Indigenous Disability Awareness Month (IDAM) is recognized each November and officially proclaimed by the government of B.C. to highlight and celebrate the unique contributions First Nations, Métis and Inuit people with disabilities make to communities throughout the province. Created by the BC Aboriginal Disability Network Society (BCANDS) in 2015, the month also brings awareness to the barriers and challenges that Indigenous people with the disabilities and their families face.
CLBC will be holding its next open board meeting from 9 AM to 12 PM (PST) on Wednesday, November 29. CLBC eligible individuals, families, service providers and members of the public are welcome to join remotely via the Microsoft Teams meeting platform. The meeting includes reports from the Chairs of CLBC’s Indigenous Advisory Committee and Provincial Advisory Committee.
Individuals supported by CLBC remain a priority to receive the COVID-19 vaccination. Invitations will be sent by email or text message to everyone who has registered to receive a COVID-19 immunization in B.C. The invite will have a direct link to book your COVID-19 and flu appointment online. These vaccines are free and available at pharmacies, health authority clinics and some primary care providers’ offices.
If you have questions about your COVID-19 immunization options, or need help booking an appointment, call 1-833-838-2323. The phone line is open from 7 AM to 7 PM every day, and 9 AM to 5 PM on statutory holidays. Translators are available. Telephone service for people who are deaf is available by calling 711 and Video Relay Services (VRS) sign language interpretation is free for people who are deaf, hard of hearing or speech-impaired.
Join the conversation about Community Inclusion Services
In October 2023, CLBC began a series of discussions with individuals, families, service providers and key community partners in remote, urban, and Indigenous communities to gather an understanding of people’s experiences, best practices for community inclusion programs, and what ideas people have for the future of these services. The purpose of this work is to identify best practices for community inclusion supports and recommendations for services and programs for people with diverse abilities in B.C.
The PAC meets in person four times each year and ensures two-way communication between Community Councils and the CLBC Board, highlighting both successes and concerns identified by Councils that have provincial implications for CLBC and the people it serves. You can listen to the experiences of PAC members on the CLBC website here
There are currently PAC vacancies from the Upper Fraser, South Central Okanagan, South Vancouver Island and North Region Community Councils.
Recognizing International Day of Persons with Disabilities
Every year, December 3 marks United Nations International Day of Persons with Disabilities. This day is about promoting the rights and well-being of people with disabilities and raising awareness of the inclusion of people in all aspects of political, social, economic, and cultural life. Learn more about International Day of Persons with Disabilities Day here. CLBC and others will be sharing posts on Facebook and Twitter (or X), with the hashtag #IDPD2023.
Housing Central conference coming up in November
The annual Housing Central conference, hosted by the BC Non-Profit Housing Association (BCNPHA) and the Co-operative Housing Federation of BC (CHF BC), aims to strengthen and grow the community housing sector so all British Columbians have a safe, secure home they can afford.
From November 20 to 22, the conference will draw delegates from throughout B.C. and across Canada for three days of learning, networking and engaging with colleagues in the community housing sector.
CLBC is a proud sponsor of this event and will also be sharing information and connecting with attendees as an exhibitor. CLBC staff are involved in a number of sessions at the conference, and CEO Ross Chilton will give a short speech. CLBC will be sharing highlights from the conference on our Facebook and Twitter (or X) pages.
Self Advocacy Corner Camping out with TALK Northwest
TALK Northwest Society is one of the four Self Advocacy groups that received grant funding during the pandemic to help people stay safe and connected. As a way to celebrate connection to each other and the lands we live on, TALK Northwest members used the last of their grant funding to host a two-day Kispiox Advocates Camp Conference in September. “There were so many special moments shared. The morale was high, the group dynamics were amazing, and everyone was so respectful and encouraging to each other. Everyone raved about their experience and has dreams for a future campout conference event,” said camp leaders.
Share your photo with CLBC and the Celebrate Diverse ABILITIES magazine
CLBC is looking for high resolution images that showcase the people we support living their best life in community. This might be a picture of you at work, hanging out with friends, at college/university, hosting a party, trying something new, enjoying your hobby, or even just relaxing at home. The top five photos selected will be featured in the next Celebrate Diverse ABILITIES magazine along with a short write-up about each photo. Authors will receive $100 for their photo and story or short write-up.
You might be wondering what we mean by high resolution. Please set your camera or phone’s picture quality to “High” or “Large” to capture high resolution pictures. (For any experienced photographers, photos should be at least 300dpi and at least 1000 pixels wide).
Congratulations to Self Advocacy leader Michael Oswald from the CLBC North Shore Sunshine Coast Community Council who recently had his story on living with the effects of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) published by the Coast Reporter. In his article, “Why don’t we talk about FASD?”, Michael shares his own experiences and asks how we can all bring greater awareness to FASD to reduce the stigma around it.
Join People First of Canada’s LGBTQIA2S+ Working Group
People First of Canada is a national organization representing people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. If you are a People First member and you identify as being LGBTQIA2S+, you are invited to apply for their new working group that meets monthly. For more information or to join the group, please send an email to email@example.com.
Also, did you know there is a BC People First (BCPF) organization that is part of the international People First movement? BCPF has been the independent voice of self advocates in B.C. for over 40 years. The more members who join BCPF, the stronger the voice for self advocates will be. It’s free to join!
Know your rights and responsibilities living in home sharing
Are you a self advocate who lives in home sharing? The Home Sharing Support Society of BC is hosting a self advocate-led presentation called “How do you advocate? What you need to know”. The virtual event takes place on Thursday, November 23 from 10 to 11:30 AM (PST).
Join the discussion to:
Hear common concerns and challenges.
Connect and network with others in home sharing arrangements.
Learn how to advocate for yourself and access support.
Nidus is a non-profit organization that provides education, support and assistance with personal planning and Representation Agreements. They have developed institutional expertise about the creation, use, and support around these important planning tools. Nidus has recently launched their new website at www.nidus.ca.
Learn with NIDUS about Representation Agreements and what happens after death
With the support of CLBC, Nidus is presenting an information webinar focusing on Representation Agreement Section 7 (RA7) and what happens after death. This session will provide you with valuable insights, practical tips and real-life experiences. All are welcome to attend including services providers, family members, persons with disabilities and CLBC staff.
Is your family looking to hire support staff? Join this presentation
Support Worker Central (SWC) is a free, province-wide job board created for people with disabilities and their families who hire their own support staff. The site also shares guidance on hiring staff, your legal obligations, necessary paperwork, and other valuable information needed when becoming an employer. There are currently over 500 profiles of people looking for work on SWC.
Join the Family Support Institute for a virtual presentation on Wednesday, November 15 at 7:00 PM (PST) to learn more about how to access this pool of potential staff. During this presentation, you will learn how the job board works, how to post a job, the available resources to help you with hiring staff, as well as an opportunity to ask questions.
BC’s Office of the Human Rights Commissioner (BCOHRC), together with the Human Rights Tribunal and the Human Rights Clinic at the Community Legal Assistance Society (CLAS), are launching a new set of resources designed to help people understand the system and know who to talk to.
Here are some of the new resources:
B.C. Human Rights System web portal – A clear and concise overview of each part of B.C.’s human rights system. Visit www.bchumanrightssystem.ca.
Short animated videos – These videos introduce what human rights are, how they are protected, and how the human rights system works in B.C. Watch the videos here.
Additional resources – A directory of clinics, advocates and organizations offering human rights support, as well as printable handouts in multiple languages that provide information about the human rights system. Visit www.bchumanrightssystem.ca/additional-resources
CLBC Community Councils
CLBC Community Councils are raising awareness about aging
Community Councils across the province are raising awareness on the topic of aging and helping to share information about planning supports available for people and families supported by CLBC who are getting older.
On October 11, the North Vancouver Sunshine Coast Council hosted a forum called “Plan for a Better Future”. Participants heard from a parent on her struggles, a self advocate caring for an aging parent, and from the Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction. Other speakers included CLBC’s manager of Service and Community Development, and representatives from the Family Support Institute, Planned Lifetime Advocacy Network (PLAN) BC and the Community Living Society.
People who sit on CLBC Community Councils include individuals and families who receive support from CLBC, service provider partners and community allies. These volunteers care about creating culturally safe, accessible, and inclusive communities.
In partnership with CLBC, volunteers on Community Councils:
Build relationships with community leaders to create a more inclusive B.C.
Connect individuals and their families to information, resources and each other.
Listen to the experience of people and families served by CLBC to make things better.
Take actions that lead to social change and inclusive communities for all people.
Widening Our World (WOW) Award recipients recognized
The recipients of the 2023 CLBC Widening Our World (WOW) Awards are being recognized with award presentation celebrations in their local communities for their inclusive hiring practices and workplaces.
We’re sharing photos and stories from these events at www.CommunityLivingBC.ca/WOW, where you can also learn more about this year’s recipients who were selected from an amazing field of nominees:
Keith Larson – Redux Nutrition, Chilliwack
Bobbi Hunt – Mark’s Work Wearhouse, Abbotsford
Brendon Osborn – Cintas, Langley
Kylah Bryde – North Peace Leisure Pool, City of Fort St. John
Reflecting on Community Inclusion Month
As Community Inclusion Month wrapped up last week, we want to highlight how important this time has been. It has been a month where we focus on embracing diversity and fostering a sense of belonging in our communities. Everyone has a part to play in building inclusion and we all benefit when there is opportunity for everyone to achieve their potential. There were many great Community Inclusion Month events held in communities across the province this year and we want to thank everyone who got involved, whether by joining events, organizing them or working with local governments to recognize this important time of recognition, celebration and awareness. Your efforts have helped create more welcoming and inclusive communities for all.
Every November, Canadians recognize November 8 as Indigenous Veterans Day and November 11 as Remembrance Day. These days honour those who have served and continue to serve Canada during times of war, conflict and peace.