Community Living Ontario today issued a media release warning about the impact Bill 148 will have on families and developmental services providers like Brampton Caledon Community Living. If the Province fails to fund the costs associated with their legislation, service providers and families will be profoundly and adversely impacted. Read CLO’s media release here.
BCCL’s Clare Clout and Andy Willemsen Receiving Inclusion Award from Reach for the Rainbow’s Kathleen Stewart and Oksana Romanov.
On November 11, 2017 Brampton Caledon Community Living was recognized by Reach for the Rainbow at its Crystal Ball event. Reach for the Rainbow is a non-profit organization that promotes the inclusion of children and youth with disabilities through overnight, day and community recreation programs throughout Ontario. BCCL’s Clare Clout, Service Coordinator, and Andy Willemsen, Community Supports Manager, accepted the award on behalf of Brampton Caledon Community Living.
Brampton Caledon Community Living Rejoins Community Living
Encouraged by positive changes at Community Living Ontario, including new leadership and the re-emergence of advocacy as fundamental to its role as a provincial organization that speaks for individuals with an intellectual disability and their families, the board of directors of Brampton Caledon Community Living recently adopted a motion to rejoin Community Living Ontario.
“At a time when more individuals and families are waiting for services than receiving services and more and more families are falling into crisis each day, a strong provincial voice is needed”, said Kathy Bell, BCCL President,
We are delighted to have BCCL back as a member, said Chris Beesley, Executive Director of Community Living Ontario. BCCL is known for its integrity, high quality supports and strong support to families. Their membership will strengthen our efforts”.
BCCL’s Executive Director, Jim Triantafilou, said that there needs to be renewed efforts to organize and coordinate actions across Ontario to address the serious issues raised by the Ontario Ombudsman in his report, Nowhere to Turn. Community Living Ontario is uniquely positioned to influence decision-makers and advocate on behalf of families. Triantafilou said that in recent months associations have become increasingly vocal about being ignored and the impact chronic underfunding has had on the sector and on families. He said that impending legislation known as Bill 148 will undermine the ability of associations to sustain current levels of support to individuals and their families. “We need to be more effective and organized in our advocacy efforts if things are to change”, said Triantafilou.
A coalition of organizations representing and supporting people with a developmental disability is calling for Premier Wynn to respond to a system in crisis. Read the letter here.
It was a special night at Brampton Caledon Community Living’s annual general meeting on September 28, 2017. A crowd of almost 300 turned out to celebrate BCCL’s 60th anniversary on Canada’s 150th birthday. Travis Kerr opened the evening with the spoken word, riffing, sculpting and scatting celebratory words. “Happy Birthday Canada! Happy Birthday BCCL!” Monika Huizenga beamed, telling her story about realizing her dream of becoming a Canadian citizen. And John Sousa was recognized for his 40 years of stellar service at Norpak, BCCL’s light assembly and packaging enterprise. Home grown short videos by BCCL’s creative staff were screened that communicated in picture and sound, the values that help define who we are as an organization and as a country.
In the words of Travis Kerr, “Happy Birthday Canada. Happy Birthday Brampton Caledon Community Living!”
Brampton Caledon Community Living held its 60th Annual General Meeting on Thursday, September 28, 2017.
Though my time with staff and the members in which you support was brief, it taught me a lot about myself. If l am honest, when I initially heard that my placement was with adults with disabilities it brought back to past memories from my childhood. As a child with a physical disability, I was hesitant to associate myself with others who were also disabled because I did not want to be reminded of my own disability or be attached to the social stigma given to those with disabilities over the years that is what I ran away from. However, throughout my community placement, I was forced to face my own biases about disability, especially, disabilities different than my own. Despite knowing, that disabled people want to be treated with respect, integrity, and kindness like the ‘average person’ I spoke/speak those words from a personal place relying only on my experience alone. My time at BCCL enabled me to see what it truly means to treat everyone equally and allowed me to overcome my fear of being around or associated with others with disabilities. For that, I will be forever grateful. What I have learned during my time with everyone will not only make me a better person but a better educator.