develop contemporary models of support in line with the international movement of de-institutionalisation. They were the beginning of individualised funding and more choice and control for people with disabilities and their families – the model the NDIS is based upon.
After a few years the Disability Services Commission (DSC) decided that these non-profit sovereign organisations that had been established all across the state needed to operate more independently and needed to move out of the LAC office.
Therefore in 1995, CLA moved out of the DSC office and shared office space with the Family Support organisation. At this time, individualised funding was introduced and we received many referrals. It was an exciting time as new and creative models of support were developed and CLA grew rapidly.
As the organisation expanded, new offices were found at Earl Cottage in Earl Street. CLA introduced the My Life My Community program and were considered to be leaders in the region in individualised support.
With Carlo Calogero from National Disability Services CLA established the Council of Regional Disability Services (CORDS) to bring all regional providers together to provide a collective voice, collegial support and to share resources and ideas. CORDS is now a well-established and respected council that is the go-to for government for consultation with regional providers.
As CLA grew, it took on the provision of support services across the range of DSC funded programs – Supported Community Living, Alternative to Employment and Intensive Family Support. The organisation introduced its award winning ‘My Life My Community’ community development initiative – the first of a range of programs which showcased CLA’s capacity for unique and innovative solutions to social issues.
CLA welcomes the arrival of NDIS for the Lower Great Southern region in July 2019 and with its long track record in individualised support, is well placed to lead the region in providing a top quality service for people with disabilities in this area.