Message from the Editorial Board: Envisioning an accessible future

CLBC Editorial Board Members are (left to right) Amber Rainshadow and Glimmer (Victoria), Carrie Derickson (Richmond), Bryce Schaufelberger (Mission), Vanessa Mendoza (Vancouver), Erin Murphy (Vernon), Jessica Humphrey (CLBC Self Advocate Advisor), Katie Moore (Vernon), Sam Milton (Gitsegukla) and Lee Kissinger (Victoria).

Hello! We are the CLBC Editorial Board made up of self advocate and community living leaders from across the province. Our role is to work with Community Living BC to improve communication with the people they serve and to find ways to share the stories and contributions of people with diverse abilities in B.C. Working together on this magazine has been one way to let CLBC, and the broader community, know what we think is important.

Inspired by recent public consultations on new accessibility legislation for B.C., the theme we have focused on for this Winter Edition of Celebrate Diverse ABILITIES is “The Future is Accessible.” We have collected stories from around the province about accessibility and what an accessible future looks and feels like for people with diverse abilities.

For us on the Editorial Board, accessibility is about taking down the walls in our lives so we have the freedom to reach the same things in life as anyone else, from the paper towels in the bathroom, to getting a job, to having friends, to the can of soup on the top shelf in the grocery store. An accessible future is one that doesn’t require a back up plan every time we leave the house in case the bus drives by, or our wheelchair doesn’t fit through the door, or we aren’t understood at the coffee shop, or someone calls us names on the street. We look forward to a future where everyone just knows what’s needed so we aren’t on the sidelines looking in, but rather we are going through the front door, sitting in a desk in the middle of the classroom and working in the job that everyone wants. In the future, accessibility is invisible because it’s built in. You don’t have to ask for it, it just is.

If you would like to share your story about what accessibility means to you, you can visit www.selfadvocatenet.com and click on the “Submit your story idea” button.

We would like to thank all the members of the self advocacy community and others with diverse abilities who contributed their stories to this magazine.

We look forward to your feedback and suggestions for the next edition of Celebrate Diverse ABILITIES.

Sincerely,
The CLBC Editorial Board

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