Burnaby Association for Community Inclusion Advocacy Committee
Terms of Reference (June 2013)
The name shall be The Burnaby Association for Community Inclusion (BACI) Advocacy Committee.
Objectives of the Committee:
The objective of the committee is to advocate in a systematic manner to effect change in the way individuals of all abilities are included in our society.
- The committee will reflect the Vision and Mission Statements of BACI and work within the Guiding Principles of BACI.
- The committee will be disability confident.
- The committee supports inclusive education and the social and economic inclusion of people with disabilities.
Responsibilities of the Committee:
- In partnership with families, individuals, self-advocates, businesses, other community organizations and BACI staff, the committee will work to identify barriers to inclusion at all levels of society that affect children with disabilities and adults with developmental disabilities or their families. The committee will propose and advocate for solutions to remove these barriers with the appropriate community organization, government agency or business.
- The committee does not deal with concerns about BACI programs. Any complaints about BACI programs will be directed to the Complaints Resolution Process (see also the plain language version).
- The committee will determine the course of action to address identified barriers. If the committee determines that a politically sensitive or potentially controversial for BACI advocacy action is required, then the plan for action will be presented to, and approved by, the BACI Board of Directors prior to implementation. From time-to-time, the Board may decide not to approve, or may suggest some changes to, the plan of action presented by the advocacy Committee.
- The Board will meet in-person or communicate in writing to the Advocacy Committee Chair the reason for not approving, or for making changes to, the suggested plans of action from the Advocacy Committee.
- On-going advocacy issues will be addressed within the committee with the approval of the board representative on the committee and the Executive Director.
- Updates from the Advocacy Committee will be on the Board meeting agenda every 3 months.
- A binder with all activities of the Advocacy Committee will be updated monthly and available for the Board to review. An electronic version of this binder will also be made available to the Board.
- The committee is made up of volunteers who are self-advocates, family members, community friends, as well as BACI staff.
- At least one member should be a BACI Board member.
- The Executive Director(s) of BACI will be a member of the committee.
- Meetings will be held a minimum of 8 times per calendar year.
- Meetings will be informal; however, Roberts Rules of Order (Newly Revised) will provide the governing principles.
- Agenda: The agenda will provide time to bring up issues which have arisen since the last meeting and will include:
- Adoption of Agenda
- Adoption of Minutes of the previous meeting (s)
- Items brought forward from previous meeting(s)
- New Business
- Next meeting
- Minutes of meetings will be recorded and distributed to committee members. Minutes are not confidential.
- Copies of Letters and all other correspondence will be kept in a binder that will be available to the BACI Board of Directors. An electronic version of this binder will also be made available to the Board.
BACI will provide meeting facilities and administrative support to the committee. BACI will provide assistance with travel and childcare expenses for self-advocates and family members of the committee.
Advocacy: Advocacy is about enabling every person to have a voice of their own and ensuring that they are not excluded because they do not express their views in ways that people understand.
Inclusive Education: Inclusive education prepares children and adults who have a disability for a life in their community. The goal of inclusion is achieved only when a child is participating in the activities of the class, as a member who belongs, with the supports and services they need.
Self-advocacy: Self-Advocacy means speaking up and speaking out for your rights. Many people with developmental disabilities who are speaking up for their rights call themselves “self advocates.”
Social Inclusion and Economic Inclusion: Social inclusion means full participation in society. This participation is dependent on access to civil and political rights and obligations as well as the social, economic and cultural rights that guarantee equality of opportunity and access to education, employment, health, housing and social services.
Systemic Advocacy: Systemic Advocacy is about social change. It addresses discrimination affecting a number of people with disabilities by advocating for change to legislation, policies and practices. Systemic advocacy includes lobbying politicians and raising public awareness in order to build an inclusive community.