Heads Up for Inclusion seeks to encourage full and meaningful community participation and belonging of any individual facing barriers to inclusion. HUI promotes and encourages connections through peer mentorship programs, leading to the development of permanency in relationships.
Our specific mandates are:
- To promote the inclusion and participation of all youth within their schools and communities, with a particular focus on youth with intellectual disabilities, where differences are acknowledged, accepted and celebrated.
- To share information with community agencies, organizations, individuals and other interested parties for the mutual benefit of promoting inclusion.
- To establish and maintain a resource base of information relating to inclusion.
- To provide training and educational opportunities for youth and those associated with youth, enabling them to create more inclusive environments in their schools and communities, and participate in peer education.
Heads Up for Inclusion is a grass-roots non-profit organization, founded in 2001 by Lucinda Hage, a parent whose son was segregated in school due to his intellectual disabilities.
The Amigos School program intentionally brings high school students, with and without disabilities, (intellectual disability, physical disability, Autism, Aspersers, Anxiety disorders etc.), together to develop meaningful relationships based on equality and age-appropriate activities. Although organized and supported by adults, the Amigos School Program is truly a youth initiative. It is fuelled by high school students who participate with a pure intent. They are simply interested in developing new relationships, including others in their school life and building new friendships.
Over the years the Amigos Program has brought together nearly 1,200 high school students with diverse abilities in 8 area high schools in Peterborough, Lakefield, Brighton, Campbellford and Courtice, and has been a voice for inclusion in our community. We became incorporated in 2009 and gained Charitable Status in 2011.
The Amigos Program has proven to be an effective model for change in local schools, and continues to operate with the help of a committed volunteer base and small staff.
What People Are Saying
"The Amigos program has been remarkable. I have developed such an overwhelming feeling of community, and each group outing only serves to promote that. This experience has allowed for my Amigo Jonathan and I to share our interests with each other, and grow as people and friends. "
— Andrew, Amigo Connector
"I am a member of the community Amigo’s program and have a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder. Amigo’s has inspired me to try new things and meet new people. I will recommend this program to anyone facing a barrier to inclusion. Amigo’s make people feel appreciated and valued."
— Katherine, Amigo
"I have grown in confidence, determination, and my mental health issues have diminished. None of this would have happened without the Amigos program. I can say that the Amigos program and the individual I met saved my life and allowed me to be a better person. "
— Leta, Amigo Connector