What is CLE?

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Understanding Community Life Engagement (CLE)

Community Life Engagement (CLE) is a comprehensive approach to enhancing the lives of individuals with disabilities by promoting their inclusion and active participation in the community. In Minnesota, CLE is a key initiative that seeks to provide meaningful opportunities for people with disabilities to connect, contribute, and thrive within their communities.

What is Community Life Engagement?

CLE focuses on integrating individuals with disabilities into everyday community life. This involves more than just providing basic services; it’s about creating environments where everyone can flourish. CLE activities can include:

  • Employment Opportunities: Helping individuals find and maintain meaningful jobs.
  • Educational Programs: Offering access to lifelong learning and skill development.
  • Social and Recreational Activities: Encouraging participation in clubs, sports, and other social events.
  • Volunteer Work: Facilitating volunteer opportunities that allow individuals to give back to their communities.

The Four Guiding Pillars of CLE

The National Community of Practice on Supporting Families with Disabilities has identified four key guideposts that underpin effective CLE programs:

  1. Individualized Supports for Community Participation: Tailoring activities and supports to the unique interests and needs of each person.
  2. Employment First: Prioritizing employment as a key component of adult life.
  3. Community Membership: Promoting opportunities for building relationships and connections within the community.
  4. Social and Recreational Inclusion: Ensuring access to a variety of community activities.

Why is CLE Important?

For individuals with disabilities, CLE is crucial for enhancing quality of life and ensuring equal opportunities. It fosters independence, builds confidence, and helps develop valuable social and professional skills. Additionally, CLE benefits the broader community by promoting diversity, understanding, and mutual respect. At PHASE-Industries, we believe that every human has gifts and potential waiting to be unlocked and discovered – that the world, and humanity, flourishes only when each person’s gifts are revealed, cultivated, and celebrated. 

CLE in Minnesota

Minnesota is committed to advancing CLE through various state and local programs. These initiatives are designed to provide comprehensive support that includes job training, social activities, and community integration. Organizations across the state, like PHASE-Industries, play a vital role in delivering these services, helping individuals discover their potential and achieve success.

How You Can Get Involved

Community members and businesses can support CLE by:

  • Partnering with local organizations: Collaborate with agencies that offer CLE services.
  • Creating inclusive workplaces: Hire and support employees with disabilities.
  • Volunteering: Offer your time and skills to support CLE activities.
  • Advocating for inclusivity: Promote policies and practices that enhance community life engagement for all.

Everything that PHASE-Industries does is designed to help individuals unlock, discover, and develop their potential to fully participate in the world around them, including freely and equitably accessing competitive integrated employment. Community Life Engagement is about building a more inclusive society where everyone has the opportunity to live, work, and thrive. By embracing CLE principles, we can create a world where everyone’s potential is recognized and valued. We pledge to advocate and partner with each individual in a person-centered approach to help them discover and reach their full potential. We support each individual’s choice and customize our services to create purpose and a place to live, work, and thrive in the community.