DABC is seeking a Community Advocate to join our Advocacy Access Team

Who We Are

Since 1977, Disability Alliance BC (DABC) has been a provincial, cross-disability voice in British Columbia. We champion issues impacting the lives of people with disabilities through our direct services, community partnerships, advocacy, research and publications.

We work to support people with all disabilities to live with dignity, independence and as equal and full participants in the community.

Job Description

DABC is seeking a part-time Community Advocate to join our Advocacy Access Team for a contracted 9-month period, with the possibility of extension and expansion to full-time dependant on future funding. The Advocate will be responsible for individual and community advocacy relating to provincial disability benefits.

Responsibilities

  • Assist people with disabilities with applications and appeals relating to provincial disability (Persons with Disabilities and Persons with Persistent and Multiple Barriers)
  • Assist people with information and referrals on available community resources
  • Conduct workshops/webinars about provincial disability benefits for community organizations, people with disabilities, healthcare professionals, and other interested individuals and groups
  • Be a provincial resource for community advocates and individuals on policy and legislation governing PWD/PPMB

This position will be remote-based initially, as DABC’s Vancouver Office is currently closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. However, the candidate will be expected to transition to office-based work later this year dependant on any changes to the public health order.

Working hours:

  • This position is for 3 days per week

The successful applicant must:

  • Have a minimum 2 years combined post-secondary education and/or applicable work experience
  • Have strong verbal and written communication skills and ability to communicate complex concepts in plain language
  • Be able to work effectively with people with disabilities from a client-centered approach
  • Be self-motivated, adaptable, and able to work effectively with a team
  • Have strong analytical and research skills
  • Have excellent organizational skills
  • Be computer literate and proficient with word-processing software including the Microsoft Office Suite
  • Maintain the integrity and confidentiality of sensitive client information

The following are strong assets for this position:

  • Experience with provincial disability benefits (PWD/PPMB)
  • Experience in the non-profit sector
  • Background in law, social work, or a related field
  • Experience with a disability and/or supporting people with disabilities
  • Experience with legal research
  • Understanding of anti-oppression principles

Compensation: $2,100 per month

DABC is an open and diverse organization that promotes inclusive hiring practices. We encourage applications from qualified applicants who identify as visible minorities, Indigenous persons, and of all sexual orientations, gender expressions and identities. People with disabilities are encouraged to apply.

To Apply:

Please submit a resume and brief covering letter addressed to Karen Martin, Executive Director: Operations at karen@disabilityalliancebc.org. No phone calls or faxes please.

Applications are due no later than 4:30 p.m. on May 31, 2021. DABC welcomes all applications, however, only shortlisted applicants will be contacted for an interview. Interviews will be conducted in June and the position start date will be July 2021 or earlier.

ICBC Launches Enhanced Care Coverage

On May 1, 2021 ICBC launched Enhanced Care coverage. This new care-based insurance model provides British Columbians who have been injured in a crash on or after May 1, 2021 with access to the care they need for as long as they need it.

These Enhanced Accident Benefits provide an opportunity for better outcomes for anyone injured in a crash, regardless of the complexity of the injury. For more details on the benefits available, please review Your Guide to Enhanced Accident Benefits.

Enhanced Care is the culmination of significant work by government, ICBC and a wide spectrum of stakeholders including disability advocacy organizations and community service providers. Over the coming months, ICBC will continue to work with these stakeholders and encourage ongoing open communication to improve any injured persons’ experience. DABC is one of the disability advocacy organizations that provided input into the development of the new coverage.

If you’re interested in learning more about Enhanced Care, visit enhancedcare.icbc.com.

In addition, earlier this year ICBC launched a dedicated Disability Advocacy webpage under the Health Services section of icbc.com. This page centralizes key information and provides an open channel for communication. If you have a question about ICBC programs or would like to provide feedback, feel free to email us at advocacygroupsupport@icbc.com.

DABC Has Concerns Over Proposed Accessibility Legislation – Contact your MLA!

Following the introduction of Bill 6 – the Accessible BC Act – in the BC legislative assembly last week (April 28, 2021), Disability Alliance BC and several other disability advocacy organizations in the province have carried out a review and found several concerns that we feel are vital to be addressed before the bill becomes law.

Our main concerns are its narrowed definition of impairment, its lack of timelines, its limited application, its failure to refer to human rights and BC’s Human Rights Code, its failure to include interactive communication within its list of standards and its weak enforcement process. A summary of these concerns is shown below:

· Definition: Bill 6 has excluded learning and communication within its definition of impairment. The Accessible Canada Act includes these two areas and therefore we feel the Accessible BC Act should be in alignment with federal law. We are concerned this omission will systemically exclude and discriminate against British Columbians who have communication disabilities as well as those who have learning disabilities.

· Timelines: Bill 6 includes no deadline or timeline of any kind for the creation of accessibility standards or the elimination of barriers. Other Canadian accessibility laws specify deadlines for the elimination of barriers. Disability Alliance BC believes that including a specific timeline within the ABCA is still vitally important for the purposes of ensuring the BC government is accountable for delivering a concerted and timely effort towards promoting accessibility and identifying, removing or prevent barriers for British Columbians with disabilities.

· Limited application: Bill 6 currently only applies to the provincial government and organizations “prescribed” by the government. Disability Alliance BC is concerned that unless other organizations are explicitly prescribed in law, the ABCA may apply only to offices and services administered directly by provincial government ministries. British Columbians with disabilities deserve to feel certain in knowing that their access to full and meaningful participation in society is being promoted and enforced through every level of society, not only through government services.

· No reference to human rights: Unlike other Canadian accessibility laws, Bill 6 does not explicitly state that nothing within the law diminishes the existing rights of people with disabilities. Without any explicit reference to the Human Rights Code, there is a risk that Bill 6 may make it harder for people with disabilities to exercise the right to be accommodated. This must not be allowed to happen.

· No distinction of ‘communication’ within standards: While Bill 6 includes “information and communications” as a standard, by making ‘communications’ plural, it fails to acknowledge the requirement for human communication accessibility, which may include speech, gestures, sign language, writing, pointing to object or pictures, spelling words, using a communication device and human help. We are concerned this lack of distinction in Bill 6 will further systemically exclude people with speech, language and communication disabilities.

· Weak enforcement process: Bill 6 does not provide any process for anyone to submit complaints when organizations fail to comply with accessibility standards, whereas other Canadian accessibility laws have better enforcement processes. Disability Alliance BC is concerned that the lack of an individual complaints process within Bill 6 will, ironically, create further barriers for people with disabilities in seeking remedy on the infringement of any rights which they may be granted in subsequent regulations and standards developed by the Act.

Disability Alliance BC is concerned that without addressing the six concerns listed above, this will diminish the Accessible BC Act’s significance in effectively striving for the full and equal participation of people with disabilities in BC. In its current form as Bill 6, the BC government has unfortunately conveyed to its constituents their lackluster approach to sincerely addressing the elimination of barriers in our province.

We have sent a detailed review with proposed changes to all MLAs outlining these concerns. You can find this document on our website here: https://disabilityalliancebc.org/disability-alliance-bc-review-on-bill-6/.

Starting next week, the MLAs will be discussing this bill during the “Committee of the Whole’ stage of the bill review process. What this means is that it is vitally important that any concerns by the public be relayed to the MLAs before they have this discussion, so that there is an opportunity for our politicians to propose changes to the bill before they vote to pass into law.

We encourage you to write to your MLA. You can find your local MLA by going to https://www.leg.bc.ca/learn-about-us/members and entering in your postal code. You are welcome share any of our concerns in your email or letter. We also ask that you please share this post with your friends and family members.