Recreation Integration Victoria
Recreation Integration Victoria is a combined service representing a shared vision for all people with disabilities to have equal opportunities to participate in our community.
We are an inter-municipally funded service working in partnership with the Victoria Integration Society.
RIV is designed to assist people with disabilities, in the Greater Victoria area, pursue active lifestyles. Active living is more than simply living actively. Active Living contributes to our social, mental, and emotional well-being. It also involves cooperation and caring, peace and harmony.
Recreation Integration Victoria is located in Lambrick Park (Gordon Head) at:4135 Lambrick Way
Victoria, B.C. Canada V8N 5R3
To facilitate active lifestyles for people with disabilities.
We believe that participation in recreation and leisure are essential aspects of human life that improve one’s quality of life. We strive to ensure an equality of access to community parks and recreation facilities, programs, services, and special events, for people with disabilities. Equality of access provides positive experiences, choice, challenges, and empowerment.
In order to ensure continuity in the delivery of services, Recreation Integration Victoria has adopted the following Guiding Principles from The Active Living Alliance for Canadians with a Disability contained in their document Active Living for Canadians with a Disability: A Blueprint for Action
Principle 1: Quality of life is a fundamental right
Active living is an important and essential component in the quality of life of all people, and quality of life is among the fundamental rights of Canadians.
Active living increases overall well being by providing physical, intellectual, emotional, social and spiritual benefits. Active living allows all of us to carry out activities of daily living with less fatigue and frustration, greater safety and more self-confidence.
Principle 2: Empowerment is the key
The empowered individual is the core of any successful program or service.
As society’s awareness of people with disabilities has increased, so has the realization of the importance of self-determination and the opportunity to take charge of one’s life. People with disabilities have a right to be involved in planning programs, choosing activities of interest, and initiating change when required. Self-empowerment does not mean, however, that individuals are left to act on their own. We live in a society that aims to promote interdependence, where people collaborate with others and receive support for acts of self-determination.
Principle 3: Every community should be involved
Programs and services are best delivered at the community level.
Since individuals are the core of any successful program or service, it follows that these programs and services should be implemented at the local level. This principle also implies that these community programs and services should be fully accessible to allow for maximum participation.
Principle 4: Equal access must be guaranteed
All individuals should have an equal opportunity to participate in physical activities regardless of age, gender, language, ethnic background, economics or ability.
This principle stresses that opportunities to participate in active living should focus on inclusion rather than exclusion; the individual rather than the statistical norm; and current needs and interests rather than historical precedence. There is a need to enhance organizational planning and policy development to be inclusive, and to continue efforts to eliminate discrimination within the system.
Principle 5: Respect and dignity are the foundation
Preserving the respect and dignity of all individuals is fundamental to the success of the active living movement.
The principles of dignity of risk, age appropriateness, personal satisfaction and freedom of choice are fundamental to providing programs and services for, by and to people with disabilities. Participation options should be available which are personally challenging and demanding, they should be geared to the participants’ age group, and they should be varied enough that individuals can choose from a wide range of activities.
- Act as recreation advisors, consultants, and liaisons between people with disabilities, community recreation professionals, agencies and all levels of government.
- Promote awareness of the benefits of active living, recreation and leisure, as well as the benefits of inclusion.
- Facilitate recreation inclusion through leisure planning, referrals, information dissemination, and assistance in overcoming barriers to participation.
The Victoria Integration Society was incorporated as a non-profit society in September 1983, providing recreation services to people with physical, mental, and/or neuro-sensory disabilities. The Society’s continued advocacy for inclusive recreation opportunities has resulted in improved access to programs, facilities and services in this region. Our partnership with Recreation Integration Victoria is an example of our ongoing commitment to participation in inclusive community recreation and leisure participation. The Victoria Integration Society is funded by Community Living British Columbia, the Ministry of Children and Family Development, Service Canada, and both private and corporate donations. The Victoria Integration Society is a registered charity with the Canada Revenue Agency under the Income Tax Act.