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Team News

Please remember to turn your clocks back one hour on Saturday November 1st before you head to bed.

The Spectrum Office will be closed on November 11, 2020 for Remembrance Day.


Poetic, Intimate, Musical

Digital Fracture: VOICES

Through gesture, recorded audio, and visual media, Digital Fracture: VOICES asks us to step away from the screen and to transition into deeper self-awareness and connection. The Fringe was one of the first festivals to embrace our inclusive theatre company so many years ago, and we are overjoyed to join again at this time.

  • $15.00
  • 30 October-08 November 2020
  • 60 minutes
  • Performance Works
Link to Poster:  Digital Fracture

Book your tickets for Digital Fracture: VOICES


COVID-19 Updates – October 29, 2020

Staying Safe and Healthy

The basics of keeping the people we support, our teams and your families Healthy and Safe are important to practice every day:

  • Stay home if you are sick – Call 811 for further directions
  • Wash your hands regularly
  • Keep your distance – at least two metres or six feet from people outside your bubble
  • Wear a mask on transit, in stores, in all indoor public spaces.
  • Keep your social bubble small – But stay connected with friends and family.  Phone, video chat, go for a walk outside – it is so important to keep in touch.

Thank you to everyone for the care you are taking in your every day activities.  You are helping us all stay safe and healthy!

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Staying Safe and Healthy (AND CONNECTED) in Your Neighbourhood

In the Spring, we collected ideas on ways to stay close to home so that we were safe and healthy, but still reaching out to friends and family in fun ways to stay Connected.  Here is the webpage of ideas we collected:

Barb and Veronica experimented with ZOOM Bingo and had a great time. Give them a call if you want to know how to play.

What have you been doing to stay connected with friends and family while staying close to home?

Dear Canada;

You can send a Postcard to Canada on this website:

The site has postcards from Canadians with their own pictures uploaded on the front, and a comment on the back.

  • Their hopes for Canada
  • Their favourite Quarantine Moment
  • A poem.

You can send a card too.  They will be archived by Historica Canada as documentation of how Canadians coped with COVID-19.

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Questions About the Disability Tax Credit

What is the disability tax credit?

The disability tax credit (DTC) is a non-refundable tax credit that helps persons with disabilities or their supporting persons reduce the amount of income tax they may have to pay. An individual may claim the disability amount once they are eligible for the DTC. This amount includes a supplement for persons under 18 years of age at the end of the year.

The purpose of the DTC is to provide for greater tax equity by allowing some relief for disability costs, since these are unavoidable additional expenses that other taxpayers don’t have to face.

Being eligible for the DTC can open the door to other federal, provincial, or territorial programs such as the registered disability savings plan, the working income tax benefit, and the child disability benefit.

(More information here on the Government of Canada website)

Why are people interested in applying for the Disability Tax Credit now?

The Canadian Government announced a one-time $600 payment to people with disabilities in response to COVID-19, to help with extra expenses, but it is only being paid to people who have applied for the Disability Tax Credit.  The deadline to apply has been extended to December 31, 2020.

Because I have disability benefits in BC (PWD), does that mean I have the Disability Tax Credit? 

No, they are two separate programs with different eligibility criteria and different benefits.

Where can I get assistance with applying for the Disability Tax Credit?

These three organizations have funding to assist people to begin a Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP), and one of the criteria for beginning an RDSP is getting the Disability Tax Credit.

Plan Institute:

If you need assistance applying or have questions about the DTC, please call our helpline at 1-844-311-7526 or email

Disability Alliance of BC:
For help with the DTC and RDSP or to request a workshop, please call 604-872-1278; 1-800-663-1278 or email

BC Aboriginal Network on Disability Society: 

Indigenous people living in British Columbia who are looking for information surrounding the RDSP and DTC can connect with one of BCANDS’s Indigenous RDSP Navigators at, (250) 381–7303 – Ext: 204, or toll free: 1-888-815-5511 – Ext: 204.

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Pandemic Pay Update

I have heard that some agencies are now receiving approval of their Pandemic Pay Invoices and receiving the funding.   Spectrum has not received this approval yet.  Once the invoice is approved, the funding will be sent to Spectrum (7 to 10 days) and then we can schedule the payment to our employees.  Pandemic Pay is a joint Federal (75%) and Provincial (25%) project to recognize the extra efforts that community social services employees provided.  It will pay an extra $4 per hour of direct support for the sixteen week period beginning March 15, 2020.  More info on pandemic pay here on the government website.

We will let you know when we get our invoice approved.

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CLBC Service Provider Conference Call now posted on website

The conference call from October 26, 2020 was recorded and is now available for your listening pleasure at:

COVID-19 Updates – October 26, 2020 – Disability Tax Credit deadline extended

Staying Safe and Healthy

The basics of keeping the people we support, our teams and your families Healthy and Safe are important to practice every day:

  • Stay home if you sick – Call 811 for further directions
  • Wash your hands regularly
  • Keep your distance – at least two metres or six feet from people outside your bubble
  • Wear a mask on transit, in stores, in all indoor public spaces.
  • Keep your social bubble small – But stay connected with friends and family.  Phone, video chat, go for a walk outside – it is so important to keep in touch.

Thank you to everyone for the care you are taking in your every day activities.  You are helping us all stay safe and healthy!

Joint Statement on BC’s COVID-19 response and Updates – Oct 26, 2020

“Today, we are reporting on three 24-hour periods. From Oct. 23 to 24, we had 317 new cases. From Oct. 24 to 25, we had 293 new cases, and in the last 24 hours, we have had a further 207 new cases.

“This represents a total of 817 new cases, including 11 epi-linked cases, for a total of 13,371 cases in British Columbia.

“There are 2,325 active cases of COVID-19 in the province, 5,077 people who are under active public health monitoring as a result of identified exposure to known cases, and 10,734 people who tested positive have recovered.”

In today’s update from Dr. Bonnie Henry there were two new public health measures announced:

  1. A new provincial health officer order limiting gatherings in private homes to no more than your immediate household, plus six others. This is a provincewide order that applies to all homes for all occasions.
  2. An expectation is that people will wear masks in all indoor public spaces. As part of this, businesses are asked to review their COVID-19 safety plans with this in mind. If you are in a high-traffic area or among many people outside of your household while at work, a mask will help to protect you and those around you.

The full update is available on the BC Government website.

Government of Canada extends deadline to apply for the Disability Tax Credit to receive the COVID-19 one-time payment for persons with disabilities 

On Friday, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, Carla Qualtrough, announced that the deadline to apply for the Disability Tax Credit (DTC) to receive the one-time payment has been extended from September 25, 2020, to December 31, 2020. This will help more Canadians with disabilities access the benefit, as the COVID-19 pandemic has created challenges for some to collect the information needed to complete the DTC application process. An extension of the deadline will give clients more time to submit their applications, and the Government of Canada time to issue decisions regarding eligibility.

The one-time payment will help persons with disabilities deal with the expenses incurred during the pandemic, such as:

  • expenses related to hiring personal support workers and accessing other disability supports;
  • paying for increased costs for medical supplies and medication;
  • the purchase of personal protective equipment;
  • higher costs associated with physical distancing and working from home; and,
  • the increased use of transportation and home delivery services to obtain groceries and prescriptions.

More information here in the Government of Canada Press Release:

You can get assistance with applying for a Disability Tax Credit through three organizations in BC:
Plan Institute:

If you need assistance applying or have questions about it, please call our helpline at 1-844-311-7526 or email

Disability Alliance of BC:
For help with the DTC and RDSP or to request a workshop, please call 604-872-1278; 1-800-663-1278 or email

BC Aboriginal Network on Disability Society:

Indigenous people living in British Columbia who are looking for information surrounding the RDSP and DTC can connect with one of BCANDS’s Indigenous RDSP Navigators at, (250) 381–7303 – Ext: 204, or toll free: 1-888-815-5511 – Ext: 204.

COVID-19 Updates – October 23, 2020  In this Update:

  • Staying Safe and Healthy
  • CLBC Update for Family Caregivers
  • Update on Pandemic Pay
  • CLBC Update for Individuals and Families

Staying Safe and Healthy

The basics of keeping the people we support, our teams and your families Healthy and Safe are important to practice every day:

  • Stay home if you sick – Call 811 for further directions
  • Wash your hands regularly
  • Keep your distance – at least two metres or six feet from people outside your bubble
  • Wear a mask if you will be in more crowded spaces
  • Keep your social bubble small – But stay connected with friends and family.  Phone, video chat, go for a walk outside – it is so important to keep in touch.

Thank you to everyone for the care you are taking in your every day activities.  You are helping us all stay safe and healthy!


CLBC update for family caregivers

Dear families,

I hope this finds you well.

As you know, B.C.’s Provincial Health Officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, has informed us that the COVID-19 pandemic is expected to extend at least through the Fall and Winter. I know this is hard news to hear. It will be challenging for all of us to remain physically and emotionally resilient through this time. For many families, the ability to have occasional respite from caregiving duties will make all the difference in the world.

Some families have told us they worry about accepting respite support as this might put their family at greater risk of contracting COVID-19. This is quite a dilemma particularly for families that have a member that is at risk of more serious complications should they contract the virus.

We appreciate that these decisions are ultimately yours to make. We want to make sure you have the information that you require in making decisions about accessing or not accessing respite services. We have heard from providers that some family caregivers have fears about accessing services, and that because of their concerns they may be choosing not to access any supports nor respite. This of course brings its own risks to the mental health of family caregivers and their loved ones.

Family caregivers have been there for their loved ones

First, we want to honour the efforts of family caregivers who have taken on extra duties to keep loved ones safe over the last six months. The circumstances families are facing are challenging, and the stress they feel over caring for their families is real. That burden of responsibility feels even heavier if those they care for have additional health conditions that put them at higher risk of developing severe symptoms should that loved one become exposed to COVID-19.

Does this mean that people must completely isolate from services or respite until there is a vaccine and the pandemic is over? No, it does not. This simply may not be possible given how long COVID might be with us. We will all need to find a way to care for ourselves and our loved ones through this time.

However, there is no black and white answer as to how to do this. Every situation will be different. This update intends to provide you with information to help you assess your family’s unique risks, understand steps you can take to minimize these risks, and make plans that will help get you through to the other side of the pandemic.

Reach out to those that can help you assess risks and make your own decision

The most important thing to remember is to talk to those with expertise and knowledge of your own health and the medical needs of those you support. This includes your family doctor, medical specialists, and other health teams that support you. They will be able to provide you more information about the vulnerabilities that come with different health conditions, and to understand the demands that puts on you as a caregiver. They will be able to provide important perspective on accessing respite and how best to do that.

Second, talk to your service provider or respite worker to understand the steps they have taken to follow provincial health and WorkSafeBC health and safety guidance. Service providers and respite workers are required to consistently follow strict guidelines that reduce risk of COVID-19 transmission. These guidelines include requiring staff who have any symptoms NOT to come to work, keeping interaction to very small groups, maintaining physical distancing as the standard and wearing appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) when physical distancing is not possible, and conducting rigorous cleaning.

Sometimes better understanding these precautions and discussing this with your doctor or other health support persons may put your mind at ease to help you to become comfortable with allowing a respite worker to come into your home.

Completely isolating until the end of the pandemic comes at a high cost

We understand that some people are struggling to find respite workers and we encourage you to reach out to your local service providers or consider trying the Support Worker Central web site run by the Family Support Institute (FSI). Some families are finding creative ways to draw upon those in their small, safe bubbles to help provide some respite to get through this time.

Always remember that there are steps you can take to layer on protection and reduce risk. We know that outdoor activities are safer, and we know that wearing a mask and keeping distance inside will also reduce risk, as does keeping a space well ventilated.

You can take steps to stay safe and reduce risk

Take some time to review the excellent resources about staying safe on the BC Centre for Disease Control web site. It provides a wide range of information about keeping your loved one safe in the community at places like public libraries, recreation centres, malls and stores, and farmers markets.

These are challenging times we are living in. We know that deciding to access respite is difficult, because we cannot eliminate all the risks. Families are having to make choices when they go to their work, shop for their groceries, and send their children to school.

However, we can find some reassurance that our public health leaders have taken strong steps to reduce transmission and that we have robust systems in place for testing and responding to incidents to limit risks. CLBC has also worked closely with our service providers to support them to deliver services as safely as possible.

Ongoing work to support individuals and families

CLBC will continue to deliver a regular email newsletter full of tips and resources that you can find posted here, and monthly phone calls with Dr. Daniele Behn Smith, Deputy Provincial Health Officer. You can find plain language summaries of those calls here.

CLBC is continuing to work with our partners like Inclusion BC, the Family Support Institute, VELA and the BC CEO Network to assess family needs, so that CLBC can provide new kinds of supports in the coming months to help keep families going. We call this initiative the Individual and Family Resiliency Project. Many of you helped by filling out our surveys recently. Thank you for that.

We wish you and your family health, safety and encouragement in the months ahead.

Sincerely yours,

Ross Chilton
CEO, Community Living BC


COVID-19 Updates – October 20, 2020

“Hey, what’s our hurry?” 

Susan Wilson is our Mandt trainer and has shared some ideas on how we respond when people around us do something that upsets us.

Taking time to Choose Our Responses:

When we think about it; as humans, there are many reasons we do the things we do.  In a time where we seem to be surrounded by a feeling of urgency I found it quite comforting to notice that for a majority of the challenges we need to respond to – we can respond in ways that we can take some time with.

All the things we say or do communicate something to the people around us.  We’ve heard this, and we understand this…. mostly.  Sometimes we get challenged by what people are saying to us, in word or deed, and we accidentally add to the stress and urgency of a situation.  If we want to live our best life together it is perhaps one of our duties to examine our responses and see if they create a better life, or a harder life, for those around us.  So it is good to slow down a minute and take time to explore and read the signs.

For most changes in behaviour and communication it is good to remember: “we have time” and “this is what we are here for” and of course “we are on your side”.

Here’s one way to look at it that is based on information I have gathered through Spectrum’s mentors.  A behaviour that becomes a challenge for someone can fall under these categories: Different, Dysfunctional, Distressful, or Dangerous.

  1. Is the behaviour Different?  Some of the things that we do are odd or unusual. Can we come to understand the purpose of what a person is doing and what are they telling us?  Different is not necessarily a negative thing. Our society values uniqueness…it is “personality”.  Can we help by walking side by side, being a role model, mentoring and understanding?
  2. Is the behaviour dysfunctional?  Dysfunctional Behaviour gets in the way of fully meeting a person’s needs and goals.  It can get in the way of relationship building and it usually only works in a way that gets part of our needs met.  We might need to see the reasons behind what someone is doing to see if we can assist them to find more easily understood ways to get their needs met.  We do this in a cooperative way that seeks to understand the reason behind the request and communication.  Asking ourselves from their perspective “what are they trying to achieve?”.  We do this in a way that recognizes that the reason a person develops a way of interacting in the world is because it works in some way.  It’s hard to give that up if we don’t help a person find a way that works better.
  3. Is the behaviour or communication distressful?  Distressful behaviour is when the things that people do causes stress for others; or sometimes even causes stress for the person that is doing the actions.  Here we want to try several things.  If the thing that a person is doing is causing us stress, we want to make sure we are doing our part to keep ourselves healthy and understand that.  Our non-violent crisis intervention, the “Mandt System”, teaches us to affirm how we feel…but to choose how we respond. It looks like:  “the way they are turning on and off the lights is bothering me and making me irritable – but I choose to take a moment come back and be compassionate; to  just check in with them to see what is going on for them”. If someone else is being distressed, we need to understand who and why they are being distressed and reassure people that we are working to help make things better.  “We are on your side.”

That brings us to the fourth assessment of behaviour:  Is the behaviour and communication dangerous?

  1. Is the behaviour Dangerous?  Dangerous behaviour is a behaviour that poses an immediate threat of harm to themselves or others. This is the behaviour that requires a more urgent response.  If we find ourselves in this situation, we should be seeking additional help and support. None of us are doing this alone.  It is made up of several potential responses.  The first is an assessment if an emergency response is needed: intervention, first aid, emergency services called if needed.  The second is planning.  This is unique for each individual and should consist of the different perspectives of a network or team; which could be family and the direct support team that surrounds a person and could even involve medical or professional help if needed.  Make sure your team leader knows if you think planning needs to happen.

We are in the midst of an unusual time; and in times of challenge, conflict and change figuring this out becomes even more important.  The sense of urgency around us can sometimes overwhelm the understanding and “common sense” we usually have and we can respond to other people’s communications and behaviours in a more urgent way than is necessary. It causes us stress and we end up responding in ways that might escalate the behaviour or override what another person is trying to tell us about their lives… it might even override their personal choices (agency) and personal expression.

What we want to remember is that in most circumstances we have time and resources to continue to build understanding and work on improving our interactions with people in ways that build people up.

For more information on this article and assessing behaviour and communication, contact Susan Wilson.


Joint statement on B.C.’s COVID-19 response, latest updates – October 19, 2020

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

“Today, we are reporting on three 24-hour periods. From Oct. 16 to 17, we had 172 new cases. From Oct. 17 to 18, we had 153 new cases. In the last 24 hours, we have had a further 174 new cases.

“This represents a total of 499 new cases, including seven epi-linked cases, for a total of 11,687 cases in British Columbia.

“There are 1,639 active cases of COVID-19 in the province, 4,028 people who are under active public health monitoring as a result of identified exposure to known cases and 9,753 people who tested positive have recovered.

“Currently, 67 individuals are hospitalized with COVID-19, 19 of whom are in intensive care. The remaining people with COVID-19 are recovering at home in self-isolation.

“There continues to be transmission of COVID-19 in many parts of the province. While this is expected, we all need to remain vigilant to slow the spread as much as possible.

“We want to keep as many activities as possible open for all of us and keep our communities safe. This is the balance we are working hard to achieve, and following our safety basics allows us to do just that.

“We want to avoid a rapid increase in new cases that overwhelms the health-care system, making it more difficult to care for those who are unwell – whether from COVID-19 or another illness.

“The best way to do that is to take precautions and use our layers of protection, no matter where we may be.

“Finding that balance also means quickly finding new cases and clusters of COVID-19. Our contact tracing teams are working around the clock to track every new case that emerges.

“If you are contacted by public health, sharing information about where you have been and who you have seen will ensure one new case does not turn into 100.

“What you do makes a difference to your health, those of your loved ones, colleagues, friends and those you don’t know. Let’s slow the spread and break the chain of transmission.”

Plain Language for Version for Spectrum: There are more people catching COVID-19 now than there were in June because we are doing more community activities than during the Spring. Schools are open.  Stores are open.  More restaurants are open. Community Centres and libraries are beginning to open.  These openings are important because need to work and people need social interatction.  But we can keep ourselves and the people at work and at home safe and healthy by following key safety practices:

  1. Keep our distance – 2 metres or 6 feet apart from others.
  2. Wash your hands.
  3. Wear a mask if you are entering enclosed spaces where physical distancing is difficult.
  4. Stay home if you are feeling sick.
  5. Call 811 if have health questions.

Let us know if you have any questions or need any assistance.

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Hi Folks;  It’s PURDY’S time again, please take a few minutes to page through the catalogue.  The order deadline will be November 25, Delivery to me is December 4 and we can work out getting your product to you.  Please feel free to share this information with friends and family… Cheers and happy chocolates..

This message is to invite you to join Barbara Fast to purchase Purdys chocolates and save 25% this Christmas season.

To do so, please click the link below.

Once logged in, you will be directed to the Christmas homepage.

From there, you are able to:

  • Shop online
  • Invite other members

Have a sweet shopping experience!


Our Sterling James is featured in this collection of strange but true stories.  Check out the trailer!

Recovering Spirits Book Trailer

RECOVERING SPIRITS, a collection of strange-but-true stories, brought to you by twelve master storytellers, and currently available at People’s Co-op Bookstore, 1391 Commercial Drive, Vancouver, BC. Narration: Mark Bignell, Radio Bandcouver, CFRO Background accompaniment: Sister DJ’s Radio Band Graveyard model: Richard Hastings


We all experience various forms of fatigue throughout our lives, but have you ever stopped to think about what is causing fatigue, how it is affecting you, and how you can beat it? By being aware of what role fatigue plays in your life, you can work so fatigue no longer controls you.

Signs of Fatigue

Signs of fatigue can include ongoing or chronic tiredness, irritability, depression, lack of motivation, increased mistakes, headaches, and getting sick more often.

Causes of Fatigue

Fatigue is a lack of energy or feelings of continued mental or physical exhaustion. Causes can include too much mental or physical activity, stress, disrupted sleep, and work-related factors such as commute, long hours, organizational change, and even the temperature of your work environment!

Combating Fatigue

There are many things we can do daily to help beat fatigue, including:

  • Exercise
    Get your body moving! Head to the gym or outside for a walk or run.
  • Sleep
    Aim for 7 to 9 hours of sleep and have a routine that you follow every night. Avoid screen time before bed to help you have a better sleep.
  • Nutrition
    Like sleep, our bodies benefit from an eating routine. Plan nutritious meals for your day and keep healthy snacks on hand to help maintain your energy levels.
  • Avoid sugary drinks and over caffeinating
    Sugary drinks and pop may make you feel great at first, but can lead to a crash and increased fatigue levels. Try switching to decaf coffee or tea in the afternoons, or even better – stay hydrated and drink water!

If you are concerned about experiencing ongoing fatigue, always consult a medical professional for assistance.


The GroupHEALTH Living Well Team


It is a great time to review the contents of emergency medical and earthquake kits in your home. 

Are your water and food rations currently dated? Other items like glow sticks and batteries have expiry dates. It’s a good time to make sure everything is up to date.

Did you use some of the medical supplies during the year?  Now is a great time to order replacement items.

Have there been changes in the number of people residing in your home?  Do you need more or less supplies?

Have any of the people you live with changed their diets over the past year? Do you need to change the dietary foods in their earthquake kits?

If you need help with restocking your emergency medical and earthquake supplies please feel free to contact Judy Smith at for assistance.

It is a good time to review all safety procedures in the home; making sure that exit routes are clear of debris, including accessing risk factors (for example, moving items on shelves that could fall and moving heavy items to bottom shelves instead of top shelves). Are all staff are familiar with where emergency care items are stored?  Please review the following information from our policy manual with the staff and individuals you support. Include staff to join on skype or zoom if you cannot meet in person so everyone is familiar with this process.


When you have completed your Earthquake Drill please record this information on Sharevision.


How to Register for Emergency First Aid Community Care:

Call St. John Ambulance: (604) 321-7242

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

Welcome to the October 21 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

How to vote during COVID-19

General voting day for the B.C. Provincial Election is October 24, 2020. Elections BC has worked with the Provincial Health Officer to make sure everyone can vote safely. This year, you can vote in person on general voting day or in advance (until 8:00 p.m. on Wednesday, October 21, 2020).

If you have any questions about local voting opportunities, you can contact your District Electoral Officer (find their contact information at or contact Voter Services at or 1-800-661-8683.

Plain language teleconference summary and audio recording now available

Last Thursday, a teleconference for individuals and families took place with Dr. Daniele Behn Smith, Deputy Provincial Health Officer, Michael Prince, CLBC Board Chair and Ross Chilton, CLBC CEO. The call shared the latest health information and guidance on COVID-19.

You can read a plain language summary of the teleconference call here. This summary, as well as the audio recording of the call, are also posted to the CLBC website here.

The next monthly teleconference for individuals and families is scheduled for Tuesday, November 17, from 3:00 p.m to 4:00 pm. An invitation to this call will be sent out by email in November and shared on the teleconference webpage here.

Thank you to families who participated in the resiliency survey

On behalf of CLBC and community partners Inclusion BC, Family Support Institute (FSI BC), Vela Canada and BC Aboriginal Network on Disability Society (BCANDS), we would like to say thank you to individuals and families who shared their time and energy to participate in the recent Family Resiliency Survey. Your willingness to provide insight and feedback on your lived experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic is really appreciated. It also, importantly, helps to inform us about what will be most helpful to individuals and families in facing challenges in the months ahead. CLBC is now working with its partners to identify ways we can work together to provide helpful supports, and we will report on those as soon as possible.

October Is Registered Disability Saving Plan (RDSP) Month

During these uncertain times it has never been more important to consider the future economic security of people with diverse abilities. In 2014, the government of B.C. declared October RDSP Awareness Month to help raise awareness about this registered savings plan. The RDSP is the world’s first savings plan specifically designed for people with disabilities. Even with little to no personal contributions, there are significant government contributions available to help many Canadians with disabilities to save for their future.

Throughout the month of October, Access RDSP, a partnership between Plan Institute, BC Aboriginal Network on Disability Society and Disability Alliance BC, will be sharing content, information and resources through social media channels and their websites to improve awareness of the RDSP.

Learn more about the month by visiting and you can also find a guide to the RDSP here. CLBC also has information and stories from families about the RDSP here.

One-time payment for people with disabilities starting October 30

Those who are eligible for the Government of Canada’s one-time payment for people with disabilities will automatically start receiving payment on October 30, 2020. This non-taxable payment provides up to $600 in recognition of the expenses faced by persons with disabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information about the payment and eligibility, visit the Government of Canada website here.

Recommendations for a safe Halloween

Halloween can be a fun and social time of year, but this year we need to celebrate a little differently. Check out the BC Centre for Disease Control website here for advice on Halloween parties, handing out candy and more. Their key piece of advice is to “celebrate less socially and trick-or-treat locally this Halloween.”

A message from the FNHA: Keep your bubble small into fall   

A recent spike in COVID-19 positive tests in B.C. First Nations communities shows that the threat remains real. The First Nations Health Authority (FNHA) is encouraging First Nations individuals and communities to continue observing physical distancing, maintain small social bubbles, and avoid gatherings as the daily count of new COVID-19 cases remains high. You can read the full message from the FNHA here.

Staying connected and supported

Here to Help BC offers mental health screening self-tests 

Screening self-tests offered by Here to Help BC can be a helpful tool to find out if how you are feeling, or the choices you are making, may need help from a doctor or health professional. These tests are not a diagnosis, but they can give you a ‘picture’ of your feelings.

Thinking about the way you feel can help show you areas of your life that might need more attention. And, even if you feel okay right now, it’s good to learn about signs that might mean you need more help.

If you decide you want to see your doctor, you can even print out or save your results and read them at your appointment. This can be helpful if you’re nervous about talking with your doctor or have a hard time describing what you’re feeling. Find these screening self-tests on Here to Help BC’s website here.

Mental health for adults with developmental disabilities during COVID-19: A virtual course for families and caregivers

The Azrieli Adult Neurodevelopmental Centre at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) is inviting family caregivers of adults with developmental disabilities to take part in a virtual course on mental health, developmental disabilities and COVID- 19. This course is offered as a six-week series starting November 3, 2020 (from 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. PST). Topics will vary from week to week and include: healthcare communication, self-care, dealing with grief and loss, and more.

Find out how to register and see the course overview and schedule here. For information about programs and services at CAMH, please visit or call 416-535-8501 (or 1-800-463-6273).
Choose to plan: Free webinars from Nidus Personal Planning Resource Centre And Registry

COVID-19 reminds us to be prepared and plan for the future. Nidus offers both free live webinars and recorded presentations. Click here for more information about these sessions.

Here are some topics covered by both live and recorded sessions:

  • What if I’m hospitalized? Don’t wait!
  • Types of power of attorney – what do I need?
  • Consent – for care facility admission? for health care decisions?
  • Joint Ownership: the Good, the Bad and the Risky!
  • Making a will? What if someone dies without a will?
  • Being a representative. Being an attorney. Being effective!

You can see their October schedule, including information about each session, here.

myCommunity BC is on Instagram!

myCommunity BC is your online map to inclusive and welcoming places across B.C. Thank you for all the amazing community places, especially during COVID-19, that have been added to the map by citizens like you who care about inclusion and belonging for all. We want to be able to share these inclusive community assets with you quickly, in ‘real time’, no matter where in B.C. you are. Join this new adventure as myCommunity BC shares inclusive and welcoming places on Instagram through their new channel at: (If you’re using the Instagram app on your mobile device, just search for “mycommunitybc”).

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

AutismBC hosts virtual “Telling Your Story” workshop

AutismBC provides free, safe, and supportive community events where everyone can be themselves. These events are an opportunity for members to come together, talk and have fun with others who understand and share similar life experiences.

Their upcoming “Telling Your Story” session is developed for people who identify as living on the spectrum and is intended to engage the autistic young adult and adult community. Here’s the Facebook link to find out more about the event, as well as how to register to tune in via Facebook Live on October 27. (This session will NOT be broadcast to the general AutismBC page. You must register to take the workshop and no recording will be kept.)

Keeping busy and safe during COVID-19

This story by Charmaine Johnson (CJ), was originally published on here:

My name is Charmaine. Some of my friends call me CJ. I am a Self Advocate of Nanaimo.

We have meetings by telephone because of COVID. We are doing a workshop to teach others about being a self advocate.

Every month we have a learning circle. We learn things about living a good life. At our last circle we wore silly hats and had mini self-care pies. We shared our stories about friendship, played friendship balloon tennis and made a friendship circle out of blue paper ribbon.

During COVID I try to keep busy. I like to get out, do stuff and meet people. I volunteer at the Bike Shop. People are friendly and helpful there. They give me a chance to learn new skills. I get to fix bikes, patch tubes and recycle tires. Every two weeks I go to the farmer’s market with my friend Barbara. We buy fresh vegetables, fruits and meats through a coupon program at Foodshare Nanaimo. I met a new friend in my neighbourhood when I was walking my dog Sassy.

Last month I wrote a letter to the editor asking people to stay safe and follow Dr. Bonnie’s health rules. We can all stay safe if we follow the rules:

  • Keep six feet apart
  • Keep your social bubble small
  • Wear a mask
  • Be kind to others

Stories of hope and encouragement

Warrior Up and stay away together

We are all connected. What we do as individuals impacts our family, our friends, our community and the world. IllumiNative is mobilizing Native peoples, artists, and allies to #WarriorUp in the fight against COVID-19.  See if you can spot any Hollywood celebrities in IllumiNative’s fun and inspiring video message here.

Public health posters created by and for Indigenous people 

Native Realities has worked with some of the best Indigenous comic artists and graphic designers to create a series of COVID-19 “health propaganda” posters.

The posters, which are free to download digitally here, feature the work of artists Roy Boney Jr., Arigon Starr, Dale Deforest and Vanessa Bowen.

Read a story about these posters from CBC News here.

Richmond Society for Community Living (RSCL) presents a virtually inspired art exhibit

Every year RSCL celebrates Community Inclusion Month by partnering with the Richmond Art Gallery to present an art exhibit that features masterpieces produced by artists from the Avenues art program. Typically, this exhibit is on display at Richmond City Hall Galleria to allow visitors to see beyond disability to ability. This year RSCL is presenting the exhibit virtually. Click here to see all of the art works and learn about the artists who created them.

Signing off

As we sign off we’d like to acknowledge our elders and how difficult it can be for older people to stay connected during COVID-19. Let’s work together to make sure everyone feels safe and connected during this time.