Candy Cane Lane!

Hey everyone, there’s a local lights display starting up for the holidays today in Kelowna! Candy Cane Lane has a wonderful neighborhood display from December 1-January 1, and it’s a fun and festive (and socially-distanced!) activity for all this winter. Check out the article on Castanet or watch here:

SPOTLIGHT: Caregiver communities

Hey everyone, we’re focusing our posts on CAREGIVERS and resources for caregivers this month. We know that one of the challenges faced by many caregivers is…finding sustainable ways to integrate connecting with other caregivers into a busy schedule.

While we’ve posted about the importance of self-care to caregivers, we wanted today’s discussion to be more focused on how connecting with others who have caregiving experience can help fight feelings of isolation and loneliness. With the COVID-19 pandemic changing how we all connect safely with one another, feeling isolated and lonely is more common than in the past. So, since we’ve posted about many ways for caregivers to connect, what’s are we bringing to the table today to try out?

Podcasts! If you haven’t listened to a podcast before, they are like individual radio shows and are usually released in episodes. Podcasts typically target a topic per episode. These podcasts in particular are designed to be relevant to the caregiving experience by those who put them out into the podcast-universe:

Besides the more obvious benefits of podcasts (running for a set amount of time per episode; covering a breadth of information about a given topic; facilitating discussion with and between people who have relevant experience) they can be a great tool to help caregivers feel that their struggles, challenges, and successes are genuinely seen, acknowledged, and respected. And – we hope! – support caregivers to feel a little less lonely and a little less isolated!

Let us know in the comments if you have a favorite podcast.

SPOTLIGHT: Family Caregivers of BC Resources!

Hey everyone, we’re focusing our posts on CAREGIVERS and resources for caregivers this month. We know that one of the challenges faced by many caregivers is…connecting with others for support as caregivers.

So…here is a great resource!

Family Caregivers of BC has ongoing support available for caregivers. According to their website, they provide “direct support to caregivers through one-on-one emotional support, caregiver support groups, health care system navigation, and free educational resources.”

  • Access information, self-assessment resources, and help here
  • Access their virtual caregiver support group here
  • Connect through their newsletter by signing up here
  • Find COVID-19 caregiver resources listed here

You can also call the BC Caregiver Support Line (toll-free: 1-877-520-3267) on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 8:30 am – 4:00 pm, and Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8:30 am – 7:00 pm.

SPOTLIGHT: FSI Resources for Caregivers!

Hey everyone, we’re focusing our posts on CAREGIVERS this month. We know that one of the challenges faced by many caregivers is…connecting with other caregivers, and connecting those they care for with others.

So…here is a great resource!

The Family Support Institute of BC offers their Calendar for Connection, as well as several other, each month. We’ve posted their events before, but we wanted to make sure you’d heard about ALL their calendars!

  • Check out the Calendar for Connection here.
  • Check out the calendar of Family Support Institute events here.
  • Check out the FSI list of external (partner) events here.

Lots happening online, too! Check it out.

It’s PRIDE WEEK!

Hey everyone, October 24-31 is PRIDE WEEK in Kelowna, and there are a whole bunch of events going on to celebrate 25 Years of Kelowna Pride! You can check it all out here, including the bike derby, trans and non-binary storytelling evening and social, pride festival and pride cabaret.

You can find Kelowna Pride Society on Instagram at the link below, on Facebook here, and you can read about Pride Week on KelownaNow.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CVQb3rgJCdP/?utm_source=ig_web_button_share_sheet

COMMUNITY INCLUSION MONTH: Where we are

Hey everyone, we’ve been posting a series as part of Community Inclusion Month. Last week, we talked about where we’ve been in terms of disability rights and inclusion, and the work done by self-advocates who have brought the movement to where we are now. This week, we’re focusing on where we are by exploring some current issues and resources for self-advocacy.

So, what’s self-advocacy?

The BC People First Society (BCPF) talks about self-advocacy being what happens “when we stand up for our needs when they are not being met” and members help each other learn self-advocacy skills. Here is a video of the BCPF Advocacy Committee on Accessibility on YouTube.

The Self Advocate Net website has a whole page dedicated to self-advocacy topics, too, as well as a YouTube playlist of helpful videos here.

Here is an interview from Kelowna Now with Kelowna resident Shelley Decoste that was published on October 7th, to mark Community Inclusion Month. Shelley talks about her experiences and stereotypes about people with diverse abilities.

Here is a news article from CTV News about a young man from Toronto who is part of the Dear Everybody campaign put on each year by a rehabilitation hospital. He (and a team of young people with disabilities) are doing a virtual tour of classrooms and workplaces to talk about ableism.

What’s ableism?

Here’s how the Dear Everybody website explains it: Ableism is the discrimination towards someone based on their abilities, often favouring those who do not have a disability and seeing less value in those that do. And it needs to stop.

The idea is to get people talking about ableism, in order to end it — and that’s where self-advocates come in! Self-advocates can start great conversations about what’s wrong and how to fix it. You can see the videos made to start the Dear Everybody conversation here.

The Easter Seals website has a great idea on this page that would help start important conversations (like Shelley’s interview and like Dear Everybody). You can invite people you know to watch TED Talks about different disability issues, different people’s perspectives, and different experiences, and the then start a conversation about it, or a video chat, or have a talk on the phone. Or, if you’re interested in exploring another way to safely try out online community, you could post on the video page, a message board, or Facebook page, or post a comment below!

Check out the Easter Seals 10 suggested TED Talks about disability, accessibility, and inclusion to get started (printable list below).

COMMUNITY INCLUSION MONTH: Where we’ve been

Hey everyone, we’ve been posting a series as part of Community Inclusion Month. We explored a bit last week about how we can participate in community while we all focus on keeping each other safe and healthy, using tools like technology and online communities.

We also talked about how everyone has a right to be included in their community – and, that this is part of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD).

So, why are we talking about it again this week?

We are looking at where we’ve been so that we can see how much progress we’ve made.

Progress on the road to community inclusion — like the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities — can take a long, long, long time. That UN Convention we were talking about? That only happened 15 years ago, in 2006. It’s important to remember what things were like for people with disabilities at the start of the disability rights movement.

If you’re interested in hearing more about what it was like to fight for the rights of people with disabilities, you can check out this video featuring Judith Heumann (a disability rights activist from the US). YouTube is a great resource to find other people with disabilities sharing their stories and experiences.

When we see people and organizations (like CLBC) promoting community inclusion, human rights, and the rights of people with disabilities, we are seeing how far we’ve come thanks to the work of self-advocates all over the world (like Judith) — and we celebrate their achievements as part of Community Inclusion Month!