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 30 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. Register for the 2023 Gala 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:
Volunteers Wanted within the Halifax Regional Municipality
The Halifax Regional Municipality is seeking applications for volunteers to serve on a variety of municipal boards, committees, and commissions. These groups provide recommendations to Regional Council, Community Councils, Standing Committees, and serve as an important part of the decision-making process.
To view all committees, boards, and commissions visit halifax.ca/serve
Applications are open until Thursday, November 30.
Information on each board, committee and commission – including a terms of reference, meeting schedules, minutes, agendas, and reports – can be found on halifax.ca. Applicants are encouraged to review these resources before applying to learn more about the role and typical work performed by each board, committee and commission.
Fundraising Auction for Andrew Jantzen
Help Andrew Jantzen receive life-changing surgery! Andrew has Ehlers-Danlos syndrome and Tethered Cord Syndrome, and is in urgent need of surgery that is not covered in Canada.
Andrew's online fundraiser auction features incredible donations from Maritime artisans, performers, small businesses, non-profits, and professionals. The auction includes amazing offerings such as a private island stay, jewelry, massages and acupuncture, tattoo sessions, and much more!
The auction will be open from Sunday, December 3, 2023 at 7:00 AM (AST) and will close on Sunday, December 9, 2023 at 10:00 PM (AST).
To view the auction, visit: https://www.32auctions.com/AuctionForAndrew
Relaxed Performances at Neptune Theatre
Throughout the holiday season Neptune Theatre is offering relaxed performances which are designed to welcome audience members with sensory sensitivities, learning differences, autism spectrum disorder, and first time theatregoers.
- Dickens' A Christmas Carol - Saturday, December 2, at 2 PM (Scotiabank Stage)
- Cinderella - Thursday, December 7, at 7:30 PM (Fountainhall Stage)
To purchase tickets to the relaxed performances click here.
Accessibility Standards Canada - New Emergency Measures
Accessibility Standards Canada has released a new draft standard on emergency measures, this covers important accessibility aspects in emergency situations, and broad guidance for many circumstances. This public review is your chance to make sure the standard works for you and for every Canadian. It identifies areas that work already and areas for improvement.
Provide feedback here by December 13, 2023.
YLI Toolkit Launched
The Youth Leadership Initiative (YLI) Team proudly presents the YLI Toolkit, a free online multimedia resource hub for youth with disabilities and employers looking to make their workplaces more inclusive and accessible. The Toolkit will offer a one-stop resource database that provides tangible solutions to many of the attitudinal barriers faced by post-secondary youth with disabilities during their employment search.
For full details visit https://disabilityfoundation.org/yli/toolkit/
Explore the YLI Toolkit, use it, and let them know your thoughts by submitting your suggestions or feedback. Click here to give feedback.
New Youth Centre at Captain William Spry
Looking for a safe space to hang out? Visit the new Captain William Spry Community Centre (16 Sussex St., Halifax)! This is a safe and inclusive space for all youth aged 13-18, with a wide range of activities such as video games, board games, TV, art supplies, wifi, free snacks, and comfy chairs.
Starting September: Monday & Wednesday from 3:30-7:30 PM
For more information visit www.halifax.ca/parks-recreation/halifax-youth/
Bill C-22 Passed!
This is a historic moment for the Canadian disability community! On June 22, Bill C-22, or the Canada Disability Benefit Act, was approved by the House of Commons. This bill will be a game changer for the 1.4 million Canadians with disabilities living in poverty.
For more information visit Disability Without Poverty's press release.
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
Inclusive Writing Guidelines and Resources
The Government of Canada has put together a webpage for you to consult in-depth articles on the principles and techniques of inclusive writing in English. The guidelines for Inclusive Writing are designed to help the federal public service and other organizations produce writing that is free of discrimination based on sex, gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, disability, or any other identity factor. View the Inclusive Writing Webpage here.
Some of the articles include, but are not limited to:
- Principles of inclusive writing
- Gender-inclusive writing techniques
- Representation of non-binary gender in written communication
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
A collection of media featuring ILNS and our consumers:
- August 19, 2023: Halifax festival gives artists living with disabilities a chance to shine - CBC News
- August 19, 2023: Art festival celebrates artists with disabilities - CTV News Atlantic
- August 18, 2023: Art of Disability Festival Returned for its 11th Year - Global Halifax Live Interview
- August 16, 2023: Everything you need to know about the 11th annual Art of Disability Festival - The Coast
- November 17, 2022: Thinking Out Loud 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