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May 2024 Edition of CLBC’s Update for Individuals and Families.

May Edition 2024
Welcome to the May 2024 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 X.com 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

Self-Advocacy Corner

Staying Supported and Connected

CLBC Community Councils

Stories and Celebrations

 

 

 

 

CLBC and Government News

 

 

 

CLBC participates in annual Moose Hide campaign

For the third year, CLBC is participating in the Moose Hide Campaign on May 16. Moose Hide began in B.C. as an Indigenous-led grassroots movement to engage men and boys in ending violence towards women and children. As the campaign evolved, it has grown to engage all Canadians in ending violence against women and children.

Wearing the Moose Hide pin signifies a commitment to honour, respect and protect the women and children in your life and to work with others to end gender-based and domestic violence. Everyone is welcome to participate and you can learn more about the Moose Hide Campaign here.

Join CLBC’s May Open Board Meeting

Individuals, family members and service providers are invited to join CLBC’s Open Board Meeting from 9:00 am to 11:55 am (PDT) on Thursday, May 16.

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 receive a Microsoft Teams meeting link and an information sheet on how to use Teams.

The CLBC Board meets four times each year and meetings are open to the public. Information about the board schedule, how to join a meeting remotely, and the upcoming meeting agenda can be found on the CLBC Board Meeting webpage here.

Celebrate National AccessAbility Week: May 26 to June 1

Every year, starting on the last Sunday in May, Canadians celebrate National AccessAbility Week.

Founded as National Access Awareness Week in 1988 and inspired by Rick Hansen’s Man In Motion World Tour, this week is an opportunity to celebrate Canadians with disabilities and raise awareness of the critical need for accessibility and inclusion for all in our communities and workplaces.

CLBC is grateful for the expertise of our own CLBC Accessibility Advisory Committee whose members met for the first time on March 12. Committee members shared that the first step for CLBC to become a more accessible organization is to help people feel welcome and safe in CLBC spaces that are easy to get to.

We invite and encourage those we serve and our community partners to contribute to the strategy to make CLBC offices more accessible and welcoming for all.

What makes a space welcoming to you? What can CLBC do to create more welcoming and safe spaces for people with disabilities?

Share your ideas by using the CLBC Accessibility Feedback tool on our website here.

CLBC using new tools to create more welcoming spaces

CLBC’s Victoria office, working with the local South Island Community Council, is trying something new to make their office more welcoming and accessible.

They have designed a picture-based “Communication for Everyone” board that individuals who are non-speaking can use to communicate. The board will be displayed in the office’s front entrance.

Read more about how these communication boards are helping support picture-based, accessible communication here, including information about CLBC’s work to remove barriers and increase accessibility.

CLBC hosts land acknowledgement ceremony in Gitxsan and Wet’suwet’en territory

CLBC’s Smithers office recently hosted a land acknowledgement ceremony to show recognition and respect for the unceded traditional ancestral territory of the Gitxsan and Wet’suwet’en peoples.

The celebration was a way to integrate Indigenous perspectives with modern practices to create safe, inclusive spaces while building trust and strong relationships.

Read the full story about this land acknowledgement ceremony on the CLBC website here.

Government of Canada launches new Canada Disability Benefit

In its 2024 budget, the Government of Canada announced ongoing funding of $1.4 billion per year for a new Canada Disability Benefit, including costs to deliver the program.

This benefit is targeted to over 600,000 low-income persons with disabilities between the ages of 18 and 64. The proposed design of the program would provide a maximum benefit amount of $2,400 per year and would be available to people with a valid Disability Tax Credit certificate.

The federal government will begin providing payments to eligible Canadians in July 2025, following consultations with people with disabilities.

Visit the Government of Canada website here for an overview of the Canada Disability Benefit.

Sharing resources for Mental Health Week

The Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) Mental Health Week is an annual event taking place May 6 to 12 to celebrate and raise awareness about the importance of mental health. This year’s theme is centered on the healing power of compassion, which connects us all.

Learn more about Mental Health Week here. Below are links to some helpful resources that are available to anyone who needs support with their mental health:

Additionally, the CMHA’s British Columbia Division is working to expand access to Peer Assisted Care Teams (PACTs), which provide mobile civilian response to mental health crises. The Province of B.C. has committed to funding 10 community-led teams administered by CMHA BC and two teams led by Indigenous-led organizations. PACTs are currently operating in North and West Vancouver, New Westminster and Victoria, and are coming soon to the Comox Valley, Kamloops and Prince George. Learn more about PACTs here.

 

 

 

 

Self-Advocacy Corner

 

 

 

 

Self-advocates invited to join CLBC’s virtual Employment Corner

The CLBC Provincial Employment Team is hosting another online Employment Corner session on May 22 from 2:00pm to 3:00pm (PDT).

The Employment Corner series is for self-advocates and people with lived experience seeking employment opportunities in B.C. There are opportunities to ask questions, and share stories, successes, concerns and ideas related to employment.

Join the virtual Employment Corner at this Zoom link.

For more information, please contact CLBC Employment Lead Jay Townsend at Jay.Townsend@gov.bc.ca.

Become a BC People First member today

BC People First Society (BCPF) is made up of a group of people from across B.C. who want to make sure that people with intellectual and developmental disabilities are included and respected in our communities as full citizens. They do this by supporting each other to speak up for themselves and by sharing advocacy skills with each other.

For anyone interested, you can sign up to become a BCPF member here.

Start a self-advocacy group in your community

Self-advocacy is about expressing what you want for yourself and taking charge in your own life. Self-advocacy is important because it helps you tell others what you need and what’s important to you.

Starting a self-advocacy group can be difficult, so Inclusion BC has developed a collection of resources to help with the process.

Learn more about starting a self-advocacy group and check out Inclusion BC’s resources here.

Congratulations to Self Advocate Net on its 25th Anniversary

CLBC would like to congratulate Self Advocate Net on 25 years of being the online hub for self-advocates across British Columbia.

Under Bryce Schaufelberger’s continued leadership, the site provides the latest disability-related news and promotes lived experiences by sharing stories. Learn more about the history of Self Advocate Net here.

The website publishes up to four stories a month, like Raymond’s recent success story which you can read here.

Self Advocate Net pays $100 for each story. If you have a story you would like to share, you can learn more and submit story ideas here.

 

 

 

Staying Supported and Connected

 

 

 

 

Build a plan to help secure the future

Planning for the future can sometimes be a difficult and complicated task. PLAN Institute offers a Future Planning Tool to guide people through the steps of planning for a good life, including financial security, personal network building, estate planning, housing choices and supported decision-making.

Learn more and get started with using the Future Planning Tool here.

Access supports and resources from Disability Alliance BC

Disability Alliance BC (DABC) supports people with disabilities to live with dignity and independence and be equal and full participants in community.

DABC’s services and programs include:

  • Providing one-to-one assistance to people with disabilities.
  • Working with community partners and all levels of government to advocate for systemic change.
  • Delivering programs to meet specific needs in the disability community, such as Tax AID DABC and the Disability Law Clinic.
  • Providing educational workshops and webinars to community groups, government and individuals.
  • Creating free publications and resources.

Learn more about all of DABC’s services and programs here.

Representation Agreement videos share firsthand stories

Nidus is excited to present two new videos highlighting the importance of Representation Agreements, which are a legal model for supported decision making.

In the videos, self-advocates Jean-Pierre Maher and Tracy Martin share their perspectives on Representation Agreements, offering firsthand insights into their experiences and decision-making processes.

You can watch the videos at these links:

March of Dimes Canada fund provides technology for people with disabilities

Technology plays an important role in helping people stay connected. Recognizing this, March of Dimes is providing Canadians with disabilities who meet the eligibility criteria with mobile devices, computers or adaptive aids through their Tech for Impact Fund.

Find out if you’re eligible and learn how to apply here. The deadline to apply is May 31.

Navigating the inclusive path with REA-L

Join Families Supporting Regular Equitable and Authentic Lives (REA-L) for an online step-by-step workshop on navigating the inclusive path. The inclusive path is one where people with intellectual and developmental disabilities navigate life together with their peers who do not have disabilities, sharing in the same experiences and opportunities.

The goal of this workshop is to empower families to take meaningful steps towards building an inclusive life for their loved ones.

The webinar takes place on Tuesday, May 21 from 7:00pm to 8:30pm (PDT). Learn more about the webinar and register here.

 

 

 

CLBC Community Councils

 

 

 

 

 

Self-advocacy leaders raise awareness about inclusive housing

Tami Pedersen and Tony Cuglietta, Co-Chairs of CLBC’s Thompson Cariboo Community Council, have worked with their council to raise awareness about inclusive housing, a topic they are both passionate about.

Tony and Tami have been presenting on the importance of inclusive housing and sharing their own stories and experiences. This includes presenting to city councils and builders associations in the surrounding area, asking builders to reserve units specifically for those eligible for CLBC funding.

“We are often left out of housing plans because people think we’re looked after somewhere else,” says Tami.

“Inclusive housing is when someone has a choice over their living space and when people with diverse abilities live next door to everyone else,” says Tony.

Tony and Tami are proud of what they have accomplished so far. They hope to continue their work to bring this topic forward to local municipalities to advocate for more inclusive housing.

If you are interested in being involved with this project, or having Tami and Tony present to your organization or municipality, please email CLBC.Connect@gov.bc.ca.

Join the Surrey, Delta, White Rock Community Council open house on May 29

Self-advocates, families and community members in Surrey, Delta and White Rock are invited to join the local CLBC community council’s upcoming open house later this month. Learn about CLBC, the creation and history of community councils and find out how you can get involved!

Brita Hall from the CLBC Provincial Community Engagement Team will be presenting at the open house.

All of the details are below, and you can also download the poster for this event here.

  • Date: Wednesday, May 29, 2024
  • Time: 6:00pm to 8:00pm (PDT)
  • Location: CLBC Surrey office – Second floor, #2017 – 7495 132 Street (Parking is available on 132 Street or in the paid parking lot)
  • Refreshments will be provided, however childcare is not available.
  • RSVP by May 24 to Labana.Randeep@gov.bc.ca or 604-328-3262 / 604-501-8310

This will be an opportunity to share ideas and have questions answered. Come meet your neighbours and make new friends.

Dance the night away at Simon Fraser Community Council’s spring dance

CLBC’s Simon Fraser Community Council is hosting a community spring dance on Saturday, May 25, from 6:30pm to 9:00pm (PDT) at the YMCA Bettie Allard at 555 Emerson Street in Coquitlam.

Admission is $5 and there will be snacks, beverages, body art by MJC Artistry, and photography by Kayjaye Studios. Anyone interested in attending can RSVP to kerrylizz@outlook.com by May 18.

Join a Community Council near you

CLBC Community Councils help connect individuals and their families to information and resources, as well as take action that leads to social change and inclusive communities for all. Hosting dances is one-way councils bring the community together to celebrate and have fun. If you are interested in becoming a volunteer, join your local council as a guest to learn about what they’re working on.

Learn more about volunteering on a CLBC Community Council here.

For help connecting to a Council near you, contact our CLBC Community Engagement Team at CLBC.Connect@gov.bc.ca.

 

 

 

 

Stories and Celebrations

 

 

 

 

A Success Story: Angel never gave up!

Angel has worked hard over the last year and a half to earn her Early Childhood Educator-Assistant (ECE-A) certificate. We’re pleased to share her story:

“I have always really enjoyed working with and being around children. I like to watch them learn and grow. It really brings me happiness.

When I was a child in daycare settings, I felt excluded and alone. I wanted to become a teacher so I could help children never feel this way.

I had some barriers to reaching my goal. I had to go out of my comfort zone with schooling and trying to memorize a lot of materials for exams. I also had to find funding to pay for my courses, and I paid for the ECE-A course myself.

There were things I thought I couldn’t do, but I did. Like passing my English, Food Safe and First Aid courses, as well as working with kids, which I did and got paid for!

I would like to say to anyone who is reaching for their dream to not give up. There is always a way if you keep trying and always believe in yourself.”

Plan for the future with ESATTA Cooperative

One way to celebrate AccessAbility Week, coming up later this month, is to share the leadership of people breaking down barriers for those with disabilities. The Empowering Self-Advocates to Take Action (ESATTA) Cooperative has been working with CLBC for the past two years on an exciting project to teach workshops throughout the province called People Planning Together.

People Planning Together is a two-day training for people labelled with a developmental disability. The training is facilitated by people who also live with a label of developmental disability. During this training, participants spend time identifying the things that are important to them to be happy, healthy and safe. The things they identify are then used to help them plan what kinds of supports they would like to receive to live the life they desire.

“As a person who is non-verbal, I got to share a lot of ideas with my staff and friends at the workshop. I was able to let people know more about me and what I want to do in my life. I really enjoyed it!” shared April from Victoria.

Learn more about ESATTA Cooperative, their work, and People Planning Together workshops here.

If you’re interested in participating in a People Planning Together workshop, contact CLBC’s Community Engagement team at CLBC.Connect@gov.bc.ca.

 

Signing Off 

 

Mother’s Day is just around the corner on Sunday, May 12. We would like to sign off by sending our best wishes for the day to every mother, grandmother, caretaker, chosen families, genderqueer and trans parents, those wanting to be mothers and mothers who have lost their children.

 

Until next edition…

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