Text Size

Watch our 60th Anniversary video that honours and remembers the civil rights history of people with intellectual disabilities in BC. Read more about our history here.

From December 1-3, we're celebrating the UN International Day of Persons with Disabilities. Film festivals will be held in 5 locations across BC. Stay tuned for details!

Our new report shows the continued systemic use of restraint and seclusion in BC schools. Read more.

2018 General Local Elections in BC

Summary: 
October 20 is Municipal Election Day in BC, when voters will choose school trustees, mayors and councillors for their local communities. These elected leaders make important decisions that affect inclusion in our schools and local communities.

Elections are also a good time to talk to others about disability rights and inclusion, to help people understand why these things are important and to grow support for our movement.

We can all help to advance inclusion through election activities:

  1. Learn about inclusion barriers and solutions
  2. Get Involved in election activities, and
  3. Vote for candidates who support inclusion!

We'll be posting regular updates leading up to the election on October 20. Sign up to our email list to receive these updates in your inbox!

 

 

Inclusive Education

When children grow and learn together in school, they see that inclusion benefits everyone. Inclusive schools help us build a more inclusive world, where differences are welcomed. This helps to create strong and peaceful communities.

Link: What is inclusive education?

Every school-age child has the right to inclusive education. This means students with disabilities or special needs must receive extra supports and accommodations that allow them to be part of all school activities and to learn together with children their own age.   

The important role of a school trustee

School trustees decide school board policies and budgets. Those decisions affect whether students with special needs are welcomed and supported so they can enjoy the same benefits as other students without discrimination.

We need school trustees who will stand up for the rights of students with special needs to be educated in inclusive classrooms in their neighbourhood schools.

Inclusion BC has identified important barriers to inclusive education and ways to fix them.

We need school trustees who will work with families and educators to advance solutions in their communities by committing to these inclusion rights:

  • The Right to Access: Requires school board policies and budgets that guarantee supports and accommodations, so that students with disabilities can fully access inclusive education without any discrimination.  
  • The Right to Be Safe: Requires school board policies and training to help staff implement school-wide Positive Behaviour Support programs so that every student is free from harassment, bullying or abusive practices like restraint and seclusion.
  • The Right to Learn: Requires fully supporting school staff to implement BC’s new curriculum and to reorganize classrooms and learning to better support the needs of all diverse learners.

Questions to ask your School Trustee candidates

Our friends at BCEdAccess have developed a set of questions to choose from, depending on what's important to you. Every family and every student is unique, so we encourage you to reach out to your local candidates and see where they stand on these issues. 


Inclusive Housing

Mayors and city councillors choose what kind of housing gets built in their communities. When they support inclusive housing plans, they build stronger communities where everyone belongs, feels valued and has more opportunity to contribute.

In the past, many people with intellectual disabilities were forced to live in institutions. Today, many still face barriers like poverty and isolation and have trouble finding housing that is safe, affordable, accessible and inclusive.

We need to elect mayors and councillors who believe in the right to inclusive housing and who will work with community partners to make that happen. The right to access inclusive housing means:

  • The Right to Choose: People with intellectual disabilities have the right to choose where they live and with whom they live. Institutional housing that segregates people with intellectual disabilities or forces them to live together is not inclusive housing. Inclusive housing options are affordable, accessible and located in all the same places that other people live.
  • The Right to Be Safe: People with intellectual disabilities have the right to secure and supportive housing options that allow them to live safe, healthy lives.

Get Involved!

There are many ways to get involved in election activities:

  • Run as a candidate
    • If you’re not ready to be a candidate, you can also volunteer to help candidates who are committed to inclusion.
  • Attend all-candidates meetings in your community:
    • Hear what the candidates have to say. What do they identify as their priorities?
    • Ask them questions about inclusion: Will they commit to upholding inclusion rights as a top priority?  What will they do to advance inclusion?
  • Follow news stories about the elections and the candidates
    • Write letters to the editor or submit comments online talking about the importance of inclusion.
  • Talk to friends and neighbours about the elections:
    • Talk about the importance of inclusion in local elections.
    • Encourage them to get involved and to vote for candidates who support inclusion.
    • Remind them that October 20 is Election Day and encourage them to get out and vote.
  • Join us on social media (Facebook and Twitter) and share our messages about the election and the importance of inclusion issues.

Vote!

Voting is an important right. It allows you to choose who you think will best represent you and your community.

Learn more about BC’s 2018 Local Elections by reading the Voter’s Guide

Who Can Vote on October 20th:

  • Anyone who is 18 years or older on October 20, 2018, and
  • A Canadian citizen, and
  • Living in BC for at least six months, and
  • Living in the local community where you plan to vote for at least 30 days

How do I get on the Voters’ List?

If you are already on the Voters’ List you will receive a voting card in the mail.

If I am not on the Voters’ List, can I still vote?

If you are not on the Voters’ List, or if you live in a community that does not use the Voters List, you can register to vote at a voting place (polling station). However, there may be line-ups and you will need two pieces of ID to register. One ID must include your signature (like a Driver's licence, BC ID or BC Services Card). If you don’t have ID that shows your address, you can sign a declaration confirming where you live.

When can I vote?

  • Advance voting: Find out when advance voting is happening in your community if you don’t want to wait until October 20th. Every BC community will have at least one Advance Voting opportunity on Wednesday, October 10
  • Special voting opportunities are also held in some hospitals and care facilities for people who can’t travel to a voting place.
  • Mail-in Ballots are another option for people who can’t get to a voting place.
  • General Voting Day: Anyone can vote at a voting place between 8 am and 8 pm on Saturday, October 20th

Where do I vote on Election Day?

On Election Day you vote at a voting place or “polling station.” The address of the voting place will be sent to you in the mail along with your voters’ card. Voting places can be schools, town halls or other places in your community where people gather. If you don’t get this information, call your municipal government office and ask them where to vote. This page includes a list of all municipal government offices in BC and how to reach them.

What if I need help to vote?

  • If you need a ride, you can ask a friend or person you trust to take you to the voting place,
  • If you get to a voting place but find it difficult to get into the building or room where voting is happening, you can ask an election official to bring you a ballot (this is called “curb-side” voting).
  • Once you are at the voting place, you can also ask the staff, a friend or relative to help you vote.

If you have any questions about voting, you can contact your local government office for more information. This page includes a list of all local government offices in BC and their contact information.