Karen Rongve, past Executive Director of Inclusion Saskatchewan passes away
Karen held the position of Executive Director of the Saskatchewan Association for Community Living from 1990 to 1998. During his term, the work of the association was direct advocacy with families who felt their son or daughter was not recognized for their potential and the basic rights to be part of community. He was part of the beginnings of employment, income and legal rights advocacy. He witnessed the Early Childhood Intervention Program Sask, created by the SACL become an incorporated body in 1992 and the Provincial People First group as its own entity.
In his reflective message in the 1995 commemorative booklet celebrating the Saskatchewan Association of Community Living’s anniversary he said, “as an advocacy organization, we must assume responsibility for knocking heads with attitudes, practices and opinions which, in our view, deny a full and complete life in the community for people with intellectual disabilities. That knocking takes various forms and strategies. But in order to remain a credible organization parents can look to for strong support, we much continue to be very clear who it is for whom we advocate.”
Our family first met Karen when we were having disagreements with our school division on the education of our son, Travis. We spent many afternoons in our living room discussing strategies and we learned to trust this stranger, who became a friend during those years. Karen did knock on some heads for our son, Travis, to have the right to an education. This, undeniably, led our family to supporting the association for the next 25 years.
On behalf our Board of Directors, rest in peace Karen. You have touched so many people and changed many lives in this province.
Gloria Mahussier President of Inclusion Saskatchewan