Contributed by Monica Alves, Communications & Event Planning Intern

A few things may come to your mind when you think about Octoberā€¦the vivid yellow and orange colours of leaves, cozy fall fashion, Halloween festivities, and of course, pumpkin spiced everything. You may also reflect on this time as autism awareness month, down syndrome awareness month, or breast cancer awareness month. But did you know that in BC we also celebrate October as Community Inclusion Month?

It is during this time that communities BC wide are encouraged to celebrate and bring awareness to the strengths, rights and contributions of people living with developmental and intellectual disabilities. This yearā€™s theme is ā€œEveryone belongs in BC’s schools.ā€ It is inspired by Article 24 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), which gives students with disabilities the right to an inclusive education that supports each individualā€™s development to their fullest potential.

You can readĀ the officialĀ proclamation here:

 

Education is a human right, and providing need-based education is crucial in breaking down barriers of learning and participation in the classroom. Weā€™ve come a long way, but there is still more to do in order to ensureĀ students with disabilitiesĀ have all the right resources to become readily equipped for adulthood.

ā€œThis is an opportunity to reflect on the meaning and importance of inclusion and how communities hold the key to making it happenā€ā€¦ “We want to celebrate the gifts that people with disabilities bring to our communities and the strength that comes from valuing our diversity.ā€ ā€“ Faith Bodnar, Inclusion BC Executive Director

So how did posAbilities celebrate Community Inclusion this past month?

  • Well, we hosted the largest disability art show in BC, the 13th Annual Inclusion Art Show & Sale on October 3rd and 4th, which gave artists with diverse abilities a platform to show and sell their art. We were proud to welcome Councillor Adrianne Carr to the show toĀ present the City of Vancouverā€™s Declaration of Community Inclusion Month.
  • We supported PEBLive, a film and performing arts festival featuring dozens of local artists with diverse abilities.Ā  You may have seen some of our folks from Stage Door who showcased their work!Ā Coming up next for Project EveryBODY is their PEBCelebrates event on Friday, December 1st in honour of the UN International Day of Persons with Disabilities. For more info, visit:Ā http://projecteverybody.ca/
  • Laurel Behaviour Support Services was also busy running their Triple PĀ® Stepping StonesĀ parenting program in the Burnaby and Surrey communities, as well as their social skills program for youth,Ā Connect with PEERSĀ®.

Triple PĀ® and PEERSĀ® are proudly hosted by our very ownĀ  Laurel Behaviour Support Services. They provide Early Intensive Behaviour Intervention,Ā behaviour consultation to school-aged children and youth, and adult servicesĀ to individuals who haveĀ an autism spectrum disorder and/or intellectual disability.Ā Their consultants use the science of applied behaviour analysis to address challenging behaviours and to teach adaptive skills that will produce enduring changes in their quality of life.Ā Together with families, they strive to increase a personā€™s independence across a variety of settings ā€“ home, school and community.

We areĀ committed to the goal of inclusive education, and encourage you to check out www.laurelbc.ca for more information on how we can help individuals reach their full potential!

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