October is Community Living Month in British Columbia and Community Living BC is encouraging people to say ‘hi’ and start a conversation with a person with a developmental disability.
CLBC is the Crown agency responsible for supports and services for the disability-related needs of adults with developmental disabilities.
The Minister responsible for CLBC is Dr. Moira Stilwell, Minister of Social Development, MLA for Vancouver-Langara.
Stilwell has been travelling around the province this month, having conversations with adults with disabilities and with those that provide those services within the community. She was in Kimberley on Tuesday morning, meeting with the Kimberley Society for Community Living.
She says she is looking for what is working in different communities and what isn’t.
“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.” Stilwell said. “People with developmental disabilities want choice and respect – and expect to live, work and participate in their communities like everyone else.”
She appreciates the opportunity to meet face to face and get to know the people involved.
“Every region has a unique history in this area,” she said. “But in general Community Living BC is a recognized leader in providing support so developmentally disabled adults can lead a good life. BC is recognized as a leader in community based services.”
The main goal, she says, is to make sure people have more choices than they did before — choices in living arrangements, more opportunities for employment, more chances to live fully integrated with their community.
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, Stilwell says. 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.