Special Olympics BC Invites Support to make Inclusive Health a B.C. election issue

COVID-19 has affected all of us in ways that we couldn’t have predicted.  Many of us have been pulled from our positions to work on issues related to the pandemic, and many of the projects that we had under development needed a full re-design.  In that light, it\’s been amazing to see Working Groups begin to restart their work over the past few months.  We\’re optimistic about what the future will hold for our initiatives and look forward to working with you all as we eventually return to normalcy.

Yet we also have reason for alarm.  Early evidence from the pandemic shows that once again, people with intellectual disabilities are suffering disproportionately.  We cannot be ok with this, and we must act with urgency!  To spur change, Special Olympics BC has issued a challenge to all candidates in the 2020 provincial election: to end the deadly health inequality experienced by B.C.’s citizens with intellectual disabilities.  We are kindly asking those who can raise their voices publicly to do so, and for those who can’t, we understand and look forward to working with you on the Champions for Inclusive Health Stakeholder Coalition.

Please note that this campaign is being undertaken by Special Olympics BC separate from their role as backbone for the Coalition, which does not engage in political advocacy in order to avoid establishing barriers to participation for institutional stakeholders.

For more information about the campaign, please visit:  

https://www.specialolympics.ca/british-columbia/2020-election

For those interested in joining our call to candidates, we want to be clear; Special Olympics BC is seeking allies in government, not confrontation.  We are non-partisan and we are not placing blame.  We are simply asking all candidates and parties to answer five questions:

  1. Will you commit to changing the deadly and unacceptable health conditions faced by individuals with intellectual disabilities?
  2. Will you engage individuals with intellectual disabilities and their supporters during the policy-making process on all issues that impact their health and wellbeing?
  3. When in government, will you commit to ensuring the Ministry of Health prioritizes improving health outcomes and quality of life for people with intellectual disabilities?
  4. Will you commit to creating a governmental task force to improve the health of people with intellectual disabilities?
  5. Will you commit to supporting sufficient funding and resources to ensure people intellectual disabilities will no longer face inequality in health and in life?

If you have any questions about this campaign, please reach out to Scott Howe at general@specialolympics.bc.ca to discuss things further!