We hope that you are all doing well and settling back into your Fall routines. We are still operating within the public health guidelines of Step 3 of BC’s Restart Plan, (plus our Association’s policy on the use of masks) and would like to share some news with you:
BC Vaccine Card Implemented This Week
This week marks the beginning of BC’s proof of vaccination requirements for certain businesses and venues, and the implementation of the new BC Vaccine Card. Full-service restaurants, indoor event spaces, gyms and other select businesses are now required to verify vaccination status of patrons before granting them access to their business. posAbilities has produced a tip sheet for you, as there is advice on how to apply for and carry a card for an individual with a disability. Click here for the document, or visit the government of BC’s website here and search for personalized information/families.
Please note: A Vaccine Card is not required to access posAbilities’ program sites or the head office.
Where to Get Support to Return to School Safely
We realize that this year, the march off to school for many of the children and families we serve is particularly stressful due to the continued prevalence of COVID-19 variants. If you are a parent or guardian in British Columbia looking for support, knowledge and information about inclusive education in our province, please email [email protected] and request an invitation to their online support group. To learn more about what this organization does, please visit this post. Lastly, BC Education Access’s annual conference is happening online on September the 22nd. Tickets are still available.
If you are searching for an advocate to assist you with getting the proper supports in place for your loved one to safely return to school (or to continue with home school learning,) we recommend contacting Inclusion BC and sending an email to [email protected], or calling them at 1-844-488-4321.
What’s Happening in Community Inclusion Day Programs for Adults?
Photos: Bust the COVID Pinata! + The Stage Door players got some laughs performing outside of JJ Bean on Main St.
Currently, we are seeing about 75% participation in our Community Inclusion programs and we are continuing to connect with individuals and families to discuss return plans. We welcome everyone back at the pace they are comfortable with. Contact us if you’d like to discuss your services at any time.
All programs and services have an updated Communicable Disease Prevention plan that accounts for viruses that are airborne like COVID-19. The new plan took effect in July and is available for your review.
What’s New in Outreach Support?
Photo of the Sasamat Crew having a summer picnic.
Outreach supports including behaviour consultation, community connecting, employment services, shared living and supported independent living are being delivered in person, or virtually – depending on your preference and on the public health orders for the region in which you live. We ask that you rebook your visit if you are feeling unwell.
Through vaccination, and using layers of protection such as masks and hand sanitation, we will continue to prevent transmission throughout our services. If you need access to Personal Protective Equipment (face masks, shields or gloves) to work with us, please let us know. We have additional supplies to offer you!
If you are curious about the experience of self-advocates who made the choice to get vaccinated, check out some videos by Dr. Bonnie Henry and others here!
Photo: Employment Services’ Activity Boxes help with Discovery!
Small group training and activities like: LINK!, Connect with PEERS, Triple P™ Positive Parenting Program, Buddy Club, Community Kitchen and the Let’s Get Real Dating Club are not currently being delivered in person.
We are being very cautious due to high COVID-19 case counts. We very much look forward to hosting indoor events in person as soon as it is safe to do so.
We have not made any changes to the current visitation guidelines for our residential services.
Enjoy a coffee with Bruce!
Upcoming Arts and Cultural Events
The 17th Annual Inclusion Art Show and Sale goes online once more and we have some treats in store! Over 450 pieces have been registered by artists who you may already know and love, and some who are new to our collective! We have added a welcome by Elder Shane Pointe and our CEO Fernando Coelho, some online learning events and socials to spice up the show through www.CoMakeDo.ca as well as a shopping cart feature to make purchases a breeze! Watch our social media channels (@posAbilitiesCA) and the following websites for updates: www.InclusionArtShow.com and www.posAbilities.ca and the newest site – www.ArtRise.ca !
Special thanks to our amazing sponsors: City of Vancouver, BCGEU – Community Social Services Component, and Christ Church Cathedral. The show runs October 1-28, and the sale opens for one week on the 21st!
September 30 – National Day for Truth and Reconciliation
The Government of Canada recently passed legislation to make September 30 a federal statutory holiday called the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. This day is an important step in the reconciliation process. It provides an opportunity to recognize and commemorate the tragic history and ongoing legacy of residential schools, and to honour their survivors, their families and communities. For 2021, B.C. will also be marking this day as a day of commemoration. posAbilities’ Head Office, day support and outreach services will be closed on September 30. The government will be consulting key stakeholders, including Indigenous leaders, on how this national day is marked in the future.
In recent years, September 30 has been marked as Orange Shirt Day, so called because of the residential school experiences of the campaign’s founder, Phyllis Webstad. You can hear Phyllis speak about Orange Shirt day on YouTube here and she also has written a children’s book which you can learn more about here. To learn more, check out the Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion website here.
The Last Word – October is Community Inclusion Month!
October is a joyful time with conferences and special events celebrating the accomplishments of persons with disabilities. Save the date: October the 14th from 1-4pm, Inclusion BC is hosting the 2021 Virtual Inclusion Summit – build awareness, inspire confidence and advance rights! Register at: www.inclusionbc.org/get-involved or call us at: (604) 777-9100.
Also, watch for the next issue of posAbilities’ Imagine Newsletter, and celebrate diversity, inclusion and belonging with us! For more information or support, please contact your program leader, or Monique Nelson, Director of Community Engagement at [email protected] or call/text (604) 369-4073. All the best!