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. Purchase tickets here.
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!
See below for current information we receive from our partners, other organizations, and government agencies:
Autism NS Employment & Wellness Support Group
Autism Nova Scotia will be offering an Employment & Wellness Support Group starting on Tuesday, January 17, 2023. This group is for individuals that identify on the autism spectrum and are currently navigating employment - whether they have never worked but are interested in working, looking for work, currently employed, have recently lost a job, etc.
Each cohort runs for 8 weeks and meets over Zoom every Tuesday evening from 7:00-8:00 P.M.
The group is led by an autistic facilitator who leads different discussion topics related to employment & wellness. The wellness aspect allows participants to share good mental health practices in a safe and comfortable setting. it is a great opportunity to connect with others that have similar experiences, share, learn, and teach!
If you are interested, fill out the registration form here.
Advancing Disability Rights Around the World
The event Advancing Disability Rights Around the World builds the space for learning from leaders of international organizations how to ground disability research in a human rights framework, and how rights-based approaches to disability service provision contend with impoverishment, government responsibility, and colonial and imperial histories.
Advancing Disability Rights Around the World will take place Wednesday, September 14, 12:00 noon to 1:30pm Eastern Time. The following speakers will present on this panel:
- David Constantine, Co-Founder and Previous Director of Motivation: Freedom from Mobility.
- Dr. Evelyn Kissi, Assistant Professor at the College of Education, University of Ghana.
- Valentina Pomatto, Inclusive Development Advocacy Manager of Humanity & Inclusion.
- Claude Tardif, president of the International Society for Prosthetics and Orthotics.
This event is Part One of the four-part virtual speaker series Advocates Assembly: Disability Research from the Ground Up. Each event will ask disability justice activists and disability-centered service providers how to frame the future of disability and rehabilitation research. The three other events are as follows:
- Imagining Accessible Worlds (October 5, 6:00 to 7:30pm Eastern Time)
- Centering Disability in Healthcare (November 2, 12:00 to 1:30pm Eastern Time)
- Advocating for Disability Justice (December 7, 6:00 to 7:30pm Eastern Time)
All four events will be open to community. Live captioning and ASL translation will be provided. Register for the September event at no cost here and will receive notice of future events’ registration information.
Best Start to Life Photovoice Project
March of Dimes Canada is inviting youth with disabilities to join them in a Photovoice project about what it means to grow up in Canada with a disability. They are looking for youth with disabilities aged 16-25 and parents/guardians of infants and toddlers with disabilities between 0 and 4 years of age.
March of Dimes wants to identify factors that young people growing up with disabilities need to thrive in school and in the community. They will work alongside youth and their caregivers to identify the struggles, priorities, needs, and dreams of young people with disabilities.
With a photovoice project, participants will take pictures to reflect on their strengths and the barriers they face. The group will talk about the photos and find patterns in them together. Then, the group presents their photos and ideas to decision-makers to bring about the changes they want to see.
If you have questions or are interested in participating in the Photovoice Project, please contact Hayley at firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
Visit the James McGregor Stewart Society Website here
March of Dimes Canada Community Programs
March of Dimes Canada provides a variety of programs and services for people with disabilities. The following is a list of programs offered here in Atlantic Canada. Our programs are supported through generous donations and grants and are free to attend. To find out more about any of the programs listed below, contact Brittany Jennings at 902-943-1841 or at email@example.com.
1. Conductive Education Program - Offered for children and adults of any age with a neurological motor condition such as cerebral palsy, post-stroke, Parkinson's, MS, and acquired brain injury. These classes are movement and education based and provide strategies for participants to achieve their goals in all aspects of life. We have various classes offered weekly based on individual needs.
2. Virtual Exercise Classes - Our virtual exercise program is for anyone with mobility challenges. The program focuses on building balance, strength, stamina and flexibility through various exercises that are adapted for both seated and standing. It is recommended to have some independent movement for this program or to have support if needed. Virtual exercise is for ages 18 and up.
3. Perk - Perk is a social program for adults living with cognitive challenges such as Stroke survivors, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson's, and acquired brain injury. Participants get to increase creativity and self-expression through a mixture of activities including memory and sensory work, word challenges, brainstorming, theatre games and more!
4. Connect and Share - Wouldn’t it be wonderful to regularly connect with someone who shares your interests? If you have a disability and are 18 years or older, you are eligible to be matched with a person who is volunteering their time because they enjoy meeting new people too. With physical distancing in place because of the pandemic, you will visit by phone or online.
5. Tech for Good - Do you need training and support on how to use your device's accessibility features? Our assistive technology program can provide education and support on what assistive technology and accessibility features are out there. We provide individualized support, recommendation and training on assistive technology, apps, software, and hardware for your mobile phone and tablet.
Job Opportunities at the CRA
The Canada Revenue Agency is currently seeking talented candidates who self-identify as Indigenous people, Visible Minorities, or Persons with Disabilities to fill positions at various management levels within the Atlantic region. This process is to create an inventory for current and future vacancies. As positions become available, candidates who meet the qualifications may be contacted for further assessment. The CRA has created a ‘How to Apply’ video to aid in the application process, this can be viewed in either English or French.
To access these job opportunities click here, or at the following links:
A collection of media featuring ILNS and our consumers:
- 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