Who we are

KACL is a multi-sector agency, which has for the past 61+ years been innovating service delivery in Kenora, the surrounding communities and the Kenora Rainy River District to ensure full participation in community life for people with intellectual disabilities, adults with chronic, serious mental illness or those living with a dual diagnosis. We provide services to 700 individuals and families.  We are the third largest employer in Kenora, and our goal is to become the employer of choice by focusing on safety, courtesy, teamwork, and service excellence.

KACL has a long tradition of innovation and change. Action research drives us to explore new approaches to providing services and to continue advocating for social equity. In 1988 KACL closed its group home, then closed its sheltered workshop in 1991, and started LifeSharing in 1993. In 2006 we started Dual Diagnosis, Community Wellness, Housing Subsidy, Art Partners and Fitness Friends and the Community Arts Hub in 2009.  Due to our history of innovation we were invited into the Presence to Citizenship project as a steering group member.

Kenora is on the furthest edge of Ontario and the North Region. It is in the traditional territory of the Anishinabe people of Treaty 3. Kenora is surrounded by 28 First Nations Communities and has a high percentage of Indigenous people. (21% in 2016) In the KRR District there were 2 unsanctioned and 5 sanctioned Indian Residential Schools; 3 of which were in Kenora. KACL has historically provided supports to many indigenous people. (93% Transitions, 97% Community Case Management, 94% APSW programs).  KACL services are impacted and shaped by our location and this history. 

Historically KACL has supported people who have presented with challenging behavior who were not able to be served elsewhere. Beginning in 2009, and reaching a tipping point in 2014, the face of service dramatically changed with increasing number of Transition Age Youth. The resulting challenge required a fundamental examination of our service delivery; our role in community, and business models, internal capacity and community partnerships needed to respond to the emerging complexity in both our community and sector. 

KACL’s responded to this changing landscape with the development of the Transitions Program in 2013 (now called Intensive Supported Independent Living and Outreach Supported Independent Living), and the Complex Case Management program in 2015 and the APSW programs in 2016, which have expanded in 2018 to include remote, northern communities.  We continue to adapt, evolve, and change as we seek to continuously improve and make meaningful impact in the lives of people we serve.

KACL supports are divided by age group; children (infant to eighteen years old) and adults (eighteen years old and over).

For families looking for childcare contact Kids’ Zone at (807) 467-5235.

For families looking for Children’s Services support, referrals are made through Firefly Central Intake.

KACL has an Infant and Child Development program for children from birth to school-age. A formal diagnosis is not required to be eligible for services through this program.

KACL also has a Child and Youth program for school aged individuals from 6-18 years old. To engage with this program, an eligible diagnosis is required.
Please reach out to a Children’s Services staff or Central Intake to discuss eligibility requirements.

The Options for Adults programs are for adults who have a developmental disability. These services can be purchased on a fee-for-service basis with your Passport funding, or people can contact Developmental Services Ontario to complete an application and assessment to request these supports. 

Community Mental Health Support Services are for adults who are experiencing mental illness. CMHSS includes the Dual Diagnosis program for adults with a developmental disability and a mental illness. To access any of these services please call 807-467-5255 for more information about the processes.


A Meaningful and Satisfying Life for All


To welcome each person’s gifts and individuality through meaningful relationships in resilient, connected communities where we all belong.


Respect, Humanity, Individuality, Choice, Relationships, Gifts, Resiliency

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"They always say that time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.”
Andy Warhol

Land Acknowledgement

The Board and Employees of KACL gratefully acknowledge that we live, work, enjoy the richness of and play on the traditional territory of the Anishinaabe people of Treaty 3, and on the homeland of the Metis. We pay our respect to the First Nations and Metis ancestors of this place and reaffirm that the historic and current relationship that exists between us is defined by Treaty.

We commit to work to create the conditions for belonging and social justice so that each person can live fully in the unique identity that matters to them, in a community that accepts and welcomes. We recognize that our work must be in the service of Reconciliation. Our work must be at the level of the individual and the community, so that our collective identity as a community lives up to the values we want for ourselves and our children. A community where equity, peace, and respect for cultural differences are respected and nourished; and a community that acknowledges that the early Anishinaabe people of these lands saw we were strangers, welcomed us as guests, and invited us to stay as neighbours.