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News Release: October is Community Inclusion Month

Summary: 
Throughout the month of October, communities across B.C. are promoting inclusion and celebrating diversity, bringing awareness to the strengths and abilities of people with developmental disabilities.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

October 1, 2015: New Westminster, B.C. – Throughout the month of October, communities across B.C. are promoting inclusion and celebrating diversity, bringing awareness to the strengths and abilities of people with developmental disabilities.

This year, the theme for Community Inclusion Month is “Claiming Full Citizenship,” inspired by the landmark international conference, "Claiming Full Citizenship: Self Determination, Personalization and Individualized Funding," hosted by the UBC Centre for Inclusion and Citizenship from October 15-17 in Vancouver. Inclusion BC is a proud sponsor of the event and is providing scholarships for people to attend. The conference provides a unique opportunity for individuals and organizations from around the world to gather and share ideas and stories of initiatives that are transforming the lives of people with developmental disabilities.

Six years ago, with the support of all the provinces, Canada ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The impact of the Convention has been felt around the world, as self-determination, personalization and individualized funding initiatives have a new foundation upon which to build. This conference and other events and initiatives held throughout October show the strength and commitment of our movement, as individuals, families, groups and communities are making real change at a grassroots level and impacting lives on a global scale.

"Historically, BC has been a leader in the community living movement," says Tim Stainton, Director of the Centre for Inclusion and Citizenship. "The Centre for Inclusion and Citizenship is honoured to carry on this tradition by welcoming leading advocates, researchers and policy makers from the international community to dialogue together. We have a lot to share with and learn from other jurisdictions, and the conference provides the opportunity to create the new road map for supported decision making, independent planning and individualized funding policy and practice that puts people with disabilities in the driver’s seat." Stainton is also a professor and Director with UBC School of Social work.

Inclusion BC Executive Director Faith Bodnar adds, “The community living movement is positioned to make great strides towards full inclusion. Just as the closure of large institutions led to the transformation and enrichment of our communities, the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities challenges us all to seize this unique opportunity in history to make the next giant leap towards full inclusion and citizenship for people with developmental disabilities.” 

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Contacts:

Community Inclusion Month:
Danielle Kelliher
Communications Director
Inclusion BC
604-777-9100
dkelliher@inclusionbc.org

Claiming Full Citizenship Conference:
Tim Stainton
Director of the Centre for Inclusion and Citizenship, Director and professor with the UBC School of Social Work
604-313-1753
Timothy.Stainton@ubc.ca

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