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Posts Tagged "barriers"

10Jul

Project breaks barriers, creates access to affordable menstrual products

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People will soon have easier, more affordable access to menstrual products with the launch of the United Way Period Promise research project.

Through a $95,000 B.C. government grant, the project will distribute menstrual products to 12 non-profit agencies that serve vulnerable populations throughout the province. The agencies will make them easily accessible to clients from July 2019 to July 2020.

The project will collect quarterly data on the number of people served and products used, how the lack of access to menstrual products because of financial limitations, known as “period poverty,” affects people’s lives and how addressing the issue can benefit communities.

“Period poverty creates barriers and stigma, and leaves people isolated,” said Shane Simpson, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction. “The United Way’s project will use the knowledge and experience of local organizations already working closely with vulnerable people. This research will help us better understand how we can create solutions that will make a difference.”

Always and Tampax have partnered with the United Way to provide menstrual products at a significantly reduced rate, allowing the United Way to increase the amount of participating non-profit agencies. The increase will broaden the project’s reach and help the United Way create a more robust research report to assist in addressing period poverty in British Columbia. The report will be presented to government in December 2020.

The grant is part of a larger shift in government toward better supports and services for the people who need them most. It also aligns with TogetherBC, the Province’s first poverty reduction strategy, with guiding principles of affordability, opportunity, reconciliation and social inclusion. This project demonstrates how government, the non-profit sector and the business sector can work together to find local solutions to complex poverty issues.

Addressing poverty is a shared priority between government and the BC Green Party caucus, and is part of the Confidence and Supply Agreement.

Quotes:

Mitzi Dean, Parliamentary Secretary for Gender Equity —

“Having a period is a part of life for more than half our population, and not being able to afford basic hygiene products can be devastating. Tackling period poverty closes the gap on gender inequality. By providing affordable menstrual products, those who menstruate will have the freedom to participate fully in life’s activities.”

Michael McKnight, president and CEO, United Way of the Lower Mainland —

“United Way is all about making our communities more accessible for everybody, and we’re excited to work with the provincial government, community agencies and sponsors to help solve such a personal challenge that so many people face. The Period Promise research project is just one more way that we are working with a variety of partners to make where we live healthy, caring and inclusive.”

Nikki Hill, co-chair, Period Promise campaign —

“The simple truth is that people who can’t afford menstrual products are often going to community agencies to find them, and sometimes they just aren’t available. The government’s commitment to work with the United Way Period Promise campaign shows that they get it, and that they are looking for solutions that will make access to tampons and pads easier for everybody who needs them. Their leadership should be applauded.”

Sussanne Skidmore, co-chair, Period Promise campaign and secretary-treasurer, BC Federation of Labour —

“For the BC Federation of Labour and the labour movement, working with the United Way on Period Promise has just been an extension of the work we do to make our province better. Period Promise is only enhancing our commitment to helping vulnerable people live and work with dignity across B.C., and we’re proud to be involved.”

Barbara Wood, board president, Kiwassa Neighbourhood House —

“This initiative and the Period Promise campaign help reduce menstruation stigma and contribute toward greater equality for women, trans and non-binary people. We hope that facilitating access to free menstruation products will reduce barriers faced by community members needing to access support and live with dignity. Thanks to the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction and the United Way of the Lower Mainland for leadership. Kiwassa is proud to be a part of this important initiative and sharing our learning on its impact.”

Learn More:

Find out more about the United Way Period Promise campaign: https://www.periodpromise.ca/  

Read TogetherBC: B.C.’s Poverty Reduction Strategy: https://www.gov.bc.ca/TogetherBC

To read more about other poverty reduction grants this year, visit:


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8Apr

Job fair breaks down employment barriers for Canadians living with autism

by admin

For people living with autism spectrum disorder, getting a job comes with specific challenges.

“I would always get stymied at the interview stage,” said Katherine Shadwick, who has a bachelor’s degree in geological engineering but struggled to get a foot in the door after graduation.

That’s because Shadwick, who is on the autism spectrum, says she can have trouble connecting with the subtext of what is being said.

“If you tell me one thing and don’t make it very obvious that you’re saying it in a sarcastic manner, for example, I might not pick up on the sarcasm and might take it for face value,” she told Stephen Quinn, the host of CBC’sThe Early Edition.

During a traditional interview, that makes it much more difficult to sell herself to a potential employer and highlight her skills, she added.

“People with autism usually end up being misjudged in a way:  I do have friends, I empathize, I have lots of emotions,” Shadwick said.

“I was just having trouble finding jobs because of that people connection [in the interview].”

Alternative interviews

After partnering with a professional services firm that helps connect people who are on the spectrum with employers and facilitates the interview process, Shadwick found a job as a software tester at Vancity credit union.

“They see if your personality is a good fit, and then they give you some pre-employment classes and additional testing, and then they match you with an employer,” Shadwick said.

“I never did an interview directly with Vancity.”

She’s speaking about her experience — and ways to improve the workplace and jobs market for people with different abilities — at a Spectrum Works job fair in Richmond, B.C., on Monday.  

According to a 2012 Canadian Survey on Disability, adults with autism have the lowest employment rate in Canada at just 14 per cent — compared to the general population at 93 per cent.

“People that are on the spectrum are highly intelligent,” Shadwick said.

“Sometimes, we need more structure and clearer expectations but, once we get something, we get it and we’re good.”

Katherine Shadwick is a software tester and lives with autism spectrum disorder. Heather Linka is neurodiversity employment consultant. The two are speaking with people at the Spectrum Works job fair, to get those with ASD get a job. 8:45

‘Intentional autism hiring’

Heather Linka, a neurodiversity employment consultant and employer coordinator with the job fair, works with people including Shadwick to break down employment barriers in the IT sector.

Adjustments in the hiring process and accommodations in the workplace can be put in place for what she calls “intentional autism hiring.”

“We recommend things like skill-testing questions or a more casual meet-and-greet environment rather than the [traditional] interview,” Linka said.

On the job, accommodations could include things like tailoring the sitting arrangement in open-desk environments or making some sensory adjustments in places with fluorescent lighting.

Clear expectations and communication are key, Linka emphasized.

“Generally, it’s just mindfulness and education on both sides,” she said.


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3Dec

Accessibility grants help break down barriers to inclusion

by admin

L’Arche Comox Valley — I Belong Centre Outreach Program

The I Belong Centre promotes arts, wellness and social-recreational activities for people with disabilities in the Comox Valley. This funding will help to continue this work for the people in the Comox Valley.

Burnaby Association for Community Inclusion — Making Kudoz Accessible in New Regions

This project will expand Kudoz, a social learning platform for youth and adults with cognitive disabilities, to more communities in B.C.

Frog Hollow Neighbourhood House — MAKE IT

MAKE IT supports youth with addiction and mental-health issues to promote de-stigmatization and recovery.

Prince George Brain Injured Group — People with Brain Injury

The Preparing for Wildfire and Other Emergencies project will help people with brain injuries and other disabilities prepare for emergencies, such as wildfires and other natural disasters.

The Cridge Centre for Family — Food Service Skills Training and Employment

This project will provide employment and training opportunities in food services for people with disabilities, while helping them to contribute to their communities.

Victoria Disability Resource Centre — Disability Awareness Training Project

The Disability Awareness Training Project will create a curriculum and resources for employers to promote better understanding of the disability community and its unique needs in the workplace.

Blind Beginnings Society — Youth Speakers Bureau

The program promotes leadership and empowerment of blind or partially sighted youth by developing their public speaking and presentation skills.

PosAbilities Association of BC — Individualized Sexual Health and Healthy Relationships Training for Adults with Cognitive Disabilities

This project will promote accessible education and awareness training about sexuality and healthy relationships for people with cognitive disabilities and their supporters.

Aquafit for All Association — Aqua BLAST

Aqua BLAST will deliver an adapted aquafit program tailored to the needs of people recovering from a stroke.

PacificSport Vancouver Island — WheelKids

WheelKids supports kids with disabilities aged 5-12 to develop their abilities and confidence in sport.

BC Wheelchair Sports Association – Aboriginal Bridging the Gap Program

This project will help reduce barriers to sport for Indigenous persons with a disability.

viaSport British Columbia — #LevelTheField: Disability Inclusion in Sport & Recreation

This project will advance the development of software that promotes access to sports and recreation for people with disabilities.

Camp Bowen Society for the Visually Impaired — Music Camp 2019

This project will provide music education for blind and deafblind children and youth in a camp setting.

Nanaimo Food Share Society — Everyone At the Table (EAT)

This project will help reduce isolation and increase access to healthy food and cooking skills for people with disabilities and other members of the community.

Richmond Centre for Disability — Accessible Parking in Accessible Communities

This project will use online tools to develop an inventory of accessible parking spaces and track instances of abuse of these spaces.

UVic School of Public Health and Social Policy — James at UVIC

This project will further the development of James, an autonomous mobile robot designed to support students with disabilities at the University of Victoria.


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