Finding inclusion and equality in many ways and places

Welcome to the Winter 2018-19 edition of Celebrate Diverse ABILITIES, developed by CLBC’s Editorial Board and written by self advocates in British Columbia.

For this edition, our theme is “Equality and Inclusion.” For the authors whose stories you can read in these pages, there are a range of activities, places and relationships where they find a sense of equality and a feeling of being included.

For Orrin Milne, who is featured on the cover, joining a running club in his hometown of Vanderhoof and competing in several half marathons makes him feel included in his own community, and in the athletic community across the province. We also share the story of self advocates who have been hired as advisors for CLBC. For them, the role offers a sense of equality and an opportunity to guide CLBC’s work. As Alexander Magnussen puts it, these “are not token roles. We are on level ground with other CLBC employees. We come with valuable expertise that CLBC needs in order to do its job.” I’m sure you will enjoy reading these stories and learning about people’s experiences as much as I have.

This past fall has been an eventful one, with the recent celebrations of Community Inclusion Month, Indigenous Disability Awareness Month, RDSP Awareness Month, and International Day of Persons with Disabilities. It has also been a busy time across the province, with CLBC launching its new Welcome Workshops, and welcoming nearly 200 attendees to 39 sessions so far. You can read more about these workshops in the News section, along with updates about new CLBC board members, an inclusive housing plan developed with Inclusion BC, and more.

On a personal note, I wanted to share with you that I have decided to retire from my post as CEO of CLBC as of April 1, 2019. I have enjoyed every chance I had to meet and work with the individuals and families CLBC serves since I began this role in 2014. While there will be more opportunities for me to say goodbye over the coming months, I want to thank everyone who has supported our efforts to strengthen CLBC services over the past years.

Thank you as always for reading. I hope had a wonderful holiday season and a great start to the new year so far. We look forward to sharing many more success stories and keeping you updated in 2019.

Seonag Macrae
CEO, Community Living BC

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