On June 22, 2021, member organizations, individuals, families, board members, and staff came together for the 66th Inclusion BC Annual General Meeting. Our deepest appreciation goes out to all Inclusion BC members for your incredible work as community leaders in continuing to build inclusive and safe communities during an incredibly difficult year. We are fortunate to have a very active group of volunteer community members serving on our Board showing great leadership through the work of the Committees.
Letter from Inclusion BC Board President and Executive Director.
We are pleased to present to you Inclusion BC’s work and achievements for 2020–2021. Our focus this past year has been on ensuring people and their families are safe, supported, and included in all pandemic responses. This work began last spring as we advocated for changes to the essential visitor’s policy and continues as we seek equity in our vaccine rollout and economic recovery. Although we have been physically apart this past year, Inclusion BC has created many new relationships that have widened our reach and illuminated our message of inclusion in all aspects of community life.
All this work is made possible through the leadership and steadfast support for people provided by our member organizations, volunteer leadership, and donors. The work of meeting people where they are at and supporting them A Message of Welcome: Letter from Inclusion BC President and Executive Director A World Where Everybody Belongs to live the life they want to live from a place of dignity and strength without stigma and judgment is essential and deserves to be celebrated. As the impact of racism, gender inequity, classism, and ableism continues to be revealed in our system, it will be this same commitment to people first that will support a more just society to unfold.
To drive the implementation of our new strategic plan we introduced the Diversity Includes campaign. This civic engagement initiative is designed to connect local leaders with their elected officials. This year Inclusion BC registered as a lobbyist under the Lobbyist Transparency Act. Each time we meet with a senior member of the provincial government, through the campaign, we need to register the activity for public record. We have come to appreciate this documented account of our advocacy towards inclusive communities.
This year a Parliamentary Secretary for Accessibility was introduced as the province embarks on new accessibility legislation. It will be important that the lived experience of people with an intellectual disability is included in the development of accessibility standards to ensure a meaningful path forward for the people we support. Inclusion BC has participated on the provincial Accessibility Legislation Advisory Committee for the past two years and will continue to reinforce this message as the process moves forward and legislation is introduced this spring.
The Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction (MSDPR) and Re-Imagining Community Inclusion (RCI) partners have moved forward via a steering committee with the RCI’s ten-year vision implementation phase. Co-chaired by Inclusion BC, Community Living BC, and MSDPR, the committee identified four vital areas of focus (Employment, Housing, Health/ Mental Health, and Indigenous Strategies for Community Inclusion), which align with our advocacy priorities. Inclusion BC is honoured to be a part of the committee and looks forward to moving this ambitious plan forward.
We are proud to showcase our efforts over the last 12 months and are equally excited to continue our work towards changes that will make a real difference to the people and communities we serve.
Dr. Fiona Wittington-Walsh, President
Karla Verschoor, Executive Director
You are invited to revisit and celebrate with us the work and achievements from 2020-2021 in the full Inclusion BC Annual Report HERE.