New provincial funding of nearly $5.3 million means more organizations can focus on creating projects that will make life better for people with developmental disabilities.
The funding will support Reimagining Community Inclusion (RCI) projects in the priority areas of inclusive housing, employment, health and wellness, inclusive Indigenous services and a community-inclusion innovation fund, which focuses on inclusion projects.
“This funding will kickstart many good projects that will improve the quality of life for people with developmental disabilities,” said Nicholas Simons, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction. “Our partners at the table are fully committed to advancing this complex work, which will ensure our province is a welcoming and inclusive place for everyone.”
The RCI initiative was launched in May 2018 by the minister of social development and poverty reduction in collaboration with community living members throughout British Columbia.
The initiative’s RCI steering committee includes self-advocates, families, community living service providers, Indigenous organizations, advocacy organizations and government that identified a vision through to 2028 for “people with diverse abilities to thrive fully and equally with everyone.”
Members were chosen by the co-chairs to ensure membership was representative and could assist in implementing the vision of RCI. Indigenous representation includes CLBC Indigenous Relations, B.C. Aboriginal Network on Disability and an Indigenous self-advocate liaison.
Ross Chilton CEO, Community Living BC –
“We all have a role in advancing the inclusion of people with developmental disabilities in our communities. These are significant investments in the work of our partners to advance inclusive employment, improve access to affordable housing, support mental and physical health and provide culturally safe Indigenous services.”
Karla Verschoor, executive director, Inclusion BC –
“Inclusion is an attitude and approach that embraces diversity and promotes equal opportunities for all. When our communities include and embrace everyone, we are all better able to reach our full potential. We look forward to introducing new campaigns and strategies through our partners on the RCI steering committee and through new grant opportunities.”
Sherwin Strong, Indigenous advisory committee member, Community Living BC –
“As an Indigenous co-chair and member in the RCI project, I believe our team has made great progress. With advances in supported living, traditional living, language, culture and awareness, we will benefit from funding in employment, housing, health and wellness as well as a variety of Indigenous-led services. We are thankful and honoured to provide the continued successes achieved in making our communities feel like home.”
- Community Living BC serves more than 25,000 people in B.C. who live with a developmental disability, or who are diagnosed with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder or autism, and have significant limitations in adaptive functioning.
Re-Imagining Community Inclusion report:
Community Living BC: https://www.communitylivingbc.ca/
A backgrounder follows.