Following on a strong annual tradition, the Province is commemorating October as Community Living Month, a time to recognize and celebrate community inclusion and the significant contributions people living with developmental disabilities make to British Columbia communities year round.

October marks the 18th year that the Province has proclaimed Community Living Month in B.C. This month of recognition is celebrated in communities in every part of the province and provides British Columbians with the opportunity to learn about and honour the outstanding role people with development disabilities play in making communities vibrant, dynamic places to live and work. A large part of this month’s recognition is also dedicated to businesses and community advocates who have shown their commitment to make B.C.’s communities, and businesses more inclusive.

Throughout the month, communities will host a variety of public, family-friendly events to recognize people with developmental disabilities, as well as their friends, families and supporters. For instance, the Family Focus Conference in Richmond is organized by families for families and will provide advice on topics like financial planning, housing and education. The City of Port Alberni and numerous community and government partners will host the annual family friendly fun day. More than 700 people attend this event each year. PotteryWorks studio and gallery in New Westminster will have a grand reopening at its new location to showcase its latest space for local artists with disabilities to produce, display and sell their custom art.

For a full list of Community Living Month events taking place throughout the province, visit http://www.communitylivingbc.ca/clm2016/.

Community Living BC (CLBC) will also be asking British Columbians to nominate someone who is taking action to make their community more inclusive for people with developmental disabilities through its eighth-annual Widening Our World (WOW) Awards. Each year, the WOW Awards recognize outstanding “citizens of distinction” who are leading the way to create and build inclusion for the people CLBC serves. Nominations for the WOW Awards will be open from Oct. 17 to Nov. 30, 2016. Winners will receive their award at local events planned in their communities early in the new year.

The Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation and CLBC are committed to supporting people with developmental disabilities and their families, no matter where they live in B.C.  Moving forward, government will continue to work toward its goal of becoming the most progressive place for people with disabilities in Canada, as outlined in the province’s 10-year action plan, Accessibility 2024.

Quotes:

Minister of Social Development and Social Innovation Michelle Stilwell –

“People with disabilities deserve our recognition every day for their contribution to creating positive cities, towns and municipalities across the province. Community Living Month provides individuals the chance to explore what people with disabilities are doing in your community and I look forward to meeting with individuals throughout October to find even more ways we can all work together to make B.C. the most inclusive jurisdiction in Canada.”

Parliamentary secretary for accessibility Darryl Plecas –

“It is everyone’s responsibility – family, friends, communities, the business community, non-profits and government – to ensure people with disabilities can fully participate in society. During Community Living Month and throughout the entire year, remember to show your appreciation to individuals who are making a difference in the lives of people with disabilities in your community, and find out how you can be a positive force and join in the efforts.”

CLBC CEO Seonag Macrae –

“Celebrating Community Living Month helps raise awareness of how important inclusion and equal opportunity are for people living with diverse abilities. We celebrate people who accept, respect and treat everyone equally; and we celebrate communities that push people to think more broadly about how they can be more inclusive.”

Quick Facts:

  • Community Living BC (CLBC) was established in 2005 as a Crown corporation to provide services and supports for adults with developmental disabilities.
  • Community Living BC supports about 18,900 adults with development disabilities, fetal alcohol spectrum disorder or autism spectrum disorder throughout B.C.
  • CLBC’s total operating budget for 2016-17 is $896.8 million, an increase of $44.8 million in provincial funding.
  • CLBC funds supports for the people it serves through community agencies, or provides individuals and families with funding to purchase services directly. Supports can include learning new skills, employment, resources to help people connect to their community, residential supports and respite services.

Learn More:

Community Living Month proclamation: http://ow.ly/I6z0304Jw1o

Community Living BC: www.communitylivingbc.ca

WOW awards: http://www.communitylivingbc.ca/projects/recognition-awards/

B.C.’s 10-year action plan, Accessibility 2024: http://ow.ly/iqLy304vNTT

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