Community Living BC (CLBC), a provincial crown agency, engages people and organizations to create safe and welcoming communities for adults with develpmental disabilities. CLBC is pleased to provide you with information and materials about or “Start with HI 2” Initiative.

START WITH HI 2

Start with HI 2 initiative builds on the successful ‘Start with Hi’ program first introduced in 2009, by reinforcing the original key messages while adding information about why starting with ‘Hi’ is important and what we can all achieve with this simple greeting.

The Start with HI2 initiatives about helping people to understand that small actions like saying ‘Hi’ can be the first step toward making a connection. This connection can give people with developmental disabilities a greater sense of safety, belonging, and welcome in the community. The poster message asks all British Columbians to say ‘Hi’, as it is a great starting point; then a smile’ a greeting; and a short conversation can often follow. These efforts of inclusion make our communities safer for people with developmental disabilities.

“Just like you, when someone greets me, I feel good. So start a good feeling with HI,” – says Amy, who is one of the six self-advocate spokespeople for the initiative.

Please join in and help raise awareness about how to build safe, welcoming communities for people with developmental disabilities. The call to action for Start with HI 2 is:
1)   To ask British Columbians to acknowledge people with developmental disabilities in our communities with a simple greeting.
2)   To raise awareness so that all British Columbians can increase the safety and sense of belonging for a person with developmental disabilities by simply saying HI!
3)   To encourage British Columbians to visit the Start with HI 2 website at www.startwithHI.ca to learn more about the initiative and contribute to the list of things; that we all can start a “hi”.

WHY WE ARE DOING THIS INITIATIVE

*   Many British Columbians see people with developmental disabilities in their daily lives. However, Many people may not be aware that very simple actions could enhance the lives and feeling belonging for individuals with disabilities and their families.

*   Start with HI 2 addresses the need for informal safeguards (the connections we all have and use to help us feel safe and secure) in the lives of individuals with disabilities. When people regularly acknowledge someone with a developmental disability, it can help them to identify certain people as a ‘safer’ person to talk to if they ever feel confused, afraid or threatened by others.

HOW YOU CAN PARTICIPATE

1.   Place a poster in your office or facility in a visible location.
2.   Copy and distribute this letter to your co-workers and colleagues.
3.   Take a poster to an office of facility that you and others regularly visit (e.g. doctor, dentist, bank or even your hairdresser)
4.   Take time to talk with someone whom you may see reading the poster and discuss with them the message in this initiative. (See the key messages below)
5.   Visit the website and a page, watch the videos and PARTICPATE by making your own poster message. Distribute the website address to friends and family or other people you may think would be interested.

KEY MESSAGES

1.   We are ALL responsible. – We all have a role in the safety of our fellow citizens who live with developmental disabilities. Bus drivers, bank tellers, store clerks, letter carriers, neighbours and others who might encounter the same person regularly, have a particularly important role to play.

2.   A small action can have a big impact. – By simply acknowledging an individual with developmental disability, it can help to make that person feel included and therefore safer when they are in the community.

3.   Start something with “HI”. – Don’t worry about saying the ‘right thing’ to someone with a developmental disability. Just start with “HI”. You might find that you will start a good day for someone with hi, or start being a good neighbour with his, or even start a feeling of belonging with hi.

If you have any questions about this initiative, please contact Jule Hopkins, CLBC Director of Service Accountability and Safeguards at: jule.d.hopking@gov.bc.ca

Thank you for reading and distributing this important information. We appreciate your help in supporting CLBC’s goal toward inclusive and welcoming communities for all British Columbians.