CLBC Update for Individuals & Families – February 9, 2024 Edition

February 9th,2024
Welcome to our first edition of CLBC’s Update for Individuals and Families of 2024!

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 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

Self-Advocacy Corner

Staying Supported and Connected

CLBC Community Councils

Stories and Celebrations

CLBC and Government News

Join CLBC’s February open Board meeting

Individuals, family members and service providers are invited to join CLBC’s open Board meeting from 9:00am to 11:55am (PST) on Wednesday, February 21, 2024. You can read the meeting agenda here.

To register to attend the meeting, please send a request to asking to attend the February open Board meeting. You will receive a Microsoft Teams meeting link and an information sheet on how to use Teams.

The CLBC Board meets four times each 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 webpage here.

CLBC welcomes Akshay Sachdeva as new Board Member

Congratulations to Akshay Sachdeva who was appointed to CLBC’s Board of Directors by Sheila Malcolmson, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction. His three-year term started on December 31, 2023.

Akshay lives in Surrey, B.C. and has been active as a self-advocate for many years across a range of roles, including as a BC People First Board Director and a member of CLBC’s Editorial Board.

You can learn more about Akshay here.

Meet CLBC’s new Vice Presidents

CLBC is pleased to announce the appointments of two Vice Presidents.

Genevieve Bucher is CLBC’s new Vice President of Governance and Communications. Genevieve replaces Randy Schmidt who retires on February 29, 2024, after nine years of service at CLBC.

Huy Nguyen will be CLBC’s new Vice President Finance and CFO. Huy replaces Henry Chen who retires on April 30, 2024, after five years of service at CLBC.

Learn more about Genevieve and Huy here.

Announcing CLBC’s New Accessibility Committee

British Columbia’s accessibility law, the Accessible British Columbia Act, was put into place in June 2021. To align with this law, CLBC has created an Accessibility Committee to help identify barriers for people with disabilities interacting with or working at CLBC, and to provide advice on how to remove or prevent those barriers.

We are proud to announce that as of January 2024, the founding members have now been appointed to the new CLBC Accessibility Committee to guide us in this important work.

Learn more about the committee members and CLBC’s work on accessibility here.

We are very grateful to the CLBC Provincial Advisory Committee for serving as the interim Accessibility Committee and stewarding the creation of CLBC’s first three-year CLBC Accessibility Plan.

Apply for a paid position on the CLBC Editorial Board

CLBC’s Editorial Board is made up of self-advocates and community living leaders from across the province. The role of the Editorial Board is to work with CLBC to improve communication with the people CLBC serves and ensure their meaningful participation in the ongoing work of CLBC. Learn more about the Editorial Board here.

CLBC is currently looking for new members to join the board from the North and Okanagan regions of B.C. Members are appointed to a two-year term and paid $1,200 per year for their contributions.

If you are interested in learning more and / or applying for a position on the CLBC Editorial Board, please email If you know of anyone who may be interested in this opportunity, please share this information with them.

Research project hears lived experiences of parents with disabilities

Michelle Goos is a Strategic Initiatives Advisor at CLBC and a parent of a young woman with a diverse ability. She is currently leading a project called Lived Experiences of Parents with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities in British Columbia to learn about the experiences of parents and what support is helpful and needed.

The project is currently collecting parents’ experiences in two ways:

  • By interviewing parents one-on-one or in a group with other parents. If you are interested in sharing your experiences, please email:
  • By doing a survey with CLBC staff and service provider staff about the number of parents they support, what they see is working and what they think is needed.

Learn more about this research project and opportunities to participate here.

Self-Advocacy Corner
BC People First’s 2024 self-advocacy conference takes place in March

This year’s BC People First conference is a hybrid learning and networking event with activities taking place virtually on March 13 and 14 and in person on March 15 and 16, 2024.

Event attendees will get to connect with peers while gaining experience and knowledge in leadership development areas such as advocacy, goal setting, presentation skills, using social media, human rights and more.

Find all of the details, including links to register, here.

For those planning to attend the in-person part of the conference, please register by February 15.

BC Self Advocacy Leadership Network seeking supporters and members

The BC Self Advocacy Leadership Network (BCSALN) is a group of self-advocate leaders from local and provincial organizations. BCSALN brings self-advocates together to make positive change. Their vision is: together as one, community for all, equal people, learning from history.

BCSALN is looking to grow their network and welcomes new supporters and members. This is a great opportunity for self-advocates who want to: build connections and leadership skills, promote positive change, be mentored and mentor others, and contribute to the self-advocacy movement.

If you are interested in being involved with BCSALN as a supporter or a member, please email

Spread the love and join the Valentine’s Day Zoom Dance

CLBC’s Central Island Community Council invites you to join them for an evening filled with dancing, laughter and community connection at their virtual Valentine’s Day Dance.

The event takes place on Saturday, February 10 from 6:00pm to 9:00pm (PST).

Click here to join the event through Zoom.

Get connected at weekly online gathering

CLBC’s Strategic Initiatives Advisors host a Connections Hour every Thursday at 12:00pm noon (PST). During Connections Hour, participants hear and share stories, information and resources. Everyone is welcome to join!

“Connections Hour is a good way to meet people and learn about events that are happening in your community and around the province,” says Michelle Goos, CLBC Strategic Initiatives Advisor.

Click here to join Connections Hour on Thursday at noon. The password is: CLBC

Click here to see a collection of different resources that have been shared.

If you have any questions about Connections Hour, please contact
Staying Supported and Connected

Upcoming Vela Canada Webinars

Vela Canada assists people with disabilities to take greater control of their lives and live the life they choose by forming a Microboard or accessing Individualized Funding. Vela hosts regular online webinars and video chats for people looking to learn from and connect with Vela and other families.

Employees, Contractors and Respite

Join the webinar on Employees, Contractors and Respite to learn the difference between them and what you need to know before hiring staff. This webinar takes place Wednesday, February 21 from 7:00pm to 8:30pm (PST).

Register to attend the webinar here.

Vela Chats

Vela Chats are online video chats for Microboards and Individualized Funding recipients, or people looking to learn more about Vela.

This is an opportunity to speak with the Vela team while connecting and learning from other families and individuals. Click one of the links below to register for an upcoming Vela Chat:

Learn about aging and dementia through free webinar series

The National Task Group on Intellectual Disabilities and Dementia Practices based in Maine, U.S.A., is hosting an upcoming family webinar series about aging and dementia for individuals with intellectual disabilities. The series launches later this month with five free webinars taking place on February 27, March 12 and 26, and April 9 and 23.

Find full details as well as registration information here.

Make a connection, one call at a time

The Canadian Red Cross now has a Friendly Calls Program that matches people over the age of 18 with trained Red Cross personnel who connect with them regularly to check in, provide emotional support, encourage healthy coping strategies, and suggest well-being resources and community connections to other existing services.

Click here to learn more about the Friendly Calls Program.

Register for the Inclusion BC conference: Everybody Belongs!

Registration for Everybody Belongs!, Inclusion BC’s annual conference, opens this month. Inclusion BC is excited to welcome attendees with an excellent lineup of workshops and speakers. The conference takes place in Nanaimo from May 30 to June 1.

Stay tuned to the Inclusion BC website here for the latest details.

Is your family looking to hire support staff?

Support Worker Central 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, 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 Support Worker Central.

Register here to join the Family Support Institute Learning Exploration on February 20 to learn how to use the Support Worker Central platform. The presentation will show how the job board works, how to post a job, the available resources to help with hiring staff, and will provide an opportunity to ask questions.

Understanding sibling experiences

If you work for a community agency, service provider or disability organization, the Center for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) wants to learn more about how organizations include siblings of people with diverse abilities in their programs and services.

For anyone who would like to contribute to this research, click here to complete a short five-minute survey.

CLBC Community Councils

Bringing the Richmond community together

CLBC’s Richmond Community Council hosted an open house on January 25. Self-advocates, family members, community members and supporters came together to plan for how the Richmond Community Council can make a difference in their community. Members highlighted Richmond at its best, brainstorming ways the council can bring back successful community events that get people together. They highlighted themes such as inclusive employment, inclusive housing and increased access to affordable recreational activities.

Special thank you to MLA Henry Yao for stopping by to say hello and present the Richmond Community Council with a Certificate of Appreciation on behalf of Premier David Eby and the Province of British Columbia. The certificate highlights the need to foster an inclusive, collaborative, accessible and supportive society for all people in Richmond. It also thanks all self-advocates, families, service providers and community members for working so hard together to build a better Richmond.

The next CLBC Richmond Community Council Open House takes place on March 12, 2024, to discuss the themes brought forward and plan for future events. If you are interested in joining, please email

CLBC Vancouver Community Council celebrates community inclusion

Congratulations to the CLBC Vancouver Community Council for a successful and well attended Community Inclusion Celebration hosted on January 27. Speakers included two Members of Parliament, Hon. Don Davies and Hon. Jenny Kwan, as well as B.C.’s Human Rights Commissioner Kasari Govender.

This event highlighted the leadership and accomplishments of people with diverse abilities and brought together community members and organizations to share information and resources. Organizations in attendance included posAbilities, Community Living Society, Disability Alliance BC, NIDUS, Autism BC, ACT, Canucks Autism Network, Development Disabilities Association, BC People First, BC Self Advocacy Leadership Network, Special Olympics BC and more.

The celebration was featured in this great story on

Interested in volunteering to create inclusive communities? Find answers to Frequently Asked Questions about CLBC Community Councils here.

You can also contact to set up a time with the Community Engagement team to learn more about volunteering on a CLBC Community Council.

Stories and Celebrations

Community living leader Linda Perry recognized

Linda Perry, former executive director of Vela Canada, has been awarded the prestigious Order of Canada. Linda was honoured for her visionary leadership and transformative advocacy for individuals with diverse abilities.

Congratulations Linda on this well-deserved recognition of your contributions to the disability community.

Read an announcement from Vela Canada here to learn more.

Highlighting the leadership of Danielle Finnigan

Danielle Finnigan from Salt Spring Island is a true advocate in her community and beyond. By sharing her story of living with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD), Danielle is leading the charge in breaking down stigma and spreading awareness about FASD.

Watch Danielle’s documentary Glimmers on YouTube here to learn about her journey and to join her in creating a more informed and supportive world.

Community Living team provides independence, dignity and fulfillmentNelson CARES Society was recently featured in a Nelson Star article highlighting their history and contributions to the community. Their long-running Services for Community Living program provides person-centred support to foster independence and lives of dignity, joy and fulfillment.

Learn more about this program and opportunities to join the Nelson CARES team here.

B.C. marks Family Day in February

B.C. Family Day is a provincial statutory holiday. British Columbians celebrate Family Day on the third Monday of February as a day to spend time with their loved ones. In 2024, Family Day falls on Monday, February 19.

Visit the B.C. Government’s Family Day webpage here to learn about virtual and in-person events taking place to mark Family Day 2024.

February is Black History Month

Every February, people in Canada are invited to participate in Black History Month festivities and events that honour the legacy of Black Canadians and their communities.

The 2024 theme for Black History Month is “Black Excellence: A Heritage to Celebrate; a Future to Build.” This theme celebrates the rich past and present contributions and accomplishments of Black Canadians, while aspiring to embrace new opportunities for the future. Learn more by visiting the Government of Canada’s Black History Month webpage here.

You can also read a joint statement here recognizing Black History Month in B.C. from Premier David Eby, Mable Elmore, Parliamentary Secretary for Anti-Racism Initiatives, and Rachna Singh, Minister of Education and Child Care.

Signing off

As we sign off, here’s a reminder that this month will wrap up with Pink Shirt Day taking place on February 28. People across B.C. and around the world mark Pink Shirt Day by wearing pink to raise awareness and take a stand against bullying, and to celebrate the value of kindness.

Artwork on this year’s Pink Shirt Day t-shirts and hoodies was designed by Brooke Gillam of the Oromocto First Nation in New Brunswick.

You can learn more by visiting and follow CLBC’s Facebook and (formerly Twitter) channels where we will be sharing posts and information on that day.

Until next edition…

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