A New Blog!

March 26, 2010

After months of hard work, and thanks to the expertise of Adrian Bailon at TigerXTiger we’re now able to have a brand new look for our blog!

Now, presenting our new blog, The Star Gazer!

We now have a new layout, new name, and coming soon is new content! We’ll continue to update you with the newest in DDA and the community.

Please remember to update your bookmarks to www.dda604.com, as we’ve changed servers and our dda604@wordpress will no longer be updated.

Until the next post, stay tuned.


Vancouver Twestival 2010 for Concern Worldwide

March 23, 2010

Vancouver is participating once again for Twestival 2010. For those of you unfamiliar with Twestival, Twestival is a global fundraiser for a worthy cause. This year’s funds will go towards Concern Worldwide. Rebecca Bollwitt of Miss604.com will once again be spearheading this event with Marc Smith from Amuse Consulting supplying the event planning services. Many other volunteers and sponsors have pitched in to ensure that this event will be a success! Visit Vancouver Twestival for more information on Vancouver’s participation for Twestival. You can also follow @YVRTwestival on Twitter for more information.

Tickets for Vancouver Twestival are only $20 and includes everything from food, a wine and raffle ticket, to other goodies. Get your tickets for Vancouver Twestival! 100% of ticket proceeds go directly to Concern Worldwide. Follow Concern Worldwide @Concern on Twitter for more information on Concern Worldwide, or visit their website.


Diversity Dialogue Conference and Diversecity

March 22, 2010

After attending many advisory board meetings over the past year or two for the Welcoming and Inclusive Communities and Workplaces Program with the Richmond Multicultural Concerns Society (RMCS), RMCS finally launched their  Diversity Dialogue Conference at Kwantlen Polytechnic University in Richmond BC last Friday the 19th. I was unable to stay for the entire event, but by 9am there was a lineup of people waiting to register for the Diversity Dialogue Conference. The Diversity Dialogue Conference included film screening from Out In Schools Youth, an ethnic food fair and information booths, HR workshops for the business community, and a plethora of other activities. In the second photo below, you can also spot local Richmond Centre MLA, Rob Howard.

Keeping along on the topic of diversity, the Developmental Disabilities Association was nominated for the DIVERSEcity Awards and will be recognized as a finalist at the 15th Annual Cultural DIVERSEcity Award Gala on Tuesday 13th of April, 2010. We’ve got out fingers crossed that we’l’l be leaving the gala with the DIVERSEcity Award!


Cash 4 Clothes: Haiti Fundraiser

March 19, 2010

Thank you to everybody who participated in our Cash 4 Clothes Haiti Fundraiser. We managed to collect a total of 323 bags of clothes (and household items) for a grand total of $969. Because I wanted to take advantage of the matching contributions deadline, I donated $1000 in advance. Using the matching contributions through a friend’s HSBC employment and through the government, our donations totaled $3000 for Haiti! Here are a few pictures of the bags of clothes collected in the garages of my house and my friend’s house.

Again, thank you everybody who donated. If you’re interested in doing a fundraiser for your own purpose (sports team, charitable purposes, etc), you can take advantage of the Developmental Disabilities Association’s Cash-4-Clothes program as well.


Abilities versus Disabilities via Island Times Magazine

March 17, 2010

An editorial article by me and written for the Island Times Magazine was recently featured in a full-page bonus article on page 46 of their latest edition. You can view an interactive version of the latest edition of the Island Times Magazine from this link here, or you can read the full article in an HTML version here. Here’s a short excerpt of the article:

Leola Purdy’s second son, Bobby, was born with Down Syndrome in the late 1940’s and suffered further brain damage from delivery forceps. She had hoped that when Bobby reached school age, he would at least be admitted to the Vancouver School Board’s special classes for “slow learners.” What she found out, however, was that the schools only accepted “educable” children, and under their definition, that did not include Bobby. (Continue reading…)

For more info on the editorial or on Island Times Magazine, you can follow Island Times Magazine on their Twitter @IslandTimesMag.


Paralympic & Special Olympics Catchup

March 15, 2010

Today’s an exciting day, as Canada wins their first Winter Paralympic gold in 2010. Congratulations to Brian Mckeever who crossed the finish line to win the gold medal in today’s visually impaired 20km cross-country ski race at the 2010 Winter Paralympic Games! Congratulations also go out to Viviane Forest, Colette Bourgonje, and Josh Dueck who won silver in their respective events as well. It’s both amazing and inspiring what these motivated athletes are able to accomplish. “I first thought after my accident that my disability wasn’t cool,” Dueck said in a release, “this silver medal proves that anything is possible if you work hard at it. I once heard someone say, ‘You never know what will happen in life, so just get on with it.'” I agree with Josh Dueck, congratulations! A full real-time medal count for the 2010 Winter Paralympic Games can be seen here.

In celebration for the Paralympics going on out there, we’ve got our own recognition event at the Developmental Disabilities Association. Today, we recognized our own Special Olympian medalists for a lunch celebration.

We’d like to congratulate Hugh, Mark, and Rosemary for each of their successes at the Special Olympics. Mark and Rosemary are both known in the Special Olympics as two outstanding swimmers, and Hugh has a whole assortment of Special Olympic medals in a variety of activities. Josh Dueck really hits the nail on the head when he says that “anything is possible if you work hard for it.”

Finally, this day is a special day for another reason. It’s also the birthday of our Executive Director, Alanna Hendren (shown above with our Special Olympians). Happy Birthday, Alanna!


Worthington Sees the Olympic Torch

March 12, 2010

This is a special guest blog post by our Janet Hoffard from our Worthington Residence.

The clients at our Worthington residence were invited by Edward Kaufmann’s PLAN to join in the celebration of the Paralymplic torch relay at Riley Park, in Vancouver, B.C.  Dawn Turner and Edward Kaufmann were thrilled to be able to accept this invitation.

Dawn said that she really enjoyed seeing the torch runner.  Some of the other highlights of her experience at Riley Park were the band and the lady juggling fire on someone’s shoulder.  Dawn was impressed with people wearing red and taking pictures and really liked that flags and pins were being given out to people.

Edward Kaufmann said it was fun and he was thrilled with being able to lift the torch with the flame in it and to have his picture taken with the lady who won a gold medal.  He felt honoured to be able to hug the “gold medal artist”.  He was also pleased that everyone was so nice to him and that people he knew were at this wonderful event including his good friend Lyle.  Ed was also super excited that people took pictures of him and that he was on T.V.