Laying the ‘Foundations’ for Truth & Reconciliation

COR and Inclusion Regina were recently featured in the South Saskatchewan Community Foundation’s Annual Report. Not to mention, COR’s Indigenous Culture Advisor, Jessica Pratt-Longman, was featured on Planting Seeds, presented by Access Now. Be sure to watch!

Read our story: Laying the ‘Foundations’ for Truth and Reconciliation – Inclusion Regina’s Story.



Regina Leader-Post: Made-in-Saskatchewan sex-ed curriculum has global reach

Made-in-Saskatchewan sex-ed curriculum has global reach

Tell It Like It Is is a comprehensive sex ed courses designed for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

She had been in an abusive relationship that was “very, very hard to leave,” and wanted to build her confidence and feel empowered to speak up for what she did and didn’t want with a partner, she says.

But there weren’t a lot of comprehensive sexual education courses designed for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities — courses that would cover the whole range of subjects Hynd was interested in, from safety and healthy relationships to navigating dating, breakups and identity.

So when Hynd found out about the Tell It Like It Is program five years ago, she was thrilled.

“I would tell everyone that you should take this class,” she says. “We learn about relationships and consent. We also talk about safe pregnancy — how to be safe — and the unwanted pregnancy, if you don’t want to have it.

“I could learn a lot about relationships. How to say yes. How to say no. How to consent.”

Over a 10-week course, Tell It Like It Is covers communication skills, body parts and body image, online dating, birth control and safer sex practices, understanding different kinds of relationships, sex and pleasure, consent and boundaries.


The programme booklet for the the 'Tell It Like It Is' program.
A booklet for the the ‘Tell It Like It Is’ program. KAYLE NEIS / Regina Leader-Post PHOTO BY KAYLE NEIS /Regina Leader-Post


Natalya Mason, a sexual health consultant in Saskatoon, says research continues to show that sex-ed programs such as Tell It Like It Is are important safety tools.

“Providing a high-quality, comprehensive, evidence-based educational program to people with developmental and intellectual disabilities is the best way to help protect them from future abuse,” she says.

“That’s true for learners with disabilities, and that’s also true for learners without disabilities. And if they do find themselves in a situation where they’re uncertain or something bad has happened, it helps in being able to feel confident and capable to talk about these things.”

The Tell It Like It Is curriculum was designed and developed in Saskatchewan, and has become a shared project of Creative Options Regina, Saskatoon Sexual Heath and Inclusion Saskatchewan.

The curriculum is now being used all across Canada and far beyond.

“When you Google this topic, there are not a lot of resources out there — and ours is one of the first that pops up,” says Kristyn White, literacy facilitator for Creative Options Regina.

“At this point, I think we’ve connected with people in every province. We’ve also had several people in Australia download (the curriculum). People in Japan are downloading it. We’ve had people in India. We’ve had lots of people in Europe, and all throughout Canada and the States. It truly has a worldwide reach.”

White says this particular curriculum is helping fill a big gap in sexual health education: Disabled people, particularly intellectually or developmentally disabled people, often don’t get access to the information they want and need about sex, relationships and their own bodies.

“The general attitudes towards people with disabilities in relation to sexuality are pretty negative,” White says.

“Within society, there are so many assumptions — that disabled people are asexual, that they’re not interested in relationships. People have the idea that people with disabilities cannot consent, that they shouldn’t be allowed to consent, that they shouldn’t even be allowed to have relationships. So the opportunities for people to learn are few and far between.”


Kristyn White, Tell It Like It Is program facilitator, sits for a portrait at the Creative Options Regina offices on Wednesday, June 5, 2024 in Regina.
Kristyn White, Tell It Like It Is program facilitator, at the Creative Options Regina offices on Wednesday, June 5, 2024 in Regina. KAYLE NEIS / Regina Leader-Post PHOTO BY KAYLE NEIS /Regina Leader-Post


Mason says Tell It Like It Is is all about creating those opportunities — a space for open conversations, rather than assumptions, silence or censorship.

“There is an intentional focus on creating opportunities for people with disabilities to have fulfilling relationships — and, on their own terms, without any kind of judgment about what those relationships need to look like,” she says.

For Hynd herself, the Tell It Like It Is program at Creative Options Regina has become a comfortable, safe place to ask questions and practise her strategies for navigating important talks with friends and partners.

“Tell It Like It Is, I’m a pro at it now,” she said. “It’s been really helpful in my relationship that I’m in now, that is a lot better than my old one. I’m happier.

“And there’s one thing I’ve been working really hard on: I have a hard time saying ‘no’ to different things and different people. If I say ‘no,’ people might get mad at me or swear at me or never talk to me again. But now, I’m working on my boundaries.”

Read the story in the Saskatoon StarPhoenix and Regina Leader-Post, published on June 25, 2024.

Building Digital Skills and Confidence: The Let’s Connect Initiative

In a world driven by technology, everyone deserves the opportunity to explore the digital landscape and connect with others. Let’s Connect is an educational initiative that empowers people experiencing disability by boosting their knowledge and confidence in using technology and communication devices.

Let’s Connect goes beyond just teaching technical skills; it’s about fostering independence and enhancing the digital experience for all. This program covers a range of important topics, including: connecting to Wi-Fi, staying safe online, utilizing accessibility features and helpful apps, practicing online etiquette, making informed choices on social media, and expressing oneself through pictures and videos.

Connecting to Wi-Fi: Navigating the Digital World

The program recognizes that accessing the internet is a gateway to a world of knowledge and connection. By practicing the process of connecting to Wi-Fi, participants can easily explore the online world.

Online Safety and Security: Empowering Users

In an age where cybersecurity is paramount, Let’s Connect places a strong focus on online safety and security. Participants learn about password security, identifying potential online threats, and protecting personal information. This knowledge assists individuals in navigating the digital world confidently.

Accessibility and Helpful Apps: Customizing Technology to Individual Needs

Technology can be a powerful tool for bridging gaps and creating opportunities, and Let’s Connect highlights this potential. The program explores accessibility features and useful apps that cater to the unique needs of participants. From device features to communication apps, these tools enhance daily life experiences.

Online Etiquette: Navigating Digital Spaces with Respect

In a world where virtual interactions have become the norm, this program teaches the importance of online etiquette. Participants learn how to engage respectfully in digital spaces, fostering positive online relationships and connections.

Being Smart on Social Media: Making Informed Choices

Social media can be a valuable platform for connection and expression. Let’s Connect equips participants with the knowledge to use social media wisely, enabling them to engage safely and meaningfully in online communities.

Sharing Your Voice Through Pictures and Videos: Unleashing Creativity

Amidst a digital landscape that celebrates visual content, Let’s Connect encourages participants to express themselves through pictures and videos. This creative outlet not only promotes self-expression but also boosts a sense of accomplishment and pride.

This initiative is not about highlighting challenges but celebrating the strengths and capabilities of people experiencing disability. It’s about recognizing the unique perspectives they bring to the digital realm and ensuring that they have the tools and knowledge to flourish in the digital age.

So, let’s connect – not just to the internet, but also to a world of possibilities, knowledge, and empowerment. Let’s celebrate the incredible strides being made by Let’s Connect in making this vision a reality for all.

Short Breaks: Supporting Regina Families

“Short Breaks,” is not just a program; it’s a lifeline for families, a testament to the power of understanding the intricate needs of families and supporting them with Short Breaks. 

The Core of Short Breaks: Family Support and Respite

At its core, “Short Breaks” is about recognizing and responding to the essential needs of families. It offers something invaluable – respite. This respite is not just a temporary relief, but a critical support system for families who navigate the daily challenges of caring for loved ones who experience an intellectual disability. It’s about providing these families with a chance to rejuvenate, to catch their breath, and find comfort in the knowledge that their loved ones are in a safe, nurturing environment.

A Community Effort for Empathy and Inclusion

“Short Breaks” is a collaborative endeavour involving Inclusion Regina, Creative Options Regina, and the City of Regina, with financial support from Sask Lotteries. This collaboration underlines the community’s commitment to empathy, inclusion, and the well-being of all its members.

More Than Just Time Off

The program goes beyond offering mere “time off” for families. It’s an opportunity for individuals experiencing disability to engage in social, educational, recreational, and creative activities. These activities are designed not only to entertain, but also to stimulate and foster a sense of community belonging and personal growth.

The Ripple Effect of Short Breaks

The impact of “Short Breaks” extends far beyond the individuals it directly serves. It lightens the load for families, providing a sense of security and peace of mind. For the community, it strengthens the bonds of understanding and compassion, creating a more inclusive and supportive environment for all.

A Model of Compassionate Community Support

“Short Breaks” serves as a shining example of what can be achieved when a community comes together to support its most vulnerable members. It’s a reminder of the importance of empathy, the value of respite, and the power of collective effort in making a real difference in people’s lives.

As “Short Breaks” continues to grow and evolve, it stands as a beacon of hope and a symbol of the strength of community spirit. Its success lies in its unwavering commitment to providing much-needed support to families and creating a space where everyone feels valued and included.

Tell It Like It Is: A Compassionate Approach to Comprehensive Sexual Education

In a world that sometimes tiptoes around important topics, Tell It Like It Is stands boldly as a revolutionary program. It’s not just sex-positive; it’s inclusive, comprehensive, and unapologetically honest. This program is on a mission to empower diverse learners, guiding them to make informed life choices that promote optimal health and wellness in all dimensions of life.

This isn’t your typical sex education program. It’s a compassionate journey through crucial life topics, offering a safe space where participants can explore, learn, and grow. Let’s take a closer look at what makes this program so remarkable.


Accurate Information: The foremost goal of this program is to ensure that learners receive accurate and up-to-date sexuality education. In a world where myths and misconceptions abound, this program equips participants with the knowledge they need to make informed decisions about their lives.

Open and Safe Platform: Beyond just information, the program creates a platform where participants can open up. It’s a place to share stories, ask questions, explore curiosities, express fears, and gain knowledge without judgment or shame. This safe and open environment is a cornerstone of the program’s success.


Tell It Like It Is consists of nine modules, each covering a range of topics related to sexual health and wellness. These modules are designed to cater to diverse learners, making the program accessible to all. Some of the topics covered include:

Communication Skills: Effective communication is the foundation of healthy relationships. Participants learn how to express themselves, listen actively, and navigate the complexities of human interaction.

Hygiene: Personal hygiene is not just about cleanliness; it’s about self-respect and self-care. This emphasizes the importance of maintaining good hygiene practices for overall well-being, but also as a way to improve relationships and connections with others. 

Building Healthy Relationships: Healthy relationships are an important part of a fulfilling life, and help us to reduce loneliness and isolation. This explores what constitutes a healthy relationship, and how to recognize what an unhealthy relationship looks like. 

Sexual Health: The program also covers life-saving information that is necessary to keep ourselves safe; including consent, abuse prevention, STBBI’s (Sexually Transmitted and Blood-Borne Infections), private vs public spaces, and much more. It offers a safe and non-judgmental space for participants to learn about their bodies and sexual health.

Tell It Like It Is doesn’t shy away from challenging topics. Instead, it approaches them with empathy and compassion, recognizing that every participant is unique and has their own lived experiences. The program’s interactive learning activities make the experience engaging, ensuring that the knowledge gained is not just theoretical, but practical.

In a world that often stigmatizes conversations about sexuality and disability, Tell It Like It Is recognizes the necessity of these conversations. Everyone has the right to education, relationships, and pleasure, and upholding the rights of people with disabilities is vital. 

So, the next time you hear about Tell It Like It Is, remember that it’s more than just a program; it’s a movement towards a more informed and inclusive world. It’s about breaking down barriers and fostering a culture of openness and acceptance. Tell It Like It Is – because knowledge is power, and everyone deserves to wield it. Learn more about this program here!

Fostering Inclusion and Connection: The University of Regina Best Buddies Initiative

Best Buddies Canada, in partnership with Inclusion Regina and Creative Options Regina, is proud to support the University of Regina’s Best Buddies Chapter. This program unites post-secondary students with adults from the community who have intellectual or developmental disabilities, forging powerful connections that promote inclusion.

As a local chapter of the global nonprofit organization dedicated to cultivating one-to-one friendships and inclusive opportunities for individuals with disabilities, Best Buddies champions social interaction, personal growth, and meaningful connections between students and community members with disabilities. This effort contributes to the creation of a more inclusive and diverse community.

The university program, designed to break down barriers isolating individuals with disabilities, pairs students with intellectual or developmental disabilities alongside their peers from post-secondary institutions. It fosters a supportive environment where students gain insights into the challenges and successes faced by their buddies, shaping their attitudes during their time on campus and beyond.

For adults with intellectual or developmental disabilities, Best Buddies offers a lifeline to a more enriching life. This program provides opportunities for engagement in social activities, the establishment of lasting friendships, and the development of essential life skills. Moreover, it empowers them to become self-advocates and leaders in their communities, reinforcing the idea that diversity and inclusion are pivotal in building a stronger and more vibrant society.

Inclusion Regina and Creative Options Regina play integral roles as the Host Partners of the University of Regina Best Buddies Chapter, providing support and resources for the program’s success. Together, they foster a culture of inclusion, diversity, and understanding within Regina’s post-secondary institution, a positive influence that ripples through the city’s social fabric.

Best Buddies exemplifies the power of friendship, unity, and acceptance. In a world that often accentuates differences, this program serves as a poignant reminder that, together, we can build a world where everyone belongs.