Celebrating self advocacy leadership

by Lynnetta Beingessner

Along with Canada’s 150th, we have a lot to celebrate when it comes to self advocacy leadership in B.C. There are over 50 self advocacy groups across the province speaking up for the rights of people with diverse abilities and attaining full citizenship in the community. One of these groups is called the Self Advocates of the Rockies. Lynnetta Beingessner is Chair of this group, as well as self advocate representative on the CLBC Kootenay Community Council.

Hello! My name is Lynnetta. I work in the office at REALM, an employment, community inclusion and outreach agency. As a member of the Kootenay Community Council, I tell other council members about what is happening with persons with disabilities in my community of Cranbrook. I bring up things that are problems and things that are going really well in my area. I let others know I can take their problems to council. I speak up and ask for things to be said in plain language so everyone can understand.

I am also the Chair of Self Advocates of the Rockies. Together with the council we published a brochure and checklist that empowers individuals to ask questions about their rights before making decisions about services, including home sharing. Some examples of questions to ask when choosing a Home Share provider are:

  • Can I have friends over?
  • Will I be able to put things on the wall?
  • Can I have my own key?
  • Will I be able to decide when I go to bed?
  • What house rules do you have?
  • Can I have a pet?

Self Advocates of the Rockies and the Kootenay Community Council are also working together to host the bi-annual CLBC-sponsored Interior Self Advocacy Leadership Conference. This year’s theme is Building Confidence through Knowledge and you can find more information below. I hope to see you there!

Interior Self Advocate Leadership Conference 2017

Where: St. Eugene Golf Resort & Casino, Cranbrook, British Columbia (www.StEugene.ca)

When: October 20 & 21, 2017

Hosted by: Kootenay Community Council & The Self-Advocates of the Rockies

This is a CLBC-sponsored event, planned and organized by self advocates, for self advocates, family, friends, care providers and service providers. Information to come will include keynote speakers, venue, travel directions. Information to come will include keynote speakers, venue, travel directions.


Contact Jonathan Righton (j.righton@realmbc.ca) or Ana Yost (a.yost@realmbc.ca) or call 250-426-3393.

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