Team News

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The Spectrum Office will be closed September 7 for Labour Day


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.  Prior to attending the class please arrange a time to come to the office to receive your free face mask. 

Pocket masks will need to be purchased directly from St. John’s Ambulance.

Keep your receipt and bring it to the office along with your certificate of course completion to be reimbursed and to have your file updated.

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


COVID-19 Updates – September 2, 2020

Joint Statement on BC’s COVID-19 Response, Latest Updates

(Wednesday, September 2, 2020)

In the past 24 hours, there have been an additional 104 new cases of COVID-19 in BC.  This follows similar numbers over the past week (Tuesday, Sept 1 = 58 new cases, Monday, August 31 = 101 cases, August 30th = 107 new cases, August 29th = 86 new cases).  There was some discussion that these were all young people who would not get very sick, but the number of people that are ending up in hospital and even in intensive care is now rising as well.   There are now 33 people in hospital and 14 of those people are in Intensive Care.  Dr. Bonnie Henry asks us to get back to basics with safety measures:

“Getting back to work and back to school is also about getting back to the basics with our COVID-19 safety measures.

“We need to redouble our efforts to ensure our layers of protection are always part of our daily routines – for everyone in our family. This will allow us to push our curve down once again.

“Take some time to think about your personal circumstances and those of your family. Who may be vulnerable to severe illness and what are you doing to protect them? With each of us doing our part, we can protect our communities, our elders and our loved ones.

“Let’s choose to keep our groups small. Let’s choose to be the person that stays home when we are ill and let’s choose to be safe each and every day while COVID-19 remains in our communities.”

Safer Social Interactions

The BC Centre for Disease Control has published a webpage with guidelines for Safer Social Interactions.

Here are a few things to remember in any situation

  • Fewer faces, bigger spaces – think of this when deciding who should be in your social group and how you want to spend time together.
  • Physical distancing is always important when you are with people outside your social group. Keeping a physical distance is the most effective way of preventing the spread of COVID-19.
  • Be patient – you might have to wait longer than usual – for bathrooms, shops or restaurants, or for your children to use playground equipment.
  • Avoid spending time in person if someone is feeling unwell – If any member of your household or social group is sick, or thinks they might be sick, they should not be spending time, in person, with others. People who have symptoms of COVID-19 should get tested and follow self-isolation guidelines.

More on their Safer Social Interactions webpage…

Fall 2020 COVID-19 Quick Reference Guide for Home Sharing Providers

CLBC has developed the following quick reference guide for home share providers to follow if you are worried that you or the person you support might have COVID-19.

  • Stay home and call 811 to assess whether you need to isolate and get a test
  • If you or the person you support tests positive for COVID-19, your local health officials will give you direction.
  • Alert your home sharing coordinator.  They will work with you to help you follow health guidance and take the right steps to protect yourself, your family and the person you support.

See the linked Quick Reference Guide here.

Upcoming teleconference scheduled for individuals and families

A teleconference for individuals and family members has now been scheduled for Thursday, September 17, from 2:00 p.m to 3:00 p.m. with Dr. Daniele Behn Smith, Deputy Provincial Health Officer, Shane Simpson, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction and Ross Chilton, CLBC CEO. This teleconference will share information about work to keep people safe through the fall during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

An invitation with call-in details, and information about how to submit questions in advance, will be distributed by email in the near future and posted on the CLBC website here. We will also share the audio recording of the teleconference and a plain language summary in a future edition of this update after the call takes place.

Click this image to get the full CLBC Weekly Update for Individuals and Families or scroll to the bottom of this email:

Inclusion BC Hosts Virtual Learning Series

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.

We are proud to partner with the Self Advocates of Semiahmoo (SAS) and Uniti to host the series.

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

Disability Employment Month celebrates BC’s Inclusive Workforce

September is Disability Employment Month, highlighting the significant role people with disabilities play in British Columbia’s workforce, while also promoting resources and tools employers can use to reduce barriers to inclusion and build better, more accessible workplaces.

“Government has long helped B.C. businesses address challenges and obstacles to providing equal access for people with disabilities – challenges that have been magnified by the day-to-day difficulties of COVID-19,” said Shane Simpson, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction. “As we work on addressing the economic impacts of the pandemic, we remain committed to providing services and programs that give employers effective tools to hire, train and promote people with disabilities, so that they have equal opportunities to contribute to B.C.’s economic recovery.”

Creating workplace cultures that value inclusion and diversity means working together with the private sector. This ensures the ongoing development of programs and initiatives that help businesses in B.C. as they lead the way to improving employment opportunities for people with disabilities.

In recognition of Disability Employment Month, Small Business BC is hosting AccessAbility Month in partnership with the Presidents Group, Office of Small and Medium Enterprises and Community Futures Entrepreneurs with Disabilities Program. Throughout September, 17 webinars will be offered covering topics such as business planning, financial research and market research. On Sept. 25, the Presidents Group will present a webinar focused on the funding and supports available to employers in the province. Each webinar will have American sign language (ASL) interpretation and live captioning.

More information available in the BC Government Press Release here.


Welcome to the September 2 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

Upcoming teleconference scheduled for individuals and families

A teleconference for individuals and family members has now been scheduled for Thursday, September 17, from 2:00 p.m to 3:00 p.m. with Dr. Daniele Behn Smith, Deputy Provincial Health Officer, Shane Simpson, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction and Ross Chilton, CLBC CEO. This teleconference will share information about work to keep people safe through the fall during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

An invitation with call-in details, and information about how to submit questions in advance, will be distributed by email in the near future and posted on the CLBC website here. We will also share the audio recording of the teleconference and a plain language summary in a future edition of this update after the call takes place.

COVID-19 Interim Guidance continues to allow Individualized Funding (IF) to be used to pay immediate family members

With the August 31 end of the temporary emergency funding to address COVID-19, CLBC wants to assure families with Individualized Funding (DF), Microboards or Person-Centred Societies that if they are facing staffing shortages and / or on-going program closures, they can continue to pay immediate family members from an existing individualized funding arrangement.

This is a temporary exception, where exceptional circumstances require it. There is no review and approval process required. Approval can be made by the direct funding agent, Microboard or the Person-Centred Society. To read the Interim Guidance for Service Provision by Family Members, please visit this page on our website. Please note that all other requirements are still in effect, including the need to continue to complete financial reporting.

Reminder: Vela continues to assist families using Individualized Funding and Microboards. Find a schedule of online Conversations Supporting Microboards and IF During COVID-19 here, including the next upcoming session on September 10.

CLBC will continue to monitor the situation and the province’s COVID response. When ready to return to regular contracting requirements, families will be given 30-days notice of the intention to end this interim exception to provide sufficient time to end any arrangements permitted under this guidance.

During COVID-19, virtual workshops continue to welcome people to CLBC

Our offices are open and continue to assist individuals and families transitioning to CLBC services. One way offices provide assistance is through Welcome Workshops. Welcome Workshops provide people new to CLBC, or who are updating plans or working with a facilitator, with information about adulthood, local community resources, planning and CLBC services.

Since there is limited ability to meet in person during COVID-19, CLBC has developed an option for an online virtual Welcome Workshop series to ensure people continue to be welcomed and informed throughout this time. Some offices may also continue to hold in-person Welcome Workshops when COVID-19 safety requirements can be met.

Each CLBC office is responsible for planning Welcome Workshops based on the needs of their area. If you would like to find out about an in-person or virtual Welcome Workshops series in your community, please contact your local CLBC office.

Province steps up support for community social services sector

On August 27, the Province announced $10 million in one-time funding to support organizations and agencies in B.C.’s community social services sector, including those in community living, to be better able to build capacity, support recruitment and retention, and improve occupational health and safety training programs for staff.

For full details, click here to read the government news release.

Government announces Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB)

On August 20, the Government of Canada announced a new benefit called the Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB).  You can read about the CRCB, as well as other recently announced benefits here.

Once the legislation is passed, the CRCB will provide a $500-per-week taxable benefit, for up to 26 weeks, if an individual misses work to care for a family member due to COVID-19. The benefits will be available to access for one year, beginning on September 27. The CRCB can be shared among household members, but only one household member can receive the benefit in any one week. If support is available outside the home, but an individual prefers to keep a dependent at home, they’re not eligible for the CRCB.

To qualify for the CRCB, you must have been unable to work for at least 60 per cent of your normally scheduled work week because you must take care of a child who is under 12 years old, or provide care to a family member with a disability or a dependent. You must be caring for the child, family member or dependent because either:

  • their school, daycare, day program or care facility is closed (or operates under an alternative schedule) due to COVID-19;
  • a medical professional has advised that they cannot attend the facility due to being at high risk if they contract COVID-19;
  • or because the caregiver usually providing care is not available because of COVID-19.

In addition, you must not have received paid leave or certain other benefits (including the CERB, CRB, CRSB, short term disability benefits, workers’ compensation benefits, or EI benefits) for that work week.

Find more information about the CRCB and other benefits through the Canada COVID-19 Economic Response Plan here.

Tips for safer social interactions

Social interaction and getting together with others in person and online is important to our wellbeing. The BC Centre for Disease Control has created a page on their website here with information to help you decide how you would like to spend time with people inside your social group in the safest way for you. Remember: fewer faces, bigger spaces.

Staying connected and supported

Inclusion BC Virtual Learning Series – Registration is now open

When Inclusion BC had to postpone their 2020 conference, they heard from members, families and self advocates that they wanted other ways to connect, learn and share ideas.

Over the next 18 months, Inclusion BC will be hosting a series of free webinars. Their Virtual Learning Series will be organized into three 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.

The first workshop series focuses on Employment and starts on September 8. Find all of the details, including information about how to register, here.

Tools available if you need to go to the hospital during COVID-19

It’s important to know what resources are available for people with disabilities should you or your family member have to go to the hospital.  As a reminder, here are links to a few helpful tools we shared in previous updates:

MyBooklet BC Version 2 now available with exciting new enhancements

MyBooklet BC is a free online tool that families and people with disabilities can use to create a beautiful and personalized information booklet to store and share their strengths, gifts, goals and more!

Version 2 of MyBooklet BC is now available here. This updated version includes many enhancements including new design templates and a new image editing tool.

Keep an eye out for MyBooklet BC workshops coming in the Fall by visiting the Family Support Institute Event Calendar here.

Accessibility Project Grant 2020 applications now open

Disability Alliance BC has announced a call for proposals for projects that promote greater accessibility and inclusivity for people with disabilities in B.C. communities. Funding of $10,000 to $40,000 per successful project will be disbursed in early 2021 to a maximum of $450,000.

The deadline to submit a proposal for the Promoting Inclusion and Accessibility for People with Disabilities project is October 9, 2020 at 12:00 p.m.

Find more information as well as the application form here.

Mental Health Resources page created on the CLBC website

For many people, the COVID-19 pandemic has led to feelings of stress, anxiety and isolation. Supporting mental health and wellness is now more important than ever.

To help people find and connect with mental health information and resources all in one place, CLBC has created this new page on our website. We will add to the list as we become aware of new resources to share. If you have suggestions for information to be added to the page, please send an email to

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 toolkit here.

Self Advocate Corner

Updates and helpful resources from Special Olympics BC (SOBC)

Special Olympics BC (SOBC) has announced their first steps for safely returning to in-person sport programs, meetings, and fundraising events. They also continue to provide resources for people to stay supported and connected, including ways to help athletes maintain their training and health at home.

Learn more about the SOBC return to in-person programs and find other tools and resources here.

You can also check out this SOBC “building a routine at home” fillable schedule. Try using this template to fill out your daily tasks and goals and make a plan for your day.

Are you someone who is unable to wear a mask?

For people who cannot wear a mask, new information cards created by Health Care Access Research and Developmental Disabilities (HCARDD) are intended to foster compassion and help others understand that some people are unable to wear a mask because of their disability.

You can save these as images to your phone, or print them to keep in a wallet or phone case.

Find more related COVID-19 resources from HCARDD on their website here.

Assistance with using your phone to stay connected

Are you a person with a disability who needs help with your phone? Neil Squire and Telus are working together to provide specialized assistance so people with disabilities can use their phone to stay connected and supported. For more information call 1-877-673-4636 or visit

Stories of hope and encouragement

To mask or not to mask

There has been a lot of talk about the importance of wearing a mask. Some places are making it mandatory to wear masks. This can make some of us anxious and worried to go out.

CLBC Strategic Initiative Advisors Alexander Magnussen and Michelle Goos share their stories below about getting comfortable wearing masks.

Remember: If you have a disability and are not able to wear a mask, then accommodations and exemptions can be made.

Alexander’s story:

“Hello! At first, I hated the thought of a mask.  My sister made me try on a mask and it tied behind my head. It really scared me because I couldn’t take it off fast. Then I decided to buy a Vancouver Canucks mask and try it out my own way. I was nervous, but I knew I could take it off quickly, so that made me less worried.

I went to the mall with this mask and I tried it in a store for the first time. It wasn’t too bad. I did run out of the store to take it off and have a minute or two break. Then I put it back on and went back in to the store. Being able to take it off quickly and knowing I can take breaks is important to me. And I figured if I’m going to wear a mask, I’m going to wear a Vancouver Canucks mask because I am a huge fan. Go Canucks Go!”

Michelle’s story: 

“I understand the stress about wearing masks. For me, it helps to practice at home. I started out slowly wearing masks just in the places that ask for it. I have my mask with me when I go out now just in case I need it.

It helps me to know that when I wear my mask other people feel safe. It might be a long time that we need to wear masks so it’s important to practice and help others and show them it’s ok. There are different kinds of masks to try like shields and bandanas. You just need to find what works for you.”

Signing Off

Until next edition, here are some helpful actions you can take if ever you’re feeling lonely and isolated.


Resiliency survey for family caregivers
who live with CLBC supported
adult family members

As part of CLBC’s commitment to continuous quality improvement, we have developed a survey in collaboration with the British Columbia Aboriginal Network on Disability Society, the Family Support Institute, Inclusion BC, and Vela Canada, to better understand how family caregivers living with adult family members (who are eligible for CLBC) are managing during COVID-19. We would like to learn more about changes in your supports due to COVID-19 and what would help you to stay well and carry on as the pandemic continues.

The survey should take 10 to 20 minutes to complete. It is anonymous, and safeguards are in place to ensure your privacy. Community Living BC and partner organizations will be looking at survey and consultation results all together to determine what next steps can be taken to help you and your family to stay well and carry on over the coming months.

If you support more than one family member who is eligible for CLBC services and supports at home, you may wish to complete separate surveys for each family member.

Click here to begin the survey

The Survey is open until September 9, 2020. Results will be communicated in the Fall.

If you:

  • have questions about this survey
  • need help completing this survey
  • would like to do the survey by phone
  • would like to speak with someone about a need you have

please contact CLBC or any of the partner organizations at:

  • BC Aboriginal Network on Disability Society: 1-888-815 -5511
  • Community Living BC: 1-877-660-2522
  • Family Support Institute: 1-800-441-5403
  • Inclusion BC: 1-844-488-4321
  • Vela Canada: 604-575-2588

Thank you for taking time from your busy day to complete this survey. Your input it valuable and will help make a difference.

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