KEYNOTE with Paul Gauthier (IFRC Society)
Speaker: Paul Gauthier (Individualized Funding Resource Centre Society)
Paul’s key responsibility is program development for the IFRC and in collaboration with other organizations and municipalities in the province. He oversees all financial operations, and government resources. Prior to the IFRC, Paul’s career also focussed on improving the quality of life for all British Columbians with disabilities and has been a key figure in multiple, successful municipal projects that impact people with disabilities. Paul is a founder of the Choice in Supports for Independent Living (CSIL) program; a government funding program which allows people with disabilities to remain in their homes and employ their own personal support workers through individualized funding. His passion for helping people with disabilities has never waivered and his steadfastness lends him to being proof of its benefits to full participation in society. No stranger to public speaking, Paul readily gives of his time, knowledge and experience in order to educate others on the value of individualized funding and how to be successful with it.
He is a goal-setter and a natural born leader; breaking down barriers so people with disabilities can pursue their dreams. Paul is also a Sports champion for Boccia. A multiple Gold medal winner, he successfully represented Canada as 5X Paralympian and in 2004 was the first Canadian to win a gold medal for Canada in this sport. Paul was awarded the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012, received the BC Community Achievement Award in 2009 and the Premier’s Athletic Award for 7 years between 1995 and 2003. He received the BC Paraplegic Association award for Outstanding Community Contribution in 2005 and was named Sportability’s Male Athlete of the year in 2005. In 2019 Paul was inducted into the Canadian Cerebral Palsy Sports Association Hall of Fame. It is his sincere hope that the next generation of athletes will continue to impact the Sports World by challenging themselves and society with true Community and World inclusion.
The Power of Choice with Health Justice
Being able to make informed decisions about your own body and your health care is a fundamental human right, but many of the systems designed to support people rely heavily on coercion, which is when the power to make your own health care decisions is taken away or limited by laws or policies.
People with disabilities, and particularly those with mental health or substance use-related disabilities, people living in poverty, people who experience homelessness, Indigenous people, and racialized people are more likely to experience coercive health care. In addition, the impact of coercive care is shaped by previous experiences of systemic discrimination, colonization, gender-based violence, and other forms of violence or oppression.
Experiences of systemic coercion deeply shape the lives and perspectives of many people with disabilities, including how they view services like shelters. It can alienate people from services that support their health and wellbeing, it can create trauma, and it can be a barrier to recovery. Join us to hear about how law and policy intersect to shape the experiences of people with mental health and substance use-related disabilities and how you can take small steps to make your services more accessible and safe.
Accessible Housing Panel
Panel: Accessible Housing with Paul Gauthier (IFRC), Isabelle Groc (Disability Alliance BC), and Heather Lamb (Spinal Cord Injury BC)
What are some of the barriers and best practices to providing accessible housing? How do you access programs and resources to help transition people with disabilities from homelessness to being appropriately housed? Hear about The Right Fit (a program of Disability Alliance BC) and Accessible Housing BC (a website resource provided by Spinal Cord Injury BC).
Inclusion in the Workplace: Anti-Oppressive Practices Wellness
Inclusion in the Workplace: Anti-Oppressive Practices Wellness Conversation with Amanda Thiessen
In this conversation we will explore what anti-oppressive practice looks like at an organizational level. What is anti-oppressive practice? And how do we create organizational systems that increase inclusion and decrease discrimination? We will pay attention to self-reflexivity, power, and best practice.
Lived Expertise Panel
Panel: Voices of Lived Expertise with Lilian Wong (Disability Alliance of BC), Jessy Knight & Lenae Silva (Open Heart Collaborative), and Harmony Bongat (Chronically Queer)
People with lived expertise will offer their diverse stories and insights about how to make homelessness services more accessible.v