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Mar 14, 2021 – Daylight Saving Time Starts

When local standard time is about to reach
Sunday, March 14, 2021, 2:00:00 am clocks are turned forward 1 hour to
Sunday, March 14, 2021, 3:00:00 am local daylight time instead.


COVID-19 Updates – March 10, 2021 – Vaccination Updates

Information on Vaccines

We are getting updates from people in Vancouver and Surrey that they are getting vaccines this week – staff and people we support.  The vaccine clinics are well organized, with careful attention to keeping people safe throughout the process.  The health authorities have sent us a number of documents providing more information on the vaccines.  Some excerpts are highlighted below, with links to the full documents:

What are COVID-19 mRNA vaccines? 

COVID-19 mRNA vaccines protect against infection from the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) that causes COVID-19. The vaccines cause your body to produce antibodies that will help protect you from getting sick if exposed to the virus. The vaccines are approved by Health Canada.

What are the benefits of the vaccines?

The vaccines are the best way to protect you against COVID-19, which is a serious and sometimes fatal disease. In clinical trials, those who received a vaccine were about 95% less likely to become sick with COVID- 19. When you get immunized, you help protect others as well, including those who are unable to get the vaccine.

More information here: BC Centre for Disease Control (BC CDC) Handout on mRNA Vaccines

COVID-19 Vaccines – After Care Information (Interim VCH Guidelines)

What should I do right after receiving the vaccine?

  • Wait for at least 15 minutes after receiving your vaccine. Longer waiting times may be recommended if there is concern about a possible vaccine allergy.
  • Inform a health care provider at the clinic if you feel unwell.
  • Allergy symptoms that you need to watch out for and report to the clinic nurse right away: hives (bumps on the skin that are often very itchy), swelling of your face, tongue or throat, or difficulty breathing. The clinic staff are prepared to manage these rare events should they occur.

What should I expect in the next few days?

  • Common expected side effects typically develop within a day or two after receiving the vaccine, and include the following:
    • Pain, swelling, redness, and/or itchiness around the injection site. These types of reactions are a normal part of your body’s immune system response, and may even appear starting 8 days or later after receiving the vaccine. A cool, damp cloth or wrapped ice pack at the site may help.
    • Other symptoms may include tiredness, headache, fever, chills, muscle or joint soreness.
    • This vaccine is not a live virus vaccine, and cannot cause COVID-19 infection.
    • If you are unable to carry on with your regular activities because of pain or fever after the vaccination, you can take medication such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen.
    • Symptoms such as cough or other respiratory and gastro intestinal symptoms are not side effects of the vaccine. Please contact your health care provider or 8-1-1 for advice.
    • If you get any symptoms other than local injection site reaction, please take the BCCDC COVID assessment tool. This will let you know if you need to get tested before returning to work.
    • If you experience any unusual, persistent or serious symptoms including allergic symptoms, seek medical attention and inform the health care provider you received the COVID-19 vaccine.
    • Report any adverse (unexpected) reactions to your local public health unit. To find out where to report see BCCDC’s adverse event map

More information here: VCH Covid-19 Vaccine After Care Sheet

Updated Health Guidelines

The PHO is amending the gathering and events order. Up to 10 people may now gather outdoors. All restrictions for indoor gatherings remain in place. For example:

  • Up to 10 people may gather at a park or beach
  • Up to 10 people may gather in the backyard of a residence
  • No gatherings of any size are allowed indoors

Do not gather with several groups of new people – stick to the same people. Continue to use COVID-19 layers of protection and maintain physical distancing.

“Our recipe and our plan for the next few weeks is straightforward: Keep using our layers of protection and following the orders and restrictions. If you are seeing others, stay small and it must be outside. ‘Few faces, open spaces and safety layers in place’ are what we need to put COVID-19 behind us.

Your personal and collective actions – washing your hands, staying home when ill, wearing masks, giving others the space to stay safe, staying apart from friends and family, and following the public health orders and restrictions – have made a significant difference.”

More information in the March 11, 2021 Joint Update:

Staying Safe, Staying Healthy

It is great that vaccines are beginning to help people stay safe and healthy, but the number of cases in BC is still very high.

Please continue to follow all the basic safeguards that are required to keep people safe and healthy:

  • Stay home if you feel 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. 

COVID-19 Updates – March 5, 2021 – Vaccinations Now Being Scheduled

Staying Safe and Healthy

It is great that vaccines are beginning to help people stay safe and healthy, but the number of cases in BC is still very high.

Please continue to follow all the basic safeguards that are required to keep people safe and healthy:

  • Stay home if you feel 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. 

Vaccinations for People We Support

For People who live in Group Homes:

Beginning next week, nurses will be calling the homes of people who live in group homes, or staffed residential homes.  These are homes where there are typically staff present day and night.  If the supported person needs assistance with decision-making, the nurse will call the Representative, Committee, or a family member who can be a Temporary Substitute Decision Maker (TSDM).  Once the nurse has confirmed the person is eligible for and consented to a vaccine, an appointment will be scheduled for some time in the next two weeks, with the nurse providing the vaccine at the person’s home.

You can help the process go smoothly by discussing the vaccine with your family members and being ready for the nurse when they call.  Here is a social story about getting the vaccine that might help some people understand the steps better:

For People who don’t live in Group Homes:

Phase 3 (April to June) includes adults with significant developmental disabilities who are clinically very vulnerable. Depending on vaccine supply, we expect many individuals who live in home sharing or with their families will be eligible in this phase.

CLBC provides this overview of vaccine planning:

B.C.’s COVID Immunization Plan

In January the Province of B.C. announced its COVID-19 Immunization Plan, which will happen in four phases. Eligibility for all phases is based on the age you are turning in 2021 and you can find more details here.

CLBC has posted information about vaccinations on its web site here, including how we are working with the Office of the Provincial Health Officer to share the priority needs of our sector. We have been assured that Dr. Bonnie Henry is fully aware of the risk of those in our sector and others. Initially vaccine supplies are very limited, and therefore plans focus first on those most at risk – the elderly and those in “congregate” settings.

Phase 2 (February to March) includes individuals supported by CLBC who live in group homes. We expect these vaccinations to begin very soon. Phase 3 (April to June) includes adults with significant developmental disabilities who are clinically very vulnerable. Depending on vaccine supply, we expect many individuals who live in home sharing will be eligible in this phase.

Planning for this very large, complex immunization plan is being done right now, and more details about this will be coming soon. Everyone in B.C. who wants to receive the vaccine will have the opportunity to get it. You can also read more about B.C.’s COVID-19 immunization plan on the BC Centre for Disease Control website here.

Vaccinations for Staff

Vancouver Coastal Health has announced the process for staff who work in group homes to get vaccines.  More details have been sent to all staff.

We are still waiting for information on how Fraser Health will offer vaccines to staff.

Have a safe and quiet weekend.

Let us know if you have any questions.


Welcome to the March 12 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. You can also check out CLBC’s Facebook page here and Twitter page 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

B.C. COVID-19 Immunization Plan moves into Phase 2 

BC’s COVID-19 Immunization Plan is a four-phased approach focusing on the oldest and most-vulnerable populations first. B.C. is moving into Phase 2 of the plan. During this phase, approximately 400,000 people will be immunized from March to mid-April, including vulnerable populations in select congregated settings (including group homes), seniors, Indigenous peoples and people who live and work in independent living.

You can learn more about the immunization plan on the government website here, and the page is updated regularly as new information becomes available. Additionally, the BC Centre for Disease control provides information about the vaccine plan on their website here.

You can also visit CLBC’s new vaccine information webpage here, which includes plain language resources about the vaccine.

Vaccine appointments for seniors

Seniors 80 years and older and Indigenous people aged 65 years and older who are not living in independent living or seniors’ supportive housing can make one call to book their appointment through their local health authority call centre. A family member, caretaker, healthcare worker, advocate or friend can also book an appointment on another person’s behalf.

Click here to find a list of health authority call centre numbers, as well as other step-by step processes such as what you will need to book your immunization appointment, and what to bring on the day.  There are also links to translated information available at the bottom of the page.

Metis Nation BC (MNBC) supports vaccine rollout for Metis Elders and Seniors 

MNBC’s Ministry of Health wants to ensure that Metis Elders and Seniors who are 65 and older have access to the COVID-19 vaccine in Phase 2, as a prioritized population by the Provincial Health Officer.

Metis Elders and Seniors can pre-register for the COVID-19 roll out plan here. This will allow MNBC to contact people who have registered when the vaccine roll out occurs for this group of people. MNBC shares contact information with the relevant local health authority for the purposes of making appointments. Metis Citizens and self identified Metis people who are 18 and older can also pre-register for the vaccine roll out at the link above.

Please note, if you have already registered by phone or email with the MNBC Ministry of Health, you do NOT need to sign up for this registration.

If you have questions or need help, or know of someone who needs assistance, please email or call 1-800-940-1150 ext. 8226

Next teleconference for individuals and families takes place March 30

The next monthly teleconference for individuals and families with Dr. Daniele Behn Smith, Deputy Provincial Health Officer, and Ross Chilton, CLBC CEO, is scheduled for Tuesday, March 30, from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. PST. Details about how to join the call will be posted on the teleconference webpage here and an invitation will be sent out in the near future.

If you have a question, please email and use the subject line “March 30 CLBC Call.”

Posting for self advocate CLBC Board member extended to March 20

As of April 1, 2021, there will be one director position open on the CLBC Board for a person who lives with a developmental disability. Self advocates are encouraged to apply to share their experience and understanding of community inclusion, self advocacy and the system of services and supports for adults who have a developmental disability.

For those interested in applying, the posting closes March 20, 2021, and you can learn more at the links below:

If you have any questions about this posting, email

Staying Connected and Supported

Family Support Institute hosts new online groups

The Family Support Institute of BC (FSI) believes in the value of peer-to-peer mentorship and support from others who share the lived experience of having a family member who lives with a disability.

  • FSI Continuing Conversations is a Facebook group created to connect family members with others from around the province who understand that journey. This forum has resource parents and family members who volunteer their time with FSI to be able to ensure others are not alone. Group Admins and Moderators are identified by their badges in Facebook. If at any time you feel you are in need of additional supports, or in need of higher level supports than this group can offer, FSI will directly reach out to you, or ask you to contact the FSI office. Click here to join the Facebook group.
  • Recipes for Respite is a semi-weekly online virtual group to help families stay safe and strong. Join FSI’s group to learn and share what families are doing to get a break, including how families are making use of the interim CLBC flexible respite options.Click here to register.

Free and low-cost counselling available across B.C.

As the pandemic continues, many are feeling the effects on their mental health. Access to counselling can help with managing changes to our mental health and well-being.  B.C. continues to offer free or low-cost counselling options to anyone who needs it. The BC COVID-19 Mental Health Network provides province-wide access to free, phone-based, short-term support with a counsellor. Email to receive an appointment time.

Many communities and regions offer counselling options that are more local. Click here to find local supports and services available throughout Vancouver Island, the Lower Mainland, Northern B.C., the Interior and Fraser Valley areas.

Free tax clinics during COVID

With tax season now upon us, community organizations are hosting free virtual tax clinics. Volunteers may be able to complete and file your taxes for free, by videoconference or by phone. To find a free virtual clinic, please check the Government of Canada free tax clinic directory here.

Disability Alliance is also accepting appointments to provide remote tax assistance and information for people with disabilities. Learn about how to make an appointment on the Disability Alliance website here.

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. Click here to see the current version of the toolkit.

Self Advocate Corner

Self Advocates Leading Connection upcoming events 

Five self advocacy groups around B.C. are helping people with diverse abilities stay strong and connected during COVID-19 by organizing online events, programs, workshops and other safe activities and connection opportunities. Here are a few of the upcoming activities planned, and you can also check out the Calendar for Connection to find more that are taking place:

  • The B.C. Self Advocates Leadership Network (SALN) is hosting a St. Patrick’s Day Celebration on March 17 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. PST. You can register here, or email if you have any questions.
  • Self-Advocates of the Rockies (SAOR) is hosting an online Google Meet to celebrate National Puppy Day on March 23, from 10:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. PST (11:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. MST). Furry friends, or even stuffed toys, are welcome to join. Join the event by clicking here, and if you need any assistance with logging in, you can email (Attention: Jonathan).
  • Self-Advocates of the Rockies (SAOR) is also hosting series of events called Freaky Geeky presents: Middle Earth March where attendees can learn fun facts about the Lord of the Rings, the Hobbit, and the Silmarillion books. Events take place March 15, 22 and 29 from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. PST (7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. MST). Join the event by clicking here, and you can email if you need assistance.
  • Olivia Douglas Community Services (ODCS) has upcoming sessions scheduled for their Peers being Peers & Qnections virtual programs.
    • Peers Being Peers takes place March 17, 24 and 31 from 4:00 p.m to 6:00 p.m. PST (5:00 p.m to 7:00 p.m. MST) and you can learn more and register here.
    • Qnections Club takes place March 11, 18 & 25 from 4:00 p.m to 5:00 p.m. PST (5:00 p.m to 6:00 p.m. MST) and you can learn more and register here.
    • You can learn more about ODCS’s programs here, and email if you have questions or need assistance.
  • The Advocacy League of Kindness is hosting Ways to Keep Connected during COVID on March 26 starting at 7:00 p.m. PST (8:00 p.m. MST). You can join the meeting by clicking here, and the access code to get in is 816 907 5887. If you need assistance with joining, email:

Doctors answer vaccine questions from self advocates

People First of Canada and the Centre for Addictions and Mental Health partnered to create a webinar focused on self advocates asking doctors about the COVID-19 vaccine. This might be helpful for you or someone you know who is unsure and still has questions about the vaccine.

You can watch a video with doctors and self advocates talking about the COVID vaccine here.

You can also find Easy Read information on the vaccine by clicking here.

Inclusion Saskatchewan offers plain language tool on supported decision making

Supported decision making means a person may accept help in making decisions without giving up the right to make decisions. The process also helps a person to understand information and make decisions based on his or her own preferences.

Inclusion Saskatchewan has created a plain language tool to help with supported decision making and the COVID-19 vaccine. You can click here to access this resource.

Stories of Hope and Encouragement

The Anti-COVID Warrior

Like many people during the pandemic, Michael Cooper from Shawnigan Lake has had to get creative to stay positive and continue to contribute to his community. He recently wrote a story about how dressing up as the Anti-COVID Warrior has helped his anxiety during this time and made him feel like a valued part of his community.

“People would ask me what the suit was for. I would say, ‘I’m the Anti-COVID Warrior and I remind people to wear a mask, wash their hands and stand six feet apart.’ The response was well received. This was a way to feel like part of the solution and community, by staying positive and trying to encourage people to follow the rules…. If I could give everyone one piece of advice for staying positive during challenging times, it would be to do something kind or say something kind every day. It really does make you feel good.”

You can read Michael’s full story here in the Winter Edition of the CLBC Celebrate Diverse ABILITIES magazine.

Vancouver poetry hotline launched to help fight isolation

An initiative by the Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association to bring entertainment into the lives of those negatively affected by isolation during the pandemic is as close as the nearest phone.

Dial 1-833-POEMS-4-U (1-833-763-6748) to listen to poetry recordings from ten local writers. Callers will have the option to listen to different poems by pressing 0 – 9 on their phone. The phone line is accessible from both landlines and any cellular device and can be called 24 hours a day for all of 2021.

Celebrate World Down Syndrome Day on March 21

World Down Syndrome Day, held annually on March 21, is a day to recognize and celebrate the contributions of people with Down syndrome to our communities. The day has been officially observed by the United Nations since 2012.

Visit the Canadian Down Syndrome Society website to find resources and materials to help you mark World Down Syndrome Day this year.


Get free, virtual help with your taxes!

It’s been a challenging year, but we’re hoping we can make one thing easier – doing your taxes.

It’s important to do your taxes on time, every year. Getting them done will make sure you continue to receive your entitled benefit and credit payments.

Volunteers may be able to do your taxes for free through the Community Volunteer Income Tax Program (CVITP). You could be eligible if you have a modest income and a simple tax situation.

This year, many community organizations are hosting free, virtual tax clinics where you can get tax help by videoconference, by phone or through a document drop-off arrangement.

A list of tax clinics is posted on our website. They’re generally offered in March and April, with some even open year-round. You can also find a tax clinic with the free MyCRA web app when you select “Help with my taxes.”

If you live in Quebec, you can get help through the Income Tax Assistance – Volunteer Program, offered by Revenu Québec.

How you can help

Did you know the CVITP has been connecting volunteers from community organizations with people who need help filing their taxes for over 50 years? If your community organization would like to host a tax clinic or if you’d like to volunteer, go to to register online.

Stay connected

To receive updates on what is new at the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), you can:

·           Follow the CRA on Twitter – @CanRevAgency.

·           Follow the CRA on LinkedIn.

·           Subscribe to a CRA electronic mailing list.

·           Add our RSS feeds to your feed reader.

·           Watch our tax-related videos on YouTube.


Changes to your Dental Benefits:

Link to Bulletin:  Sun Life Update


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 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 First Aid:

We recommend obtaining and/or renewing your First Aid through St. John’s Ambulance with the Emergency First Aid Community Care course. If there is another course offered by a different provider, please contact Human Resources prior to enrolling to determine if it is equivalent and meets the basic requirements.

To obtain/renew through St John’s Ambulance, please call (604) 321-7242

If an employee does not have a valid first aid certificate upon hire, the fee to obtain or renew certification is the responsibility of the employee. Future renewal fees for active employees are covered by Spectrum.

  • 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. Below is a link to Spectrum’s First Aid policy:

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 email your certificate of course completion to to have your file updated.

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