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Resolutions passed at Inclusion BC 2013 Annual General Meeting

Summary: 
Three resolutions were passed at Inclusion BC's 2013 Annual General Meeting in Vancouver on May 25, 2013, relating to family networks, employment and transitions.

The Inclusion BC Board of Directors brought forward three resolutions for consideration of the Federation. All resolutions were passed unanimously. 

Resolution #1: Building and Strengthening Family Networks in B.C.

Background

Inclusion BC and the community living movement celebrates an almost 60 year legacy of family leadership, built on the voices and experiences of families who advocate for full inclusion, human rights and access to supports for their sons and daughters. We are challenged by how we connect with families and how we can support the establishment of sustainable, regional and local networks for and by families that are meaningful, relevant and built on what families need and want.

Inclusion BC’s capacity to advance the rights of people with developmental disabilities means that we work to unify and convene the voices of three primary members; people with developmental disabilities, their families and community based agencies that serve them. We continue our commitment to work with all three members.

The engagement of young families is identified as a key challenge. This Resolution identifies the importance of our work in this area, recognizing that while Inclusion BC needs to hear from families, that families need ways to come together and address the issues that are important to them and that will in part intersect with those of Inclusion BC. To this end Inclusion BC will be focusing on the development of local and regional family networks that will build on the work already being done by our agency members and other partners and that create new opportunities for families to engage in making their communities strong and inclusive. An important part of this work will be to connect with our members, other organizations and groups involved in family networking and support.

Resolution

  • Whereas the core members of Inclusion BC are families, people with developmental disabilities and the agencies serving them and we work to convene, support and unify these group to advance rights, promote action and support abilities; and
  • Whereas Inclusion BC seeks to strengthen the voices of our members; and
  • Whereas Inclusion BC provides opportunities to facilitate learning and exchange with and among our members; and
  • Whereas Inclusion BC is a hub for families and seeks their knowledge to inform our systemic advocacy work; therefore be it resolved that:
  • Inclusion BC works to support and develop local and regional networks of families and work collaboratively with our members and other groups who have children with developmental disabilities by working and partnering with our member agencies and other groups who share the vision that families are leaders in advancing full inclusion, access to supports and human rights for people with developmental disabilities.

Resolution #2: Transition Planning

Background

Transition planning remains one of the most critical processes for families as they think about what life after high school will look like for their sons and daughters. Despite the importance of transition planning, most adults with developmental disabilities graduate without an adequate plan or commitment from our government to fund or support these plans. In addition the planning that happens during high school is often isolated in that it does not consistently involve other programs and services that will become involved post-graduation. Basically, there is a broad variation of practise in transition planning for students resulting in lost opportunities for meaningful transition planning.

In response to the above, Inclusion BC embarked on a small, but targeted transition initiative called, On My Way, that showcases how four families experience the transition journey over time. This project provides a personal and intimate glimpse into the hopes, dreams and fears as their sons and daughters begin their lives post school. It has also grown to include partnerships with educators, school districts and government ministries. Despite this project being relatively small it has generated growing interest and dialogue about the importance of cross ministerial collaboration and the benefits of good planning for students with special needs.

Resolution

  • Whereas students with special needs have a variety of planning needs that cross ministerial boundaries; and
  • Whereas these ministries are challenged in working collaboratively; and
  • Whereas the mandate of the Representative for Children and Youth’s mandate has expanded to include youth with developmental disabilities between 19-24 years old; and
  • Whereas good planning for life after school must be holistic; therefore be it resolved:
  • That Inclusion BC will advocate for the implementation of the 2009 Cross Ministry Transition Planning Protocol and work with all the government ministries with responsibility to support students with special needs both during and after high school.

Resolution #3: Employment

Background

With the launch of a new project, “Ready, Willing and ABLE”, Inclusion BC is positioned to make a significant impact at a provincial level in advancing employment for people with developmental disabilities. RWA is focused on building relationships that open the doors of employers to hiring people with developmental disabilities and then linking them to our members across BC for support and expertise. This initiative reflects a human rights approach to employment.

Through RWA, Inclusion BC will develop a variety of tools and strategic partnerships related to public education and awareness, ensuring that both will be accessible and supportive of our members in their employment programs and communities.

In advancing employment for people with developmental disabilities, Inclusion BC also continues its advocacy on the policy, systemic and funding barriers that prevent and limit access to the accommodations that lead to real, sustainable job opportunities.
Community Living British Columbia’s policy of Employment First reflects the government’s commitment to the employment of people with developmental disabilities as the first, best option and is in large part based on strengthening the partnerships with Inclusion BC and our members.

We know that all our work and that of our members to ensure meaningful and sustainable employment for people with developmental disabilities can only be successful if the policy frameworks and funding envelopes are integrated, sufficient and complimentary ( and not punitive) to the goal of real employment for the job seekers, their families and the agencies that support them. Included in this is access to appropriate and integrated transition planning, post-secondary opportunities, adequate and appropriate funding after high school for assessment and training programs and long term job supports.  These policy and funding programs must be also flexible and responsive and reflect the needs of the individual, their families and the agencies that support them.

Resolution

  • Whereas youth with special needs and adults with developmental disabilities need access to real jobs and appropriate, timely and adequate employment supports; and
  • Whereas Inclusion BC members also require the support and funding to provide responsive and effective employment supports for adults with developmental disabilities and their families; and
  • Whereas the funding for people with developmental disabilities continues to be inadequate to meet current and future needs;
  • Therefore be it resolved that Inclusion BC advocate to stop any cuts to current funding for people with developmental disabilities; and
  • Be it further resolved that Inclusion BC advocate that the government of BC make adequate, annualized investments in funding that reflect their commitment to an Employment First policy agenda for people with developmental disabilities, their families and the agencies that serve them;  including support and funding for integrated transition planning, access to post-secondary programs and other employment and training supports necessary to ensure all people with developmental disabilities are accommodated to find and keep meaningful work.