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Team News

Canada Happy Labour day. Grunge watercolor Canadian flag in heart shape. Background template for national holiday. Stock Vector - 107795245

The Spectrum Office will be closed September 7 for Labour Day


Provincial Update on COVID-19 – Keep groups small, Keep a safe distance.

“What we have seen is that when our groups are too big and we see too many people outside of our household bubble, the potential for the virus to spread increases.

“We voiced our concern and British Columbians have listened. We thank you for resetting and rejoining our efforts to push our COVID-19 curve down and keep it low and slow in B.C.

“Until we have an effective vaccine, we all need to find the balance of reducing our risks and increasing our social connections. It is not difficult to do, but requires all of our effort, all of the time. This is how we play safe and stay safe.

“The fewer new cases and exposure events, the more opportunities we all have to enjoy the summer and have fun. More businesses are open and more activities are available to all of us.

“It is easy to socialize safely and that’s what we all need to do this B.C. Day weekend. To do this, let’s keep our groups small and keep a safe distance from others, no matter where we may be.

“The actions you take make a difference, so let’s make this holiday a different holiday than what we saw in early July. What you do today and this weekend will determine what we are able to do in the weeks ahead – so let’s all do the right thing.”

Federal Government approves $600 one-time payment to some people with disabilities

From the Disability Alliance of BC, here is information on the Federal Government’s support to people with disabilities.  Only people who have a valid Disability Tax Credit will get this $600 payment.  People can still apply for the Disability Tax Credit and the Disability Alliance is offering assistance.


Bill C-20 Receives Royal Assent


We are pleased to hear that Bill C-20 has received Royal Assent. The Bill, in addition to providing support to Canadian workers and businesses, will facilitate the delivery of a one-time payment of up to $600 for people with disabilities who are either holders of a valid Disability Tax Credit (DTC) certificate, receive Canada Pension Plan-Disability Benefits (CPP-D) or Quebec Pension Plan disability benefits, or are in receipt of Veterans Affairs Canada disability supports.

Eligible people with disabilities who do not yet possess the DTC certificate will be able to apply for one up to 60 days after the Royal Assent on July 27th to be considered for the one-time payment.

If you or someone you know requires assistance with the DTC application, contact our Access RDSP program by email at or through the form on our website, here. Further information about the program and our program partners is also available at that link.

We are unsure when the one-time benefit will be paid out but will provide an update when we receive more information.

For more information, see the Government of Canada’s News Release:


The Plan Institute is also offering to assist people with disabilities to apply for the Disability Tax Credit.  Here is a link to their offer:


Welcome to the July 31 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 News

Temporary emergency supports extended for July and August

On July 21, CLBC was pleased to share that temporary emergency funding has been extended to August 31 to help people with developmental disabilities continue to stay supported and safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. Residential service providers, including Direct Funded Standard agents, Person-Centered Societies and providers for group homes, home sharing and supported independent living, can apply for emergency funding for July and / or August.

Information for how service providers can request funding by the deadline of August 17 is posted on the CLBC website here.

Nominate someone for a special COVID edition WOW Award!

Every year, CLBC’s Widening Our World (WOW) Awards celebrate British Columbians who are making their communities more inclusive. This year we are inviting you to help us honour the courageous people who are helping people stay connected and included during the COVID-19 pandemic.

We know people are using many innovative ways to stay in touch, to create friendships and a sense of belonging.  We want to hear the stories about how people have showed courage, leadership and creativity to keep individuals connected during COVID-19.

Full details, as well as the nomination form for the 2020 WOW Awards, will be posted on the CLBC website here as of tomorrow, August 1. The nomination period will be open until Monday, August 31 at 5:00p.m.

BC Centre for Disease Control provides map of COVID-19 Collection Centres

A Collection Centre is a place you can go to be assessed and tested for COVID-19.  If you have been at a location where someone tested positive for COVID-19, remember to monitor yourself for symptoms, limit your contact with others and call 8-1-1 to arrange for testing if any symptoms develop.

Click here to see the online map that can be used to a find Collection Centre near you.

Indigenous Tourism BC encourages travelers to respect community travel bans

As travel and gathering restrictions ease in British Columbia, many Indigenous tourism operators prepare to welcome guests. Others maintain strict emergency response measures, including closure for the remainder of 2020. Visit Indigenous Tourism BC’s “How to Travel Responsibly” webpage here for important things to consider if you’re planning an Indigenous travel experience in B.C. this summer.

Tips for going out safely from the Government of Canada

Even though parts of our communities are beginning to open, it’s important to think about the level of risk with certain activities and what you can do to stay safe in different settings.
Visit the Government of Canada’s COVID-19 website for easy-to-understand graphics like this one about going out safely in community. You can also watch a video version of the tips here.
Staying connected and supported

New Men’s Virtual Support Group with Family Caregivers of BC 

Caregiving can be extremely rewarding, but also exhausting and, at times, isolating. Family Caregivers of BC helps support caregivers with all aspects of their journey. Click here to learn about their virtual support groups. This includes the new monthly B.C. Men’s Virtual Caregiver Support Group which takes place the second Tuesday of every month. Anyone interested in joining can call 1-877-520-3267 ext. 1 or email

The caregiver support line is also available Monday to Friday from 8:30 am to 7:00 pm by calling 1-877-520-3267.

COVID-19: Social Visitation Essentials Course

Family Caregivers of BC and SafeCare BC are offering a self-paced, online course for those who would like to visit a family member or friend residing in a long-term care home or assisted living residence, as permitted by the care home’s safety plan and regional public health direction.

The COVID-19: Social Visitation Essentials course offers:

  • an introduction to COVID-19
  • details on where British Columbians can find current and reliable COVID-19 information
  • instructions on how to help slow the transmission of COVID-19, including proper hand hygiene techniques and mask wearing practices

Learn more about the course here, including instruction on how to register.

FSI launches Learning Explorations free online workshops from August to October

The Family Support Institute (FSI) is launching free online workshops available to all families and individuals from August to October. Click here to learn about workshop topics and upcoming sessions like Person Centered Planning and MyBooklet BC.

You can also follow the FSI Facebook page here to stay updated on any new sessions that are added.

Sibling Research Survey 

The Sibling Collaborative and the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Ontario are conducting a survey called “How are you and your adult sibling with a developmental disability being affected by COVID19?”
If you are a sibling of an adult with a developmental disability, click here to learn about how you can take part.
Self Advocate Corner

New videos from Self Advocates of Semiahmoo 

Check out these new videos from Self Advocates of Semiahmoo in Surrey to remind us about keeping a safe distance and how we can still stay connected during COVID-19:

Special Olympics School of Strength

Looking for a workout routine you can do from the inside of your home?
The School of Strength video series features Special Olympics Canada athletes and World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) star Becky Lynch guiding you through a workout program designed for all abilities and fitness levels. Click here to get started.

Stories of hope and encouragement

Banishing fear and anxiety one button at a time

When visiting the hospital, some people can have feelings of anxiety or fear, even more so when the faces of medical staff are hidden behind masks. That’s why caregivers at BC Women’s and BC Children’s hospitals are wearing photo buttons that show their smiling faces. Click link to learn more about the recently-launched Behind the Mask program and how it came about.

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

We’re signing off this week with a message reminding us that although change can be a challenge for many of us, sometimes it can also be something we embrace. Until next edition!

Equal Work Equal Pay BC

We have joined a coalition of agencies to press government to make an ongoing commitment to equal pay for non-union staff.  The Recruitment and Retention funding was a welcome increase for 2020, but government did not address the increase for 2019 or the next planned increase for 2021. 

We want government to know this is a serious problem for community social services.   Our workers deserve equal pay, and the people we support deserve stable staff teams with skilled caregivers. 

The website has a page where you can send a letter to your MLA by entering your home address.  The website will enter your MLA’s name and email address and the letter will be sent to their office.  Over 1,400 letters have been sent in one week!  Please add your letter to your MLA’s mailbox so they know this is an important matter for them to bring to the government’s attention. 

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Thank you for your ongoing dedication to the people we support and their families.

Let us know if you have any questions.


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