Message from Co-Director Dr. Rachelle Hole, June 2017

It’s hard to believe that 8 years have passed since the opening of  the Centre for Inclusion and  Citizenship at  UBC. Tim mentioned that the CIC is the only university-based research centre in Canada with a dedicated focus on intellectual and developmental disability.

I think it is also noteworthy and rare that we are also a university research centre that began because community stakeholders identified the importance and value of a university centre to conduct research to inform policy and practice in the sector. Our beginnings in and with community continue to inform our commitment to partnerships and community engagement. These partnerships are integral to our  capacity to identify and implement research and projects that we believe are relevant and meaningful to self advocates, family members, allies, service providers, and government.

Some exciting new research projects have begun since the Claiming Full Citizenship Conference. In March 2016, were  awarded  funding  for  a  project titled, Transitioning Youth with Disabilities and Employment: The TYDE Project. And, in December 2016 we were funded by the Vancouver Foundation for a project titled, Sex, Lies, and Citizenship: A Participatory Theatre Project. This is a collaboration with the Community Living Society and the city of New Westminster. An additional pilot project with Shuswap Association for Community Living titled, Community building Now!  was also funded by the Vancouver Foundation. These projects are all exciting examples of partnerships and community-engaged research. More details on these projects are included in this year’s report.

And, while the scope of the CIC is growing provincially, nationally and internationally, we had some exciting events held in the Okanagan valley with some  great  partners. In October, the CIC  partnered with a number of organizations (e.g., Inclusion Works!, Community Living British Columbia, Vela, and the UBC Institute for Community Engaged Research) to host a workshop,  Family Governance: Creating the Life You Want. Person-Directed, Inclusive, and Connected, at the UBC Okanagan. On December 3rd, we partnered with Inclusion BC and the BC Self Advocacy Foundation to host the United Nations International Day of Persons with Disabilities Film Festival and we enjoyed co-hos- ting the event with Cool ARTS at the UBC Okanagan. And, with the use of technology, we’ve  been able to video conference between campuses for a number of events. So, it is exciting to see opportunities for partnership and growth here in Kelowna, but also across the province. I want to also end by thanking  Cindy  for  her wonderful support. We wouldn’t be where we are without you. Tim, thank you for your mentorship and friendship. And, to all our wonderful partners, research affiliates, and board members, Thank you! Finally, our work wouldn’t be possible with the great students who work along- side of us on projects and events. As well, thank you to the many self advocates who participate in numerous ways with the CIC as self advocate consultants, as advisory board members, as co-presenters, and as research participants.