March 21st, 2014

Selina Robinson (Coquitlam-Maillardville), Richard Lee (Burnaby North), Conrad Tyrkin (Communications Employment Intern), Kathy Corrigan (Burnaby-Deer Lake), and Dr. Doug Bing (Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows)

Community Living BC (CLBC) and community partners are celebrating progress in developing additional supports and strategies to help create more jobs for adults with developmental disabilities, autism spectrum disorder and FASD throughout CLBC’s Simon Fraser region in the Lower Mainland.

In October 2013, CLBC invested $100,000 to support the development of a large-scale pilot project in the Simon Fraser region to help promote job opportunities for people served by CLBC who want to work and are able to work. This project is one element of a comprehensive, three-year Community Action Employment Plan CLBC released in March 2013.

The $100,000 local investment was focused on supporting the development and implementation of strategies across the region that recognize diverse qualities and opportunities of individual communities, raise awareness of the contribution adults with diverse abilities can make in work places and build the capacity of CLBC’s service provider network.

Since then, significant progress has been made. Highlights include:

  • Development of specific job plans with diverse groups of community leaders for Burnaby, Tri-Cities and Maple Ridge that identify existing resources and collaborative goals.
  • $25,000 to increase ongoing access to employment supports in the region for people CLBC serves.
  • $25,000 investment for employer engagement and recognition, training for home share providers and development of skills training for individuals to help them find and keep work in Maple Ridge.
  • $25,000 investment for outreach and awareness to employers, individuals, families and service providers to increase the capacity and support for inclusive employment practices in Burnaby.
  • $25,000 for training, outreach and awareness building with employers, individuals and families and strengthening partnerships with school districts in Tri-Cities.
  • Direct training opportunities for contracted service providers on best practices, job coaching and methods to use in outreach to employers.
  • Development of a working partnership with urban Aboriginal organizations for delivery of employment supports.
  • Increased participation of self-advocates to create and test presentations and outreach strategies for employers in partnership with the BC Self Advocacy Foundation.

In collaboration with British Columbia’s Family Support Institute (FSI), CLBC is also providing additional funding to help family members of the people we serve to become more involved and supportive of employment services. FSI will expand the successful familyWorks program in Vancouver to three other CLBC regions – including the Simon Fraser region. Among other things, familyWorks will:

  • recognize most families organize much of the supports with their loved ones;
  • establish local family chapters to meet regularly to share, learn and develop an internal process to support the development of individual employment plans for their loved one;
  • inform potential expansion of the model to other CLBC regions;
  • ensure family perspectives are included in CLBC’s employment strategy.

CLBC’s three-year Community Action Employment Plan was released one year ago in March 2013. CLBC marked the first anniversary with a progress report earlier this month.

Background:    

Quotes:

Douglas Horne, MLA for Coquitlam-Burke Mountain
“Our government recognizes that persons with disabilities want to achieve greater independence for themselves and their families, and have opportunities to contribute to their communities. I am pleased to see the initiatives taking place in the Simon Fraser Region through the Community Action Employment Plan. The regionally focused employment plans and dedicated funding that CLBC is providing will go a long way to better support adults with developmental disabilities who are looking to work, to help with youth transition planning, and to provide that extra support needed to ensure people are successful in their workplace.”

Doug Woollard, Interim CEO, Community Living British Columbia
“In the year since it was announced, the Community Action Employment Plan has made great strides in co-ordinating for the first time, the resources, experience and expertise  available across B.C. to increase employment for the adults CLBC serves. This success is clearly evident in our Simon Fraser region, where government, community and agency partners  are strengthening their networks, providing mentorship, identifying ways to use resources more effectively and co-ordinating education and outreach of employers so more people have the opportunity to find and keep work.”

Angela Clancy, Family Support Institute Executive Director:
“FSI is excited to embark on this partnership with CLBC. We are pleased to see the commitment to family-focused, family-directed approaches to employment conversations and strategies. At FSI, we believe families are the experts when it comes to their sons and daughters and we are heartened to see that CLBC is committed to investing in families with this in mind as well. We are pleased to expand our work with families to identify internal and external barriers to employment, validate their experience and concerns, and assist them to come to a new place of seeing and exploring what is possible for their sons and daughters. This partnership with CLBC has allowed us to do this, and for that we are grateful.”

Conrad Tyrkin, CAEP Employment Trainer, Simon Fraser Region
“I am passionate about increasing awareness on employment! I am honoured to be part of leading the work!”

Anna, Parent
“Employment means a better life for my son. It’s been a tough journey, but I am grateful for this opportunity for him.”

Contact:

Community Living British Columbia
Communications