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Leading connection – Casey Douglas, Director of Olivia Douglas Community Services, joins other self advocacy groups in creating opportunities for people to connect and stay strong.

Welcome to the Winter 2021 Edition of the CLBC magazine “Celebrate Diverse ABILITIES”

Celebrate Diverse ABILITIES is created under the guidance of the CLBC Editorial Board, which is made up of self advocates from across the province, as well as family members.

The theme for this edition is “Resilience.” The stories in this edition demonstrate the many ways people are staying resilient, from creative outlets like writing comic books, to new hobbies like baking or taking part in virtual kickboxing classes, to simply being there to talk to each other.

Click the story links below to read more, and you can click here to read a PDF version of the magazine.

We always appreciate your feedback. Tell us what you think of this edition by sending an email to: CLBCInfo@gov.bc.ca.

Enjoy!

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Message from CLBC’s CEO: Facing challenges together

As we move in to this new year, the world and our lives look a lot different than they did one year ago. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has presented all of us with challenges over these past many months. While there is positive news with B.C.’s vaccination rollout now underway, it is still very important that we continue to do everything we can to keep ourselves and others safe. For many of us, this has meant we need to find new ways to help us remain strong in the face of ongoing challenges.

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Message from the Editorial Board: Resilience is a part of us

For us on the Editorial Board, resilience is about hanging in there, not giving up, being strong and determined no matter what. That doesn’t mean we don’t all have hard times and need others to believe in us and support us when we are down. This is especially true right now, when many people are tired and bored and lonely.
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Community Living BC Updates

In this edition of CLBC News, we share information about: the new Minister responsible for CLBC, our new Executive Director of Indigenous Relations, recently announced provincial funding that will help the people CLBC serves return to work and resources to stay informed and connected.
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Resilience is in my blood
by Lara Gunkel (Burnaby)

I come from a family of resilient women. One day I hope to write a movie about my life story. The title would be Triple Endurance because of how strong I am, because of how strong my mother was, and because of how strong her mother and my father’s mother were.
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Baking up something new
by Jake Webster (South Surrey)

I am 23 and I live in South Surrey with my mom, dad and sister, and my dog and cat. I really like hanging out and talking with my friends and going on adventures with my community support staff from Semiahmoo House Society. I am proud of my landscaping job. I do lawn and garden work. I also enjoy the recycling work I do with my friend Dylan. But I can’t do most of these things right now because of COVID.

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Self advocates leading connection

Community Living BC is excited to support five B.C. self advocacy groups to lead connection activities and events to help people stay resilient and strong during the coming months of the pandemic.

Casey Douglas, Director of the Olivia Douglas Community Services, is one of the successful applicants excited to be designing and offering virtual programming for those with diverse abilities.
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The Anti-COVID Warrior
by Michael Cooper (Shawnigan Lake)

When the pandemic started almost a year ago, all our activities came to a grinding halt. Linda, my home sharing provider (I like to call her my foster mom) and I were spending a lot of time indoors. We started taking karaoke drives to other towns like Port Alberni, Nanaimo and Sidney.

During these drives, one of the things I love to do is wear my outfit. It helps my anxiety and makes me feel confident. Linda called me the “Anti-COVID Warrior.”Click to read more

Drawing on my talents in challenging times
by Mike Meier (Prince George)

I started MEIER COMICS because I wanted to break new ground by creating the type of comic books I would want to read and by doing it in my own way. I also wanted to contribute to the local economy in my own little way as MEIER COMICS is all about convincing people to support local businesses, large or small, and even home-based like mine.

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Building an online community together

The LifeStreams program offered by the Garth Homer Society in Victoria is designed to support learning and development for adults with diverse abilities. During the COVID-19 pandemic, when many organizations moved to online supports, LifeStreams wanted to take it even further. They created a whole new online hub to support the people they serve, but also others with diverse abilities and the broader community.
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Feeling welcome and included during COVID
by Denise Dai (Coquitlam)

At the start of the pandemic, staying connected was hard. I felt a little bit confused because I could not go out like I used to. I needed to learn new ways to work toward my goals and stay connected.
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Talking it out
by Penny Soderena-Sutton (Prince George)

I work as a Self Advocate Peer Liaison for AiMHi in Prince George. My job is to help make people’s lives better by talking and sharing and being there for them. I listen and talk about whatever is on people’s minds. Right now, because of COVID, people have more time and we are talking about stuff that people don’t always get to.
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BC People First’s 2021 Annual Conference – Rights and Wellness

Join BC People First (BCPF) on February 25 and 26 for their 2021 annual conference, which focuses on the theme of Rights and Wellness. The conference is virtual this year and will feature a series of online Zoom workshops by self advocates for self advocates in British Columbia.
Click to learn more

CLBC Start with Hi and Stay Connected
@CLBC_connect
www.communitylivingbc.ca
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