How it all began: Back in 1995, a group of parents gathered to discuss the life they wished for their adult children with intellectual disabilities. The dream: to develop an organization where people could play a major role in their own life decisions, living in their own homes with the freedom to make choices for themselves and find a meaningful place within their communities. A pilot project began, supporting one individual through a temporary contract with the Community Living Division of the Saskatchewan Ministry of Social Services. This was the beginning of the SAI vocational/daytime supports program.
By 1997, SAI became an official non-profit organization, rooting itself in the philosophy of Gentle Teaching and offering vocational, daytime and home supports designed with the individuals’ values, desires and goals in mind. Since then, the success of SAI’s unique approach to support for individuals who’d previously struggled to find their place in community has continued to gain momentum. SAI has grown into an organization employing over 200 people and supporting over 80 individuals.
SAI has provided training and mentoring to other agencies throughout Saskatchewan and beyond. In 2008, SAI partnered with CLSD to create a new agency in Saskatchewan: Creative Options Regina. SAI continues to grow and receive requests for expansion of services to individuals whose support needs are currently unmet in our province.
SAI values community, companionship and interdependence – with those whom we serve and those with whom we work. This has resulted in lower employee turnover rates than the provincial sector average. In addition, SAI’s provincial and international profile is growing due to a continued leadership role with Gentle Teaching International.