In 2012 the BACI Blast was honoured to share the stories of different people served by the Burnaby Association for Community Inclusion (BACI) and how they are making a difference in their communities.
There’s Gerry Juzenas, whose training on being assertive has inspired another self-advocate to speak up for what she wants and needs.
There’s also a group from BACI that makes weekly trips to the Vancouver airport to watch the planes.
A chance encounter on the Vancouver SkyTrain in the spring led to outcomes they never anticipated.
The group happened to have a brief conversation with Vancouver Airport Authority communications director Rebecca Catley after she stopped to make a friendly comment to them.
Learning just how passionate the three people — including adult support worker Bev Beaton and the two men the association works with — are about plane spotting, Rebecca agreed to look into creating some sort of document that would help them better identify the vehicles of the sky.
She engaged her communications department in putting something together and now the three have in their hands a “plane-spotting” pamphlet offering a new way for them to enjoy their visit at the airport.
The pamphlet has now been made available to other visitors so they can hone their air traffic knowledge as well.
In June we published a story on how a community kitchen is providing a place of belonging for mothers who have a disability.
Antoinette Ancheta, a family support worker with BACI, came up with the idea for the kitchen gathering and now co-ordinates it happening every second week.
The group originated with four moms but now eight cooks, in addition to Antoinette, fill the tiny kitchen. Antoinette says she’s thankful a new volunteer has just joined to help.
Just as she had anticipated, cooking together has brought a degree of comfort, opening up conversations that other settings might not and sparking new connections and friendships.
Also in June we ran the story on Gerry’s proud moment carrying the Rick Hansen 25th Anniversary Relay baton.
Gerry was nominated by BACI to participate, and he was selected from thousands of applicants, which recognizes and honours Gerry’s almost 40 years of advocacy for the inclusion movement.
“If you get an opportunity like this, it’s a big honour to have,” Gerry said earlier. “It gives me a whole bunch of confidence.”
Outreach support worker Jake Keithley joined Gerry at the race. He says Gerry carrying the baton was a well-deserved honour.
The BACI Blast is eager to share many more of these stories in 2013, so be sure to contact the newsroom with yours.
— More to Come on BACI’s 2012 highlights.
Feel free to comment on this story below, or e-mail the writer, Michelle Strutzenberger, at michelle(at)axiomnews.ca.