Creating a More Inclusive Invermere

A look at the Windermere District Social Servies Society in light of World Disability Day

Submitted by Windermere District Social Services Society

Sunday, December 3rd, is World Disability Day and a great opportunity to ask: how inclusive is the Columbia Valley? According to the Windermere District Social Services Society (WDSSS), we could be doing better and the Society wants to change that.

Primarily known for running Mount Nelson Place group home for adults with developmental disabilities, WDSSS recently decided to offer services beyond the walls of the home. Guided by a new strategic plan, the Society’s renewed focus includes championing community inclusion and finding ways to serve more people with developmental disabilities.

“We will, of course, continue to provide a safe, caring home for our current Mount Nelson Place residents,” says manager Donna Jefferson. “We’re family and we have no plans to change that. We just want to broaden out and offer more services, because we know there is a need.”

The Society now offers an individualized community inclusion program via contract with Community Living BC. Other new services such as housing and contracted respite are being considered, and the Society is looking for input from the community on future expansion.

“To help us focus our efforts, we’d love to hear from families and individuals who are having trouble finding the services they need,” says Ms. Jefferson.

The theme for World Disability Day 2017 is transformation towards sustainable and resilient society for all. In support of this goal, the Society would also like to hear from organizations and individuals who are interested in working together to transform our community to fully include people of all abilities.

For more information, contact Donna Jefferson at wdsss@shaw.ca or 250-342-3699. Or, share your thoughts and ideas with any member of the WDSSS board: Corinne Tansowny (Chair), Mary Vogel, Carol Pope, Karen Cote and Lori Horrocks.

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