Join CLBC’s January 18 teleconference for
self advocates and families on COVID-19


Dear self advocates and families –

Please join Community Living BC (CLBC) next Monday, January 18 for an opportunity to hear from Dr. Daniele Behn Smith, Deputy Provincial Health Officer, about the latest health information and guidance on COVID-19 as we enter the new year.

We will also be pleased to welcome Nicholas Simons, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction, who will join the call with Dr. Behn Smith, Michael Prince, CLBC Board Chair, and Ross Chilton, CEO of CLBC.

When: Monday, January 18, 2021

Time: 1:35 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

How to call in:

Vancouver: 604-681-0260
Elsewhere: 1-877-353-9184

Participant code: 87916#

* Due to the large number of participants, please call in at 1:20 p.m.

Self advocates and families are asked to submit health questions in advance by end of day Thursday, January 14 to with the subject line: Jan 18 CLBC Call. This will allow us to answer as many questions as possible on the call.

We look forward to having you join us! For the latest information from CLBC, please visit our web pages with COVID-19 information here.

As BC rolls out its vaccination strategy, we have been receiving questions about the process and how the needs of people with intellectual disabilities are being addressed.

The BCCDC website outlines who will be receiving the first vaccines. People living in group homes (this includes people with intellectual disabilities) are among the first two groups to receive a vaccine, in February and March. We do not know at this time what that roll-out will look like and when it will begin but will send updates as we receive them.

Studies around the world have shown that people with intellectual disabilities are at higher risk for COVID-19 due to a variety of factors. The vaccine strategy in B.C. and Canada should address the unique needs of people with intellectual disabilities who are at higher risk, including:
• Older adults with intellectual disabilities,
• People with intellectual disabilities who have underlying health conditions,
• People living in congregate settings such as group homes, and
• Staff supporting people who are at higher risk.

Easy Read Information About the COVID Vaccine
These easy read booklets give helpful information about the COVID vaccine in Canada. You can download Things to know about the COVID Vaccine or What happens when I get the COVID Vaccine. Visit the Health Care Access Research and Developmental Disabilities (HCARDD) website for more plain language information about COVID-19 and the vaccine.

Other Resources
The UK-based Down’s Syndrome Association has also published a useful easy-read document about COVID-10 and vaccines. Note that some of the information is specific to the UK, where people with Down Syndrome are included on the priority list for vaccinations. Their Quick Guide on Decision Making is also helpful.

CLBC funded services in Lower Mainland unaffected
by November 7 PHO orders


Dear individuals and families:

On Saturday, November 7, the Provincial Health Office announced new restrictions for the Lower Mainland on certain activities including social gatherings and travel until November 23. You can find that announcement here. This is to help combat the increase in new cases in these areas of the province.

CLBC has received numerous questions about whether, for example, the restrictions on social gatherings or inviting anyone into your household impacts support workers going into people’s homes, or community inclusion or residential services.

We have received confirmation from Dr. Daniele Behn Smith, Deputy Provincial Health Officer, that the new orders do not apply to essential services. All CLBC funded services are considered essential and should continue as per your plans and safety guidelines for this phase of the pandemic.

The orders are focused on social gatherings, and individuals and families in Lower Mainland communities covered by this order must not host or attend social gatherings.

During this time, service provider staff must also do their part to follow their COVID-19 safety plans and ensure services are being delivered with as reduced a risk as possible.

We hope this clarification is helpful. If you are an individual or family and have any questions or concerns, please discuss these with your service provider.

Thank you to everyone in the affected areas for following the new orders around social activities and to service providers for continuing to support individuals and families.


Ross Chilton
CEO, Community Living BC

Welcome to the September 2 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. 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

Upcoming teleconference scheduled for individuals and families

A teleconference for individuals and family members has now been scheduled for Thursday, September 17, from 2:00 p.m to 3:00 p.m. with Dr. Daniele Behn Smith, Deputy Provincial Health Officer, Shane Simpson, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction and Ross Chilton, CLBC CEO. This teleconference will share information about work to keep people safe through the fall during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

An invitation with call-in details, and information about how to submit questions in advance, will be distributed by email in the near future and posted on the CLBC website here. We will also share the audio recording of the teleconference and a plain language summary in a future edition of this update after the call takes place.

COVID-19 Interim Guidance continues to allow Individualized Funding (IF) to be used to pay immediate family members

With the August 31 end of the temporary emergency funding to address COVID-19, CLBC wants to assure families with Individualized Funding (DF), Microboards or Person-Centred Societies that if they are facing staffing shortages and / or on-going program closures, they can continue to pay immediate family members from an existing individualized funding arrangement.

This is a temporary exception, where exceptional circumstances require it. There is no review and approval process required. Approval can be made by the direct funding agent, Microboard or the Person-Centred Society. To read the Interim Guidance for Service Provision by Family Members, please visit this page on our website. Please note that all other requirements are still in effect, including the need to continue to complete financial reporting.

Reminder: Vela continues to assist families using Individualized Funding and Microboards. Find a schedule of online Conversations Supporting Microboards and IF During COVID-19 here, including the next upcoming session on September 10.

CLBC will continue to monitor the situation and the province’s COVID response. When ready to return to regular contracting requirements, families will be given 30-days notice of the intention to end this interim exception to provide sufficient time to end any arrangements permitted under this guidance.

During COVID-19, virtual workshops continue to welcome people to CLBC

Our offices are open and continue to assist individuals and families transitioning to CLBC services. One way offices provide assistance is through Welcome Workshops. Welcome Workshops provide people new to CLBC, or who are updating plans or working with a facilitator, with information about adulthood, local community resources, planning and CLBC services.

Since there is limited ability to meet in person during COVID-19, CLBC has developed an option for an online virtual Welcome Workshop series to ensure people continue to be welcomed and informed throughout this time. Some offices may also continue to hold in-person Welcome Workshops when COVID-19 safety requirements can be met.

Each CLBC office is responsible for planning Welcome Workshops based on the needs of their area. If you would like to find out about an in-person or virtual Welcome Workshops series in your community, please contact your local CLBC office.

Province steps up support for community social services sector

On August 27, the Province announced $10 million in one-time funding to support organizations and agencies in B.C.’s community social services sector, including those in community living, to be better able to build capacity, support recruitment and retention, and improve occupational health and safety training programs for staff.

For full details, click here to read the government news release.

Government announces Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB)

On August 20, the Government of Canada announced a new benefit called the Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB). You can read about the CRCB, as well as other recently announced benefits here.

Once the legislation is passed, the CRCB will provide a $500-per-week taxable benefit, for up to 26 weeks, if an individual misses work to care for a family member due to COVID-19. The benefits will be available to access for one year, beginning on September 27. The CRCB can be shared among household members, but only one household member can receive the benefit in any one week. If support is available outside the home, but an individual prefers to keep a dependent at home, they’re not eligible for the CRCB.

To qualify for the CRCB, you must have been unable to work for at least 60 per cent of your normally scheduled work week because you must take care of a child who is under 12 years old, or provide care to a family member with a disability or a dependent. You must be caring for the child, family member or dependent because either:
• their school, daycare, day program or care facility is closed (or operates under an alternative schedule) due to COVID-19;

• a medical professional has advised that they cannot attend the facility due to being at high risk if they contract COVID-19;

• or because the caregiver usually providing care is not available because of COVID-19.
In addition, you must not have received paid leave or certain other benefits (including the CERB, CRB, CRSB, short term disability benefits, workers’ compensation benefits, or EI benefits) for that work week.

Find more information about the CRCB and other benefits through the Canada COVID-19 Economic Response Plan here.

Tips for safer social interactions

Social interaction and getting together with others in person and online is important to our wellbeing. The BC Centre for Disease Control has created a page on their website here with information to help you decide how you would like to spend time with people inside your social group in the safest way for you. Remember: fewer faces, bigger spaces.

Staying connected and supported

Inclusion BC Virtual Learning Series – Registration is now open

When Inclusion BC had to postpone their 2020 conference, they heard from members, families and self advocates that they wanted other ways to connect, learn and share ideas.

Over the next 18 months, Inclusion BC will be hosting a series of free webinars. Their Virtual Learning Series will be organized into three terms (Fall 2020, Winter 2021, and Fall 2021) with approximately six virtual sessions per term. Sessions will fall into themes, including employment, civic engagement, advocacy and K-12 education.

The first workshop series focuses on Employment and starts on September 8. Find all of the details, including information about how to register, here.

Tools available if you need to go to the hospital during COVID-19

It’s important to know what resources are available for people with disabilities should you or your family member have to go to the hospital. As a reminder, here are links to a few helpful tools we shared in previous updates:
• Toolkit for People with Disabilities in B.C. for Health Care Settings (including a link to the updated Hospital Essential Visitor’s policy)
• Personal COVID-19 Emergency Plan
• Most health care providers are able to talk with patients on the phone or meet using video. Here’s a video of a virtual doctor’s visit as an example of what to expect.

MyBooklet BC Version 2 now available with exciting new enhancements

MyBooklet BC is a free online tool that families and people with disabilities can use to create a beautiful and personalized information booklet to store and share their strengths, gifts, goals and more!

Version 2 of MyBooklet BC is now available here. This updated version includes many enhancements including new design templates and a new image editing tool.

Keep an eye out for MyBooklet BC workshops coming in the Fall by visiting the Family Support Institute Event Calendar here.

Accessibility Project Grant 2020 applications now open

Disability Alliance BC has announced a call for proposals for projects that promote greater accessibility and inclusivity for people with disabilities in B.C. communities. Funding of $10,000 to $40,000 per successful project will be disbursed in early 2021 to a maximum of $450,000.

The deadline to submit a proposal for the Promoting Inclusion and Accessibility for People with Disabilities project is October 9, 2020 at 12:00 p.m.

Find more information as well as the application form here.

Mental Health Resources page created on the CLBC website

For many people, the COVID-19 pandemic has led to feelings of stress, anxiety and isolation. Supporting mental health and wellness is now more important than ever.

To help people find and connect with mental health information and resources all in one place, CLBC has created this new page on our website. We will add to the list as we become aware of new resources to share. If you have suggestions for information to be added to the page, please send an email to

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. See the most updated toolkit here.

Self Advocate Corner

Updates and helpful resources from Special Olympics BC (SOBC)

Special Olympics BC (SOBC) has announced their first steps for safely returning to in-person sport programs, meetings, and fundraising events. They also continue to provide resources for people to stay supported and connected, including ways to help athletes maintain their training and health at home.

Learn more about the SOBC return to in-person programs and find other tools and resources here.

You can also check out this SOBC “building a routine at home” fillable schedule. Try using this template to fill out your daily tasks and goals and make a plan for your day.

Are you someone who is unable to wear a mask?

For people who cannot wear a mask, new information cards created by Health Care Access Research and Developmental Disabilities (HCARDD) are intended to foster compassion and help others understand that some people are unable to wear a mask because of their disability.
• Click here to download the card for people with a developmental disability
• Click here to download the card for people with Autism
You can save these as images to your phone, or print them to keep in a wallet or phone case.

Find more related COVID-19 resources from HCARDD on their website here.

Assistance with using your phone to stay connected

Are you a person with a disability who needs help with your phone? Neil Squire and Telus are working together to provide specialized assistance so people with disabilities can use their phone to stay connected and supported. For more information call 1-877-673-4636 or visit

Stories of hope and encouragement

To mask or not to mask

There has been a lot of talk about the importance of wearing a mask. Some places are making it mandatory to wear masks. This can make some of us anxious and worried to go out.

CLBC Strategic Initiative Advisors Alexander Magnussen and Michelle Goos share their stories below about getting comfortable wearing masks.

Remember: If you have a disability and are not able to wear a mask, then accommodations and exemptions can be made.

Alexander’s story:

“Hello! At first, I hated the thought of a mask. My sister made me try on a mask and it tied behind my head. It really scared me because I couldn’t take it off fast. Then I decided to buy a Vancouver Canucks mask and try it out my own way. I was nervous, but I knew I could take it off quickly, so that made me less worried.

I went to the mall with this mask and I tried it in a store for the first time. It wasn’t too bad. I did run out of the store to take it off and have a minute or two break. Then I put it back on and went back in to the store. Being able to take it off quickly and knowing I can take breaks is important to me. And I figured if I’m going to wear a mask, I’m going to wear a Vancouver Canucks mask because I am a huge fan. Go Canucks Go!”

Michelle’s story:

“I understand the stress about wearing masks. For me, it helps to practice at home. I started out slowly wearing masks just in the places that ask for it. I have my mask with me when I go out now just in case I need it.

It helps me to know that when I wear my mask other people feel safe. It might be a long time that we need to wear masks so it’s important to practice and help others and show them it’s ok. There are different kinds of masks to try like shields and bandanas. You just need to find what works for you.”

Signing Off

Until next edition, here are some helpful actions you can take if ever you’re feeling lonely and isolated.

We are pleased to announce a new member of the Management Team here at SACL.
Please read the attached letter for full details.
New Manager

Welcome to the July 17 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. 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 Updates

Plain language teleconference summary now available

Last week, a teleconference for families took place with Deputy Provincial Health Officer Dr. Daniele Behn Smith joining CLBC CEO Ross Chilton to respond to health-related questions as services begin to be restored in Phases 2 and 3 of the COVID-19 recovery. Social Development and Poverty Reduction Minister Shane Simpson provided opening and closing remarks.

You can read a plain language summary of the teleconference call here. This summary, as well as the audio recording of the call, are also posted to the CLBC website here.

Public Health Agency of Canada shares helpful tools

Canada’s Public Health Agency has created a number of helpful, visual tools about ways to reduce the spread of COVID-19. These include this infographic about effective handwashing and this video about physical distancing.

You can also find links to more helpful tools, resources and information on the Government of Canada’s website by visiting:

Volunteer to help create accessibility standards

Accessibility Standards Canada is currently creating two technical standards development committees that will focus on plain language and outdoor spaces respectively. These technical committees will identify where people with disabilities may face barriers and will help develop national standards to work towards eliminating these barriers.

Each committee will include people with disabilities, and anyone interested in these volunteer roles can apply until August 4, 2020. Find full details by clicking here, including links for applying to volunteer on each of the committees.

Disability Alliance BC offering free webinar

Disability Alliance BC (DABC) is hosting a free webinar on July 22 from 11:00 a.m. to noon about the rights of people with disabilities to have their essential support person or attendant with them in hospitals during the COVID-19 pandemic. The webinar will be presented by Andrew Robb, Staff Lawyer for the Disability Law Clinic at DABC. The webinar will be recorded and will be available on DABC’s website after the broadcast. ASL interpretation and real-time captioning will be provided. Click here for full details, including information about how to join.

Staying connected and supported


Learn about First Nations Health Authority’s new mobile app and Virtual Doctor of the Day

The First Nations Health Authority (FNHA) has launched the new FNHA Mobile App as a convenient way to access information that supports the health, wellness and safety of B.C. First Nations. You can read more about the app here, including information about how to download it on your mobile device.

The First Nations Virtual Doctor of the Day program enables members of B.C. First Nations who may not have a doctor of their own, or who have lost access due to the COVID-19 pandemic, to make virtual appointments. The intent of the program is to enable more First Nations people and their family members to access primary health care closer to home. The program includes doctors of Indigenous ancestry, and all doctors are trained to follow the principles and practices of cultural safety and humility.

Learn more about the program here, including information about how to set up an appointment.

Explore the importance of planning during a pandemic

MORC, an organization based in Michigan, is hosting a free webinar series with people from around North America to talk about the importance of planning and what people should be thinking about for themselves and for those they care about during the COVID-19 pandemic.

You can click the links below to find more information and register for the upcoming sessions:

Anxiety Canada app provides mental health support

MindShift CBT is a mobile app provided by Anxiety Canada that uses Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) strategies to help people learn to relax and be mindful, develop more effective ways of thinking, and use active steps to take charge of anxiety.

Learn more about the app and how to download it by clicking here.

Emotional support guide for seniors

B.C.’s Northern Health Authority has published a guide called Emotional Support for Seniors: Practical Strategies for Anxiety and Stress Related to COVID-19. The document includes advice on keeping routines, eating healthy and important information about support available from the provincial and federal governments. You can click here to download the guide.

Self Advocate Corner

Tools and resources for visiting the doctor

Health Care Access Research and Developmental Disabilities (HCARDD), in partnership with the Surrey Place Development Disabilities Primary Care Program in Toronto, has created a number of accessible, plain language resources that can be of assistance for self advocates. Here are a few examples, and you can click the links to access each of these:

  • About My Health Tool is a form to fill out and share with health care providers to share information about likes, dislikes and preferred ways of communicating.
  • My Health Care Visit Tool is a form to fill out with a health care provider during a visit to better understand the purpose of the visit and what the next steps are.
  • A Virtual Doctor’s Visit is a video showing an example of a visit to the doctor during COVID-19 using video technology.

You can find more information and resources related to COVID-19 on HCARDD’s website here.

Self Advocate Leadership Network’s YouTube Channel

In addition to their website, The Self Advocate Leadership Network (SALN) also shares information and updates on their YouTube channel which you can find here. Recent videos include:

Stories of hope and encouragement

The Spirit Orcas’ Great Big Swim

Spirit Orcas, a group of eight swimmers with intellectual disabilities, and Susan Simmons, an ultra-marathon swimmer, have embarked on an eight-week 80-kilometre swim that started on Canada Day.

Dubbed “the Great Big Swim,” the endurance event supports the Victoria Foundation’s Vital Victoria Fund, which aims to help local charities endure the effects of the global pandemic.

You can learn more about the swim, including progress updates and a spot tracker to follow the swimmers, by visiting Susan’s website here.

BC Autism Awards 2020

Nominations for the 2020 BC Autism Awards open on July 22 to highlight and recognize “the everyday heroes in our story.” The awards will celebrate the passion, strengths and achievements of volunteers, businesses, self advocates and community members across British Columbia.

You can read more about the awards, including information about how to submit a nomination, by visiting Autism BC’s website here.

Sproutflix Film Festival continues

Sproutflix is a film distributor that hosts a large and diverse assortment of films featuring people with developmental disabilities. During COVID-19, they are hosting a virtual film festival on their website with free access to short films.

You can click here to find the latest free playlist of three unique films that are available to watch for three weeks.

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. See the most updated document here.

Signing off

Dear family members –

As I approach my first anniversary with Community Living British Columbia (CLBC), I wanted to take this opportunity to reach out to family members. This has been an incredibly challenging year for all British Columbians as we have faced the first global pandemic in our lifetimes.

The pandemic, and all the challenges associated with our response, have meant that most of you have taken on additional responsibilities for the wellbeing of your family member.  You have done this as an expression of your love and your desire to keep your family member safe. We know that for most of you that has not been easy as CLBC funded supports were modified and, in many cases, reduced to keep people safe. This was also at a time when most community resources that your family member relied on have been closed.

Most of you have taken on additional responsibilities

While service providers across the province have done an amazing job in transforming the support they offer, we could not have gotten to this point without the support of families. When you took on more responsibility for your loved one, this helped agencies focus their support on those individuals and families that needed it most. Even under the enormous strain of the pandemic, individuals, families, and providers worked together to get us through.

I am greatly appreciative of what families have done. I also realize that it has left many of you tired. As providers are now moving into stage 2 and 3 it is our hope that you and your family member will be able to rely on more of the essential support you had before the pandemic.

Service providers are restoring services in Phase 2

In order to keep people safe, group services have not been able to operate the way they did before the pandemic. For the foreseeable future individuals will need to be supported one-on-one or in very small groups to reduce the risk of virus transmission. For some individuals that means they will be relying on less hours of support. Providers will be doing their best to make sure people get as much support as they can while operating in ways that keep individuals, families, and workers safe.

We don’t know what the fall will look like but CLBC and providers have been actively planning for a second wave. As hard as it would be, we might need to quickly return to the reduced levels of contact that helped us flatten the curve in the first wave. I share this with you not to worry you, but to help us all prepare ourselves for different possibilities.

Please stay connected to your agency or CLBC

I believe strongly in the resiliency of families. I also strongly believe that we need to do what we can to support families to remain connected over the next number of months. While there may be some stressful times ahead, we don’t want any family to feel isolated and alone. For those of you involved with an agency we know they will continue to be your primary contact. For those of you not connected to an agency we want you to feel comfortable reaching out to the CLBC team.

This fall we will be announcing on our website a series of webinars on topics that will be relevant to families to help you get through this time. We would also like to remind you about the support available through the Family Support Institute (FSI). FSI has demonstrated how valuable family-to-family support can be during very challenging times and continues to be a tremendous resource.

Please subscribe to our regular updates

In the meantime, we will continue to post information for families on our website here, and provide regular bulletin updates. To stay connected, we would encourage you to subscribe now to our news list. You can do so by visiting this page on our web site today.

In closing I would like to thank you for all you do and let you know we will work with our partners to ensure that your family member gets as much support as possible as we work together to get through this very challenging time.


Ross Chilton
CEO, Community Living BC

SACL’s Phase 2 Safety Plan & the Pandemic Continuity Plan are available on our Resources Page.

Please review for important safety implementations.

Welcome to the June 4 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. 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 Updates

Plain language teleconference summary now available

Last week, a fourth teleconference for individuals and families took place to share updates and answer questions about CLBC’s COVID-19 recovery planning.

A plain language summary of questions and answers addressed on the call is now available by clicking here and is also posted on the plain language page of our website here.

Upcoming teleconference for individuals and self advocates

A teleconference for individuals CLBC serves and the self advocacy community has now been scheduled for Tuesday, June 16 with Dr. Daniele Behn-Smith, Deputy Provincial Health Officer, and Ross Chilton, CLBC CEO. This teleconference will be a chance to have COVID-19 health-related questions answered.

If you have a question to submit for the call, please send it by email to and write “Individual and Self Advocate Call” in the email subject line.

The call in details are below, and an invitation will be sent out soon. We will share the audio recording of the teleconference and a plain language summary in a future edition of this update after the call takes place.

Date: Tuesday, June 16
Time: 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m
Vancouver: 604-681-0260
Elsewhere (outside Vancouver): 1-877-353-9184
Participant code: 37568#

Stage 2 Recovery information now available

Last Friday, CLBC CEO Ross Chilton sent letters to individuals and to family members explaining what CLBC is doing to support service providers as they adjust services moving into Stage 2 recovery of the COVID-19 pandemic. Earlier today a frequently asked questions (FAQ) document for individuals and families was posted on our website here. You can also click here to read the FAQ document.

Information about tools and guidance for services providers is also posted on the website here.

Find Indigenous resources on our website and news of CLBC’s commitment to Indigenous service

As First Nations, Metis and Inuit peoples take steps to keep every person safe from threat of the COVID-19 virus, we’re reminded of the strength and resiliency of people when we rely on each other.

To help make information easier to find, CLBC in consultation with its Indigenous Advisory Committee has compiled a page of resources to share with Indigenous individuals we support, which you can find on our website here.

The page includes links to a number of Indigenous organizations, including the British Columbia Aboriginal Network on Disability Society (BCANDS) and the First Nations Health Authority (FNHA). The FNHA’s resources benefit those that may have already experienced isolation prior to this crisis and are a great reference for us all of as we watch over our most vulnerable. You can find their COVID-19 portal here, which helps First Nations in B.C. and their health care providers and community leaders keep themselves and others safe. FNHA also regularly posts updates in their News section here. People in B.C. who may require emotional support can contact the 24-Hour KUU-US Crisis Line at 1-800-588-8717.

Also, earlier this week, CLBC announced the creation of a new director position that will lead the Indigenous CLBC team to improve Indigenous services throughout the province. You can read the full announcement on our website here to learn more about the new director position and the Indigenous CLBC team.

B.C. government shares regular updates on social media

In a May 27 tweet, @BCGovNews shared the following key message that summarizes the current approach to COVID-19 recovery: “We are moving forward carefully into Phase 2, assessing our progress week by week. This slow and thoughtful approach is our ‘new normal’ and will continue to be adapted as we learn more.”

As a reminder you can follow the B.C. government’s Twitter and Facebook accounts at the links below for daily updates and links to information and resources:

VIDEO: How to wear a non-medical mask

The Government of Canada’s Healthy Canadians YouTube channel has posted a video providing instructions on how to properly wear a non-medical mask or face covering to limit the spread of COVID-19 when physical distancing is difficult. Click here to watch the video.


Staying connected and supported

myCommunity BC maps for COVID-19

myCommunity BC is an online map built by British Columbians to be an online resource for people to find welcoming places in their own communities and around the province. The myCommunity BC site, which you can visit here, helps strengthen opportunities for inclusion and connection in communities.

myCommunity BC has created a category in the map’s dropdown menu called “Community Emergency Resources” to help map the amazing gifts and resources that are currently in effect and being offered during the COVID-19 pandemic. A big thank-you to the CLBC Welcome Workshop presenters who joined our Community Mapping for COVID-19 team. Over the last month we have worked in partnership with the Family Support Institute to research and map everything from food drives to access to medical supplies to creative ways to keep social connection. To learn about or share inclusive resources and places in your community, visit the myCommunity BC map here.

Mental Health First Aid COVID-19 self-care and resilience guide

More than ever, staying healthy means protecting our mental health. Mental Health First Aid (MHFA), a program of the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC), aims to improve mental health literacy and provide the skills and knowledge to help people better manage potential or developing mental health problems in themselves, a family member, a friend or a colleague. MFHA has created a COVID-19 Self-Care & Resilience Guide which you can read here. You can also find other helpful COVID-19 resources from the MHCC here.

Self Advocate Corner

Share your video

Self Advocates of Semiahmoo (SAS) and the Self Advocate Leadership Network (SALN) have been releasing videos like this one sharing the different ways they are coping during the COVID-19 pandemic. Now they are inviting others to take part by submitting their own 30-second video clip about being more independent to by Monday, June 15 for a chance to be featured. Learn more by watching Michaela’s video here.

Here are some helpful tips for filming a great video:

  • always film with your camera sideways
  • check your video: make sure you’re clear, not in shadows and the volume is good
  • record for 20 to 30 seconds
  • by sharing your video, be aware that your image, voice and words will be shared publicly on the SALN website and social media sites
  • and last but not least, have fun!

Self Advocate Net website publishes positive stories during COVID-19

During the COVID-19 crisis, is looking for positive stories about people overcoming challenges and adapting to new routines. If you, or someone you know has a story idea to share, find more information by visiting the story submission page here.

And remember to visit the site to check out new stories that have been published. Here’s a great one written by Krista Milne, in which she shares this message: “I want to tell other people to try and think of the good things, and stay away from the negative. Always think about the positive. We can fight this together. You are not alone in this. Together we are powerful.”

Cooking up a storm

Being at home more during these times means that many of us are looking for new, easy to prepare recipes. Here’s a recipe we came across for a pizza bagel on the website Accessible Chef. Enjoy!

Stories of hope and encouragement

Easter Seals virtual summer camps

Easter Seals of British Columbia / Yukon is bringing their summer camp experience for children, youth and adults with diverse abilities to the online world through a new program called Camp@Home. Through interactive, fun and social online activities and programs, campers of all ages and abilities learn with trained counsellors through role-playing game adventures, crafts, drawing, cooking and more.

Find all of the details here, including information about how to register.

ConnecTra Society’s virtual gatherings

ConnecTra Society is a connecting agency, linking people with physical disabilities to activities and programs to help them grow, gain confidence and be active and involved in community life.

To help unite people, ConnecTra is hosting virtual community gatherings called ConnecTogether until June 30 using YouTube, Zoom, Soundcloud and Facebook. The scheduled list of online gatherings can be found on their website here and activities including educational videos, live and interactive webinars, podcasts and accessible fitness programs.

Toolkit highlights resources and things to do

We’re grateful to all our community partners, CLBC staff, self advocate and family leaders and many others who have shared resources, ways to connect and things to do during these challenging and unknown times. For your easy access, we have gathered links to resources and activities into one document that you can see here and will continue to add to and share in our weekly updates. Please let us know if you have something to add to the toolkit by emailing

Signing off

We hope you have enjoyed reading this edition. Until next time, here’s a reminder of the importance of the connections and relationships we have with each other:

Please see here for an updated letter regarding moving forward with SACL Services in ‘phase 2’