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BACI summer off to a big start

Successful events and initiatives mark June and July
Friday July 20, 2012 — Deron Hamel

An Appreciative Inquiry summit, an annual barbecue and the launch of a new website are some of the major highlights marking summer 2012 for the Burnaby Association for Community Inclusion (BACI).

One of the major successes is the recent Appreciative Inquiry summit BACI hosted to advance employment for people who have a disability.

Appreciative Inquiry is an inclusive process that involves many people, and looks to discover things at their best. One of the key messages of the event was that meaningful employment for people goes beyond earning money — it’s also about building relationships and self-esteem.

Self-advocates, families, service providers and Community Living BC (CLBC) joined forces at BACI’s June 27 annual meeting to start conversations exploring what’s worked in the past, in terms of finding people meaningful employment, and what inclusive workplaces would look like in the future.

“Appreciative Inquiry is based on the idea that everyone in this room has something to contribute to the discussion, and in fact if we want to make a difference we need to get everyone on the same page working on it,” CLBC vice-president of strategic initiatives Jack Styan told the more than 50 participants.

“If we do this all across B.C., and everyone gets working on it, than we think we can have a real impact.”

BACI also hosted its annual barbecue recently, bringing together people connected to the organization with others from the community, including Burnaby-Edmonds MLA Raj Chouhan, community activist and songwriter Joey Keithley.

This was the 10th year the event has been held, and it grows every year, organizers say.

Family member Joan Rush attended the event for the first time. She says it’s a great opportunity to connect with others in a relaxed environment.
 
“I think it’s wonderful for everybody to gather in a casual environment where there is nice food and a party atmosphere,” says Joan, adding “we saw nothing but happiness.”

Another great win this summer has been BACI’s launch of its new, more accessible website design.

The site, includes scrolling photos showcasing BACI members and staff with detailed links to the organization’s services and events. BACI’s mission statement is showcased in large bold letters on the front page.

The site, which is still located at the same address of gobaci.com, includes scrolling photos showcasing BACI members and staff with detailed links to the organization’s services and events. BACI’s mission statement is showcased in large bold letters on the front page.

A new feature is drawing attention to BACI’s innovative projects advancing inclusion and belonging in the community. Located halfway down the homepage, three large images direct readers to BACI’s most recent innovations, including its Dialogue Series, Ideas for Change and Can You Dig It.
 
When you click on the icon, you’re taken to a new page containing a brief description of the initiative.

“Our goal was to create something that was more accessible, easier to read, with lots of pictures and videos to share info in different ways,” says senior manager of communications and resource development Carol Broomhall.

— With files from Camille Jensen and Michelle Strutzenberger

If you have any feedback on this story, please contact the newsroom at 800-294-0051, ext. 23, or e-mail deron(at)axiomnews.ca.

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