The Self-Advocates of Semiahmoo (SAS) makes change through positive relationships. This focus provides the organization opportunities to engage others in our work and to collaborate on projects with the community, businesses, non-profits and government organizations. SAS pays close attention to support accessibility and inclusion in their community, province and country. SAS is an independent organization mainly funded by Semiahmoo House Society and The Semiahmoo Foundation.SAS has had success in
- Community engagement
- Innovative initiatives
- Building a strong self-advocacy organization
SAS looks for ways to build and strengthen their community. SAS wants to be a part of the solution by looking at the objectives, strategies and collaborative opportunities to participate in creating places where we are all valued, involved and contributing.
Year in review 2020-2021
Stories from members of the group features
My Independent Life Story
The author, Madison Van Oene, is one of the Self-Advocates of Semiahmoo (SAS)
I’ve been living on my own for the past 7 years. Independence is the key. Being on my own Without my parents.
It’s a learning curve. It’s everything from the movies to the mall to the beach to the park to appointments to SAS.
Sometimes it is challenging to fit everything into my schedule. One of my caregivers takes me everywhere.
“The best thing about living on my own is not to have to rely on others to do things for me. I’m not waiting for others I’m doing on my own.”
I make decisions by positive thinking. I don’t see things in a negative light. Being in a wheelchair can seem negative to others but I think in a positive way. My wheelchair, which is almost like a car, helps me get around. If I didn’t have a wheelchair I wouldn’t be able to get around easily and I would miss out on the positive adventures of life.
When I make decisions I can ask people’s opinions, like my parents, but the decision must be mine. Like when I wanted to move out. It was an enormous life decision because I was afraid to tell my mom. I thought she would be terrified for me. She wanted me to live with her forever. So, I told my dad first. He encouraged me to expand my horizons and started to look for houses. When I told my mom I wanted to move out she stood up and walked out of the room This lead to a court battle over sole custody. We were able to work it out with a lot of discussion. I am grateful for my dad and mom for supporting me financially and emotionally and giving me quality of life.
Being a part of SAS has lead me to have a more positive outlook on my life and how to help others. I was involved in food 4 thought. I came early to help with the preparations. We sat around exquisite tables with people from the lower mainland.
We talked about accessibility, housing and the economy and how to make an inclusive community. The questions were challenging. You had to think about how to make a positive answer and exactly what the question meant. I felt respected and listened to. My thoughts were being heard. SAS has introduced me to new concepts and brought me up to new challenges. I feel like I can reach new heights and made me more compassionate to help the community.
One of my passions is the beach wheelchairs. It helps people with mobility issues like me to go into the water and on the beach. We started raising money for the beach wheelchairs. Feral Board Sports has space where we keep the chairs and people can use them for free. It makes me feel empowered to help our community.
I hope you feel inspired by hearing my story.
By Madison Van Oene, Self-Advocate of Semiahmoo
this taken from
The Semiahmoo Foundation website
Sierra Dean on Canada’s 150 celebration
My name is Sierra Dean.
I am 24 years old. I am a part of Self-Advocates of Semiahmoo (SAS).
For Canada Day we went to White Rock beach and had a Beach Accessible Wheelchair Showcase.
We had 2 booths where we showed of our beach wheelchairs. I was the DJ for our music in the morning.
SAS has fundraised to get 3 beach wheelchairs. Last year I had a garage sale and I made $250 to help.
Being a self-advocate, I feel happy about helping out my community.
Having beach wheelchairs at White Rock beach makes it easier to get in and out of the beach. When I rode in the beach wheelchair I felt excited because of the water.
It felt really good to be in the water. My friend Danielle and my dad helped me. On Canada Day, we had 2 beach wheelchairs to show the public.
Everyone was proud to see what the beach wheelchairs looked like and what SAS has done. Anyone can use the beach wheelchairs.
They are by donation from Feral Boardsports. On Canada day a lot of SAS members were at the beach wheelchair showcase. We had games for the public, too.
We had bocce, croquet, yard Yahtzee, a bubble station and hula hoops. Lots of people came to play the games.
I like being a part of SAS because it is fun. I get to see my friends and talk about stuff, like hosting karaoke nights and going to the Inclusion BC conference.
SAS is a leader in our community because we are helping people out by bringing beach wheelchairs to White Rock beach.
You can see all of our pictures at https://www.facebook.com/pg/SelfAdvocateSAS/photos/?tab=album&album_id=1698639967108283
South Surrey self-advocate WOWs
Alexander Magnussen celebrated with Community Living BC award
To read Alexander Magnussen story won a CLBC award Click here
DEBATES OF THE LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY (HANSARD) HOUSE BLUES
Tuesday, February 20, 2018 Morning Sitting
SELF-ADVOCATES OF SEMIAHMOO
T. Redies: The Self-Advocates of Semiahmoo is a non-profit organization funded by the Semiahmoo Society in South Surrey. Their mission is to further positive change by engaging the community in a variety of initiatives that help break down stigmas and physical barriers for people with disabilities.
In 2017, the Self-Advocates of Semiahmoo were included in the third-year progress update for the Accessibility 2024 action plan. This acknowledgment came because of their continued effort to make White Rock beach a more inclusive space by providing a by-donation rental program of beach wheelchairs for community members and visitors.
The members of this organization were also federally recognized for their work with the planned accessible legislation for Canada. Currently the Self-Advocates of Semiahmoo are diligently working with the city of White Rock to create accessible access points along White Rock beach.
Their ongoing initiatives also include presentations to local schools, focused on a program called Equally Empowered, which promotes the capabilities and strengths of people living with disabilities, as well as volunteering and teaching resilience in life.
I’m very pleased to highlight this very important organization which is promoting inclusion and understanding in our Surrey–White Rock community. I know that the self-advocates have been welcomed and embraced by our community wholeheartedly, and we are a better place because of them.
Place of Groups: Meetings Agendas and Minutes
SAS took part of a great feedback session for CLBC Planning Process