Community Inclusion Month!

Hey everyone, October is Community Inclusion Month! With the ongoing response to COVID-19, we are celebrating a little differently this year — check out Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran as he proclaims October Community Inclusion Month, an event that has in past years included the Pathways Inclusion Chain:

How are you celebrating Community Inclusion Month this year? Let us know in the comments!

Upcoming Virtual Training – Mental Health, COVID-19, and Health & Wellbeing Conference!

Hey everyone, don’t miss out on these upcoming training opportunities!

October 22 – November 26, 2020
Thursdays from 1:30-3:30 PM EST
Let’s Learn Research
Join a virtual course for adults with developmental disabilities to learn about mental health research. Let’s Learn Research is led by researchers at the Azrieli Adult Neurodevelopmental Centre and will run every Thursday from October 22 to November 26 from 1:30 to 3:30 pm.

info

November 3 – December 8, 2020
Tuesdays from 1:00-2:30 PM EST
Mental Health for adults with developmental disabilities during COVID
The Azrieli Adult Neurodevelopmental Centre at CAMH is hosting a new virtual course beginning November 3, 2020. This course is for family caregivers of adults with intellectual/developmental disabilities (IDD). The curriculum will specifically address the mental health challenges that this population can face during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Click here for more info

November 26-27, 2020
7th Biennial Conference on Developmental Disabilities: Health and Wellbeing across the Lifespan VIRTUAL CONFERENCE
Online registration is now OPEN, Early Bird Registration available until October 30th.

The term developmental disabilities (DD) refers to people with intellectual disability, autism spectrum, fetal alcohol spectrum and related neurodevelopmental genetic syndromes. Children, youth, and adults with DD are vulnerable to high rates of general health and mental health concerns. This interactive 2020 conference will focus on practical strategies to optimize the quality of life for people with DD. Our goal is to help clinicians and caregivers learn effective ways to work with people with DD, and their families, in partnership to improve their quality of life experience. The conference will also provide educational and informative psychiatric, behavioural, mental health, and complex physical health updates specific to people with DD, and showcase best practices in the field. This conference will engage health care providers and educators from a wide range of professional disciplines in knowledge transfer and interdisciplinary collaboration.
Please note that the conference is scheduled to run from 8:30am – 12:30 pm PST / 11:30 – 3:30pm EST (-/+ 30 minutes) from November 26-27, 2020. The registration fee includes access to the conference portal for the days registered, as well as viewing of all session recordings for two weeks after the conference adjourns.

Click here for more info

Your Right to…Vote


Hey everybody, we are celebrating rights (and responsibilities) this month! Today’s post is about VOTING. You can register to vote in BC if you are:

  • 18 or older by General Voting Day (Oct. 24)
  • a Canadian citizen, and
  • a BC resident for the past six months as of General Voting Day (Oct. 24)

While Election Day in BC is coming up next Saturday (Oct. 24), in many places advance voting starts TODAY (Oct. 15)! If you plan to vote, check out what political parties say they will do about issues you care about. For example, the BC Special Olympics focused in on health care, check out this article for more information. Inclusion BC wrote to the political parties to find out what their plans were, check out their questions and issues here. You will need to decide which political party you will vote for in the election.

When you have decided who you will vote for, you will need to know where to go to vote. Find the place you will be voting (either in advance, or on Oct. 24) on the Elections BC website.

You will need to bring some specific items with you when you go to vote. You might want to get the items together in advance (i.e. your ID, a mask, etc). If you aren’t sure what you need, there is more information in this Elections BC voter guide.

Most importantly, if you’re planning to vote… ask for help, if you need it! Here are some ideas of who you could talk to and ask for help:

  • Your family or your friends
  • Your support worker or your home share provider
  • People you know at your church or in your neighborhood

When you’re making your plan to get out there and vote, you might need to know what help is available at the voting station. You can find information about what help is available on this Elections BC webpage.

Elections BC also has a webpage all about keeping healthy and safe while you vote — check it out here.

Happy voting!

WEBINAR: Voting!

Hey everyone, if you’re going to vote in the upcoming BC election there’s a webinar that can help answer your questions about voting — happening tomorrow!

You Can Vote! Webinar with Guest Melanie Callas from Elections BC
WHEN: October 14th, 2020 at 1:00-1:45PM (PST)

Inclusion BC is pleased to welcome Melanie Callas, Outreach Coordinator with Elections BC, to host the 5th webinar in our Virtual Learning Series. Melanie will talk about the voting process and answer questions about voting and the election.
Send us your questions! Inclusion BC is collecting questions to ask Melanie in the webinar. We want to hear from you! Please send your questions to Semanthi at swanni@inclusionbc.org

https://inclusionbc.org/bc-votes-2020/

Have Your Say In…Parking

Hey everyone, have your say in accessible parking in Kelowna and enter to win a $50 gift card to a local business:

The City is reaching out to accessible parking users to take a survey and share their experiences using City of Kelowna accessible parking stalls. Survey feedback will be used to create a new accessible parking program and respondents can enter to win a $50 gift card to a local business for their participation.

“We completed the Downtown Area Parking Plan last year and during that process we heard from residents that there are barriers to accessible parking in Kelowna,” says Andrew Rolston, Parking Operations Coordinator. “This survey will help us understand more clearly what those barriers are and what solutions users would prefer.”

The survey is open to anyone who regularly uses or has used accessible parking stalls in City owned parking lots and on-street parking, for themselves, friends, family members or clients. The survey is open until 4 p.m., Oct. 20.

To take the survey, go to https://getinvolved.kelowna.ca/. To check out a map of accessible parking stalls, go to https://www.kelowna.ca/roads-transportation/parking/find-parking.

Thanksgiving weekend…

Thanksgiving weekend is here! Holidays look different this year as we move into our “new normal” keeping our “bubbles” small, and staying safe and healthy at least 2m apart.

The CDC website has suggestions for safer celebration alternatives for Dia De Los Muertos, Halloween and Thanksgiving. Here are suggestions for lower risk activities over Thanksgiving:

  • Having a small dinner with only people who live in your household
  • Preparing traditional family recipes for family and neighbors, especially those at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19, and delivering them in a way that doesn’t involve contact with others
  • Having a virtual dinner and sharing recipes with friends and family
  • Shopping online rather than in person on the day after Thanksgiving or the next Monday
  • Watching sports events, parades, and movies from home

And here’s an example of how you can get creative! Have a Thanksgiving “dinner” online via videoconference, where everyone eats a turkey meal that the “host” prepares the day before and drops off at “guests’” homes that morning.

Stay healthy and safe this long weekend, as we all connect with loved ones.