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B.C. improves inclusivity for people with developmental disabilities

Press Release

VICTORIA – New provincial funding of nearly $5.3 million means more organizations can focus on creating projects that will make life better for people with developmental disabilities.

The funding will support Reimagining Community Inclusion (RCI) projects in the priority areas of inclusive housing, employment, health and wellness, inclusive Indigenous services and a community-inclusion innovation fund, which focuses on inclusion projects.

“This funding will kickstart many good projects that will improve the quality of life for people with developmental disabilities,” said Nicholas Simons, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction. “Our partners at the table are fully committed to advancing this complex work, which will ensure our province is a welcoming and inclusive place for everyone.”

The RCI initiative was launched in May 2018 by the minister of social development and poverty reduction in collaboration with community living members throughout British Columbia.

The initiative’s RCI steering committee includes self-advocates, families, community living service providers, Indigenous organizations, advocacy organizations and government that identified a vision through to 2028 for “people with diverse abilities to thrive fully and equally with everyone.”

Members were chosen by the co-chairs to ensure membership was representative and could assist in implementing the vision of RCI. Indigenous representation includes CLBC Indigenous Relations, B.C. Aboriginal Network on Disability and an Indigenous self-advocate liaison.

Quotes:

Ross Chilton CEO, Community Living BC –

“We all have a role in advancing the inclusion of people with developmental disabilities in our communities. These are significant investments in the work of our partners to advance inclusive employment, improve access to affordable housing, support mental and physical health and provide culturally safe Indigenous services.”

Karla Verschoor, executive director, Inclusion BC –

“Inclusion is an attitude and approach that embraces diversity and promotes equal opportunities for all. When our communities include and embrace everyone, we are all better able to reach our full potential. We look forward to introducing new campaigns and strategies through our partners on the RCI steering committee and through new grant opportunities.”

Sherwin Strong, Indigenous advisory committee member, Community Living BC –

“As an Indigenous co-chair and member in the RCI project, I believe our team has made great progress. With advances in supported living, traditional living, language, culture and awareness, we will benefit from funding in employment, housing, health and wellness as well as a variety of Indigenous-led services. We are thankful and honoured to provide the continued successes achieved in making our communities feel like home.”

Quick Fact:

  • Community Living BC serves more than 25,000 people in B.C. who live with a developmental disability, or who are diagnosed with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder or autism, and have significant limitations in adaptive functioning.

Learn More:

Re-Imagining Community Inclusion report:
https://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/british-columbians-our-governments/organizational-structure/ministries-organizations/social-development-poverty-reduction/re-imagining-community-inclusion-march-2019.pdf

Community Living BC: https://www.communitylivingbc.ca/

A backgrounder follows.

Contact:

Social Development and Poverty Reduction
Media Relations
250 889-8370


BACKGROUNDER

2022 Reimagining Community Inclusion funding

Inclusive Housing

  • InclusionBC: $500,000
    • To identify, map and engage partners from within community living who want to support the development of inclusive housing or the inclusion of people with developmental disabilities in existing housing.
    • To support community living partners’ promotion of inclusive housing in the housing plans of stakeholders, such as non-profit housing providers, developers and local municipal governments.
    • To raise awareness at provincial and local levels of the need for inclusive housing among housing stakeholders.
  • Aboriginal Housing Management Association: $121,000
    • To engage and inform Indigenous Peoples on Indigenous-inclusive housing.
    • To increase the cultural safety in housing and services delivered by non-Indigenous organizations, research and define cultural safety in inclusive housing, and to develop and deliver cultural safety training and educational resources.
    • To increase access for Indigenous people with disabilities to Indigenous-developed housing, support connections to Community Living BC (CLBC), and identify structural barriers for people with developmental disabilities.
  • SPARC BC: $75,000
    • To research and evaluate portable housing subsidies.

Employment

  • InclusionBC: $1 million
    • Attitudes have been identified as a key barrier to more people wanting to pursue work and careers, and to more people having opportunities to work. The project will use success stories to help change attitudes.
    • To identify, collect and document stories of success in employment in a variety of formats, including videos.
    • To develop platforms and strategic partnerships to support sharing of success stories to change attitudes.
    • Evaluating the effectiveness of tools, methods and partnerships in shifting attitudes.
  • Indigenous Community and Leadership Development Group: $175,000 and Delta Community Living Society on behalf of BC Employment Network (BCEN): $175,000
    • To develop and deliver staff training and culturally safe supports for Indigenous individuals receiving services from CLBC employment-service providers.
    • To work with Indigenous employment service providers to build capacity for delivering services to Indigenous individuals with developmental disabilities.
  • Delta Community Living Society on behalf of BCEN: $300,000
    • To develop an employment co-ordinator training project to provide solutions for service providers facing recruitment and retention challenges.
  • InclusionBC: $1 million
    • To create a pilot program with a focus on smaller communities to identify and test options for engaging and encouraging more to hire people with developmental disabilities.
    • The pilot project will inform future initiatives to promote employer involvement in advancing inclusive employment.

Health and Wellness

  • Lookout Housing and Health Society: $1,017,000 and Fraser Region Aboriginal Friendship Centre: $117,000
    • To develop a low-barrier housing pilot project at Grosvenor House in Surrey for effective, affordable and sustainable services for CLBC-eligible adults with addictions and mental-health issues.
    • To support individuals, who are drug and street involved, and have complex needs with a step-in/step-out program.

Inclusive Indigenous Services

  • BC Aboriginal Friendship Centre: $120,000
    • To develop an Indigenous procurement project at CLBC for Indigenous service providers for CLBC-eligible individuals.
  • Secwepemc Child and Family Services: $120,000
    • To work with the Delegated Aboriginal Agengies Secretariat for a project that connects Indigenous individuals to services, including youth transitioning with Delegated Aboriginal Agencies.
  • Aboriginal Housing Management Association: $50,000
    • To develop an Indigenous Housing research project and recommendations and identify partners to promote inclusive housing.

Community Inclusion Innovation Fund

  • This fund supports creative initiatives that advance inclusion for the people CLBC serves. Funded projects include:
    • Options for Sexual Health: $98,000 to support SIXpo (Sexuality, Inclusion and eXploration), a conference that focuses on people with disabilities and sexuality.
    • Lifetime Networks Victoria: $100,000 to support HOPE, a project to provide consistent and sustainable support to people with complex needs.
    • ESATTA (Empowering Self-Advocates to Take Action): $100,000 to support this co-operative of self advocates on a collaborative project to to identify what would make their communities more inclusive.
    • posAbilities: $88,000 to support a social-influencer fellowship project, providing an opportunity to become a social influencer, build a profile and brand, develop content and develop an online presence and community.
    • Lifetime Networks Victoria: $98,000 for My Circle of Friends, a project to establish a peer friendship co-ordination program that includes both one-to-one friendships and friendship pods.

Contact:

Social Development and Poverty Reduction
Media Relations
250 889-8370

Connect with the Province of B.C. at: news.gov.bc.ca/connect

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