December 2022 Edition of CLBC’s Update for Individuals and Families

December 9th,2022
Welcome to the December 2022 edition of CLBC’s Update for Individuals and Families. As a reminder, you can find all Updates (including past editions) posted on our website here. You can also check out CLBC’s Facebook page here and Twitter page here. If you know of anyone who would like to receive future Updates, please share the link to our sign up page with them. If you have a specific question, or feedback about this update, you can send an email to




CLBC and Government News




Re-imagining Community Inclusion (RCI) plan supports people to thrive

The B.C. government and members of the community inclusion sector have released the Re-imagining Community Inclusion (RCI) Workplan for 2022/23 – 2024/25 to support people with developmental disabilities to be fully included and thrive in their communities.

The RCI initiative was launched in May 2018 by the Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction in collaboration with community living partners from across B.C. The initiative resulted in the 2019 report, Re-imagining Community Inclusion, that provides a vision where “people with diverse abilities thrive fully and equally with everyone.” The new workplan focuses on four key areas to help achieve that vision:

  • Develop more flexible housing options;
  • Ensure people have more and better employment opportunities;
  • Work with partners to improve access to health and mental health services, and
  • Ensure services to Indigenous people are Self Determined.

Learn more by clicking here, and you can find the Re-imagining Community Inclusion Workplan 2022/23-2024/25 and a plain language summary here.




How accessible is CLBC? Share your feedback

The B.C. government made a new law called the Accessible British Columbia Act to make B.C. more inclusive and accessible for people with disabilities. Here is a plain language summary of the Accessibility Act. CLBC is following this new law by creating a CLBC accessibility plan to remove and prevent barriers when people with disabilities and those who support them interact with CLBC.

CLBC is inviting individuals and families and those who support them, as well as CLBC staff who have a disability, to complete the survey so we can learn more about removing barriers at CLBC. The 15-minute survey asks questions about barriers that people with disabilities may face when: getting information from CLBC; visiting CLBC offices; talking with CLBC staff; and working at CLBC.

Please help us to create the CLBC Accessibility Plan by filling out this short survey here by December 30, 2022.

You can find more information about the survey here, including a short video.



Register now for the new CLBC L.I.F.E. service conference coming January 23 to 26, 2023

You are invited to register for a free virtual conference being held January 23 to 26, 2023, that aims to spark interest in CLBC’s new L.I.F.E. service, a community inclusion service designed and tested by individuals, families, service providers and CLBC staff.

The L.I.F.E. conference is open to service providers, individuals and families, and will be held via Zoom. The conference will feature:

  • 1.5 hour sessions for service providers that provide more detailed information about L.I.F.E. services, including key principles, service characteristics, evaluation etc., and
  • targeted sessions focusing on the L.I.F.E. service experience from people using the service, their informal supporters and service providers.

Click here for the agenda and instructions for registration, which is open until December 20, 2022.




COVID-19 teleconference video recording and plain language summary now available

On November 18, a teleconference for individuals and families took place with Dr. Daniele Behn Smith, Deputy Provincial Health Officer, and Ross Chilton, CLBC CEO to share the latest COVID-19 updates and address questions. The meeting was moderated by Michael J. Prince, CLBC Board Chair.

The video recording of this teleconference, along with a plain language summary, are now available on the CLBC website here.



Applications for the Canada Housing Benefit Top-Up open on December 12, 2022

The Government of Canada is providing a one-time, tax-free $500 top-up to the Canada Housing Benefit to help low-income renters with the cost of renting. To apply for this new federal one-time payment, people do not need to receive other housing benefits such as the Canada Housing Benefit, which is co-funded and delivered by the provinces and territories.

Information on eligibility for this top-up payment can be found here.

Applications open next Monday, December 12 and you can find more details and instructions on how to apply here.



Self Advocate Corner




Video highlights Self Advocate leadership in B.C.

To celebrate December 3, International Day of Persons with Disabilities, the BC Self Advocate Leadership Network presented their new video “Who is BCSALN?”

The video highlights the group’s innovative work to keep people connected and ensure the lived experience of people labelled with a developmental disability is shared at decision making tables.

Click here to watch “Who is BCSALN?”

Enjoy the Holiday Edition of the Kamloops Self Advocate Newsletter

Looking for interesting interviews, good jokes, recipes and ways to stay connected during the holiday season? Check out the Holiday Edition of Krystian Shaw’s Kamloops Self Advocate Newsletter, written by people with diverse abilities.

You can read the newsletter on the Self Advocate Net website here.




Upcoming self advocate led events open to everyone

Join one of the upcoming self advocate led events below or visit the Calendar for Connection to learn about other fun ways connect with others.

Freaky Geeky Talk Show, hosted by Self Advocates of the Rockies (SAOR)

  • Time: Every Monday, from 6-7pm PST and 7-8PM MST
  • Join the event through Google Meets by clicking here
  • Or, by dialing:  ‪(CA) +1 587-977-6971 PIN: ‪276 436 816#

Phone Tree with Self-Advocates of the Rockies Group Society (SAOR)

  • Time: Every Thursday: 2pm-3pm MST; 1pm-2pm PST
  •  SAOR will be holding weekly group phone calls to catch up with friends and meet new advocates from around the province.
  • Registration: email, or call 250-426-3393 by 3:00 pm on Wednesdays. Spots are limited to 5 per call so make sure to sign up to reserve your spot!

Cooking with Geoffrey hosted by Speaking Up for Self-Advocacy Society (SUSA)

Andrew’s Presentation hosted by Speaking Up for Self-Advocacy Society (SUSA)

Mayday Club Youth Choir hosted by Speaking Up for Self-Advocacy Society (SUSA)

Cooking with Geoffrey hosted by Speaking Up for Self-Advocacy Society (SUSA)




Staying Supported and Connected





Connect with other families throughout December

The Family Support Institute (FSI) and Vela Canada continue to provide regular opportunities to connect with and learn from other families across B.C. or maybe right in your own neighbourhood.





Family Support Institute

FSI offers various ongoing Family Hang outs and Learning Explorations. Family Hang outs are safe spaces for families and caregivers to come together for support, inspiration and troubleshooting. Learning Explorations are free online sessions that offer families, individuals, and professionals the chance to learn, connect and share on a variety of topics.

The next Family Hangout is Dads Supporting Dads on December 11, followed by a Learning Exploration on Sibshops on December 12.

You can visit the FSI Events Calendar and Calendar for Connection for a full listing on upcoming events and activities.





Vela Canada

Vela offers regular Chats with Vela providing resources and updates for families and individuals with Microboards and Individualized Funding (IF). This is an opportunity to speak with the Vela team, learn about current changes and resources, and connect with other families and individuals.

The next Chats with Vela takes place on Wednesday, December 14 at 7:00pm (PST). Learn more and register here.

Vela also hosts workshops on the rules and steps to hiring your own support workers. An upcoming webinar providing an introduction on Employment Standards takes place on Tuesday December 13 at 12:00pm (PST). Learn more and register here.

Autistic adults and caregivers design and host workshops on Autism and Mental Health

The Azrieli Adult Neurodevelopmental Centre, with support from the Public Health Agency of Canada, will be hosting a series of events with a focus on Autism and Mental Health, developed and facilitated by Autistic adults and caregivers of Autistic adults. For more information and a full list of upcoming events, visit the Autism & Mental Health webpage here.

The next sessions in the series are:

  • Autism and Mental Health: Socializing & Masking on December 8, 2022 from 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm (EST).  View the flyer here and register here. View the flyer here and register here.
  • Caregiver Lunch and Unlearn: Autism and Psychiatry on December 15, 2022 from 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm (EST). View the flyer and register here. View the flyer here and register here.

Registration open for the Canadian Health and Wellbeing in Developmental Disabilities Conference

Early bird registration is now available for the 2023 Canadian Health and Wellbeing in Developmental Disabilities conference, taking place virtually on February 8 and 9, 2023.

This is an interprofessional conference where health care providers and community partners connect to share updates as well as innovative and effective practices that improve the health and wellbeing of people with developmental disabilities across the lifespan.

Early bird pricing is available until December 31, 2022, which includes special rates for people with developmental disabilities and their families. Find more information and register here.



Stories and Celebration




Video: Kikékyelc – A Place of Belonging

Kikékyelc is a unique housing development operated by Lii Michif Otipemisiwak Family and Community Services. It is home to Indigenous Youth, including those supported by Community Living BC, as well as Elders.

Kikékyelc is a story about partners working together to create a model of culturally safe housing for Indigenous Youth.

CLBC has created a new video to help share this story, and it was recently shown for attendees at the Indigenous Disability and Wellness Gathering in Victoria and at Housing Central, B.C.’s affordable housing conference in Vancouver.

Watch the video here to see the story of Kikékyelc, A Place of Belonging.

Celebrating Winter Solstice: an Indigenous lens

The winter solstice falls on December 21 this year. This is a special time for those who honour and acknowledge the patterns of our natural world. CLBC’s Safety Coordinator, Jody Bauche, shares the significance of Winter Solstice through an Indigenous lens.

On this day, the sun is at its lowest point in the sky, traveling across the sky world above us in a short stride, resulting in the shortest day and the longest night of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. For Indigenous people across the globe, the natural world is a source of teachings about natural and universal laws. In understanding the interconnectedness of all things, we recognize that the cosmos – the sun, moon, stars, and other planets – affect us and connect us in undeniable ways.

The winter solstice is an event that has been observed for millennia by many of our Indigenous ancestors. While some First Nations have traditionally held special ceremonies during celestial events like the winter and summer solstices, others may have simpler ways of observing these moments. Some First Nations have maintained teachings around solstice time, while others may be seeking to revive the teachings, practices and ceremonies that were forcibly taken from us. 

In its period of darkness, the winter solstice is an opportunity to go inward with deep intention, to care for our spiritual selves, our bodies and minds, our loved ones and families, and to prepare for the longer days ahead.

You can also watch this video from CBC to hear Elder Wilfred Buck explain the meaning of the Winter Solstice in Cree tradition.

Video: WOW events celebrate 2022 recipients

In October and November, CLBC and its partners held events in Nanaimo, Kelowna, and North Vancouver to present Widening Our World (WOW) Awards to this year’s recipients.

Check out this video to learn more about this year’s WOW recipients David Paynter, Michael McLellan, Ali Aslaminejad, Azar Taherzadeh, and Taylor and Jodi Kolb.


Support self advocate-run businesses this holiday season

Looking for the perfect gift for a friend, family member or colleague? Check out this list of businesses run by people with diverse abilities:




Signing off

Community Living BC wishes you a happy and safe holiday season and best wishes for the new year!

CLBC thanks the people we serve, their families, service providers, the self advocacy community, our community partners and British Columbians across the province for their efforts during this past year to help keep people safe, connected and included in their communities.

We look forward to bringing you more updates as we move into 2023.

Until next edition…

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