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April 2023 Edition of CLBC’s Update for Individuals and Families.

April 6th,2023
Welcome to the April 2023 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 CLBCInfo@gov.bc.ca.

CLBC and Government News

Changing the way we talk about CLBC services

In recent years, CLBC has received feedback about the way we talk about some of our services. We hosted sessions to hear about how we can improve the language we use. We have made changes to the language we use in response to feedback from the individuals we serve and their families, as well as feedback raised by CLBC staff and service providers.

The changes we ​made will support two goals: 1. To make the way we talk about our services clear and easy to understand, using plain language as much as possible; and 2. To make sure the language we use is culturally safe and supports those we serve.

Two key changes include no longer using the words ‘residential’ and ‘respite’ when talking about our services.

Residential: We will be referring to support we provide in people’s homes as ‘Supports to live in my home’ rather than ‘residential’ supports. This language is not only easier to understand but reflects feedback from Indigenous communities that using ‘residential’ is harmful and culturally unsafe.

Respite: Over the past few years, supports that have fallen under the category of ‘respite’ go beyond the meaning of ‘respite’ to encompass a range of individual and family supports. To reflect this development, services that support individual and family well-being, such as self-directed or agency-coordinated services that support families and individuals, will be called ‘Individual and Family Wellness Support’.

None of the language changes will affect the types of services CLBC funds or how you can request services. This is simply how we communicate about them. Learn more about the changes and the reasoning behind each change on our website here. The website has now been updated with the new language. An overview of all our supports can also be found in this Supports Funded by CLBC handout.

Thank you to the many people we serve and their families who took the time to share with us how we can better communicate our supports and services. We hope you can see how your voice steered these changes. Changing the way we talk about services takes time and we appreciate your patience as we undergo this change.

Sharing CLBC’s Accessibility Baseline report

CLBC is working to comply with the new Accessible B.C. Act. To help us understand where we need to improve, we conducted a review this past fall to identify ongoing barriers. People, their families, our partners and service providers were generous enough with their time to attend sessions and share feedback and stories on their experience accessing CLBC.

We hosted five virtual workshops, engaged in conversations with our community partners, and received over 400 responses to an online survey. We wanted to hear what barriers people were experiencing in getting help from CLBC staff, getting to and around CLBC offices, getting information from CLBC, and working at CLBC.

We also did an internal review with an employee working group to look at accessibility through the lenses of employment, customer service, built environment, information and communication, procurement, and policy. Each CLBC service area working group completed an assessment to identify barriers and discover best practices from other organizations and governments.

We took the feedback we received from the consultations and internal reviews and compiled CLBC’s Baseline Accessibility Report. The report will help us identify the actions we need to include in CLBC’s Accessibility Plan, which will be tested with CLBC Community Councils and the Provincial Advisory Committee. We are also developing an accessible feedback mechanism to hear from the public when they encounter a barrier. The plan and the feedback mechanism will be available by September 2023.

Finding employment by living L.I.F.E.

Over the next several years, CLBC will be expanding our new L.I.F.E. service (L.I.F.E. stands for Learning, Inclusion, Friendship, Employment). This is a service that is individualized and developed with the person and their support network based on the person’s goals for learning, inclusion, connection and employment, and delivered one-to-one in community.

Each person who receives the L.I.F.E. service works with their L.I.F.E. staff to develop a plan of supports that will help them learn, grow and develop independence. There is no centre where the service is delivered. Instead, it is delivered in different locations in community, fully based on a plan the person developed with their L.I.F.E. staff for where and when they need support. The service also includes regular check-ins so plans can be updated if goals or needs change.

L.I.F.E. was developed collaboratively by individuals, families, service providers and CLBC staff through a process of research, development and testing. The service responds to people’s requests for supports that will help them build their skills, connections and confidence on the road to employment. CLBC thanks the individuals and families who were pioneers in the development of this new service. We could not have done it without them.

You can find out more about L.I.F.E. and where it is currently being delivered here.

Join the final CLBC COVID-19 Microsoft Teams video call on May 2

CLBC will be holding a final virtual call on COVID-19 for individuals and families with Deputy Provincial Health Officer Dr. Daniele Behn Smith and CLBC CEO Ross Chilton, moderated by CLBC Board Chair Michael J. Prince.

The call will be taking place on Tuesday, May 2, 2023 from 12:00p.m. – 1:00p.m. (PDT)

An invitation will be sent out in the near future with the full details, including instructions on how to join and how to submit questions before the call.

Join CLBC’s May open Board meeting

Individuals, family members and service providers are invited to join our next CLBC open Board meeting from 9:00 a.m. to 11:55 a.m. (PDT) on Wednesday, May 10. 

To register to attend the meeting, please send a request to Padminee.Chundunsing@gov.bc.ca asking to attend the May open Board meeting. You will be sent a Microsoft Teams meeting link and an information sheet on how to use MS Teams.

The CLBC Board meets four times a year. Meetings are open to the public and information about the board schedule and joining a meeting remotely can be found on the CLBC Board Meeting Schedule website here.

 

Self Advocacy Corner

Leadership Institute brings self advocates together for learning and development

The Self Advocacy Leadership Institute is a four-day learning event created by self advocate leaders to support the learning and skill development of 25 of their peer self advocates. The leadership institute takes place August 14 to 17, 2023 at the University of British Columbia’s Okanagan Campus in Kelowna.

Each day has a different learning focus:

  • Day 1 – Foundational Learning & Skill Development
  • Day 2 – Rights, Advocacy & Self Determination
  • Day 3 – Resilience, Personal Care & Having Fun
  • Day 4 – Hopes, Dreams & Future Planning

For full details, read the 2023 Self Advocate Leadership Institute program here. Applications close on April 23 and you can find instructions on how to apply here. CLBC is proud to be among the organizations and groups supporting this leadership institute.

Rock on with Ray’s Music Night hosted by Self Advocates of the Rockies (SAOR)

Join Ray for a fun night of music and connecting with people.

This event takes place April 21 from 4:00pm to 5:30pm PDT (5:00pm to 6:30pm MDT).

You can join the group through Google Meets by clicking here.

SIXPO festival on now through April 22

SIXPO (Sexuality, Inclusion and Exploration) is a festival organized by and for people with disabilities to discuss, reflect and learn together about all sorts of topics related to sexual wellness. SIXPO is for folks who want to learn more about sexuality, and especially for people with lived experience of disability and those who support them.

The festival kicked off on April 1 with virtual events happening until April 20 and in-person events at Heritage Hall in Vancouver from April 20 to 22. Find all of the information and learn how to take part at Sixpo.ca.

New edition of the Kamloops Self Advocate Newsletter is hot off the presses

The Kamloops Self Advocate Newsletter Spring Edition is now available. Celebrating disability awareness, this edition features an interview with fashion model and Down Syndrome awareness advocate Monika Myers.

Click here to read the newsletter.

Learn how to prepare for a visit with your doctor

Health Care Access Research and Developmental Disabilities (H-CARDD) works with self advocates to create plain language videos about accessing health care. Here is a list of videos that might interest you.

In this video you can hear Andrew’s story about how you can prepare for a visit with a primary care provider (Doctor or Nurse Practitioner) and what is likely to happen during the visit, like getting your ears checked. Remember, its good to try and see a primary care provider one time each year for a check-up.

Welcoming wellness in Kamloops

The Speak-Up Self- Advocacy Awareness Society (SUSA) is hosting a two-day conference on May 1 and 2 for attendees to learn and connect about wellness.

The first day will be about people’s own health and wellness and the second day will focus on learning to be a leader and to speak up.

The cost to attend is $5 for one day, or $8 for both days. For more information and to register, email speakupkamloops@gmail.com.

Staying Supported and Connected

Learn how Representation Agreements can be an alternative to Adult Guardianship

The Nidus Personal Planning Resource Centre is a non-profit, charitable organization and was incorporated in 1995 as the Representation Agreement Resource Centre (RARC). Nidus/RARC was founded by citizens and community groups who were involved in the community-based reform of B.C.’s adult guardianship legislation. These groups wanted to ensure the public had a resource for information on Representation Agreements and other personal planning tools.

Nidus is hosting a free webinar to share information about the RA7 Representation Agreement as a legal alternative to Adult Guardianship. There are two upcoming dates to attend this webinar, and you can click either of the links below to register:

Find two videos from Nidus that explain the roles of representatives and monitors in an RA7 Representation Agreement here.

Understanding what Culturally Safe housing means to Indigenous people with diverse abilities

The Aboriginal Housing Management Association is looking to learn from the lived experiences of Indigenous people with diverse abilities who access CLBC housing supports and services.

AHMA will be speaking with people in one-on-one interviews either over video, telephone or in person. Each interview will between 60 and 90 minutes.

If you or someone you know is interested in participating, contact diverse_abilities@ahma-bc.org or 604 921-2482. Click here to find all the details.

Spotlighting the Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP)

Pathways Serious Mental Illness Society and PLAN Institute are hosting a two-part series on the Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP), the Canada-wide registered matched savings plan specific for people with disabilities or mental Illness.

  • The Beginner RDSP webinar takes place April 12, 2023 from 7:00pm to 8:30pm
  • The Advanced RDSP webinar takes place May 10, 2023 from 7:00pm to 8:45pm

Find more information and register to attend here.

Program helps build technology skills

Neil Squire Society is helping people with disabilities learn how to use technology. If you have a disability, devices like computers and smartphones can open many doors. The skills to use these devices can greatly increase independence, access to resources and connections with family and friends.

The Distance Computer Comfort program offers free tutoring through a virtual classroom. Without even having to leave home, participants can learn about using their computer, tablet or smartphone.

Learn more about the Distance Computer Comfort program here, including how to register.

Webinar series focuses on enhancing and strengthening Microboards

A Microboard is a small group of committed family and friends who join together with a person with a disability to create a non-profit society.

The Enhancing and Strengthening Microboards webinar is a two-part series offering an opportunity for Microboards to review their core values and consider best practices. These webinars are for anyone who sits on, is thinking of joining, or is planning to set up a Microboard.

Experienced and new Microboard members are welcome. Although you don’t need to attend both webinars, it is recommended. Click the links below to register for each part.

Learn more about tax credits for people with disabilities and their families

Updated Home Buyers Amount – The Home Buyers Amount tax credit is normally for first time buyers. However, if you acquired the home for the benefit of a related person who is eligible for the disability amount, you may claim the amount. The purchase must be made to allow the person eligible for the disability amount to live in a home that is more accessible or better suited to their needs.

Learn more about this tax credit and how to apply for it on the Autism Funding in BC website.

Home renovation tax credit available for persons with disabilities – The Home Renovation tax credit for seniors and persons with disabilities assists eligible people 65 and over and persons with disabilities with the cost of certain permanent home renovations to improve accessibility or to be more functional or mobile at home. For persons with disabilities and family members living with them, renovation expenses must happen on or after February 17, 2016.

Learn more about this tax credit on the B.C. Government website here.

Stories and Celebration

CLBC celebrates Autism Acceptance Month

In 2007, the United Nations designated April 2 as World Autism Awareness Day. The goal of this day is to increase autism awareness around the world. For autistic self advocates, however, the goal has been to shift language from awareness to acceptance. The change in language represents a long-held belief by self advocates, specifically within the neurodiversity movement, that everyone should be helping people with Autism lead more fulfilling lives rather than treating the condition like an illness.

This April, CLBC is proud to celebrate Autism Acceptance Month. Following the lead of self advocates, our focus is to move beyond awareness. We strive to connect autistic and other neurodivergent individuals eligible for CLBC to resources in their communities and to provide them with the supports they need to find belonging and success.

Read the official proclamation of “Autism Acceptance Month” and “World Autism Day” from the B.C. government here.

We wish individuals with Autism and their families a happy Autism Acceptance Month!

Sharing the voice and work of the Autistic Self Advocacy Network

The Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN) seeks to advance the principles of the disability rights movement with regard to autism. ASAN believes that the goal of autism advocacy should be a world in which people with Autism enjoy equal access, rights and opportunities.

Learn more about the priorities and work of ASAN on their website here.

Celebrate World Health Day

Tomorrow, April 7, marks the 75th anniversary of World Health Day, a day founded by the World Health Organization (WHO).

The theme of World Health Day this year, is ‘Health for All’. While work is still being done to create a system that is truly accessible and equitable for everyone, looking back on how health has progressed in just 75 years is an important reminder of where we once were, and an opportunity to reflect on what our own health means to each one of us now.

Watch this video from WHO about health in the last 75 years and follow the hashtag #HealthforAll on social media to find posts about this day.

Recognizing CLBC Community Councils

Every spring the work of CLBC Community Councils is collected and celebrated as one of the important ways CLBC partners with the people and families we serve to strengthen and build inclusion in and with communities across B.C.. This year, Councils have collaborated with their local neighbourhoods and city leaders to host dances, inclusion festivals, open houses, and other events that bring awareness about inclusive housing, employment, and the abilities and contributions of people labelled with developmental and intellectual disabilities.

Community Councils strive to:

  • Build relationships with local community leaders working to create a more inclusive B.C.
  • Connect communities, people, and families to information, resources and each other.
  • Listen to the experience of people and families served by CLBC to make things better.
  • Collaborate on actions that lead to social connections and inclusive community opportunities for people with developmental disabilities.

Stay in the loop and have fun with your local Community Council! For more information about CLBC Community Councils, contact: Jessica.Humphrey@gov.bc.ca
Signing off 

With spring weather beginning to arrive across the province, it’s a time when more people like to get outside. Recognizing that being outdoors can help build community and provide many positive physical, mental and spiritual health benefits, the B.C. government has expanded its commitment to make B.C. parks more inclusive and accessible for everyone. Read the government news release here, and find the BC Parks Commitment to Inclusion here.

Until next edition…

CLBC Update for Individuals & Families –April, 2023 Edition

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