Since 2012, ILNS has hosted the Art of Disability Festival to showcase several talented artists with disabilities. The event highlights all aspects of the arts from fine art to performance art and everything in between. Over the years, the number of artists that participate in this festival has grown to include approximately 40 individuals. This event is a day of sharing, learning and celebrating the diverse talents in the community.
After over two decades, our Christmas Gala is still the most anticipated event of the year with more than a hundred and twenty individuals coming together to share the spirit of the season. During this holiday season many ILNS consumers will enjoy our Christmas Gala and Dance surrounded by family, peers, and advocates. This event includes a traditional three-course meal, special addresses, and dancing to finish off the evening.
Independent Living Across Canada Day (ILACD)
On the first Monday in June, we celebrate Independent Living Across Canada Day (ILACD), through a variety of in person or virtual events. We come together to recognize the barriers that have been removed so persons with disabilities can live independently as well as the work that continues to be accomplished for Independent Living, accessibility and inclusion for all!
Our Monthly Bulletin will keep you informed with everything going on within our organization. To view past bulletins, click here. To sign up for our email list, click here.
See below for current information we receive from our partners, other organizations, and government agencies:
NSCC - Sobey Award Program Information Session
Join NSCC's Student Awards team as they unveil changes to the recently re-launched Sobey Award Program. There will be a brief virtual information session on Thursday, March 9, from 12:00-12:30 P.M., to highlight recent changes and give the opportunity to ask questions.
To register for the information session visit https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/
The Sobey Award Program supports 80 students entering NSCC on a full-time basis each year, this award is valued at $6000 and renewable for students entering multi-year programs. To be eligible, applicants must:
- be referred by a Nova Scotia community service organization
- be admitted/planning to enroll in a full-time program
- have unmet financial need
For more information about the award and to apply visit https://www.nscc.ca/admissions/financial-support/
Free Online ASL Classes
Have you wanted to learn American Sign Language (ASL) but the cost of the program has prevented you? The Oklahoma School for the Deaf is offering free online ASL classes. They are offering two pre recorded self guided classes: ASL 1 and ASL 2.
This is a great resource for parents and teachers wanting to learn ASL. To learn more and to register visit: https://courses.osd
Heating Assistance Rebate Program Change
A one-time change to this rebate is opening on January 30, 2023. If you pay for your home (residential) heat and have a household income of $85 000 or less, you can receive $1000. Applications are open January 30, 2023 - March 31, 2023. Click here to apply.
Other financial assistance programs are the Home Energy Assistance Top-Up (HEAT) Fund, which supports Nova Scotians in need with home heating costs during the winter months.
Also, the Help 2 Others (H2O) Fund assists low income households in Halifax with the cost of residential water and wastewater in an emergency situation if eligible guidelines are met.
CASE Annual Art Contest
Calling all artists! The Canadian Association for Supported Employment (CASE) Conference is hosting their annual art contest and want to showcase all the amazing artists within our community. Up to two winners will have their artwork featured at the 2023 CASE Conference, receive a $250 honorarium, have the opportunity to be part of the entrepreneur's marketplace during the conference in Vancouver, BC, and more!
To enter, please email them a photo of your art piece along with a short paragraph (80-120 words) introducing yourself and your work. They want to get to know you and the impact art plays in your life.
Submit your artwork to email@example.com
Wayfinding Tools & Technologies Research Survey Study
Researchers from the University Health Network are looking for persons with disabilities or health conditions that affect their experiences with wayfinding to take part in their survey. The team is interested in learning about your experience using technology for wayfinding in indoor and outdoor spaces.
Wayfinding is the process involved in planning and making decisions to get from a present location to a desired location. Various tools, technologies, or systems may assist individuals with wayfinding by providing sensory or other cues directing individuals within the environment.
To participate, you must be 18 years or older, be a Canadian citizen, and have lived experience with disability or health conditions that affect your experiences with wayfinding and/or use a support person (interpreter, sighted guide) for wayfinding.
The survey will take 15-30 minutes to complete and each participant will receive a $50 gift card for their time. The survey can be completed online, through paper forms sent through mail, by a telephone interview or video call. For additional information contact Alison Novak at Alison.firstname.lastname@example.org or call 416-597-3422 extension 7878
March of Dimes Virtual Exercise Classes
The March of Dimes is offering a virtual exercise class for adults who would like to work on mobility, strength, and mindfulness. This group-based virtual program will run for 10 weeks from April 10 to June 16, 2023. There will be three (3) class options that are offered throughout the week. Your assigned class and time will be determined upon program registration.
These class options allow for movement modifications for a wide range of mobility levels to help participants gain mobility, strength, and confidence to participate more actively and safely in everyday life.
For more information email email@example.com or call 1-888-540-6666
To register click here
Accessibility Standards Canada Technical Committees
Applications are open to join the technical committees for Accessibility Standards Canada (ASC). The ASC specializes in the development and revision of accessibility standards in Canada. They are looking for the knowledge and experience of people with disabilities to join three (3) new technical committees:
- Technical committee for Acoustics
- Technical committee for the Design and Delivery of Accessible Programs and Services
- Technical committee for Accessible Travel Journey
They are looking for 12 to 18 members per committee in the following categories:
- People with disabilities
- Consumer and public interest
- Academic and research bodies
- Non-governmental organizations
- Government bodies and authorities with jurisdiction
- Federally regulated public sector bodies, municipalities, and territorial private sector firms
- And more!
For additional information and to apply, visit their website here.
2023 Scholarships for Students with Disabilities
The Partnership for Access Awareness Nova Scotia (PAANS), a committee of the Nova Scotia League for Equal Opportunities is now accepting applications for the academic year beginning September 2023. There are twelve scholarships available: four scholarships in the amount of $1500, and eight in the amount of $2000 to assist Nova Scotians with disabilities in their pursuit of post-secondary education and training.
To be considered, scholarship applicants must:
- Be a person with a permanent disability;
- Be a permanent resident of Nova Scotia;
- Be entering or continuing studies, at the undergraduate level, in a Canadian post-secondary institution recognized by the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada, and;
- Not be involved in the selection process or be a close family member of any scholarship selection committee member.
To apply, complete the scholarship application form at https://www.nsleo.com/ by Friday, April 28, 2023 at 4:30 pm.
East Hants Community Rider
East Hants Community Rider has been steadily growing and has been working hard to keep the Community Rider as affordable as possible for its passengers. Due to the increased cost of fuel, maintenance and operating our service, we have made the difficult decision to increase our prices to the following rates:
- New minimum rate: $8 for trips under 10 km
- $0.80/km over 10 km
- $0.50/km deadhead (long distance travel charge)
- $20/hour driver wait fee
- $15 flat rate: Fall River/Enfield/Elmsdale to Halifax Stanfield International Airport
East Hants Community Rider is also pleased to announce the return of their Fare Assistance Program for low-income passengers! Passengers will be offered to apply for the subsidy if they identify as low income:
- An individual making less than $24,000 per year
- A family of 2 making a combined income of less than $30,877 per year
- A family of 3 making a combined income of less than $37,816 per year
- A family of 4 or more making a combined income of less than $43,666 per year
- Passengers will be eligible for one (1) day of subsidized transportation weekly to a monthly maximum of $300
For a full list of details, check out the information page on their website.
Extra Care Taxi
Extra Care Taxi service caters to seniors, persons with physical or intellectual disabilities, or anyone needing assistance to get where they need to go. This service gives priority to those needing assistance to doctors appointments, help carrying in groceries, an escort to and from door to cab, and is wheelchair accessible. There is no additional charge for a caregiver or family member/friend who accompanies the individual.
For more information visit their website at www.extracaretransit.com or give them a call at (902) 334-0334
Disability Housing Survey
Through a public engagement process, housing has been identified as one of the top three areas of concern for people with disabilities in Canada. The Canadian Human Rights Commission is working together with the Federal Housing Advocate to create an online tool to receive submissions from the public on systemic housing issues and unmet housing needs across Canada.
Make a submission about your housing experiences so that the voices of people with disabilities can be amplified: www.housingchrc.ca/en/housing-submission
Additional information on the Monitoring Disability Rights website: https://www.chrc-ccdp.gc.ca/en/monitoring-the-rights-of-people-with-disabilities
The James McGregor Stewart Society Accessibility Act Review
The James McGregor Stewart Society has created its own survey which offers the chance to evaluate how the Accessibility Act has affected you personally. This survey asks similar questions to the Accessibility Act but also whether promises have been kept.
Click here to fill out the survey.
Visit the James McGregor Stewart Society Website here
A collection of media featuring ILNS and our consumers:
- November 17, 2022: THINKING OUTLOUD WITH SHELDON MacLEOD: Living independently with dignity
- November 14, 2022: N.S. disability advocate moves out of nursing home and into a condo
- August 12, 2022: Art of Disability Festival goes Sunday
- August 12, 2022: Everything you need to know about the 2022 Art of Disability Festival
- August 15, 2021: Art festival showcases talent, skill of Nova Scotians with disabilities
- June 3, 2021: Mainstreet Cape Breton with Wendy Bergfeldt - Independent Living Across Canada Day
- August 31, 2020: 'They've really struggled during this pandemic': Persons with disabilities in N.S. face food insecurity
- July 21, 2020: Segment on News 95.7 about our RISE Program (click on the 12:30 segment and fast forward to 2:05)
- August 12, 2019: Festival for artists with disabilities moves to historic, accessible location
- August 9, 2019: Global News interview about the 2019 Art of Disability Festival
- August 4, 2019: Inclusion takes centre stage at Art of Disability Festival next weekend
- August 13, 2018: 'Art and accessibility go hand in hand' at Halifax festival
- August 11, 2018: Art of Disability Festival goes Sunday
- August 10, 2018: Art of Disability Festival highlights what creative people can do - not what they can't
- September 13, 2017 - The Sheldon MacLeod Show features Grace McNee (play at the 10 minute mark)
- August 6, 2017 - Going it alone: Cyclist peddling across Canada
- August 4, 2017 - Halifax caregiver bikes across Canada to honour a friend
- June 29, 2017 - Labour of Love