Self advocates leading connection

Casey Douglas, Director of Olivia Douglas Community Services, is excited to provide virtual opportunities for people to connect around shared interests and experiences in their home community of New Westminster and beyond.
(Casey’s preferred pronouns are: they, them, their.)

Community Living BC is excited to support five B.C. self advocacy groups to lead connection activities and events to help people stay resilient and strong during the coming months of the pandemic.

Congratulations to Self Advocates of the Rockies (Cranbrook), the BC Self Advocate Leadership Network (Lower Mainland/Vancouver Island), Olivia Douglas Community Services (New Westminster), Speaking Up for Self Advocacy Awareness (Kamloops) and TALK North West – The Advocacy League of Kindness (Kitimat/Terrace).

From January to August 2021, these five groups will use grant funding to hire and pay self advocates to organize and facilitate both virtual and non-virtual ways for people in the same communities and across the province to connect.

Groups are designing phone trees, activity mailouts, talent shows, conferences, online hangouts, laughter yoga, game nights and special interest activities including gaming, drama, digital literacy, rights, LGBTQ+ peer-to-peer connection, meditation, chess and more.

“These self advocate led groups will provide new opportunities to support each other in the challenging months ahead. I encourage our partners, families, and service providers to help those we serve to get involved and connect to the events and activities these leaders will be organizing,” says CLBC CEO Ross Chilton.

CLBC is grateful to Inclusion BC for supporting this project and for their invaluable help evaluating the many impressive applications submitted by the self advocate led groups.

Please join CLBC in supporting and promoting the leadership of these five groups. Events and activities will be posted on the new Calendar for Connection hosted on the Family Support Institute website.

You can also contact groups directly using the information below to find out how to participate in upcoming events and activities.

TALK – North West (The Advocacy League of Kindness) – Contact:

Speaking Up for Self-Advocacy Awareness – Contact:

Olivia Douglas Community Services Society – Contact:

B.C. Self-Advocate Leadership Network – Contact:

Self-Advocates of the Rockies – Contact:

Casey Douglas, Director of the Olivia Douglas Community Services, is one of the successful applicants excited to be designing and offering virtual programming for those with diverse abilities.

“Olivia Douglas Community Services doesn’t just aim to serve people with diverse abilities, we aim to create systemic change for persons with diverse abilities across British Columbia.

Qnections Club, which is a safe space for members of the LGBTQ+ community, is among the programs offered on a weekly basis by Olivia Douglas Community Services to help people stay connected.

I’m interested to see what kind of programs people with diverse abilities choose to partake in. We will be offering groups surrounding five main topics. They are: LGBTQ+, Sharing Resources, Mental Health Peer Support, Technology Support, and a Place for Meeting New People.

Our LGBTQ+ population is our most important and marginalized population. The Qnections Club is a virtual space for people to be safe and supported in their own community, listen to stories and meet people.

It’s starting virtually but we hope to move to in-person once the pandemic ends.

We are planning to start our programming in early to mid-February and our programs will be once every week.

If you’re interested in participating, we’d love to have you. Just go to, look at our virtual programs, and register to attend! And if you need help, just email me at”

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