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

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Inclusion BC Conference Opens Today in Vancouver

Summary: 
Inclusion BC’s 2015 Conference kicked off its 60th anniversary conference today at the Sheraton Vancouver Wall Centre to record breaking attendance.

Vancouver, BC – May 27, 2015 - Inclusion BC’s 2015 Conference, the premier learning event in Canada on developmental disability, human rights and full inclusion, kicked off its 60th anniversary conference today at the Sheraton Vancouver Wall Centre to record breaking attendance. Taking place May 27-30, the theme of this year’s conference is Keep Moving, Don’t Stop. 700 delegates; people with developmental disabilities, their families, the organizations that support them, and leaders in the field, are gathering to learn from the unique perspectives within our collective voice, driving the movement towards fully inclusive communities.

“After 60 years, we have a lot to celebrate,” says Faith Bodnar, Inclusion BC Executive Director. “But we still have a long way to go. Over the next few days we will celebrate but we will also look at some serious issues and come up with solutions together.”

"We're honoured to be the presenting sponsor of the conference as diversity and inclusion are key elements of healthy communities," says Ellen Pekeles, senior vice president of operations at Vancity. "We also believe employers have an important role to play in breaking down barriers and opening up opportunities for increased diversity in the workplace and beyond."

Workshops, keynotes and panels will address the most pressing issues facing people with developmental disabilities, their families and our communities. 

  • Despite BC being the first province to close all its institutions almost 20 years ago, institutions are once again being put forward as options for people with developmental disabilities.
  • Many people with developmental disabilities are lonely and isolated, without the personal support networks that we all need to feel welcomed, included and safe in community.
  • 90% of women in BC with developmental disabilities will experience violence, with 83% being sexually assaulted, many repeatedly.
  • Despite the desire and ability to work, the unemployment rate for adults with developmental disabilities is more than twice as high as the general population.
  • There are still thousands of children with special needs and adults with developmental disabilities waiting for services from Community Living BC and the Ministry of Children and Family Development. Unlike most other provinces, waitlist numbers in BC remain hidden.
  • It has never been more critical to create safeguards for those made vulnerable by the recent Supreme Court decision to legalize assisted suicide.
  • Children with special needs are being hurt in our schools; the use of restraint and seclusion in BC schools is systemic, rampant and urgent. 

For 60 years, Inclusion BC has worked to make our communities inclusive of people with developmental disabilities and their families. At our core, we are about advancing the rights and opportunities of people with developmental disabilities and they’re families. While doing so, we’ve helped make our communities better places to live for everyone; more welcoming, inclusive places that value diversity. The issues that affect people with developmental disabilities affect us all.
 
This year’s Conference includes a notable lineup of featured keynote speakers and workshop presenters, including:

View all speakers on our website: http://inclusionbc.org/conference-2015/speakers/
 

HIGHLIGHTS
 
Some of the highlights of the conference workshops include:

  • Exploring Social Inclusion in Arts Programming and Professional Practice
  • The Power of Language in a Social Movement (Keynote Panel)
  • Values in Action: Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia
  • Restraint and Seclusion in School: Positive Approaches to inclusive education for all students
  • Building Caring Communities
  • Building Support Networks
  • A Meeting of the Minds: Law Enforcement (RCMP) and Positive Behaviour Support
  • Home Sharing in BC
  • Are we there yet? Voyages in Family Activism
  • Legendary dinner and dance, this year featuring Ten Souljers

Quick Links

#InclusionBC2015

About Inclusion BC:

For 60 years, Inclusion BC has been at the forefront of change. Since our first conference in 1977, we have been connecting conference attendees to the latest information and resources, advancing the rights and opportunities of people with developmental disabilities in B.C.
 
Inclusion BC is a provincial organization dedicated to promoting the participation of people with developmental disabilities in all aspects of community life. We provide support, education and advocacy where and when it's needed, breaking down barriers and building communities that include people of all abilities. We are a federation of 70 member organizations that provide services to thousands of people with developmental disabilities and their families across the province.
 
Learn more about Inclusion BC at www.inclusionbc.org
 
Contact:
Danielle Kelliher
778-235-1842
dkelliher@inclusionbc.org

Our founding members and conference co-hosts:
  • Simon Fraser Society for Community Living
  • Developmental Disabilities Association
  • Pathways
  • Chilliwack Society for Community Living
  • Kootenay Society for Community Living
  • inclusion Powell River

Thank you!

to our conference sponsors:

  • Vancity
  • CTV
  • Kirk Marketing
  • Value Village
  • Kettner Creative
  • BCGEU
  • Representative for Children and Youth
  • Kwantlen Polytechnic University
  • Community Living BC
  • Westland Insurance Group Ltd.
  • Mercedes-Benz Sprinter
  • Community Services Benefits Trust
  • BC Housing, KPMG
  • AimHi (Prince George Association for Community Living
  • Nanaimo Association for Community Living
  • Clay Tree Society
  • Sources Community Resource Centres
  • Delta Community Living Society
  • Community Living Society
  • posAbilities
  • Semiahmoo House Society
  • Spectrum Society for Community Living
  • Sea to Sky Community Services
  • Langley Association for Community Living
  • Community Living Victoria
  • Rolfe, Benson LLP
  • Electronic Arts