The Spectrum Office will be closed September 7 for Labour Day
COVID-19 Updates – August 26, 2020 – Stop the Spread
Stop the Spread!
“We have one job in BC that leads all renewal activities, plans and hopes, it allows for surgeries, it allows for us to resume important things like opening schools – and that’s stopping the spread [of Covid-19].
Physical distancing saves lives and stops the spread.
Following the rules established by public health officials saves lives and stops the spread.
Respecting engineering safeguards saves lives and stops the spread.
Adhering to administrative safeguards like gathering size saves lives and stops the spread.
Wearing a mask where you’re required to, asked to, and when lack of physical distancing makes it right to, saves lives and stops the spread.
That’s our duty, to stop the spread.” – Adrian Dix, BC Minister of Health, August 24, 2020.
In their update today, Dr. Bonnie Henry and Minister Dix reported that case counts in BC are continuing to trend higher, at around 90 new cases per day over the last few days. That said, they expressed confidence in our Province’s approach which includes increased testing, rapid identification of new cases, and thorough contact tracing and follow up with anyone who tests positive and their close contacts. In addition to the new cases there are currently over 2,000 people self-isolating due to possible exposure to someone who has tested positive. This important piece of the public health strategy greatly reduces the risk to everyone in our communities because it stops the spread.
Dr. Henry and Minister Dix both emphasized that we know how to keep the numbers down, having successfully flattened the curve during the first wave. The key now is to stay vigilant with the preventive measures that are so familiar to us – physical distancing, hand-washing, staying home when we are sick – and to support and encourage each other to do the right things as we continue to live with Covid-19 for the foreseeable future.
Here at Spectrum, we are welcoming people back from summer holidays or back to work following leaves of absence and we are continuing to hire new staff to fill vacant positions. Each of these transitions presents an opportunity to review and refresh our safety practices to ensure that everyone is consistently following the guidelines we’ve put in place to keep people safe and stop the spread. We are so very grateful to all of our teams for their support with this. We know it hasn’t been easy, but we hope the positive results we’ve seen so far encourage us to stay the course and to stay hopeful.
Director, Communications and Quality Assurance
Spectrum Society for Community Living
Virtual Learning Series – Registration Now Open!
Over the next 18 months, Inclusion BC will be hosting a series of free webinars. When we had to postpone our 2020 conference, we heard from our members, families and self advocates that they wanted other ways to connect, learn and share ideas over the next year.
The Virtual Learning Series will be organized in 3 terms (Fall 2020, Winter 2021, and Fall 2021) with approximately six virtual sessions per term. Sessions will fall into themes, including employment, civic engagement, advocacy and K-12 education.
Registration will open in the coming week. View the Learning Series on our website to register and for more information.
Highlights of the Fall 2020 Term
- Sarah Jama | Keynote We are thrilled to have community organizer Sarah Jama as a keynote presenter. Exploring her history with anti-racist organizing, disability justice organizing, and cross solidarity organizing, Jama will layout best practices for coalition building and grassroots organizing in our local communities for real change. The free Zoom presentation will be held on November 13, 2020.
- Self Advocates of Semiahmoo | Keynote The Self Advocates of Semiahmoo (SAS) are well-known for their many community accomplishments. The group will be hosting a free Zoom session on December 3, 2020 to celebrate the UN International Day of Persons with Disabilities.
- Employment Webinars throughout the month of September to celebrate Disability Employment Month.
- Diversity Includes Community Engagement campaign for Inclusion BC members.
- Intersectionality, diversity and inclusion webinars throughout the month of November
Support to access one-time $600 payment for people with disabilities
In late July, the Government of Canada passed Bill C-20 which will provide a one-time, tax-free, non-reportable payment of $600 to assist people with disabilities with additional expenses during the pandemic. Learn more about this payment here.
Individuals who are eligible to receive the one-time payment must have an existing Disability Tax Credit (DTC) certificate or be eligible for the DTC and apply for it by September 25, 2020. Those who received Canada Pension Plan or Veterans Affairs Canada disability benefits as of July 1, 2020 are also eligible for the one-time payment.
A number of organizations are offering support to individuals and families to understand and access this one-time payment, as well as other disability-related benefits:
- The Canadian Association for Community Living (CACL) has created an easy-to-understand FAQ posted here to help people with a disability and their families understand if they’re eligible, how they’ll receive payment, and more.
- Plan Institute, the BC Aboriginal Network on Disability Society (BCANDS) and Disability Alliance BC (DABC) are offering support to individuals with disabilities and their families to help them understand how to access this $600 payment, as well as other benefits and disability-related services, including the Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP).
Let us know if you have any questions or need any assistance.
Spectrum Society for Community Living
Equal Work Equal Pay
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 www.equalpaybc.ca 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.
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) 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: http://www.sja.ca/English/About-Us/Pages/Locations.aspx
- 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 email@example.com 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..
Please let Judy know if you have any questions or issues registering, by emailing her at firstname.lastname@example.org