Reach for It!
By the Fraser Region Self-Advocate Conference Organizing Committee
You could feel the excitement as 72 self-advocates from across the Fraser region gathered at Burnaby’s Shadbolt Centre for their second annual conference. Participants gathered from Burnaby to Mission and Port Moody to Surrey and together celebrated the conference’s theme “Reach for It!”
Keynote speaker Riia Talve did a phenomenal job wowing us with her music and artwork. She talked about her path to becoming a self-advocate and showed that if you have a disability or health issue it doesn’t mean you can’t succeed. She also talked about how her art work helped her to communicate her feelings.
Minister of Social Development Stephanie Cadieux sent a video message encouraging all of us to reach for our goals. “I encourage each of you, in your own lives, to have the courage to pursue your dreams and goals,” said Minister Cadieux. “Thanks to the organizing committee for making this event happen for the second year in a row. Looking at the list of speakers, it will be a truly inspiring day.”
The morning workshop on employment was hosted by Tricia and Meaghen and included a group discovery process, employment resource ideas and a panel of employed self-advocates who talked about their experiences.
Jennifer and Debbie lead an engaging safeguards game and then Mandy, Sky and Richard with the BC Self-Advocacy Foundation did a screening of their “No More Barriers” video. You can watch this video, and read many wonderful blog posts, at http://www.bcsaf.org/.
Everyone enjoyed a delicious lunch served by CLBC Interim CEO Doug Woollard and CLBC’s Managers.
In the afternoon, transportation advocate manager Linda McGowan shared her expertise on transportation and was impressed by the range of questions she received. She emphasized, “Transportation is essential to everyone’s life.”
We look forward to all of you sharing your enthusiasm and inspiration again this coming year. Remember to “Reach for It!”