For Immediate Release
Oct. 1, 2012
Ministry of Social Development
B.C. highlights employment for Community Living Month
VICTORIA – Do you know someone with a developmental disability? October is Community Living Month, and this is the perfect opportunity to recognize and celebrate British Columbians living with developmental disabilities by attending one of the many events happening around the province.
Marking a 14-year tradition since October was first proclaimed Community Living Month, the B.C. government and communities will once again be raising awareness and celebrating people with developmental disabilities as valuable and contributing members of society.
There are various community activities, gatherings, concerts and celebrations taking place throughout the province. In Vancouver, there will be a Community Living BC (CLBC) Community Action Employment Plan summit on Oct. 22-23 to continue work on a strategy to increase employment for people with developmental disabilities. CLBC is also supporting good lives in welcoming communities expanding its popular “Start with Hi” campaign, which encourages communities to be more inclusive.
The Ministry of Social Development and CLBC are making progress towards improving services for people with developmental disabilities and their families and delivering on the 12 recommendations released in a report earlier this year. Part of this work, in the coming month and beyond, will include promoting new measures to improve service quality, increasing employment opportunities and consulting with individuals, families and service providers about their services and supports.
CLBC is the Crown agency responsible for supports and services for the disability-related needs of adults with developmental disabilities. For 2012-13, CLBC’s total operating budget, which includes operating contributions from the B.C. government, is $748 million to assist over 14,200 adults. CLBC’s services are voluntary and are complemented by services from other B.C. ministries and agencies including income support, housing or health supports.
Minister of Social Development Moira Stilwell, M.D.
“As our government works towards improving services and supports, it’s important to help people understand what it means to live with a developmental disability. People with developmental disabilities want choice and respect - and expect to live, work and participate in their communities like everyone else.”
“I encourage all British Columbians to attend events and take the time to recognize the achievements of people with developmental disabilities in your community.”
CLBC interim chief executive officer Doug Woollard:
“Community Living Month is a wonderful opportunity for CLBC to renew our commitment to delivering improved quality service to the people we serve. It is also a chance to celebrate the thousands of families, friends, volunteers and service providers who contribute every day to the quality of life for so many people in communities across B.C. On behalf of our board of directors and staff, I want to thank them for their ongoing inspiration.”
· Community Living Month celebrates the achievements of adults with developmental disabilities and recognizes the hard work of individuals, their families and partners in building inclusive communities.
· Since January, an inter-ministry team has been working to develop a more integrated service delivery system to improve supports for people with developmental disabilities and their families.
· In May and June, the Ministry of Social Development led focus group sessions with 48 people with developmental disabilities, from 16 communities, to better understand the supports and services that affect their lives.
· The B.C. government is providing an additional $144 million in funding over the next three years, plus $36 million, being held in contingency, to support individuals with developmental disabilities and their families.
· CLBC’s budget has increased every year since it was created in 2005 and funding will continue to increase over the next three years.
· To learn more about the work of CLBC, visit: www.communitylivingbc.ca
· For a calendar of Community Living Month events: http://communitylivingbc.ca/events/upcoming
· Join the conversation during Community Living Month by using the Twitter hashtag #clmonth2012.
· For regular updates about the progress government is making toward completing recommendations in the report, Improving Services to People with Developmental Disabilities, please visit: www.sd.gov.bc.ca/pwd/isst.html
External Relations Advisor
Community Living BC
Connect with the Province of B.C. at: www.gov.bc.ca/connect