The People First Movement originated in the United States in the mid-1970s. The movement began when people living with intellectual or developmental disabilities decided to reject being labeled by others and having non-disabled people making decisions for them without their input. Instead, they chose to advocate for themselves, and began organizing and speaking out on a variety of social, political, and legal issues that affected them. Since the 1970s, the People First Movement has gained momentum and influence. There are now People First organizations in more than 30 countries worldwide.

In Quebec, the People First Movement had its first chapter started in Chicoutimi in 1983. The provincial alliance, Quebec’s Federation of First Person Movements, was created in 1991. The Federation’s goal is to co-ordinate and represent its members at the provincial level. The Federation is the official spokesperson Official spokesperson for all Quebec People First Movements. It advocates for and implements the People First philosophy, which emphasizes self-advocacy by people living with intellectual or developmental disabilities.

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