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Team News

August 3rd we will celebrate BC Day!  The Spectrum Office will be closed.


COVID-19 Updates – July 14 2020 – A Perfect Time for Planning

With summer upon us and things on a relatively stable course for the time being, it’s good to be thinking ahead to the coming months and taking the time now to plan in a thoughtful way.  As an agency, we’re seizing this opportunity to tend to the well-being of our teams so everyone stays strong and healthy.  We are also working with our board and other stakeholders to develop Spectrum’s next strategic plan which we aim to have ready for distribution at our AGM in October.  Emergency preparedness remains a priority of course, but it’s not the only thing.  We want to be safe, but we also want to continue focusing on building quality services and a strong organization that will be here to meet the needs of individuals and families for years to come.

At a personal level, we are supporting individuals to re-engage with family, friends and community connections and to do some longer term planning so they, too, stay strong and healthy not just for the immediate future but over the next year and beyond.  This is all part of our ongoing commitment to person-centred planning as the cornerstone of quality individualized services.  As well, with the arrival of good weather, it is a great time to experiment carefully with resuming some community activities and support.

Our good friend and former Spectrum co-director Aaron Johannes shared his thoughts on person-centred planning and a link to an article by John O’Brien and Connie Lyle O’Brien, in this post last week:

We encourage everyone to be thinking about steps they could take and activities they could be pursuing that will help them to stay strong and connected to the people who are important to them.  Spectrum leaders are available to help facilitate these discussions and organize planning meetings.  Some of the people we support have been meeting over zoom or in person with their networks and supporters to talk about how they want to move forward.  If you or someone you know has questions or wants to talk to learn more about person-centred planning, please feel free to reach out to the supervisor or another Spectrum leader.  We are always happy to talk to individuals and families about planning, and we would love to see more people taking time now to plan for the coming months and year.

Susan Stanfield

Director, Communications and Quality Assurance

Spectrum Society for Community Living

Joint Statement on BC’s COVID-19 response, latest updates

Adrian Dix, Minister of Health, and Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.’s provincial health officer, have issued the following joint statement regarding updates on the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) response in British Columbia:

“Today, we are announcing 13 new cases, for a total of 3,128 cases in British Columbia.

“There are 209 active cases of COVID-19 in the province and 2,730 people who tested positive have recovered.

“Of the total COVID-19 cases, 14 individuals are hospitalized, five of whom are in intensive care. The remaining people with COVID-19 are recovering at home in self-isolation.

“Since the start of the pandemic, there have been 1,015 cases of COVID-19 in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 1,649 in the Fraser Health region, 135 in the Island Health region, 212 in the Interior Health region, 65 in the Northern Health region and 52 cases of people who reside outside of Canada.

“There have been no new COVID-19 related deaths, for a total of 189 deaths in British Columbia. We offer our condolences to everyone who has lost their loved ones during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“There have been no new health-care facility outbreaks. In total, two long-term care or assisted-living facilities and one acute-care facility have active outbreaks.

“There have been no new community outbreaks and there is one active community outbreak at Krazy Cherry Farm in the Interior Health region. Other community exposure events continue to occur, with public alerts issued as required.

Read more here…

CLBC Update for Individuals and Families is pasted below.  There are lots of bits of good information about recent news from CLBC and the Province of BC.  Check out the great infographic on Staying Safe in the Community at the very bottom!

Be Calm, Be Kind, Be Safe


Welcome to the July 10 edition of CLBC’s Update for Individuals and Families. As a reminder, you can find all Updates (including past editions) posted on our website here. If you know of anyone who would like to receive future Updates, please share the link to our sign up page with them. If you have a specific question, or feedback about this update, you can send an email to

CLBC and Government Updates

Teleconference audio available now and plain language summary coming soon

Yesterday morning, a teleconference for families took place with Deputy Provincial Health Officer Dr. Daniele Behn Smith joining CLBC CEO Ross Chilton to respond to health-related questions as services begin to be restored in Phases 2 and 3 of the COVID-19 recovery. Social Development and Poverty Reduction Minister Shane Simpson provided opening and closing remarks.

The audio recording of the call has now been posted to the CLBC website here, and a plain language summary of the call will be posted to the page as soon as it is available in the coming days and shared in the next edition of this update.

CLBC working to apply Direct Funded Respite Rate increases

Early this year, CLBC announced we are increasing minimum direct funded respite (DFR) rates for families from $2,800 to $3,080 per year. Families can use this funding to pay a caregiver to provide support to their loved one so they can have time to rest and recharge.

CLBC staff in all regional offices have been hard at work applying the increase throughout the COVID-19 emergency. The increase is retroactive to April 1, 2020 and the goal is to have families receive the increase by January 2021.

If you are having challenges in hiring support staff during COVID-19, please read through the interim guidance for Service Provision by Family Membersdeveloped to provide families with an option for exceptional circumstances during this emergency.

Provincial emergency support extended

The provincial government is extending federal employment insurance exemptions for as long as the federal emergency programs remain in effect and extending the provincial temporary crisis supplement for cheques issued in July and August.

These extensions help ensure people on income or disability assistance continue to have access to the supports they need during the COVID-19 pandemic.

To learn more, you can read the full news release here.

We are in Phase 3 of BC’s restart plan

B.C. is now in Phase 3 of its restart plan, thanks to the actions of British Columbians. In Phase 3 people can take part in respectful and safe travel within the province. More sectors of the economy will have the guidance and support they need to re-open with the necessary safety precautions in place. It’s important to stay vigilant in Phase 3 to continue limiting the spread of COVID-19.

You can learn more about what’s happening in Phase 3, and find helpful tips for safe travel and social interaction, on the B.C. government website here.

WorkSafeBC guidelines posted for Community Social Services

WorkSafeBC has released additional guidance for the community social services sector for returning to safe operations in Phases 2 and 3. These resources complement other guidance and provide useful information to support the work of service providers in community living settings.

You can read the guideline documents at the links below:

Video: Actions you can take to stop the spread of COVID-19

The Government of Canada has created a number of health-related videos to share information about COVID-19, including this video with ways to prevent the spread of the virus. You can watch all of the videos on their website here, and many include transcripts as well as links to versions with described video.

Protect yourself from COVID-19 scams 

Many of us are spending more time online. Throughout COVID-19 there has been a rise of phishing attempts on people’s email accounts. Phishing is the action of sending mass emails that look like they are from a trusted source, but actually contain harmful attachments or links that can access and share your personal information.  You can read more about phishing here.

To help protect people from potential phishing, the federal government’s Canadian Centre for Cyber Security has created a guide on “Cyber Hygiene for COVID-19” which you can read here, including the following four practical ways to make yourself cybersafe:

  • Use unique and difficult passwords
  • Apply updates to your phones, computers and applications
  • Store your data securely and know your backup procedures
  • Secure your social media and email accounts.

You can also click here for a helpful graphic with more information about protecting yourself and your personal information.

Staying connected and supported

Hope for Wellness Help Line

The Hope for Wellness Help Line is available to all Indigenous peoples across Canada who need immediate crisis intervention. Experienced and culturally sensitive help line counsellors can help if you want to talk or are distressed. It is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to offer counselling and crisis intervention.

The help line is available toll-free at 1-855-242-3310 (toll-free) or people can also connect to the on-line chat counselling service (when available) by visiting:

Telephone and online counselling are available in English and French. On request, telephone counselling is also available in Cree, Ojibway and Inuktitut.

First Nations Health Authority guide for COVID-19

The First Nations Health Authority (FNHA) has created a guide to provide useful information and resources for coping with the COVID-19 pandemic. This guide focuses on how you can care for yourself and others during this time, and can be viewed on the FNHA website here.

Plan Institute offers Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP) webinars

Plan Institute is offering free webinars to help people learn all about the Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP), the savings plan specifically for people with disabilities.  There are two levels for the webinar: Level 1 is for those who want to learn what an RDSP is, who qualifies, how to apply for the Disability Tax Credit, and how to open an RDSP. Level 2 is for those who already have an RDSP and want to deepen their knowledge and learn how to maximize growth.

The next Level 1 webinar session takes place July 15, from 7:00p.m. to 8:00p.m. You can click here to find information about registering for this session, as well as the dates and times of upcoming sessions through the end of 2020.

Spaces available for Fall 2020 at Douglas College’s Disability and Community Studies 

Are you, or someone you know, interested in working in the disability field? Douglas College has 40 years of public post-secondary experience providing quality education for people who want to work with children, youth and adults who have disabilities. They are currently accepting applications for Fall 2020 programs.

Prior Learning Assessment & Recognition (PLAR) is available for experienced, non-credentialed or related credentialed practitioners who want to work as Behaviour Interventionists, Education Assistants, Job Coaches and in other roles.
To learn more, visit contact or 604-527-5612.

TELUS program offers low cost internet for PWD recipients 

TELUS’s Internet for Good program provides eligible British Columbians with high-speed internet connectivity and helpful tools for a low cost. The program is available to those who receive BC Persons with Disability (PWD) benefits, who can receive internet access at a rate of $9.95 per month for two years. (The program is currently not available to Medical Services Only recipients).

You can learn more about the program, including an informational video and instructions on how to apply, by visiting the TELUS website here.

Self Advocate Corner

Cooking with BC People First

BC People First is creating a membership-based cookbook including their members’ favourite recipes to cook for themselves. Do you have a recipe you love cooking and want to share with others?

Join BCPF in their mission to show others that everyone who wants to cook for themselves should have the right to do so, and that cooking can be fun and easy. Learn how you can submit your own recipe to be considered for the cookbook here by July 31.

‘We’re in this together Tuesdays’ continue through July

Join BC People First (BCPF) for provincial virtual video meetings every Tuesday evening in July from 7:00p.m to 8:00p.m. These online meetings are a place for self advocates from across B.C. to connect, learn, share stories or concerns, ask questions, and have fun. Click here for information and links to register for upcoming sessions.

BCPF works to make sure that people with developmental or intellectual disabilities are respected and included in communities as full citizens. For more information about BCPF, including how to become a member, visit:

Listen to SALN’s Positive Awareness Podcasts

Check out the BC Self Advocacy Leadership Network website here to find their Positive Awareness Podcast series. These are podcasts created by self advocates for self advocates to share experiences, support and advice during COVID-19.

Making masks for others

Thank you to Self Advocate Net for sharing many stories of hope and encouragement during this challenging time.

Here’s a story from Joan Popeabout turning a scary experience into something positive.
If you, or someone you know has a story idea to share, find more information by visiting the story submission page here.

Stories of hope and encouragement

Be the Spark Campaign and FitNation bring hope and connection

In March, the North American Indigenous Games (NAIG) Council and the NAIG 2020 Host Society announced that the Games, scheduled for July 12-18, 2020 in Kjipuktuk (Halifax), were postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Games were scheduled to bring together over 5,000 Indigenous youth from across North America to experience a major international sport competition and to share and celebrate their cultural heritages.

To keep athletes motivated and connected, the Be the Spark campaign was launched to offer messages of positivity. ISPARC, the body that oversees the Team BC performance sport program, has introduced a number of initiatives, like FitNation, for athletes and the general public to join them in staying active at home.

FitNation program leaders from across the province are sharing the Home Workout Series, with videos posted to the ISPARC social media channels every week. Videos include introductory, intermediate, advanced and chair modifications workouts that can be done at home. Here’s one called Modified Movements presented by Janice Johnson from the Tseshaht First Nation.

Create your own window art

For anyone wanting to create their own window art to share messages of encouragement with others in your neighborhood, click the links below to download printable colouring pages created by Prepared BC:

Camp Easter Seals takes place in August

During August, Easter Seals is offering the City Adventure Day Camp for children and adults with diverse abilities. This provides an option for people in Vancouver and Victoria to take part in daily activities from game days in the park to talent shows, movie days and art activities. Safety protocols will be in place for everyone participating and you can read more about these here.

Find more information about City Adventure Day Camp, including links to register, by visiting the Easter Seals website here.

Updated Support and Connection Toolkit highlights resources and activities

In each edition of this update, we share an updated version of the Support and Connection Toolkit which gathers links to resources and activities into one document for easy access. See the most updated document here.

Signing off

As we move into Phase 3 of recovery, let’s keep working together to keep each other safe. Thanks to the Representative for Children and Youth for sharing these great infographics on how to stay healthy in this phase:


If your Emergency First Aid Community Care Training has expired we have good news!

St. John Ambulance (SJA) has resumed Emergency First Aid Community Care training.

To accommodate the new distancing regulations, SJA has reduced class sizes, provides full body mannequins to remove the need of partner activities, and is selling masks for students to wear during the course.  Spectrum can provide you with a cloth mask prior to you attending the course. If you choose to purchase a mask through SJA for $12.99, you can do so separately on the day you attend the course.

If you have already obtained your certificate, please forward a copy of your certificate to the office so we may update your file.

If you have not obtained your first aid certification, please register yourself and email me ( please, letting me know the date you have registered to complete the course.

How to Register for Emergency First Aid Community Care:

  • Call St. John Ambulance: (604) 321-7242
  • They above number is their main line, but they have a number of locations across the lower mainland if you would like to call a location directly:
  • Register yourself for Emergency First Aid Community Care.

If you did not have your first aid certificate upon hire, you are responsible for the initial cost, which is currently $102.00, and Spectrum covers renewal fees.

  • If you are renewing your first aid, ask St. John Ambulance to invoice Spectrum Society
  • Let them know Spectrum Society will be paying for your course fee.

*St. John Ambulance may request authorization from Spectrum. Email with the date/location you want to complete the course and we will call them to confirm your registration.

First Aid is a requirement for employment as indicated in ‘Policy 4: Requirements for Employment.’

If requirements for employment are not met within a timely manner, shifts will be suspended without pay until this requirement is met. Below is a link to Spectrum’s First Aid policy:

Please respond back with your course date by August 1st, 2020.

Please let Judy know if you have any questions or issues registering, by emailing her at


British Columbians invited to have their say on recovery

British Columbians are invited to share their feedback as the Province continues to build a strong economic recovery that works for people.

“The pandemic has been challenging, but our province has already accomplished so much in this fight, thanks to British Columbians. We are at our best when we work together, and that’s how we’re going to move forward,” Premier John Horgan said.
“Throughout the pandemic we’ve been meeting with businesses, labour, First Nations, not-for-profits and more to get their perspective. We’ve heard lots of good ideas, and we are taking action. We want to hear directly from British Columbians to make sure the recovery works for them.”

There are three main ways for people to share their ideas, experiences and priorities:

• An online survey is the fastest and easiest way to provide answers to some important questions and give advice. Visit:
• Respond to the paper, Building B.C.’s Recovery, Together: Have Your Say, which was released on Wednesday, June 17, 2020. Ideas and responses can be submitted to:
• Participate in virtual town halls. British Columbians can learn more about the virtual town halls here:

The full announcement is here:

– Wash Your Hands
– Keep Your Distance
– Stay Home if you are sick