Kootenay Community Council makes a difference for developmentally disabled adults

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Are you interested in creating a more inclusive community for all? Do you have experience or expertise to share with others? The Community Living British Columbia (CLBC) Kootenay Community Council, one of 13 across the province, is seeking new volunteers to serve in an advisory capacity to help influence decision-making, particularly as it relates to building more inclusive communities for adults with developmental disabilities.

The council includes leaders of all kinds: families, self-advocates, friends, service providers and other community partners. Council members volunteer their time because they are passionate and dedicated to using their expertise and experience to create more inclusive communities, and break down the barriers associated with disability.

“I love being on the council,” said Kayleigh, a Kootenay Community Council member for the past two and a half years. “I joined because I get to help people and support the community.”

Creston already has many community partnerships where people with diverse abilities assist local businesses. In a “community empowerment program” members of Cresteramics supply five businesses with inspirational notes to give to customers. These uplifting messages make people feel good and acknowledge mutual support activities in the community. The businesses that participate are Creative Fix, Cresteramics Store, Kootenay Employment Services, Creston Card and Stationery, and Gold ’N’ Treasures.

Community involvement extends beyond businesses to include local celebrations and events. A summer program for youth with developmental disabilities saw the youth partner with the Creston Valley Farmers Market, local artists and the Town of Creston to produce murals for the market site. From May 8-10, many people with developmental disabilities will be assisting with the annual Creston Valley Bird Fest. Partnerships like this make a positive impact on the lives of everyone in the community.

Community councils work with Community Living BC to ensure accountability to community, to inform them of local trends and innovation, and to act in an advisory role at the local and regional levels. Community Living BC is the Crown corporation that provides funding to support adults who are living with developmental disabilities in B.C.

To learn more about the Kootenay Community Council, contact CLBC integrated manager Jennifer Terwoord at 250-365-8558.

—KOOTENAY COMMUNITY COUNCIL

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