Where we’ve come from and where we want to go from here

CLBC Editorial Board Members are: standing – Gerald Oesch (Chilliwack), Rob Tippe (Revelstoke), John O’Neill (Nelson), Bryce Schaufelberger (Mission) Nathan Bodie (Victoria). seated – Aine Rathwell (Vancouver), Jennifer Dosanj (Surrey), Tamara Russell (Parksville), Jhenna Owen (Kamloops).

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 CLBC to improve communication with the people they serve. Working together on this magazine has been one opportunity to share with CLBC about what we think is important. The Editorial Board also provides feedback and suggestions on projects and new initiatives that CLBC is working on.

In this edition we are proud to recognize Canada’s 150th anniversary and to celebrate how the lives of people with diverse abilities have improved over the years in our country. We have chosen to focus this edition on acknowledging our history as people who have been labelled, while at the same time celebrating inclusion and the opportunities people have today.

To prepare for this edition we talked about what we appreciate about our lives today – things like having more choice about where we live, having a job, being respected in community, going to university and getting married. We also talked about the fact that this isn’t the reality for everyone and that we still have a long way to go to make sure people with diverse abilities have lives filled with possibility in welcoming communities. Board member Nathan Bodie from Victoria says, “We still need more understanding from others to think that we are one with everyone else and not separate.”

We are excited to share stories from around the province about how things have changed since the days of being told we belong in an institution. We are excited to share stories about fully participating in community, building support networks and boosting confidence through music.

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. Happy Birthday Canada!

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

The CLBC Editorial Board

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