CLBC Update for Individuals and Families

Welcome to the December 2023 edition of CLBC’s Update for Individuals and Families, our last edition of the year. 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 Twitter 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 in this edition include:CLBC and Government NewsCLBC releases progress report for International Day of Persons with DisabilitiesNew Chair for the CLBC Provincial Advisory CommitteeApply to be on CLBC’s Accessibility CommitteeCLBC Indigenous Advisory Committee unveils new logoLand acknowledgement ceremony held in Prince George, Lheidli T’enneh TerritoryHousing Innovation Survey extended to December 31Your voice counts! Provide your feedback on the Canada Disability Benefit
 Self Advocacy CornerSelf advocate athlete is making a differenceSelf Advocates of Semiahmoo share videoEnjoy the Holiday Edition of the Kamloops Self Advocate NewsletterStaying Supported and ConnectedCrafting a vision for an inclusive lifeCall for Workshop Proposals for Inclusion BC’S annual conferenceCanadian Health and Wellbeing in Developmental Disabilities Digital Conference taking place in FebruaryResources available to support mental healthConcurrent Disorders Webinars offered by BC Mental Health and Substance Use Services Upcoming Plan Institute WebinarsComplete a survey to validate how poverty is measured in CanadaCLBC Community CouncilsJoin a Community Council event in your local communityRichmond Community Council GatheringVancouver Council hosts Celebration of Community Inclusion Join a Community Council
 Stories and CelebrationEngaging around housing at Housing CentralVideo profiles creative partnership supporting people with developmental disabilities who have complex needs
 CLBC and Government News

CLBC releases progress report for International Day of Persons with Disabilities

A report cover design featuring pictures of people smiling.Earlier this month, December 3 marked the United Nations International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD). This annual day of recognition is about promoting the rights and well-being of people with disabilities and raising awareness of the inclusion of people in all aspects of political, social, economic and cultural life.

Many community celebrations took place, including a self-advocate panel discussion hosted by BC People First and a screening of the Freedom Tour movie hosted by the BC Self Advocacy Leadership Network.

To help honour this day, CLBC released the first report documenting progress towards our 2022-2025 Strategic Plan goals and the vision for “communities of belonging, and lives of connection.”

Learn more and read about key achievements from the first year of the plan here.

New Chair for the CLBC Provincial Advisory Committee
A man stands smiling with his arms crossed in front a large plant. He is wearing a blue shirt and glasses.Congratulations to Zafar Adeel, member of the Simon Fraser Community Council, who was appointed by the CLBC Board of Directors as the next Chair of the Provincial Advisory Committee (PAC). In addition to being a parent of a young man who receives support from CLBC, Zafar is a professor at Simon Fraser University and a resource parent with the Family Support Institute. Click here to read more about Zafar.
For more information about the Provincial Advisory Committee and how to get involved in your local Community Council, contact CLBC’s Community Engagement team at

Apply to be on CLBC’s Accessibility Committee
British Columbia’s accessibility law, the Accessible British Columbia Act, was put into place in June 2021. To align with this law, CLBC is creating an Accessibility Committee and is currently accepting applications.

The committee will help us identify, remove and prevent barriers, and guide us to become a more accessible organization for all people with disabilities.

The Accessibility Committee will meet virtually about four times per year. Meetings will be approximately 1.5 hours long and held in the mid to late afternoon on a weekday.

Learn more about the Accessibility Committee here, including how to submit an application to join the committee by January 5, 2024.

CLBC Indigenous Advisory Committee unveils new logo

Symbols play an important role in Indigenous cultures across Canada. They serve as visual markers, connecting individuals and communities, collective traditions and ancestral wisdom. They are powerful tools that convey cultural identity and foster a sense of empowerment and resilience.

As part of November’s Indigenous Disability Awareness Month, CLBC’s Indigenous Advisory Committee (IAC) proudly shared its logo, a symbol that honours the committee’s past and will represent it into the future.

“The support for, and incorporation of, the new Indigenous Advisory Committee logo is another positive step forward by CLBC as it continues its journey forward. Today, and in generations to come, Indigenous peoples will see this logo and know that they are not only part of CLBC and welcomed, but will be forever instrumental in its ongoing success,” says Neil Belanger, IAC Chair and CEO of the BC Aboriginal Network on Disability Society.

Read more about the new logo and the meaning behind it here.

The logo of CLBC's Indigenous Advisory Committee.

Land acknowledgement ceremony held in Prince George, Lheidli T’enneh Territory
CLBC’s Prince George office recently hosted a special land acknowledgement ceremony to show recognition and respect for the unceded traditional ancestral territory of the Lheidli T’enneh peoples, past and present, whose land our office resides on.
Read the full story here.

Housing Innovation Survey extended to December 31
The UBC Centre for Inclusion and Citizenship is working with CLBC to gather data about housing. They are running a survey on housing innovation that aims to study innovative solutions to inclusive housing options.
Any experience and knowledge that survey participants share will be valuable in helping to understand what supports innovative housing solutions.

Click here to take the Housing Innovations Survey before December 31, 2023.

Your voice counts! Provide your feedback on the Canada Disability Benefit

The Government of Canada is asking for feedback from Canadians to help inform the design of the regulations for the Canada Disability Benefit. This new benefit aims to address financial hardships and reduce poverty among working-age Canadians with disabilities. Learn more about the Canada Disability Benefit here.
Feedback is being collected from now until Thursday, December 21, 2023. All Canadians, especially individuals with disabilities, their caregivers and family members, as well as organizations dedicated to working with people with disabilities, are invited to participate and share their views. Learn more about this opportunity and how to provide your feedback here.
There will be more opportunities to provide input after draft regulations are published, which is expected to be in 2024.

 Self Advocacy Corner
 Self advocate athlete is making a difference

Self advocate, CLBC employee and athlete David Johnston was recently featured in a Special Olympics article. He has a passion for sharing stories about athletes and is currently taking part in a six-month Athlete Storytelling Training Series. Through this training opportunity, seven athletes across the Special Olympics North America Region learn storytelling skills such as writing a lead, conducting an interview, drafting a social media post and pitching a story to an editor.
Read more about how David is taking his own experiences and turning them into a passion for helping others.

Self Advocates of Semiahmoo share videoTo recognize the recent International Day of Persons with Disabilities, the Self Advocates of Semiahmoo created a video for their Facebook channel sharing some of the things that they have accomplished and are proud of in their lives, as well as advice and ideas for others.

You can watch the video here.
Enjoy the Holiday Edition of the Kamloops Self Advocate NewsletterLooking for interesting interviews, good jokes, recipes and ways to stay connected during the holiday season? Check out the Holiday Edition of Krystian Shaw’s Kamloops Self Advocate Newsletter, written by people with diverse abilities.

You can read the newsletter on the Self Advocate Net website here.

 Staying Supported and Connected

Crafting a vision for an inclusive life
Families Supporting Regular Equitable Authentic Lives (R-EAL) hosts an online Imagine the Possibilities event each month. This is a safe and supportive space for families to explore the possibilities and opportunities of lifelong inclusion for their family member with a developmental disability.
Upcoming sessions will take place on:December 19, 2023 at 6:30pm (PST)January 16, 2024 at 6:30pm (PST)  Learn more about the event and reserve your spot here.

An invitation to an online webinar about inclusion. It features a woman with her arms outstretched and speaking.
Call for Workshop Proposals for Inclusion BC’S annual Conference
Inclusion BC’s annual conference, Everybody Belongs, will be held from May 30 to June 1, 2024 in Nanaimo. The call for workshop proposals is now open. Anyone interested is invited to share their knowledge and experience with an engaged audience.

Inclusion BC is looking for proposals in the areas of community and disability supports, early years supports, education and childcare, employment and skill development, health and wellness, and housing and income supports.

Check out the Inclusion BC website here for more information on what they are looking for and how to apply.

A pink and blue banner that says: Call for Proposals.

Canadian Health and Wellbeing in Developmental Disabilities Digital Conference taking place in February

Join the third annual Health and Wellbeing in Developmental Disabilities digital conference taking place virtually on February 7 and 8, 2024. The conference will feature health professionals, community partners and people with lived experience sharing practices that contribute to positive physical and mental health outcomes for people with developmental disabilities throughout their lives.

Learn more about the conference and register here.

Resources available to support mental health

The holiday season is a joyful time for many. However, we also recognize that for others it can be a challenging time. Here are some resources that are available to support anyone dealing with challenges during this time and throughout the – Managed by the B.C. Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions, this website provides information and resources around wellbeing, mental health and substance use. The phone line 310-6789 (no area code required) is also available for anyone seeking emotional support and mental health information.
 The Government of Canada Crisis Line – People across Canada can call and text 9-8-8, a new three-digit service, for help when they need it most. The service offers trauma-informed and culturally affirming support to anyone who is thinking of suicide, or who is worried about someone they know. 
Concurrent Disorders Webinars offered by BC Mental Health and Substance Use Services

BC Mental Health and Substance Use Services is offering a webinar series called Demystifying Concurrent Disorders created by patients and families for patients and families.

You can watch webinars from the Demystifying Concurrent Disorders series here, and also find information about upcoming webinars as they are scheduled.

Upcoming Plan Institute Webinars

The logo and wordmark of Plan Institute. Plan Institute hosts regular webinars on the Registered Disability Saving Plan (RDSP) and Wills, Trusts and Estate Planning.

Registered Disability Savings Plan Webinars

The Beginner RDSP workshop (Level 1) is for those who want to learn what an RDSP is, who qualifies, how to apply for the Disability Tax Credit, and how to open an RDSP.

The Advanced RDSP workshop (Level 2) is for those who already have an RDSP or have already taken Level 1 and would like to deepen their knowledge and learn how to maximize growth.

The next RDSP webinars are scheduled for January 10, 2024 (Level 1) and January 17, 2024 (Level 2).

Learn more about the RDSP webinars and register for upcoming sessions here.

Wills, Trusts, and Estate Planning (BC) Webinars

In this webinar, attendees learn how to arrange their estate, prepare a will, and the various ins and outs of setting up a trust specifically for a relative or loved one with a disability.

The next Wills, Trusts, and Estate Planning webinars are scheduled for January 18, February 15 and March 28, 2024.

Learn more about the Wills, Trusts, and Estate Planning (BC) webinar and register here.
Complete a survey to validate how poverty is measured in Canada
Statistics Canada is gathering input from Canadians through a survey to help validate how poverty is measured. It is important that the voice and experience of people with disabilities is represented in this data.
Learn more about the Market Basket Measure of Poverty Survey here.
Anyone interested can complete the survey here.

 CLBC Community Councils

Join a Community Council event in your local community
A group of people sit around a large table sharing a meal.Councils have been busy over the fall planning holiday events and sharing connections over a meal, such as the CLBC Upper Fraser Council pictured here at a recent Council gathering in Abbotsford in November.
Anyone interested is invited to attend these upcoming gatherings to learn how Community Councils are making a difference and find out ways to get involved:

Richmond Community Council Gathering

When: January 25 from 7:00pm to 9:00pm PST
Where: Thompson Community Centre at 5151 Granville Avenue, Richmond

Vancouver Council hosts Celebration of Community Inclusion

The Vancouver Community Council is hosting a celebration of community inclusion on January 27, 2024, from 11am to 2pm.

The event will highlight the abilities and accomplishments of persons with developmental disabilities and include presentations from self advocates and allies, information tables, games, a caricature artist, snacks and prize. Click the picture to the right to see all the details.

For anyone interested in attending, RSVP to

Join a Community Council

Are you interested in volunteering to create inclusive communities? Community Councils are an important way for CLBC to listen and learn from people we serve. Learn more about CLBC Community Councils here.

Contact to set up a time with the Community Engagement team to learn more about volunteering on a CLBC Community Council.

 Stories and Celebration Engaging around housing at Housing Central

​​​During November, attendees from across B.C. took part in the sold out Housing Central conference in Vancouver, with CLBC staff and self advocates playing important roles. Hosted each year by the BC Non Profit Housing Association (BCNPHA) and delivered in partnership with the Aboriginal Housing Management Association (AHMA) and the Co-operative Housing Federation of BC (CHF BC), Housing Central is Canada’s leading education, professional development and networking event for the community housing sector. CLBC is a proud sponsor of the conference.

During the conference, CLBC Housing Leads were at our booth in the exhibitors’ hall actively connecting with attendees about the importance of inclusive, accessible and culturally safe housing. CLBC staff also presented some of the conference’s informative and engaging sessions.

Read more about CLBC at Housing Central 2023 here

You can also learn more about inclusive housing by visiting the website, created through a partnership between CLBC and Inclusion BC.

A group of seven people stand and sit behind a table smiling at a conference.

Video profiles creative partnership supporting people with developmental disabilities who have complex needs

At the Housing Central Conference, CLBC CEO Ross Chilton presented a new video profiling Grosvenor House in Surrey. This creative pilot project between CLBC, Lookout Housing and Health Society and the Fraser Region Aboriginal Friendship Centre Association (FRAFCA) is helping people with developmental disabilities who have complex needs, including those dealing with addiction and homelessness.

You can watch Ross’s speech here and click the image below to watch the video on Grosvenor House.

Signing off

Community Living BC wishes you a happy and safe holiday season and best wishes for the new year!

CLBC thanks the people we serve, their families, service providers, the self-advocacy community, our community partners and British Columbians across the province for their efforts during this past year to help keep people safe, connected and included in their communities.

We look forward to bringing you more news, information and resources when the Update resumes in late January 2024.

Until next edition… A graphic of different festive plants including holly, with the message: Happy Holidays.

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