In the Company of Friends ICOF and Innovative Life options

History of ICOF and what we believe in

History of ICOF
In the early 1990s the Minister of Family Services established a working group to look at ways of improving supports available to Manitobans with intellectual disabilities. This group included government, families, self-advocates and Community Living.  As a result of the working group’s discussions ICOF (In the Company of Friends) was developed.

In 1993 fifteen individuals became the first to receive ICOF funding as part of a pilot project. Three years later it was determined that with the support of their Networks, those receiving the funding were living full, inclusive lives in the communities they had chosen. Since that time the option has been available to Manitobans living with intellectual disabilities.

ICOF is an option available to individuals in every region of the province.  As of July 2016, 65 individuals receive ICOF funding.

What we believe
Individuals receiving ICOF funding believe that having friends and loved ones to help along the journey of life is essential.  Relationships are important as they enhance quality of life and experiences, let us know we are loved and valued, and offer input to help us make informed decisions.  It is really about interdependence, which means people need each other, a universal principle important to each and every one of us.   These valued relationships are the foundation of an ICOF Support Network.

Five Accomplishments of
Ordinary Life

by John O'Brien

Community Presence:
To take part in community life and to live and spend leisure time with other members of the community.

Relationships:
To experience valued relationships
with ordinary people.

Choice:
To make choices, both large and small, in one’s life. These include choices about where to live and with whom to live.

Competence:
To learn new skill and participate in meaningful activities with whatever assistance is required.

Respect:
To be valued and  treated as a
community citizen.