ONLS Values

To Achieve Our Service Goal, We Think The Following Ideas Are Important


We believe that the principle of normalization provides a framework for supporting persons in care. By normalization we mean “the use of culturally valued means to offer persons life conditions at least as good as those of average citizens and to enhance or support their behaviour, appearance, experience, status and reputation”. (Wolfensberger)

We believe that many of the ideas that follow flow from this principle.


We believe that persons in our care have the same human and legal rights as any other citizen under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and in the Nova Scotia Human Rights Act. We are committed to respecting these rights in our operations, and to protecting and promoting them in the community, including the freedom to make choices, where possible.

Individual Supports

We believe that the best way to support persons in care is by starting from who they are as individuals, and planning accordingly, rather than trying to fit them in any particular program.

In this light we are committed to person centered service.


We believe that persons in care will benefit most by participating in ordinary settings with ordinary community members. We are committed to supporting them in integrated settings and experiences rather than segregated ones. We believe that persons in care have a right to an education in their own community. We also believe that persons in care have a right to access all services within the community. We anticipate and welcome full participation from family members.


It is within the family structure that we learn most of our values and behaviours. We are committed to a planning process that is inclusive of family and extended supports. (i.e. professional, educational, psychological, etc.)

Quality Assurance

We think that it is important that Our Neighbourhood Living Society maintains an internal climate of self-evaluation, and continually looks for better ways to accomplish its goals. We also think that we must remain open to, and encourage:


We need to remain open to the changing needs of persons in our care within their home and community. We must always be willing and open to making changes to meet changing needs.


We believe that the best way to support persons in our care is in small, family sized settings. We also believe that Our Neighbourhood Living Society staff should encourage regular contact with persons in our care and their families in order to support them in a personal and caring manner.

Humane Supports

We believe that it is neither right, nor in the long run useful, to use aversive techniques. We believe that our persons in care can learn to demonstrate positive behaviour through the use of respectful, positive, non-intrusive teaching and supports.

Personal Relationships

We recognize that many of the persons in our care have been isolated, as a result of spending years in institutions. We know that personal relationships are important to a person’s growth and development. We want to help persons in our care to develop a wide range of relationships with people in their community.

Community Involvement

We believe that active participation in the community is an essential part of growth and development. We want to help those in our care find opportunities to participate in community activities, such as organized and spontaneous recreation, cultural activities, worship in their families’ faith, and association memberships.


We recognize that the achievement of most of our goals will depend a great deal upon the efforts of our staff. We believe that persons in our care need staff who genuinely care about them as individuals and who see their role as supporting them in living fulfilled lives. We want staff to be (and feel) valued, and we are committed to doing our best, within funding constraints, etc., to offer them fair salaries, benefits, and working conditions. We believe that it is crucial that we work collaboratively with staff and that they recognize and share our commitment to Our Neighbourhood Living Society’s mission.