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Team News

February 15, 2021 we will celebrate Family Day and the Spectrum Office will be closed


Leading connection – Casey Douglas, Director of Olivia Douglas Community Services, joins other self advocacy groups in creating opportunities for people to connect and stay strong.

Welcome to the Winter 2021 Edition of the CLBC magazine “Celebrate Diverse ABILITIES”

Celebrate Diverse ABILITIES is created under the guidance of the CLBC Editorial Board, which is made up of self advocates from across the province, as well as family members.

The theme for this edition is “Resilience.” The stories in this edition demonstrate the many ways people are staying resilient, from creative outlets like writing comic books, to new hobbies like baking or taking part in virtual kickboxing classes, to simply being there to talk to each other.

Click the story links below to read more, and you can click here to read a PDF version of the magazine.

We always appreciate your feedback. Tell us what you think of this edition by sending an email to:





Ross Chilton, CLBC CEO

Message from CLBC’s CEO: Facing challenges together

As we move in to this new year, the world and our lives look a lot different than they did one year ago. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has presented all of us with challenges over these past many months. While there is positive news with B.C.’s vaccination rollout now underway, it is still very important that we continue to do everything we can to keep ourselves and others safe. For many of us, this has meant we need to find new ways to help us remain strong in the face of ongoing challenges.

Click to read more


Message from the Editorial Board: Resilience is a part of us

For us on the Editorial Board, resilience is about hanging in there, not giving up, being strong and determined no matter what. That doesn’t mean we don’t all have hard times and need others to believe in us and support us when we are down. This is especially true right now, when many people are tired and bored and lonely.
Click to read more




Community Living BC Updates

In this edition of CLBC News, we share information about: the new Minister responsible for CLBC, our new Executive Director of Indigenous Relations, recently announced provincial funding that will help the people CLBC serves return to work and resources to stay informed and connected.
Click to read more


Self Advocate Stories


Resilience is in my blood
by Lara Gunkel (Burnaby)

I come from a family of resilient women. One day I hope to write a movie about my life story. The title would be Triple Endurance because of how strong I am, because of how strong my mother was, and because of how strong her mother and my father’s mother were.
Click to read more



Baking up something new
by Jake Webster (South Surrey)

I am 23 and I live in South Surrey with my mom, dad and sister, and my dog and cat. I really like hanging out and talking with my friends and going on adventures with my community support staff from Semiahmoo House Society. I am proud of my landscaping job. I do lawn and garden work. I also enjoy the recycling work I do with my friend Dylan. But I can’t do most of these things right now because of COVID.

Click to read more


Self advocates leading connection

Community Living BC is excited to support five B.C. self advocacy groups to lead connection activities and events to help people stay resilient and strong during the coming months of the pandemic.

Casey Douglas, Director of the Olivia Douglas Community Services, is one of the successful applicants excited to be designing and offering virtual programming for those with diverse abilities.

Click to read more



The Anti-COVID Warrior
by Michael Cooper (Shawnigan Lake)

When the pandemic started almost a year ago, all our activities came to a grinding halt. Linda, my home sharing provider (I like to call her my foster mom) and I were spending a lot of time indoors. We started taking karaoke drives to other towns like Port Alberni, Nanaimo and Sidney.

During these drives, one of the things I love to do is wear my outfit. It helps my anxiety and makes me feel confident. Linda called me the “Anti-COVID Warrior.”

Click to read more



Drawing on my talents in challenging times
by Mike Meier (Prince George)

I started MEIER COMICS because I wanted to break new ground by creating the type of comic books I would want to read and by doing it in my own way. I also wanted to contribute to the local economy in my own little way as MEIER COMICS is all about convincing people to support local businesses, large or small, and even home-based like mine.

Click to read more



Building an online community together

The LifeStreams program offered by the Garth Homer Society in Victoria is designed to support learning and development for adults with diverse abilities. During the COVID-19 pandemic, when many organizations moved to online supports, LifeStreams wanted to take it even further. They created a whole new online hub to support the people they serve, but also others with diverse abilities and the broader community.
Click to read more



Feeling welcome and included during COVID
by Denise Dai (Coquitlam)

At the start of the pandemic, staying connected was hard. I felt a little bit confused because I could not go out like I used to. I needed to learn new ways to work toward my goals and stay connected.
Click to read more



Talking it out
by Penny Soderena-Sutton (Prince George)

I work as a Self Advocate Peer Liaison for AiMHi in Prince George. My job is to help make people’s lives better by talking and sharing and being there for them. I listen and talk about whatever is on people’s minds. Right now, because of COVID, people have more time and we are talking about stuff that people don’t always get to.
Click to read more



BC People First’s 2021 Annual Conference – Rights and Wellness

Join BC People First (BCPF) on February 25 and 26 for their 2021 annual conference, which focuses on the theme of Rights and Wellness. The conference is virtual this year and will feature a series of online Zoom workshops by self advocates for self advocates in British Columbia.
Click to learn more




Pink Shirt Day February 24, 2021




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.  Please note that WCB Level 1 First Aid Kits are required in all of the homes that are staffed.

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. 

For employees renewing their first aid, please ensure St. John’s Ambulance (SJA) includes the CPR pocket mask with your first aid registration. If the CPR pocket mask is not included with your registration fee, SJA requires attendees pay for this on the day of course completion; you can save your receipt and submit it to Human Resources for reimbursement.  

Please send your certificate of course completion to the Spectrum Society office to have your file updated.

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