September 18, 2013 - 1:27 PM
People with intellectual disabilities assisted through research, collaboration
A place that advocates for people with intellectual disabilities is opening on UBC’s Okanagan campus. The Centre for Inclusion and Citizenship (CIC), a partnership between UBC’s Vancouver and Okanagan campuses, will be officially inaugurated at a ceremony Friday.
“The centre seeks to further the inclusion and full citizenship of people with intellectual disabilities and their families, on a local, national and global basis,” says Rachelle Hole, associate professor with the School of Social Work and co-director of the centre.
The centre was created to conduct research and create knowledge that will influence and inform policy and practices, says Hole. The CIC is the only university-based research centre in Canada with a dedicated focus on intellectual disability policy and practice.
Kelowna couple Leanne and Dale Froese are self-advocate advisors who work with the centre.
“The centre has helped me be more assertive,” says Leanne, who has worked on a variety of projects with the centre, such as home sharing. “I am more outgoing and this helps me get into the community and talk to people and be comfortable.”
Dale has been a long-time advocate of people with Down’s syndrome. “We are very active in self-advocacy. The centre helps us overcome these obstacles and limitations that we face in our lives.”
Research is conducted in several key policy areas such as employment, transition planning for youth, non-residential supports and alternatives, home sharing aging, healthcare and assistive technology. The centre also works closely with individuals with developmental disabilities locally and across the province.
Carole Robinson, an associate professor in the School of Nursing, is a co-researcher on a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) funded research project focused on home sharing being conducted by Hole and Professor Tim Stainton, directors of the centre. Sara Lige is the special projects officer for the CIC, and fourth-year Bachelor of Social Work student Courtney Rogers is the current work-study student with the CIC at UBC’s Okanagan campus.
Graduate students affiliated with the CIC include Jewelles Smith and Earllene Roberts, both in the Interdisciplinary Graduate Studies PhD program, and Master of Social Work student Assunta Rosal.
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013