“Helping young people with an intellectual disability to become autonomous can enable them to live more satisfying lives, support their families, and contribute to their communities”

Meet Marie-Claude Sirois, Interim Director of the National Institute of Excellence in Health and Social Services (INESSS) in Canada. INESSS has the mandate to promote excellence and the efficient use of resources in health and social services. She works at the directorate responsible for evaluation and improvement of interventions in social care and social work, where she supports colleagues to foster the implementation of recommendations and practice guidelines that they issue through different knowledge transfer tools.

Marie-Claude highlights a practice guideline published by INESSS in December 2019 titled ‘For improving autonomy in intellectually disabled young people aged 6 to 21’. The guideline gathers evidence-based practices to improve autonomy in all areas of life. She further explains that the guideline is intended primarily for specialist professionals and managers in the health and social services sector working with young people with intellectual disabilities and with their families.

Dignity, self-determination, equality, and social justice are the core values of the guideline. Marie-Claude tells us that INESS works proactively in partnership with the community. With this guideline, they engaged with service users and parents to understand their expectations, needs, and the challenges they face.

We asked Marie-Claude how ESN has supported her and INESS in learning from others, and this is what she answered:

“We produce reports to guide decision-makers and professionals in various fields of practice. ESN is a great source of inspiration and references to feed our thinking and research.”