On being #DifferentTogether
As you know, posAbilities is committed to building an inclusive community characterized by diversity, hospitality, belonging and respect; where all persons are welcomed and valued for who they are and for the contributions they make. As we have recently been shaken by the heartbreaking events in Minneapolis and senseless death of George Floyd, it’s important to think about who we are, the respectful and safe spaces we create at work, and in the communities we serve. We also have the opportunity to do more, and to be the change we want to see in this world.

One step that we can take to prevent further discrimination against black peoples, and others across the globe, is to pledge to end race-based violence and discrimination. We invite you to learn more in this week’s blog, and to consider joining us in the #DifferentTogether digital campaign hosted by BC’s Lieutenant Governor Janet Austin.

posAbilities COVID-19 Health Check
We continue to be healthy and strong, and have no incidences of COVID-19 to report. Thank you everyone, each of you and your efforts are keeping us all safe!

Provincial Website Creates New COVID-19 Supports for People with Disabilities
The Province of BC has created a new plain language webpage about COVID-19 Supports for People with Disabilities. Click here for information about income or disability assistance, services to adults with disabilities, children and youth with disabilities and their families, and assistance for low-income seniors.

Information from Community Living BC (CLBC) about COVID-19 Stage 2 Recovery
The Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction (MSDPR) and Community Living BC (CLBC) hosted two teleconferences last week, which included the deputy public health officer from the Public Health Office. The calls were an opportunity to inform service providers, individuals and families of how they are approaching the changes to service delivery, ensuring that they are done gradually, safely and as quickly as possible. CLBC’s summary of these conversations are here and full transcripts are available by clicking here.

CLBC’s weekly update was released today, and includes interesting news, helpful tips and resources, and an inspirational story. Please check out the June 4 summary here and note that the next teleconference is to answer COVID-related health questions that individuals and self-advocates have. This call will be on June the 16th. Please click here for details about how to dial in, and where to send your questions.

Abilities would love to hear from you! Tell us a bit about your Pandemic Learning Journey!
We invite you to participate in our Pandemic Learning project! You can contribute independently using this online tool or get in touch with Emily Hein, one of our Community Connectors. Emily can schedule a phone call or Zoom meeting to answer any questions you have, and to write down your examples of the things you’ve been going through. This information will help us prepare for future crises. You can reach Emily by phone 778.706.3254 or email [email protected]

In closing, we are moving forward, and on target with our plans for phase 2 of the recovery work, which includes developing Community Inclusion services that meet the new health and safety guidelines for preventing the spread of COVID-19. Our hope and intention is to gain a speedy approval of our plans, however, we must also be mindful of the need for review by CLBC, which could impact our timelines. We will keep you posted as we learn more. It’s been a challenging time for everyone, and we look forward to sharing a special edition of our Imagine newsletter with you next week, filled with stories of beauty, hope and belonging.

Until next time,

Fernando Coelho, CEO