During October and Community Living Month, Community Living BC (CLBC) and its partners are celebrating the first 12 months of progress on a pilot project that is creating more jobs for adults with developmental disabilities, autism and FASD in the Simon Fraser region.
Launched last October, CLBC has invested $200,000 to date to support this project in the communities of Burnaby, Tri-Cities and New Westminster. The pilot is being led by CLBC in partnership with service providers, community members, employers, individuals, families and other government partners, who are using a broad range of activities to help adults served by CLBC find and keep work. The work is part of the comprehensive, three-year Community Action Employment Plan released in March 2013. The goal of the Plan is to help 1,200 more of the adults CLBC serves to find and keep employment. Currently in the Simon Fraser region, CLBC supports about 1,800 individuals and close to 160 are receiving employment-specific supports.
Since the last progress update in March 2014, work on the pilot in the Simon Fraser includes:
- Creating new customized employment position serving Burnaby, New Westminster, and the Tri-Cities to help more individuals find and keep employment
- Providing advanced training in supported employment for regional specialists, and customized employment training for local service providers who provide direct employment supports to individuals
- Supporting transitioning youth information panels and fairs for Burnaby and New Westminster
- Completion of the BC Self-Advocates Foundation’s Promoting our Abilities project supporting individuals’ presentations to the business community
- Implementation of the Family Support Institute’s FamilyWORKS project supporting families towards employment first
- Supporting the Visions: Transitioning Youth and Family Conference in Coquitlam to help prepare youth for adulthood
- Developing an employer recognition event to celebrate business leaders in Mission, Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows, Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, and Port Moody who have recognized the value of hiring a person with a disability
- Coordinating a new employment guide to support newcomer Canadian families and the individuals CLBC serves
CLBC released the three-year Community Action Employment Plan in March 2013. For more information on CLBC, Community Living Month activities or the Community Action Employment Plan, visit www.communitylivingbc.com.
Minister Don McRae
“We know that many people with disabilities have the skills and experience to help B.C. businesses thrive. We also know that when barriers are removed and people with disabilities are able to participate fully in their communities and support their families, everyone benefits. These local Community Action Employment Plan initiatives will help promote awareness about the benefits of hiring adults with developmental disabilities and increase inclusive employment opportunities.”
CLBC CEO Seonag Macrae
“One of the findings of the Community Action Employment Plan consultations was that the community living sector requires both traditional and non-traditional partners to help build more employment opportunities for the people CLBC serves. What is clear through the work being done in the Simon Fraser region is that there are many champions of inclusive employment, and it is with their support and hard work that we will collectively help individuals who want to work, find and keep work.”