The importance of equality and inclusion

CLBC Editorial Board Members are (left to right): Lee Kissinger (Victoria), Nathan Bodie (Victoria), Sam Milton (Gitsegukla), Amber Rainshadow and Glimmer (Victoria), Bryce Schaufelberger (Mission), Jennifer Dosanj (Surrey). not pictured: Gerald Oesch (Chilliwack)

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 (CLBC) 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.

December 3rd was the United Nations International Day for Person’s with Disabilities (IDPD), or Diverse Abilities as many of us like to say. The theme for 2018’s IDPD was “Empowering People with Disabilities: Ensuring Inclusiveness and Equality.” We want to recognize this important day and share in the celebration by writing about the contributions and successes of those with diverse abilities. So for this edition of the magazine, we asked people to share stories about equality and inclusion.

You will read stories about people with diverse abilities who feel a sense of equality because of where they work, contribute or connect in their community, as well as because of friendships they have or teams they belong to.

For us on the Editorial Board, equality is about honouring that we are all human, that we are all the same even if some of us need extra help to access opportunities in our communities. New Editorial Board member Amber Rainshadow says, “Equality is when others don’t actually see the disability anymore. They see you for who you are and the way of life that works for you.” We believe equality and inclusion is possible when we all support each other to participate, make contributions, and have friendships.

If you would like to share your story about equality and inclusion visit www.selfadvocatenet.com and click on the Submit Your Story Idea button.

We’d like to thank all the members of the self advocacy community and others with diverse abilities who contributed their story to our magazine. We look forward to your feedback and suggestions for the next edition of Celebrate Diverse ABILITIES.

Sincerely,
The CLBC Editorial Board

(A special thanks to Editorial Board members and CLBC staff who provided writing and technical support to the authors in this edition.)

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