Minister of Social Development Moira Stilwell paid a Thursday visit to the Comox Valley to kick off a month-long tour of B.C. during Community Living Month.
Marking a 14-year tradition since October was first proclaimed as such, the Province and communities are working together to raise awareness and to celebrate people with developmental disabilities as valuable and contributing members of society.
Stilwell visited Vancouver Island Community Connections, a housing project and a home where two young developmentally disabled people co-exist.
“It’s inspiring to see that people who are living with developmental disabilities want the same things we all want,” Stilwell said. “They want to work to the maximum level that they’re able, and they want to contribute to the community and be seen as full citizens in their community. I think there’s some great things happening here.”
The ministry and Community Living BC are progressing towards improving services for people with developmental disabilities and their families.
As of Oct. 1, Stilwell said government has increased the income maximum up to $800 per month for disabled individuals receiving assistance, without threatening their benefits.
“Which is really important because it helps to provide a bridge,” Stilwell said, noting the amount can be amortized over a year to $9,600.
“It allows them to work when they’re feeling well without worrying about losing their benefits. I think that’s progressive and worthwhile. It’s a modest change but it’s an important change.”