A message from CLBC CEO Ross Chilton
Every year, December 3 marks United Nations International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPWD). This annual celebration is a time for all of us across British Columbia to recognize the important contributions people with developmental disabilities make to their communities.
The U.N. has declared the theme for this year: “Building Back Better: Toward a disability-inclusive, accessible and sustainable post COVID-19 world.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has amplified the challenges that many people with disabilities have in accessing health care, education, employment and participating in the community. This year’s theme recognizes the importance of ensuring that the world we all create once the pandemic ends is one that better addresses these challenges and includes everyone in their communities.
Across B.C. we’ve seen people, groups and organizations working together in a range of ways to ensure people with developmental disabilities are included and have access to support and information, even in the face of the significant challenges presented by the pandemic. From organizations creating plain language resources, to self advocates giving their input on essential visitor policies in hospitals, to the work of this year’s Widening Our World Award winners to keep people connected and included, there are so many great examples that show the impact we can all have on creating a world where everyone belongs.
Having a place to live is an important aspect of such a world, and CLBC is working with our partners to build awareness of the need for inclusive housing options for the people we serve. With Inclusion BC, we have just launched KeyToHomeBC.ca, a new website to help individuals with developmental disabilities, their families and service providers build awareness in their local communities for more inclusive housing.
While the COVID-19 pandemic has challenged us in many ways, I’m encouraged by the efforts of our fellow British Columbians that show we can all play a role in working together to build communities that are accessible and inclusive of everyone, for today, and for the future.