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!

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!

Free webinar TODAY: Community Living in Isolation

Hey everyone, there is a free webinar later today called “Community Living in Isolation: Responding to COVID-19.” You can check out details and register here.

This webinar is presented in partnership with CLBC and the BC Non-Profit Housing Association (BCNPHA). Panelists will be considering what Community Living looks like in a pandemic, when access to community is limited, and also discussing how the Community Living and housing sectors are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Today is International Day of Persons with Disabilities!

Today is International Day of Persons with Disabilities!  Today, we join people all over the world as we celebrate how far we have come in support of community inclusion.  And, we also join in as we look forward to “what’s next” in this movement.

Since 1992, the United Nations has celebrated International Day of Persons with Disabilities each year.  Looking ahead to the future, this day is a big part of the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which pledges to “leave no one behind.”  You can read more about the UN’s Agenda here.

More locally, here are some of the ways people are looking at this year’s theme, which is “empowering persons with disabilities and ensuring inclusiveness and equality”:

The BC Government has put together a series of articles on their website that reviews how the province has supported removal of barriers – and how they plan to keep removing barriers in future.  The list includes resources that are already available (such as CLBC, CAYA) as well as new ones.  One new strategy is a Cross-Ministry Disability Strategy Reference Group.  This group, made up of 18 assistant deputy ministers, is going to explore ways that ministries and government agencies can better collaborate in providing supports for people with disabilities.

The SelfAdvocateNet website has a page for this day and how it remains relevant.  They’ve also included information on events, including the Film festivals taking place in our communities.  CLBC has also added film festival information on their events page.

Our Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, also took this opportunity to highlight the steps Canada is taking, including the proposed Accessible Canada Act – our first national accessibility law.

So, let us know what’s going on in your community and how you will be celebrating today!  Leave us a comment or send us a photo.

Great News! Highlights and Halloween

It’s been a fantastic fall at Community Connections – and we thought we’d share some of our favorite highlights from this past month in Community Support to round out all our Community Inclusion month fun!

Roy left everyone full to the brim after feasting on his spectacular bounty of breakfast food – check out the perfect pancakes these guys turned out!

There were a few birthdays, but celebrating Kim’s out to lunch was an extra thrill – everyone managed to keep it a secret that they knew about his birthday until the lunchtime surprise!

With Halloween at the end of the month, everyone’s attention turned to costumes and how to dress up for the occasion – Teri-Kay rocks a royal look, while Jaclynn went all-out as a classic character.

There was also time for getting in a healthy amount of exercise – Graham is almost always smiling, after a kick-butt workout is no exception!

Those who absolutely love walking were treated to wonderful walking weather at the very end of the month!

What a way to spend October!  Looking forward to sharing more costume photos from our Facebook page very soon!  Stay tuned…

Have a favorite picture of your community?  Send it to us with a story about the photo and we will post it on the website!

VERNON: FASD Conference (Sep. 6-7)

Thanks to our colleagues at the Central Okanagan Professional Caregivers Society (COPCS) for letting us know that there is an FASD Conference taking place in Vernon this September 6th and 7th, 2018.  Click here for information.

If you’re interested in the topics that will be covered by each presenter, you can find this information here.

For the registration form, click here.

Planning to go?  Leave us a comment!

ONLINE – 2018 Healing Addiction Summit

Great opportunity to get involved in some online learning, with a fantastic lineup of professionals! Thanks to COPCS for circulating info on the 2018 Healing Addiction Summit (see below).  Click on the links to find out more.

An update from the office of Dr. Gabor Maté
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A renowned speaker, and bestselling author, Dr. Gabor Maté is highly sought after for his expertise on a range of topics including addiction, stress and childhood development.
Click here to learn more. 

As we head into this new year, we wanted to share an important event that Dr. Maté is a part of, as well as upcoming speaking engagements.

Healing Addiction Summit

Chances are, you or someone you know has been affected by addiction of some type.

Addiction is a problem that still has a lot of shame around it, so it’s something we don’t talk about enough in general. And partially because of that, it’s an epidemic that is tearing apart families and communities.

Please join Dr. Maté and over 25 of the world’s leading experts, practitioners, and visionaries for the Healing Addiction Summit, where he talks in-depth about his book Hold On To Your Kids, and about reawakening healing parental instincts. You can register for this free event here. If you know somebody in your life who would benefit (particularly someone who has a family member or loved one who is battling addiction), then please share with them by forwarding this email.

“This topic is more important than ever today and is critical to the parent/child relationship.”
Dr. Gabor Maté

Upcoming events

In April, Dr. Maté will present at the Advancing the Art & Science of Psychotherapy conference in Orange County, California, where he will present The Myth Of Normal: Depression, Anxiety and Addictions from a New Perspective.  

In June, Dr. Maté will be in Belfast at the Trauma Summit, speaking on ADD and other childhood developmental disorders, Fostering Resilience in a Stressed Culture, and giving presentations on topics covered in his best-selling books When the body Says No and In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts. He will also be in Cork, Ireland at the end of June and early July at the Health & Healing Through Mind/Body Unity event.

On August 2nd & 3rd you can find Dr. Maté in Melbourne, Australia speaking to the Australia Childhood Foundation on the theme of Trust and Betrayal: Therapeutic Interventions that work in the Face of Relational and Complex Trauma.

In November of this year, Dr. Maté heads to Stavanger, Norway to present a lecture and seminar during the Schizophrenia Days event, where he will presenting When the Body Says No: Mind/Body Unity and the Stress-Disease Connection, Compassion Fatigue: Caring for our Ourselves while Caring for Others and The Hungry Ghost: A Biospsychosocial Perspective on Addiction, from Heroin to Workaholism. 

For a full list of upcoming speaking events, please visit our website.

New online learning options

Later this year Dr. Maté will be launching online educational courses in his unique approach to addiction. Please stay tuned for more information.

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SPOTLIGHT: CLBC Standards for Home Sharing course – available online!

Hi all, CLBC’s Standards for Home Sharing course is available online!  This course is free to take, is available online, is broken down into flexible modules around key themes, and offers a certificate once completed.  There are great resources (videos, help sheets, tips) built into the content, too.  Check it out!  Let us know what you think in the comments.

You can find the course here.

RESOURCE: Books on Tape/Audio or Braille

Hi everyone, thanks to COPCS for passing around the info below – super that this is available!

NLS is a free braille and talking book library service for people with temporary or permanent low vision, blindness, or a physical disability that prevents them from reading or holding the printed page. Through a national network of cooperating libraries, NLS offers books the way you want them: in braille or audio formats, mailed to your door for free, or instantly downloadable.  

Please see link below to apply for service: