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October is  Community  Living Month! We at SAN want to acknowledge all our self advocate friends who work hard everyday to spread awareness about full citizenship and belonging in our communities. Let’s celebrate our successes by sharing stories about What Community Living Means to Me

Please email us your story at  selfadvocatenet@gmail.com 

 

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Events across B.C. celebrate Community Living Month 2016

clm2016

This October marked the 18th Community Living Month in British Columbia.

The annual celebration recognized the contributions and accomplishments of people with developmental disabilities across our province.

We’re happy to report that it was an eventful month with great celebrations taking place in communities across the province.

Thank you to everyone involved in coordinating and promoting the many great community events, which included dances, barbecues, award ceremonies

and photo contests, for your ongoing dedication to the vision of good lives in welcoming communities! Check out the links below to see some highlights from the month.

Community Living Month Highlights

Community Living Month was launched with an announcement from the provincial government and an official proclamation,

as well as special message from CLBC CEO Seonag Macrae, announcements by many other groups and organizations,and proclamations by a number of local municipalities.

During Community Living Month we shared posts on CLBC’s Facebook and Twitter pages by using the hashtag #clmonth2016 and asked others to do the same.

You can click the links below to see a roundup of many of the great social media posts:

#clmonth2016 on Twitter

#clmonth2016 on Facebook

Visit the links below to see many of other great stories, photos and videos from Community Living Month 2016:

Community Living Month collages - Kelowna

 

Proclamations

The Province of B.C. along with many municipalities and districts officially proclaimed October 2016 as Community Living Month.

Click the links below to read the proclamations we received:

Colwood

Creston

Esquimalt

Highlands

Ladysmith

Langford

Prince George

Sidney

Victoria

View Royal

Williams Lake

October marks 18th annual Community Living Month in B.C.

Following on a strong annual tradition, the Province is commemorating October as Community Living Month, a time to recognize and celebrate community inclusion and the significant contributions people living with developmental disabilities make to British Columbia communities year round.

October marks the 18th year that the Province has proclaimed Community Living Month in B.C.

This month of recognition is celebrated in communities in every part of the province and provides British Columbians with the opportunity to learn about and honour the outstanding role people with development disabilities play in making communities vibrant, dynamic places to live and work.

A large part of this month’s recognition is also dedicated to businesses and community advocates who have shown their commitment to make B.C.’s communities, and businesses more inclusive.

Throughout the month, communities will host a variety of public, family-friendly events to recognize people with developmental disabilities, as well as their friends, families and supporters.

For instance, the Family Focus Conference in Richmond is organized by families for families and will provide advice on topics like financial planning, housing and education.

The City of Port Alberni and numerous community and government partners will host the annual family friendly fun day. More than 700 people attend this event each year.

PotteryWorks studio and gallery in New Westminster will have a grand reopening at its new location to showcase its latest space for local artists with disabilities to produce, display and sell their custom art.

 

For a full list of Community Living Month events taking place throughout the province,

visit http://www.communitylivingbc.ca/clm2016/.

 

Community Living BC (CLBC) will also be asking British Columbians to nominate someone who is taking action to make their community more inclusive for people with developmental disabilities through its eighth-annual Widening Our World (WOW) Awards.

Each year, the WOW Awards recognize outstanding “citizens of distinction” who are leading the way to create and build inclusion for the people CLBC serves. Nominations for the WOW Awards will be open from Oct. 17 to Nov. 30, 2016.

Winners will receive their award at local events planned in their communities early in the new year.

The Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation and CLBC are committed to supporting people with developmental disabilities and their families, no matter where they live in B.C.

Moving forward, government will continue to work toward its goal of becoming the most progressive place for people with disabilities in Canada, as outlined in the province’s 10-year action plan, Accessibility 2024.

Quotes:

Minister of Social Development and Social Innovation Michelle Stilwell –

“People with disabilities deserve our recognition every day for their contribution to creating positive cities, towns and municipalities across the province. Community Living Month provides individuals the chance to explore what people with disabilities are doing in your community and I look forward to meeting with individuals throughout October to find even more ways we can all work together to make B.C. the most inclusive jurisdiction in Canada.”

Parliamentary secretary for accessibility Darryl Plecas –

“It is everyone’s responsibility – family, friends, communities, the business community, non-profits and government – to ensure people with disabilities can fully participate in society.

During Community Living Month and throughout the entire year, remember to show your appreciation to individuals who are making a difference in the lives of people with disabilities in your community, and find out how you can be a positive force and join in the efforts.”

CLBC CEO Seonag Macrae –

“Celebrating Community Living Month helps raise awareness of how important inclusion and equal opportunity are for people living with diverse abilities. We celebrate people who accept, respect and treat everyone equally; and we celebrate communities that push people to think more broadly about how they can be more inclusive.”

Quick Facts:

  • Community Living BC (CLBC) was established in 2005 as a Crown corporation to provide services and supports for adults with developmental disabilities.
  • Community Living BC supports about 18,900 adults with development disabilities, fetal alcohol spectrum disorder or autism spectrum disorder throughout B.C.
  • CLBC’s total operating budget for 2016-17 is $896.8 million, an increase of $44.8 million in provincial funding.
  • CLBC funds supports for the people it serves through community agencies, or provides individuals and families with funding to purchase services directly. Supports can include learning new skills, employment, resources to help people connect to their community, residential supports and respite services.

Learn More:

Community Living Month proclamation: http://ow.ly/I6z0304Jw1o

Community Living BC: www.communitylivingbc.ca

WOW awards: http://www.communitylivingbc.ca/projects/recognition-awards/

B.C.’s 10-year action plan, Accessibility 2024: http://ow.ly/iqLy304vNTT

 

Also Inclusion BC coverage of community living month go to there website for details click here

For a full list of Community Living Month events

http://aimhi.ca/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/AiMHi-Haunted-House-extended-2016.pdf

pafunfair-page

The Port Alberni Energizers, the local Special Olympics team, raise funds at the Community Fun Fair so they can attend an Operation Trackshoes event in Victoria each year.

On October 20, close to 700 Port Alberni residents went to the 8th annual Community Fun Fair to enjoy food, games, find out about programs and to celebrate inclusion.

The fair is an annual collaboration between the Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD), Community Living BC (CLBC), the Port Alberni Association for Community Living (PAACL), Citizens Advocacy, and the City of Port Alberni, Parks and Recreation. Originally started 12 years ago, the fair was primarily a resource fair until the organizers added an indoor “Our Town” event (this event is run by the City throughout the summer).

“Eight years ago we decided we wanted to broaden the Fun Fair so it was more inclusive, and a better reflection of our community,” said Craig Summers, Executive Director of PAACL and an organizer for the Fun Fair. “We added a lot more games, and the response has been tremendous. The number of attendees keeps growing each year. It’s exciting to see so many people participate in an event focused on inclusion.”

The Glenwood Centre, centrally located in Port Alberni, is where the Fun Fair is held.  Games are organized around the perimeter of the room – basketball, mini golf, bouncy castles, face painting, hockey, cake walk, and arts and crafts – with the resource fair set up in the centre of the room. Resource tables included information about CLBC, Parks and Recreation, Registered Disability Savings Plans (RDSP) and MCFD. All activities are free; the only cost is for food at the Port Alberni Energizers (the local Operation Trackshoes group) kiosk and at the Coombs Candy table.

“Operation Trackshoes is located in Victoria. Both the Port Alberni Energizers kiosk and the Coombs Candy table are raising money to help self advocates participate in a weekend event in Victoria,” said CLBC analyst Lisa Evans. “Last year they raised $796 and this year the total was close to $720. It’s great to see the community being so supportive, and the amount of funding raised still almost the same, though the event has been shortened to two hours from the original three.”

Parks and Recreation is the main organizer of the event. Each of the activities around the room is staffed by at least one self advocate and a student volunteer from the Human Services Certificate Program at North Island College.  All wear red or bright neon green shirts with Port Alberni Energizers emblazoned on the front and back.

Lisa Evans, CLBC analyst, and Pam Fletcher, CLBC facilitator, are two of the main organizers of this annual event.

Lisa Evans, CLBC analyst, and Pam Fletcher, CLBC facilitator, are two of the main organizers of this annual event.

“We have great participation in this event from the self advocate community,” said Pam Fletcher, CLBC facilitator. “What is fantastic is that people playing the games are relating to self advocate staff just as they would any volunteer at a fun event. There is recognition of their abilities. That’s exactly what we want inclusion to look like.”

Port Alberni is a small city of about 17,000 people on the west side of Vancouver Island.  The community is located in an inlet southeast of Tofino off of Barclay Sound, and was formerly a logging and pulp mill town.  The mill now makes cellulose, and the town is working to transition to a more diversified economy.

“Many young families are moving here, and the town is starting to change. One of the reasons the fun fair attracts so many people because it is a free activity for families, and there are many families living in Port Alberni who are low income,” said Lisa. “We are thankful the business community is such a great supporter of this event, and make donations to help keep the event affordable.”

The cake walk is one of the highlights of the event for the children, self advocates and families who attend.  This year, there were close to 50 cakes to give away.  Cakes are made and donated by home share providers, foster parents, staffed homes and group homes.  Some of the cakes were donated by Mountain View bakery, which donates a cake for every cake bought as a donation.  Buy Low and No Frills donate the food for the Operations Trackshoes kiosk, and Coombs Candy make smaller sized packaged candy and snacks at prices that are much reduced from its store prices.

The Port Alberni Fun Fair is held every October, and it is advertised by Port Alberni Parks and Recreation in its annual calendars. The organizing committee also circulates the event poster through each of their networks, as well as the local media and the school district.  The school district provides a flyer to each school-age child in the district.

“Our committee works about seven months of the year on this event, and we have a really collaborative team,” said Pam. “It is a lot of work but it’s very rewarding.”

To find out more about Community Living Month, visit www.communitylivingbc.ca/clm2016

 

Community partnerships help to create an inclusive Port Coquitlam

 

ciss-page3

Minister of Social Development and Social Innovation Michelle Stilwell met with staff and self advocates at Community Integration Services Society’s office in Port Coquitlam.

October 26th, 2016

To celebrate Community Living Month, Minister of Social Development and Social Innovation, Michelle Stilwell, toured Melissa Park, Community Integration Services Society (CISS)’s facility in Port Coquitlam to learn how the organization is helping to make their community more inclusive. “I am excited to have the opportunity to see what is happening first-hand and to meet some of the self-advocates who are making significant contributions in the community,” said Stilwell.

Adam

Adam is involved in a number of

CISS programsand provided Minister Stilwell

with a tour of the Melissa Park building.

Adam is one of the people Minister Stilwell met during her visit.

Not only is Adam involved with CISS programs like volunteering in a physical fitness program and at a local senior centre, but he was also recently hired by Vancity as one of their Administrators.

Shari Maher, CISS Executive Director, feels that work can have a transformative effect in the lives of people with disabilities and that’s why CISS provides employment skills and training in order for participants to live more independently. “Community partnerships help us achieve our goals,” Mahar says.

She notes that they have participants who are working in the community at Starbucks, McDonalds, Boston Pizza, Avon, and more, and she is openly proud of the successes of her participants. “There is so much going on in the community, I can’t keep track of it,” she says.

Kyle’s Kitchen, one of the organization’s programs, is doing just that.

Participants, like Sarah, have the opportunity to learn food preparation skills to prepare them for future employment in one of many related career paths. Sarah, who works for Melissa Park Catering, is very proud of her skills and her cooking and most recently made cookies in preparation for Minister Stilwell’s visit – and her family says she couldn’t be happier.

Ashish, a young man with a passion for trains, successfully secured his dream volunteer job with help from CISS and now volunteers at the Port Moody Station Museum. The work that CISS does is all about inclusion. “Our folks are out in the community every day, building relationships,” Mahar says, noting the importance of those interactions.

Minister Stilwell agrees. “People living with diverse abilities are making huge contributions to our communities, and British Columbia is better because of it.”

Learn More

Click here to see a photo gallery from the event.

To learn more about Community Integration Services Society (CISS), visit: www.gociss.org

To learn more about Community Living Month 2016, visit: www.communitylivingbc.ca/clm2016

Community partnerships help to create an inclusive Port Coquitlam

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British Columbia recognizes October as Community Living Month, a time to celebrate the achievements of people with disabilities as fully participating members of our society.

In addition, this month celebrates the organizations, like the Community Integration Services Society (CISS), that make a difference in the lives of people living with developmental disabilities.

To celebrate the month, Minister of Social Development and Social Innovation, Michelle Stilwell, toured Melissa Park, CISS’s facility in Port Coquitlam to learn how the organization is helping to make their community more inclusive.

“I am excited to have the opportunity to see what is happening first-hand and to meet some of the self-advocates who are making significant contributions in the community,” said Stilwell.

Adam is one of the people Minister Stilwell met during her visit. Not only is Adam involved with CISS programs like volunteering in a physical fitness program and at a local senior centre, but he was also recently hired by Vancity as one of their Administrators.

CISS Executive Director Shari Maher feels that work can have a transformative effect in the lives of people with disabilities and that’s why CISS provides employment skills and training in order for participants to live more independently.“Community partnerships help us achieve our goals,” Mahar says.

She notes that they have participants who are working in the community at Starbucks, McDonalds, Boston Pizza, Avon, and more, and she is openly proud of the successes of her participants. “There is so much going on in the community, I can’t keep track of it,” she boasts.

Kyle’s Kitchen, one of the organization’s programs, is doing just that. Participants, like Sarah, have the opportunity to learn food preparation skills to prepare them for future employment in one of many related career paths. Sarah, who works for Melissa Park Catering, is very proud of her skills and her cooking and most recently made cookies in preparation for Minister Stilwell’s visit – and her family says she couldn’t be happier.

Ashish, a young man with a passion for trains, successfully secured his dream volunteer job with help from CISS and now volunteers at the Port Moody Station Museum.

The work that CISS does is all about inclusion. “Our folks are out in the community every day, building relationships,” Mahar says, noting the importance of those interactions.

Minister Stilwell agrees. “People living with diverse abilities are making huge contributions to our communities, and British Columbia is better because of it.”

To learn more about Community Integration Services Society (CISS), visit:  http://www.gociss.org/

To view the 2016 Community Living Month news release, visit: http://ow.ly/PYjR305j2kn

To learn more about Community Living BC, visit: http://www.communitylivingbc.ca/

 

PotteryWorks nurtures artistic diverseABILITIES

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British Columbia recognizes October as Community Living Month, a time to celebrate the achievements of people with developmental disabilities as fully participating members of our society.

In addition, this month celebrates the organizations and businesses, like PotteryWorks Studio, that make a difference in the lives of people living with developmental disabilities.

In New Westminster, PotteryWorks Studio is an artistic haven that is full of support, opportunities and achievement. It’s committed to bringing out the unique artistic skills and diverseABILITIES of each individual artisan.

Minister of Social Development and Social innovation Michelle Stilwell visited PotteryWorks’ new space today to experience the inspiration, meet some of the artists and see the array of artistic pieces on display.

“I am so impressed by the many talents of these local artists. There are many wonderful one-of-a-kind pieces for exhibit and purchase,” Stilwell said.

The studio’s newly revamped location, which re-opened on Oct. 20, 2016, provides artists with the opportunity to display and sell their creations, demonstrate their work and show off their individual styles.

“It means a lot for these individual artists to be able to show people their skills and have people purchase their work. It really gives them a boost of confidence and self-esteem, which is exactly what many of our artists need to grow,” said Deidre Blackmore, art facilitator at PotteryWorks.

Whether it’s James’s sense of form and colour used in his paintings and pottery work, Harry’s exploration of Egyptian and motorcycle themes in his art, or Darlene’s focus on her Chilcotin First Nations heritage in her hand-built and thrown clay, the process and products are all unique to the individual artist.

“Over the last 16 years that I have been operating the PotteryWorks Studio, I have witnessed the impact of art and craft on the many artists who have come through our doors. They have learned discipline and focus, to believe in themselves and their abilities, and to work with others,” Blackmore added.

PotteryWorks is supported by the Community Living Society (CLS), a Community Living BC-funded service provider in New Westminster. CLS is dedicated to connecting people with developmental disabilities with the services and supports they need to live full, happy and empowered lives, which is exactly what PotteryWorks is all about.

“Our artists have made real and lasting relationships within their community working in our store and studio. It’s the most profound kind of inclusion, to become part of the everyday fabric of your community,” Blackmore said.

capture

(flickr.com)

To learn more about PotteryWorks Studio, visit: http://www.potteryworks.ca/home.html

To check out the artists and their work, visit: http://www.potteryworks.ca/the-artists.html

To learn more about the Community Living Society, visit: http://www.communitylivingsociety.ca/

To view the 2016 Community Living Month news release, visit: http://ow.ly/PYjR305j2kn

To learn more about Community Living BC, visit: http://www.communitylivingbc.ca/

 

 

 

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