Inclusion a key word for those with developmental disabilities

What kind of resources does our community provide for people with developmental disabilities?

  • May. 16, 2014 6:00 p.m.

This is the third in a series of articles that will explore the nature of developmental disability, its impact on our community and the resources available. Wendy Dyck is a freelance writer working in the Comox Valley since 2001. She is also an editor with seven books, both fiction and non-fiction, to her credit.

•••

What kind of resources does our community provide for people with developmental disabilities? There are day programs, vocational training opportunities, special recreational offerings, social networking services – all this in addition to the many caregivers who work one-on-one with individuals in home settings.

So the short answer is: lots – but getting into them can be expensive unless you qualify for government funding.

The government body mandated to fund many of these services is called Community Living BC (CLBC). To receive CLBC support, an individual must take tests to determine degree of disability, a process that can take many months and sometimes more than a year.

Day programs are the meat and potatoes on the menu if you are a person with a developmental disability. Most are businesses, run from nine to three, each with their own particular flavour – some, like Journey and the Bridges program, focus on vocational training. Satori Lifestyle Resources and Community Options have recreational and craft offerings.

The Outreach and Creative Arts Centre run by L’Arche Comox Valley provides artistic activities to build self-confidence and social skills. Do you like animals and gardens? Harvest Home Farm Day Program offers animal husbandry, therapeutic riding and gardening activities. Quest Personal Development program focuses on skills for independence.  And while most programs list the development of relationships among their goals, Building Friendships, the Friendship Project and More than Inclusion run by L’Arche have this as their primary aim, fostering connections between individuals with and without disabilities in the wider community.

Local recreational and educational facilities have also stepped up to the plate: School District 71’s efforts were pioneering in the field, and everyone recognizes the amazing contribution that the Child Development Association makes. Programs like North Island College’s Adult Special Education and Lewis Centre’s Special Needs Program extend opportunities beyond Grade 12.

But for a variety of reasons, many programs have a high ratio of clients to support workers. This has a huge impact on their effectiveness, especially when you consider that matching activity to the needs and goals of individual clients is the single greatest challenge for service providers.

So, while there is much to be applauded, there is also much to think about.

Another major critique is that most of these programs exist in a parallel universe that is not really integrated into our community. How many folks with a developmental disability would you count among your circle of friends? How many do you see in your workplace?

Authentic relationships are organic – they happen because we’re thrown together and discover we like each other.

Unless there are places where adults with developmental disabilities are ‘rubbing shoulders’ with the broader community, the dream of an inclusive society will remain just that, a dream.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

G.P. Vanier in Courtenay has six members of the community who have tested positive; Island Health identified seven staff and 78 students who will be required to self-isolate. Black Press file photo
SD71 identifies eight positive cases of COVID-19 and instructs 108 people to self-isolate

The letter noted that all who have tested positive did not contract COVID-19 within the school sites

Geoff Garbutt takes over as City of Courtenay CAO on April 14. Photo supplied
Courtenay council selects new city CAO

A new Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) will be joining the City of… Continue reading

Two vehicles collided Wednesday morning north of Courtenay on the Old Island Highway. Photo by Mike Chouinard
Two-car MVA north of Courtenay

Accident took place after 7 a.m. on the Old Island Highway

COVID cases in the Bella Coola Valley have dropped to just four active cases (file photo)
Comox Valley COVID spike the result of ‘a series of multiple social gatherings’

North Island Medical Health Officer Dr. Charmaine Enns says the recent spike… Continue reading

FILE – A COVID-19 vaccine being prepared. (Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing)
B.C. seniors 80 years and older to get COVID vaccine details over next 2 weeks: Henry

Province is expanding vaccine workforce as officials ramp up age-based rollout

Dr. Bonnie Henry talk about the next steps in B.C.'s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
456 new COVID-19 cases in B.C., 2 deaths

Since January 2020, 78,278 have tested positive for the novel coronavirus in B.C.

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette)
Vaccinating essential workers before seniors in B.C. could save lives: experts

A new study says the switch could also save up to $230 million in provincial health-care costs

The Town of Comox will formally examine speeding within the town. Black Press file photo
Comox to examine speeding within town

Following discussions at various council meetings, Comox council will formally examine speeding… Continue reading

A male customer without a face mask is seen inside a Burnaby Canadian Tire amidst an altercation with store security and staff members. (Video/Screen grab)
VIDEO: Man arrested after allegedly punching Burnaby Canadian Tire staff over mask rule

Mounties received reports Monday of a customer having punched more than one employee

According to a new poll, a majority of Canadians want to see illicit drugs decriminalized. (THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)
Majority of Canadians think it’s high time to decriminalize illicit drugs: poll

More than two-times the B.C. residents know someone who died from an overdose compared to rest of Canada

Photograph By @KAYLAXANDERSON
VIDEO: Lynx grabs lunch in Kamloops

A lynx surprises a group of ducks and picks one off for lunch

A conceptual drawing of the preferred conveyance route for the Comox Valley Sewer Service.
Preferred conveyance route chosen for Comox Valley Sewer Service

The Comox Valley Sewage Commission approved a plan Tuesday to upgrade the… Continue reading

Most Read