Over the past couple months, life has been different for all of us. There have been hardships, extraordinary acts of kindness, and many changes—big and small—to our daily lives. None of us have faced a crisis like this before.

In the community living sector, we’ve been thinking about how we can reflect and learn from this experience. What can we be doing differently right now? How can we be better prepared for future emergencies?

Before we can answer those questions, we have a lot of listening to do.

Smiling man and woman with disabilities

Our new initiative, Pandemic Learning, is a joint effort of posAbilities, BACI, Kinsight, and UNITI. We’re asking people across Metro Vancouver to anonymously share their experiences of life during this pandemic. We’re particularly interested in hearing from people with developmental disabilities, their families, and people who work with and support them.

Some folks are already speaking up about how COVID-19 has affected them. We’ve heard self-advocates discuss how they’re coping and parents share the challenges they are facing at home. We want to listen to more stories about what people are going through and learn from your experiences.

In a situation as unusual as this, everyone’s experience is a little bit different. We all have a story to tell. But with so many changes to our daily lives, it might be difficult to know to begin. We’ve put together a story-collecting form to help people pick a specific experience.

Here are some of our prompts to help get you thinking:

  • Tell us a story about something memorable that happened – good or bad – in the last couple of weeks.
  • Think about a choice or a decision you’ve had to make during the last couple of weeks. What was it and what happened?
  • What is something you have done differently because of the pandemic?

Once we’ve collected a lot of stories, we’ll look for patterns and details that point us toward things we can do differently now and in the future. Hearing many different perspectives will help us plan for the future and come out of isolation together.

To learn more about the project and share your experience, visit posabilities.ca/pandemic-learning.

If you have more questions, you can contact posAbilities’ Story Collector, Emily Hein. Emily can be reached by email ([email protected]) or 778-706-3254.