The Kamloops
JUNE 2024

Table of Contents –

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Krystian’s Corner ———page 2

Welcome to the June newsletter!

Remembering ————-page 3

June is a month full of excitement and sunshine. It’s the month of light and
growth, with the summer solstice bringing us the longest day of the year.
Kids are counting down the days until summer holidays begin, and families
are starting to plan fun trips, like going to Disney or camping in the great
outdoors. It’s a wonderful time to enjoy the warm weather and spend time
with the people we love.

Word Search —————page 3

Finding ways to celebrate the people we love is important. This month, we
celebrate Father’s Day, a special time to show our dads and father figures
how much we care or to take time to remember those who may not be with
us anymore.

An Inspiring Kamloops Kid —page 7

June and the summer can also be a time to make new memories. We’ve got
some great articles that will get you thinking about how you can spend time
with our loved ones, whether it is a trip to Disney, taking time to have fun
dancing to music in the living room, like Wendy & Matt in the article Big
People Don’t Pee in the Park, or making a fun dessert together, like our recipe for Mickey Bark.

Recipe—–——————-page 10

We have some amazing stories to share with you this month, as well as all
of the usual things like jokes, quotes, and other great articles from our regular contributors. We hope you enjoy reading our newsletter. And don’t forget to share your story ideas and
feedback with us. We love hearing from you!

Coalition for Dentalcare —-page 15

Happy June, everyone! Let’s make this month full of love and laughter.

ple with Diverse Abilities

Thinking About you ——page 3
Canadian Mouse Trips —-page 4

Big People Don’t Pee in the Park ——
page 9

QWorks ———————page 12
Accessibility in the Arts —page 14

Kindness & Compassion —page17
Celebrating Disability Awareness, success
stories and inclusion for all! Written by peo-

Do you have a
story idea or an event you think
would be good for our readers? Contact us at:


113-540 Seymour St., Kamloops, BC
V2C 2G9 Office phone: 250-828-1344.
We always look for writers and people
to interview.
Special thanks to The
Printing Place for your
support of the Kamloops
Self-Advocate Newsletter.

Please subscribe! Be sure to check
out our online newsletter for bonus
stories! KSA Facebook page: The
Kamloops Self Advocate Newsletter
On KSA website: ksanews.ca

The KSA has created a program to recognize and promote local businesses that are
accessible and supportive of all members of the community. The businesses listed here are
friendly, accessible, and great to deal with.
Ability Friendly Accessible Business Program
Horizon Dental Clinic
5 Bean Brewbar & Café
All Around Gamerz
The Vic Downtown
Kamloops Film society
People in Motion
New Horizons Professional Support Services Inc.
Our Footprints Eco Store
Kamloops Art Party

Krystian’s Corner

This month, I want to talk about something super special – Father’s Day! This year, Father’s Day
is on Sunday, June 16th, and it’s a day to show love and respect to all the dads out there, even
stepdads like my friend Cliff.
My friend Cliff is like a dad to me. He’s a cool guy who loves to sing like Elvis Presley. He even
dresses up like him and performs in shows. Isn’t that neat? We do lots of fun things together, like going out to eat at
places like McDonald’s and Boston Pizza. We also go to concerts and plays as a family.
Cliff is my mom’s boyfriend, but he acts like a stepdad to me. I love him because he’s kind, friendly, and makes me
laugh. He’s also good at helping me learn new things and become more independent.
Even if our dads aren’t here with us anymore, it’s important to remember them and show them love and respect. Dads
play a big role in our lives, helping us grow and become the best we can be.
Disney is super fun, too! In this newsletter, we have some cool articles about Disney, including ones about Canadian
Mouse Trips, who help families plan awesome Disney vacations.
There’s also lots of other fun stuff to read about, like jokes, word searches and other articles. I hope you enjoy reading
this month’s newsletter and have a great time celebrating Father’s Day with your dads and father figures.

Disability Quotes

“The downside of my celebrity is that I cannot go anywhere in the world without
being recognized. It is not enough for me to wear dark sunglasses and a wig. The
wheelchair gives me away.”
― Stephen Hawking
“I choose not to place “DIS”, in my ability.”
― Robert M. Hensel
“When you hear the word ‘disabled,’ people immediately think about people who can’t walk or
talk or do everything that people take for granted. Now, I take nothing for granted. But I find the
real disability is people who can’t find joy in life and are bitter.” -Teri Garr
“Just because a man lacks the use of his eyes doesn’t mean he lacks vision.” – Stevie Wonder

Awareness Days

Parks and Recreation Month
Brain Injury Awarness Month
Migraine Awareness Month
ALS Awareness Month
Elder Abuse Awareness Month
June 15 World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

Remembering Krystian’s Dad
Hi, my name is Ben. I want to honor my
friend’s dad, Larry Shaw, during
Fathers Day. Even though he is no longer
with us, my friend Krystian Shaw has wonderful memories of the time they spent
His dad had to live in a seniors’ home by age
50 because he was sick from a young age.
He passed away at 56 when Krystian was
only 15 and he really misses him a lot. He
told me he remembers the good times they
had, like going to New York Fries at the
Aberdeen Mall Food Court. Eating out with
him was so much fun, he said.
One of his special memories was when he
was allowed to have
sleep overs at
Kamloops Seniors
Village with him.
Spending the night
there was so special
because they enjoyed watching
movies and TV
together. He said his
dad made those
May he rest in

Thinking About You

By Krystian
Meet Lauren Davidson, an urban country artist and songwriter based in New York City. She’s been in
the entertainment industry for most of her life.
When did you start singing country music? I started writing my own music 9 years ago, but I started
in country music by singing covers which I’ve been doing through many phases of my life. On my
karaoke machine as a kid, at a country show at Hershey Park when I was in my early 20s and then a
cover band in my hometown until I full time started performing my own music.
How did you come up with Thinking About you & what is it about? I had just gone through a breakup and after
writing countless songs about it was like I’m done. This was my breaking point. The point where I was ready to move
on and not look back. Thinking About You is that moment when you’re done worrying carrying and constantly agonizing about a breakup.
What do you enjoy about country music? All of it. The storytelling, the community, how it makes me feel.
Who do you look up too in the music business? So many people. Artist’s songwriters and the people behind the
scenes. But I’m. a Big advocate for women in the industry.
What do you find the most rewarding about being a singer and being a songwriter? Connecting with people who
have experienced the same things as me.
What do you find the most fun about your career in music? Being on stage!
What are your successes in music? I’ve made a career of my music. I’ve put out music I’m proud of. I’ve traveled
the country and I even got to perform at Madison Square Garden.
What do you enjoy about YouTube as a singer and songwriter? Its another outlet to reach fans.
How can people find you online? @laurendavidsonmusic and www.laurendavidsonmusic.com

Canadian Mouse Trips

By Krystian
Disney is very accessible for those with disabilities and Celine Higgins, the owner of
Canadian Mouse Trips, talks about their services with Canadian Mouse Trips and
how people can plan for a dream vacation with Disney. It’s almost summertime so
Krystian decided to reach out for an interview with Canadian Mouse Trips. It is a
chance for people to think about planning a
magical trip to Disney.
How did you become a travel agency specializing in Disney Vacations? In 2011,
my husband and I took our five-year-old daughter to Disney – it was the first trip for
all of us. We struggled finding people who could help us with booking and logistics,
someone who really knew Disney who could give us insight and support. We ended
up booking on our own and learning a lot. Of course, the magic started on that first
trip, and we all fell in love with Disney! Upon our return, we started sharing everything we learned with our friends and family. Our passion and desire for supporting others turned our first experience
into a family business. We started off small and have grown slowly and steadily. We are so proud that in spite of the
Covid travel restrictions, we earned our ‘Earmarked’ status in 2020 as a Bronze agency and now in 2024 we are a silver agency.
Why did you want to specialize in Disney Trips? Planning a Disney Vacation can be very overwhelming for people, there is so much to consider – Park hopper, how many days? Water parks? Dining must be booked well in advance how can you figure out where you will be and where to eat? There are so many options! And with over 25 Resorts at Disney World to chose from how do you know which one is right for you?
I wish we had someone who was able to help us with all these things when we first went. These are all the reasons
why we do what we do, I love being able to take the stresses and anxieties away from people so they can just go and
enjoy their vacations. I love hearing back from our clients on how wonderful, seamless, and easy their trips were. I
love knowing that by me waking up at 6am to book the special meal or special experience, it means that my client’s
trip will be unparalleled in positive experience. I love seeing the pictures with happy (and exhausted) smiles on the
people I help. I feel that we too are spreading a little bit of Pixie dust with the work we do.
What do you enjoy about Disney? What don’t we enjoy? Honestly, the word ‘magical’ is not overused. We personally have experienced a level of service with Disney is unparalleled and consistent across all brands – Disney World,
Disneyland, Disney Cruises. From our clients, we hear this holds true for Disney’s resort in Hawaii and global locations. As a family with kids ranging in age from 8-18, we feel safe with the Disney brand. There is something for
each person to do and enjoy. The Cast Members always go out of their way to make our stay special. More importantly, we deeply appreciate how Disney is inclusive and adaptive for those with special needs. Two of our children and
on the ‘spectrum’ and it is remarkable that Disney truly is their happy place.
What do you find fun about Disney? Disney is a judgement free zone, truly all inclusive and magical. The “rides”
are more of an “experience” than an attraction! They have the ability to transport you to far away lands (Star Wars
Galaxy’s edge in Hollywood Studios, the world of Pandora in Animal Kingdom among many others) It is truly an
immersive experience in every way. The food is not just about the food itself but a whole experience you can dine
with your favourite Disney Characters or enjoy fun themed shows like the Hoop-Dee-Doo Review while you eat.
And the food is delicious! There are so many shows and Disney makes them great for the whole family – one of my
favourites is the Frozen Sing Along (at Hollywood Studios) they have some great humour for the adults thrown in!
And you don’t want to miss the Festival of the Lion King (in Animal Kingdom) this is like a Lion King themed
Cirque du Soleil style show, complete with your favourite Lion King Characters. And let’s not forget those nighttime
spectaculars like the “Happily Ever After” fireworks show in Magic Kingdom, or “Luminous The Symphony of Us”
lighting up the sky above the World Showcase Lagoon in Epcot and Fantasmic in Epcot. Even the resorts are fun and
immersive. Each Resort is uniquely themed and has unique features, whether you are wanting over the top larger than
life Disney theme, a fun and colourful Caribbean theme, an immersive family suite or even African animals right out
your balcony that roam around freely! Honestly everything about Disney is fun.
What should people know about how accessible Disney is? Everything in Disney is accessible for both physically
challenged and neurodivergent individuals. Disney has a wide range of innovative support services. They even have
kennels for your service animals while you go on any attractions that your support animal can’t go on. Did you know
that there are many attractions where your support animal can go on with you? Sign language interpretation is also
offered for special events and dinner shows (like Hoop-Dee-Doo) And for those with hearing loss, they can sign out a
handheld device featuring assistive listening or captioning. Audio description or Braille handbooks are also available
for those who are blind or have low vision.
Continued on next page

Canadian Mouse Trips continued
How much does your services cost? There is absolutely no cost to booking your Disney vacation with us! We take care of all the details and answer all your questions all at no additional cost to you.
Who can access your services? EVERYONE! We work with clients across Canada who are
looking for their dream Disney Vacation.
What do you enjoy about working and being an owner here? So many things! We have
over 10 agents across Canada and are growing. I love that we can match the client to an agent
that will meet their unique needs. We have agents specializing in so many niches – whether
its accessibility, dietary needs, different Disney locations, multi generational vacations, adult
only vacations and more. Of course, I love travelling to Disney Parks and going on Disney Cruises so that I can speak
from experience to my clients and match them with the right things. It’s so important to stay up to date and relevant
to be impactful to our clients. This includes experiencing different parks and cruises as well as taking training sessions and being able to truly be an expert. I am proud of the fact that in the past 12 months, I have been to the parks 3
times and on 3 cruises. I was also able to attend the Disney cruise on the Wish. I am looking forward to my upcoming
Alaskan cruise early this summer – I find more clients are curious about Alaska and I feel the only way I can truly
meet their wishes, is by firsthand experience.
What else would you like to add?
We provide free no obligation quotes. For Disney World and Disneyland only a $200 US deposit is required to book
your vacation with the balance due 30 days prior to check in (you can make payments at any time). If a better promotion comes out after you book and it can be applied to your stay, we will apply it for you – your cost can only go
down! It is always a good idea to book your vacation out farther in advance to ensure that you get a room at the resort
of your choice.
How can people find you online? Our website is https://www.canadianmousetrips.ca/
and our Facebook is www.facebook.com/canadianmousetrips follow us for tips and advice and to stay up to date on current Disney news and events.
Specializing in Disney vacations

Fun Disney Songs on SiriusXM

By Krystian
I love listening to Disney Hits on SiriusXM!
It’s so much fun! They play songs from movies like High School Musical and Frozen. These songs make me feel
happy and excited.
High School Musical is one of my favorite movies. The songs are catchy. When I hear them on Disney Hits, I
want to sing and dance along. It’s like having a party in my room!
The Frozen movies are also super cool. I love the characters Elsa, Anna, Olaf, and Kristoff. And the songs are
amazing. When I hear “Let It Go” or “Into the Unknown,” I feel like I’m in the movie with them, going on an adventure.
Listening to Disney Hits on SiriusXM is like going on a magical journey. The music makes me happy.
What I enjoy the most about Disney Hits is that it’s fun for everyone. Music always makes life more interesting.
I bought Sirius XM for the computer to be able to listen to Disney Hits, but you can listen to lots of other kinds of
music on that channel.

A Documentary: The Test

By Krystian
Meet Vesta Giles, a filmmaker and author in Kamloops, who took some time
for an interview with Krystian.
Why did you want to create a documentary film called The Test?
I created the documentary called The Test because in 2013 Logan Lake was
named the first FireSmart community in Canada. When the Tremont Fire
threatened the town in 2021, I knew that the FireSmart
program would be tested so I wanted to tell that story.
Will the film be made available for free on YouTube?
The film will be available for free on YouTube in the middle of May.
What do you want people to know about the Firesmart Program?
I want people to know that there are things they can do to help protect their homes from wildfire and by getting their
community involved they can help keep their communities safer.
What did Logan Lake do to prepare for a wildfire?
Logan Lake did many things to prepare for wildfires. They got a community forest so they could control the land
around the town. This allowed them to thin out the forest which would slow a wildfire down. They also cleaned up
the area around their homes so there was less fuel to burn near their houses. And many of them had the fire department put sprinklers on their roofs to make it easier for firefighters in case a fire did approach the town.
What should people know about preparing for wildfires?
Everything people should know is on the FireSmart website. People should clear their yards of potential fuel for a fire
and take steps to have an emergency plan for their families in place.
What do you enjoy about this film?
I enjoyed interviewing all the people we talked to for the film, learning how fire moves through a forest and how people can protect themselves. It is a complicated story and I really enjoyed putting it together.
Link https://www.vandelsoproductions.ca/the-test/

Toy Like Me modifies toys for kids with disabilities on MLK Day

Taken from https://www.wdbj7.com/2024/01/15/toy-like-me-modify-toys-kids-with-disabilities-mlk-day/
SALEM, Va. (WDBJ) – In honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s day, volunteers at Roanoke College modified toys
for kids in a hospital.
“Everybody should belong, everybody should feel cared for,” said professor and the orchestrator of Toy Like Me,
Frances McCutcheon.
You won’t find many toys with cochlear implants and surgical scars, but those things are a reality for many children.
That’s why volunteers at Roanoke College spent the day modifying toys to reflect kids with disabilities and medical
McCutcheon said the toys help kids feel like they belong.
“Because MLK Day is about inclusion, we are doing inclusion through Toy Like Me, which is bringing the community together and including kids with disabilities,” she said.
McCutcheon founded the not-for-profit seven years ago. She said involving her students and members of the community opens their horizons to people different from them.
“We’re modifying toys for kids we’ll never meet,” explained McCutcheon. “But they, when they receive them, will
know that somebody cared enough to use their own hands for this act of love to say, you belong, I recognize your
difference. But I also recognize you’re special.”
Although their biggest toy modification is before Christmas, McCutcheon added the sessions happen yearly to
spread awareness further.
“So, everybody probably knows someone with a disability. But do we know how they feel? Do we involve them in
our lives?” questioned McCutcheon.
McCutcheon said the toys help the kids with their mental and physical impairments for surgery.
“As the kids get prepared for their surgery, they can learn about what their surgery is and learn how they’re gonna
recover, and what they’re gonna feel like and look like on the toy in preparation for their surgery,” said McCutcheon.
Once they finish modifying the teddy bears, the new teddy bears will go to Carilion Pediatrics Clinic.

An Inspiring Kamloops Kid

By Krystian
Recently, Krystian read an article on the CBC web-site about Emma, a young Kamloops girl who started a lemonade stand to raise money for her brother. He has autism tendencies and needs to have an assessment, but that can be expensive. Emma
wanted to help raise money to pay for the doctors to be able to give her brother an autism assessment. Krystian wanted to interview this inspiring kid and her mother, Cara.
Here’s what they had to share.
How did Emma come up with the lemonade stand?
Cara: Emma heard me talking to my dad on the phone the day after I found out how
long the wait was going to be if we went through a public health service. I told him I
couldn’t afford a private assessment right now, even though I believe it should have
happened long ago.
Emma was able to tell how stressed it was making me. When I got off the phone, she
said to me “don’t worry mommy, I’m going to make lemonade and sell it so we can pay for him to see the doctor.”
What do you want people to know about autism assessment?
Cara: The first is that the wait lists are way too long within the public system. If you decide to take matters in your
own hands and find a private assessment as we have, it is incredibly expensive. It’s not something I could do without having to choose which bills to pay on time, including my mortgage.
Second, what I’ve learned these last few weeks is these assessments are extremely important as early as you can get
in. Early intervention gives these kids the best chance at success. And they deserve it.
Third, I learned that you need a support system around you when going through this. People have been amazing
stepping up.
What do you enjoy about the idea that Emma came up with?
Cara: I am more proud of Emma for this than I could ever say. She made her own signs to put on the street and
worked so hard to make sure it happened. I think it was a fantastic idea and it was so well received by not only
Kamloops, but we’ve gotten letters from across the country from people who want to tell
Emma how much awareness she’s raised for this issue. Her kindness and selflessness
blows me away. I am not at all surprised she was able to think of such an amazing gesture
and pull it off so well.
What do you enjoy Emma about helping your brother?
Emma: I want him to have friends. He’s really lonely. He wants to go to school with me
and I hope this helps that. It’s really neat that my lemonade worked so well. My mommy
says that I did more than some grownups ever do their whole lives. I hope it helps him.
What do you enjoy about your brother?
Emma: he likes to bury his dinosaurs in the garden with me and play hide and seek or tag.
He is funny, and I love him.
What else would you like to add?
Emma: I love him very much and he cares about me. He’s a good brother and I will always protect him. Sometimes he plays with my toys, but I don’t mind sharing.
Cara: I am so thankful for the amazing people we’ve met in the last few weeks and for
the incredible support they’ve offered. It takes a village and we really found ours. I am
forever in their debt.

Go by Bike Week

Enjoy the fresh air and improve your
health, all while lowering your carbon
footprint, exploring your community, and
having fun.

Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes

By Riley
The Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes movie was and is a great movie to go see. It follows the story of the previous films and has lots of special effects. You can see the art is from computer-generated imagery or CGI.
The characters were well written, and the actors were just as great, acting like apes throughout and keeping up their
appearances. Even though they aren’t doing all of the acting, you can see how the characters acted and that the actors did well. That is because of CGI. The actors performed the scenes, then they take those scenes and use the
body movements for the apes. They combine the acting with the CGI.
The director behind the movie Wes Ball, which was great because of how much of a fan he is of planet of the apes.
None of this can be possible without actor Andy Serkis. He had the training to act all ape-like and he taught the other actors how to do that, too. That is why, when you see the apes on screen, they look so good when they are battling and running, because it’s the actors doing all that then they get replaced by the
computer effects to make them look like apes.

Blue Jays Report
By Andrew

The Toronto Blue Jays had a mixed performance between April 15 to May 15. They played a total of 23
games during this period and won 11 of them while losing 12. The Blue Jays started strong by winning
their first three games against the New York Yankees, but then lost the next two games against them.
They also had a four-game winning streak against the Atlanta Braves and Oakland Athletics.
In terms of batting, the Blue Jays had a good performance, with several players hitting well during this period. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. had a great run, hitting 7 home runs and accumulating 18 RBIs. Marcus Semien also had a good performance, hitting
5 home runs and getting 14 RBIs. Bo Bichette and Randal Grichuk also made significant contributions to the team’s performance.
However, the Blue Jays’ pitching struggled during this period. The team had an ERA of 4.55, which is higher than the league
average. Robbie Ray was the standout performer among the pitchers, with a 2.78 ERA and 34 strikeouts.
Overall, the Toronto Blue Jays had an average performance during this period. They had their ups and downs, but still managed to win more than half of their games. The team will need to work on their pitching if they want to improve their
performance in the upcoming games.

Big People Don’t Pee in the Park

By Krystian
Wendy Hooton is mom to an incredible young man who makes her smile every day. She is also
an author and a Down
syndrome advocate. Together with her son, she enjoys life to the fullest whether it’s enjoying
movies, concerts & plays, or taking vacations to fun destinations. At home, you’ll find them
reading, writing, and listening to good music of all genres, which eventually leads to boogieing
around their family room. Find out about her book in this interview.
What is your book Big People Don’t Pee in the Park: A Mother and Son’s Journey with
Down Syndrome about? It’s about my journey with my son who surprised me with his Down
syndrome diagnosis when he was born. I was just twenty-three and had little exposure to people
with Down syndrome. This was over thirty years ago so resources were limited. I was sad and
scared at first. But I loved my baby and knew I was going to give him the best life possible. I
share this in the first few chapters of my book. Each chapter after that is a story of embarrassing
or funny situations my son has put me in and how we worked through them. I chose to write my
book to help parents who may be struggling with the diagnosis like I did or are unsure of how to work through certain
situations. I wrote it with the hope of making people laugh, therefore I focused on humor. But I also wanted my readers to know that any emotions they may be experiencing are okay and that they are not alone. By sharing our story,
my hope is to give them a glimpse into the amazing life they can expect to have with their child. In fact, my tagline for
my book is Healing, Hope, and Humor.
What is your son’s name? We named him Matthew, so he goes by this or Matt, but some days he changes it to StarLord, Peter Parker, or Bruce Banner. It all depends on the shirt he is wearing. I guess he prefers a superhero name,
which is great because he is our Super Matt.
What is your journey like living with a son with Down Syndrome? Amazing! My son is my teacher. He has taught
me to appreciate my abilities, to be patient, to love unconditionally, to forgive, and to be kind to everyone. He is also
very funny! I didn’t know I would laugh as much as I do. Some days and circumstances have been hard, but who
doesn’t have hard times? Overall, it’s been a life full of love and laughter.
How did you come up with the name of the book? I don’t want to share too much because there is a chapter in my
book about this, but it has to do with a situation at a park when my son was younger. He was playing in the playground when he suddenly ran to me telling me he had to go to the bathroom. We quickly found one, but it was locked.
I looked around to find another but he had to go pretty bad so he came up with a solution on his own. Later when I
was sharing the story with a friend, we laughed hard when I told her what had happened and how I reacted. I knew
one day I would write a book and this would be the title. It has stuck with me for over twenty years.
What do you enjoy about being an international Best-Selling Author? It’s a surreal feeling to know that people
across the globe are reading our story.
Writing a book is hard, harder than I could have imagined. It took a lot longer than I expected and
there were many days when I almost gave up because of fear and doubt. When my book launched
and it became a best-seller, I could not believe it! I am humbled that it is being received so well and
that so many people are seeing the value in our story.
What else would you like to add? People who are differently abled are more like us than different.
It’s important to focus on their abilities and not their disabilities. We need to give them opportunities
and support them in the dreams they wish to pursue. They want relationships with friends and companions. They want to be accepted and included and they deserve all of this…and more.
How can people find your book? Anywhere books can be found online. Amazon, Barnes & Noble,
Books a Million, Walmart or my website wendylhooton.com

Grateful To Have You as My
I hope you know I’m grateful,
And my heart is truly glad,
That today and every single day, I have
you as my dad.
~ Holly Giffers

Summer starts June 20th.

Layered Mickey Mouse Bark

Taken from https://www.bigbearswife.com/layered-mickey-mouse-bark/
yield: 10-12 SERVINGS
prep time: 20 MINUTES.
cool time: 25 MINUTES
total time: 45 MINUTES
This Layered Mickey Mouse Bark is a fun Mickey Mouse inspired treat that shows off all of Mickey’s signature
colors! This Mickey bark is super easy to make and would be a perfect dessert or party favor for any Disney fan!
12 ounces Yellow Candy Melts
12 ounces Red Candy Melts
12 ounces Chocolate or Black Candy Melts
12 ounces White Candy Melts
Mickey Sprinkles
1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
2. Separate candy melts by color into 4 bowls, melt according to package directions, until smooth.
3. Pour about 1/4 cup chocolate melted candy melts into a separate bowl and set aside.
4. Pour yellow melted candy melts onto lined baking sheet and use a spatula to spread into an even layer.
5. Let cool for 1-2 minutes.
6. Pour a layer of melted red candy melts over yellow. Spread to edges.
7. Let cool for 1-2 minutes.
8. Pour a layer of melted brown or black candy melts over red. Spread to edges.
9. Let cool for 1-2 minutes.
10. Pour a layer of melted white candy melts over brown/black. Spread to edges.
11. Before white layer dries, sprinkle with Mickey shaped sprinkles. Or any sprinkles you like.
12. Re-melt 1/2 cup chocolate candy melts if needed and fill a squeeze bottle or a piping bag.
13. Pipe chocolate Mickey heads in random spots on top of bark.
14. Let bark harden for 25 minutes.
15. Break or cut into shards. Store in an airtight container.
You’ll also need:
A piece of parchment paper or a silicone mat
baking tray
Plastic Squeeze Bottle or a piping bag
bowls for melting candy melts.
spoons to stir.
Yellow = Mickey’s Shoes
Red = Mickey’s Shorts
Brown/Black = Mickey
White= Mickeys Buttons
The Michael Jackson History Show
Taken from https://www.tourismkamloops.com/event/the-michael-jackson-history-show/17201/
Dates: June 30, 2024
Location: Sagebrush Theatre
Address: 1300 9th Ave, Kamloops, BC V2C 3E9 Time: 7:00 PM
Price: Adult: $76.80 Child (Under 13): $48.43 Discounts available for groups of 6 or more.
Please call the box office for more details at 250-374-5483.RETURNING TO CANADA FOR THE FIRST TIME
IN 5 YEARS on June 30, 2024, 7pm, at the Sagebrush Theatre! Showtime presents this spectacular music tribute and
full-scale stage production honouring the one and only King of Pop, Michael Jackson. Celebrate Jackson’s creative
genius and unsurpassed talent with riveting live performances evoking his early days as a member of the Jackson 5,
his groundbreaking theatrics in the 80s and his continued domination of Pop culture into the 21st century. Get the
full Michael Jackson concert experience with triple-threat performer Garth Field – electrifying in his role as Jackson
– plus a live band, choreographed dancers, authentic costumes, state-of-the-art sound and theatrical lighting,
vision, and effects. Truly a mind-blowing stage production – not to be missed! For more information,
visit mjhistoryshow.com

Country Wild at the BC Wildlife Park

Taken from https://www.tourismkamloops.com/event/country-wild-at-the-bc-wildlifepark/17236/
Presented By: BC Wildlife Park
Dates: June 22, 2024
Location: BC Wildlife Park – Meeting Space
Address: 9077 Dallas Drive, BC
Time: 6:00 PM
Price: $40.00 each. Children 2 and under are free! Please note: as this is an after-hours special event, annual passholders do not receive complimentary admission.
The BC Wildlife Park’s amphitheatre will be alive with the sounds of Country Wild! Get ready for an unforgettable evening featuring the chart-topping Washboard Union and a lineup of special guests that’ll have you dancing
through the evening.
Doors open at 6:00pm with the beverage garden running until 9:30pm. At 8:30pm, catch Washboard Union on
Ticket prices do not cover day admission to the BC Wildlife Park. Access is restricted to the Amphitheatre and
Great Lawn, with no in-and-out privileges. Outside food or beverages are not allowed, except for empty water
bottles that can be refilled at designated stations. Feel free to bring lawn chairs, cushions, and blankets for added
What is Disability Representation?
Taken from https://blog.giv.care/disability-representation/
Disability representation is the portrayal and use of individuals with disabilities
within the media and within your own community. This could include, store campaigns, movies, tv shows, runway fashion shows, athletics, and so much more. The
idea is that people with disabilities should be seen within the general media the same
way people from different ethnicities and other cultures are seen among these types of
Why Does Disability Representation Matter?
Disability representation matters because many individuals with disabilities might go their entire lives without
knowing other individuals with disabilities. They might be the only person in their school, neighborhood, or general
community with a disability or their particular diagnosis. We typically look around us to gain inspiration for our
lives and seeing what other people are accomplishing. When there is no one around you that looks like you or is
showing you what’s possible for an individual with disabilities, it can make your world become very small and
As we look for ways to increase representation for individuals with disabilities it helps them to see and realize all
the potential that is out there for their lives, and gives them goals and dreams to shoot for.
When a child in a wheelchair sees Aaron Fotheringham go off a BMX ramp in his wheelchair, it tells them that it’s
possible for them to do the same. When a little girl watches Tatiana McFadden win the Boston Marathon Elite
Wheelchair division year after year, it gives that little girl something to dream about. When an individual with
Down Syndrome sees another individual with Down Syndrome complete an Iron Man, or walk in a high profile
fashion show, it shows them that they can work hard too and accomplish amazing things.
Promoting Representation in the Lives of Children with Disabilities:
When we discuss children with disabilities there is often a huge push for inclusion. Inclusion means mixing children
with disabilities with children without disabilities. This happens in schools frequently. We put so much emphasis on
this goal though that we often forget that a child growing up with a disability needs a community of individuals that
look like them as well.
Some ways that you can go about promoting representation in your child’s life are:
Participate in Special Olympics or other adaptive sports programs.
Look for adaptive dance classes to join.
Get involved in therapeutic recreation groups (Shriner’s Hospitals and other children’s hospitals are great at promoting these types of events)
Search Facebook/Google events for disability events in your community.
If your child is in special education, try coordinating play dates with their friends outside of class.
Take your child to professional Paralympic sporting events.
Identify individuals with disabilities who are do amazing things in non-disabled spaces.


By Krystian
What is your name? Who are you?
Hi! My name is Shayley (they/them) and I am the facilitator
for QWORKS. I started as a Job Developer for the Northern
Region of BC, but transitioned in the facilitator role since it
fits me better.
What is QWorks?
QWORKS is a 20-week provincially funded skills training and employment program that is comprised of three
phases. In Phase 1, participants attend 8-week of online facilitated classes from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm 4-5 days per
week and complete self-guided course work (combines virtual synchronous and asynchronous sessions) through
our Learning Management System (LMS). For this first phase, it is approximately 25 hours a week of work
expected for participants to put in. I should also mention that there is a stipend available for those who qualify for
it. As an active and engaged participant in Phase 1, they can earn a stipend wage of up to $100/workday depending
on a Financial Needs Assessment. Phase 2 is a little different, as the participants are provided support, from our
team, for 12 weeks to help find and secure either education opportunities or employment. We often refer to this
section is the “unstructured” portion of the program because participants are supposed to come to us for additional
helps and supports. We stay connected to support participants job sustainability and help with any issues or questions that arise. Phase 3 is more of an internal phase that involves follow up to ensure things are going well and address any needs/supports they may need to be successful in their role/schooling.
Beyond just myself, we have an amazing Team that works together to make sure participants are supported through
the entire process. Our Client Service Representative, Lannan (he/him) is the first point of contact for potential
participants and he also focuses on a lot of behind-the-scenes stuff. Our Employment Counsellor, Laura (she/her),
completes the potential participant Intake Interviews and helps gather varied resources for participants (as they
come up). We have multiple Job Developers; each one specializes in a certain area of BC. For Example, Tara (she/
her) is our Job Developer for BC South; Sarah G (she/her) is our Job Developer or BC Central; Sarah H (she/her) is
our Job Developer for Vancouver Island. We are actively recruiting for the Job Developer role in BC North. Plus,
we have our amazing Program Manager, Selena (she/her), although participants do not often work with her directly,
she loves to help participants and even comes in to do presentations sometimes!
What should people know about training for the LGBTQ community?
There are very few skills training and employment programming available specifically for the LGBTQ+
community. Currently, there are a two other programs in BC; however, they are often in-person only. To our best
awareness, we are the only program that is available for the majority of BC, plus training is available online and
accessible 24/7 from anywhere in BC! The only place we do not serve is the greater Vancouver area because of
similar programming provided by different organizations.
How did QWorks come about?
QWORKS was originally known as QmunityWORKS back in about 2019. QmunityWORKS was conceived when
an Ethos employee (also a member of the queer community) noticed that there was a huge gap in employment
services for the 2SLGBTQIA+ community. At the time, there were no other programs anywhere in Canada that
provided this specialized type of skills training and education, so we were quite groundbreaking in that way.
QmunityWORKS only serviced Vancouver Island and it was extremely successful! When our government contract
expired, Ethos reimagined the program for all of BC rather than just the Island, rebranded, re-applied for funding
and now we have QWORKS! QWORKS has only been operational since November 2023 with a contract that runs
to December of 2026 (with a strong chance of renewal). The geographic expansion to being province wide is to
focus on the rural and remote communities to help those who would not have access to anything like this in their
What should people know about this program?
For other queer/2SLGBTQIA+ folks, the biggest thing I can tell you about the program is that the program is
designed for the needs of queer people. Multiple people on the team are part of the community, and those who are
not, are amazing allies. Our whole team puts major effort in to making sure that everyone feels welcome and
accepted. If you experience impostor syndrome with if you are “enough” of a queer person to join a queer skills
training and employment program, I am going to tell you that you are.
For our allies, this program is not for you. Ethos has other programs that you may qualify for, however, QWORKS
is specifically a 2SLGBTQIA+ skills training and employment program.
Continued on next page

Qworks Continued
What should people know about Skills Training for Employment Program, for the LGBTQ community?
Honestly, we put a lot of emphasize about finding healthy balances, avoiding burnout, setting boundaries, and
communication. One of the things that we recognize is the major intersection between disability and the
2SLGBTQIA+ community, particularly the Neurodivergent and Queer community (sometimes referred to as the
Double Rainbow). So, we have put a large focus into make sure that the program can cover those niche needs
and questions. I am part of both the disability and queer communities; and I facilitate the program in an inclusive way, we try to make sure Closed Captioning is available for folks with audio processing issues or who may
be hard of hearing (HoH). We definitively explore diverse perspectives, and honestly, as a group, we often laugh
a lot at bad corporate DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) videos.
What do you enjoy about the program?
Something I personally enjoy about the program is watching people find confidence in themselves to complete
interviews, to create a resume, to make a cover letter, etc. I have also met some amazing people throughout the
province in the program!
What else would you like to add? How can people find you online?
Our main website is where people can find the most of our information and folks are able to fill out the intake
form: QWORKS (ethoscmg.com)
We have an Instagram (QWORKS | Instagram ), Facebook ((QWORKS) | Facebook), TikTok (QWORKS
(@qworks.ethos) | TikTok), and you can find us on LinkedIn (QWORKS: Overview | LinkedIn).
Taken from https://www.brainbalancecenters.com/blog/summer-


Summertime is here, and school is out — which means it’s time to make
arrangements for your child’s summer fun. One great way to ensure
that your kid has a great time, stays occupied and makes new friends
this summer is by sending him to camp! While this may present more of
a challenge than sending a typical child, summer camp and kids with
special needs are particularly well suited for one another. Here are some tips that can help your
child have an excellent time at camp this summer even with the added challenge of social,
behavioral or other neurobehavioral issues.
Choose the Right Camp
Many camps exist for children both with and without special needs and choosing the right program for your child can help ensure he has a positive experience. You might want to consider a
camp that is specifically tailored to children with special needs, particularly if your child has a hard
time integrating into a large group of children. Alternatively, you might consider a regular camp that
features a subject or skill your child is particularly good at or interested in — like art or horseback
riding — if your child thrives when focused on something he is passionate about.
Communicate with Your Child About Camp
Your child might be nervous about getting through required tasks, or simply spending the day away
from you (or the night away, if it is a sleep-away camp). Thus, you should talk openly with your child
about what they can expect at camp and address any fears he or she might have. Help your child
figure out what goals he might want to get out of a camp experience and set up a plan for contacting
you or expressing himself should he feel uncomfortable or unhappy in his situation.
Communicate with Camp Staff About Your Child
The most important thing you can do for your child once you choose a camp is to communicate with
the camp’s staff. You should be very open and honest about the needs of your child and any struggles he might have. Summer camp and processing disorders can present challenges to your child,
and you will want to give the right staff members at the program any medical information or sensory
tools that are relevant to avoid any unpleasant situations. You will also want to share information
about what your child wants and needs from camp, as well as any concerns he might have about being there. The more knowledge the staff is armed with, the better chance they will be able to
effectively handle any situation that arises.

Accessibility in the Arts

By Krystian
What is your name? Gaelynn Lea
Who are you? I am a musician and disability advocate from Duluth
Minnesota. Because of my disability, I learned to play my violin like a
cello and hold my bow like a bass player. I focus largely on traditional
folk and fiddle tunes and write original music as well. I also do a lot of
advocacy about making the arts more accessible to disabled people. As a
violinist, I utilize a looping pedal to create intricate layers of sound, a
technique that allows me to craft unique and captivating
compositions. Being born with a physical disability has shaped my perspective and fueled my commitment to
advocate for the rights and dignity of all individuals, regardless of ability.

Beyond music, I am also an aspiring author. Writing allows me to delve deeper into my thoughts and share insights gained from my journey. I find solace in spirituality and personal development, though I often encounter
frustrations with how these areas overlook the experiences of people with disabilities.
Traveling is another passion, offering opportunities to expand my horizons and connect with diverse cultures and
My life is a blend of creativity, advocacy, and exploration. I strive to maintain balance and joy in everything I
do, embracing each day as an opportunity to make a difference and live authentically.
What do you enjoy about doing music? What I enjoy most about music is that you can never learn all of it.
There’s always something new to master and something new to create. For example, I recently had the chance to
compose music for Macbeth on Broadway. That was a whole new creative challenge! It was a fun assignment.

What is your disability journey? I was born with Osteogenesis Imperfecta (AKA, brittle bones disease), which
causes complications in the development of bones and limbs. I have used a wheelchair since I was two and have
been surrounded by an awesome family and good friends. Some people with my disability choose to have operations to straighten their limbs, but my parents decided to leave that decision up to me. So in the end, I didn’t undergo these surgeries. While some individuals may choose surgery as part of their path, I’ve found my ways to
navigate the world and pursue my passions without it, accepting disability as part of my identity rather than a
problem to be fixed. My music, advocacy work, and personal growth have all been shaped by embracing who I
am, disability and all, rather than seeking to change it through surgery.
What do you find the most rewarding about doing music?? What I enjoy about pursuing music is that it allows me to travel and meet new people. I find it most rewarding when I get to talk with kids about music, creativity, and disability. Also, when I can talk to educators about teaching kids with disabilities how to play instruments. I think those two things will have a lasting impact beyond even my recordings.
How did you get into the music business? My parents ran a dinner theater specializing in musicals and comedies. I grew up at that theater. I began playing violin 27 years ago when my fifth-grade music teacher helped me
to adapt a playing style that suited my frame. It combines violin, cello, and upright bass techniques. After playing fiddle music during college and recording my first album, All the Roads That Lead Us Home, I submitted a
video to NPR’s 2016 Tiny Desk Contest and won! It opened the door to tour across this country and in several
countries overseas.
What else would you like to add? In addition to performing and recording, I do speaking engagements about
Disability Rights, finding inner freedom, and accessibility in the arts. I use my music as a platform to advocate
for disabled people and promote positive social change. I am currently writing a book. The book delves into various themes close to my heart, including my journey as a musician, navigating life with a disability, and advocating for inclusivity and acceptance.
How can people find you online?
On Social media: twitter.com/GaelynnLea
instagram.com/gaelynnlea facebook.com/gaelynnlea

Coalition for Dentalcare

By Krystian
What is your name? What is your role?
My name is Brandon Doucet. I am a dentist, author of the book About Canada:
Dental Care and the founder of the Coalition for Dentalcare.
The Coalition for Dentalcare seeks to highlight the shortcomings of Canada’s dental
care system while advocating for a more humane alternative. We do this through various initiatives from hosting webinars to creating social media content, among others.
What is Universal Dental Care? How did you decide to be an advocate for
Universal Dental Care?
As a dental student, I found myself becoming more politically engaged, particularly
due to Bernie Sanders during the 2016 US democratic primaries. In this time, I
would see patients come in needing all their teeth extracted, which made me wonder
why they waited so long to access care. As a result, I researched this topic and found
out that financial constraints were the primary barrier for people to go to the dentist.
I then realized that this was not an odd person falling through the cracks, but rather large segments of the population being left behind by our dental care system. 1 in 3 Canadians lack dental insurance and over 1 in 5 avoid the
dentist each year due to financial constraints. On top of this, the problem was worsening. Many older people are
retiring and losing workplace benefits, and work is becoming more precarious and less likely to provide benefits
like dental insurance.
Considering these problems, it was clear that I had to start advocating for increasing access to dental care and
began writing articles as a result. But I soon realized that on my own, I would not be able to accomplish much
and founded the Coalition for Dentalcare to find likeminded people to help advocate for this issue. During the
founding of the Coalition for Dentalcare we had discussions to figure out what our ideal solution would be,
which is where we came up with Universal Dentalcare.
We consider Universal Dentalcare as the ideal solution, as it seeks to remove all barriers people face in accessing
care. First and foremost, financial barriers would be removed by incorporating dental care into our universal
healthcare system, making all care free at the point of access. Public funding of dental care for all would greatly
increase access to care, but it would not guarantee access. Canada’s universal healthcare system is a great example, as everyone has medical insurance for primary healthcare, but millions do not have a family doctor.
In order for to ensure Canadians have access to dental care and not just insurance, Universal Dentalcare seeks so
use public rather than private delivery of care to distribute the dental workforce based on public health needs rather than what is most profitable. This means bringing dental providers into long term care settings rather than
having them focus on luxury and cosmetic services, as many currently do. This means dental providers being
paid a salary rather than on fee for service, so that they can take the time and energy needed to treat people with
more complex needs, for example many people with disabilities.
Lastly, public delivery of dental care means breaking dentists’ monopoly on care so that we can bring back dental therapy into the mainstream. Dental therapists are like the nurse practitioners of dentistry and can do many
routine procedures like fillings at a fraction of the cost of a dentist. Saskatchewan used to have dental therapists
working in school based dental clinics in the 1970-80s, and it was the most successful children’s dental program
in North American history, but the private dental lobby felt threatened by a successful public alternative and successfully lobbied to privatize the program. Universal Dentalcare will put the interest of public health over private
What is the government doing with the Canadian Dental Care Plan?
Under the current minority parliament, the NDP has forced the Liberals to proceed with the Canadian Dental
Care Plan (CDCP). The CDCP seeks to provide dental insurance to those without private insurance and are making less than $90,000 per year. This is the largest investment in dental care in Canadian history and will help
around 9 million Canadians access dental care to one extent or another. The CDCP is a targeted insurance plan
and does not alter the private delivery of dental care.
While originally the agreement stated there would be no copayments for those making less than $70,000 per
year, this is not true. The CDCP has fees that will pay around 80-85% of what the provincial dental fee guides
suggest, and the Liberals have told dentists that they are allowed to balance bill patients the difference. Keep in
mind that the provincial fee guides are just suggestions, and dentists are allowed to charge above the fee guide,
which also means they can balance bill above the fee guide. This is a major disappointment and will lead to
many people who are eligible for the CDCP to only use it for emergency procedures rather than comprehensive
Continued on next page

Coalition for Dentalcare continued
We should also question the notion that the CDCP will help around 9 million Canadians. Those making between
$70,000-90,000 per year have between a 40-60% copayment, and with balance billing this will add another 15-20%
on top of this, making us wonder how much help this group will receive. While not every dental clinic will balance
bill, most will. Despite balance billing being allowed in the CDCP, it is still undoubtedly a big step in the right
direction. We need to harness this momentum and build off of it so that we can achieve Universal Dentalcare.
How can people raise awareness about Dental Care in Canada?
I recommend people become involved with groups like the Coalition for Dentalcare, the Canadian Society for Disability and Oral Health and the Canadian Academy of Public Health Dentistry. Inside and out of these organizations,
raising awareness for access to dental care and becoming politically engaged is essential, not just at election time.
While far from perfect, our only chance of improving access to dental care at a federal level is with a Liberal/NDP
minority parliament. Through creating external pressure around access to dental care and a political window of opportunity with a minority parliament, the hope is to receive have the NDP seek concessions from the Liberals to
improve access to dental care. Lobbying for electoral reform is essential in this fight, as we are eyeing the prospect
of a Conservative government in 2025 who will likely win a majority with only 35-40% of the vote.
How can Universal Dental Care benefit people?
The World Dental Federation defines oral health as “multi-faceted and includes the ability to speak, smile, smell,
taste, touch, chew, swallow and convey a range of emotions through facial expressions with confidence and without
pain, discomfort and disease of the craniofacial complex (head, face and oral cavity).”
Considering this definition of oral health, Universal Dentalcare will provide every Canadian with the opportunity to
achieve good oral health. To live pain free and to help people keep their teeth into old age.
Improving people’s oral health will also lead to improvements in overall health. Poor oral health has been associated with the following health conditions: cardiovascular disease, diabetes, having a low birth weight infant, aspiration pneumonia, erectile dysfunction, osteoporosis, metabolic syndrome and stroke. Research has also shown that
providing oral health care to people being treated for drug addiction led to a greater likelihood of completing treatment, increased employment, decreased relapses and reduced homelessness.
1% of all ER visits are for people with dental pain. Universal Dentalcare will reduce this strain on the ER by allowing people to access dental care.
It is undeniable that dental care is healthcare, and it is unacceptable that our government does not treat it that way.
What else would you like to add? How can people find you online?
About Canada: Dental Care- https://fernwoodpublishing.ca/book/about-canada-dental-care
Coalition for Dentalcare
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/coalitionfordentalcare
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/coalitionfordentalcare/?hl=en
Twitter: https://twitter.com/for_dentalcare

Inside Out 2

Taken from https://movies.disney.com/inside-out2
Rating:Not Yet Rated
Release Date: June 14, 2024
Genre: Adventure, Animation, Family
Disney and Pixar’s “Inside Out 2” returns to the
mind of newly minted teenager Riley just as headquarters is undergoing a sudden demolition to
make room for something entirely unexpected:
new Emotions! Joy, Sadness, Anger, Fear and Disgust, who’ve long been running a successful operation by all accounts, aren’t sure how to feel when Anxiety shows up. And it
looks like she’s not alone. Maya Hawke lends her voice to Anxiety,
alongside Amy Poehler as Joy, Phyllis Smith as Sadness, Lewis
Black as Anger, Tony Hale as Fear, and Liza Lapira as Disgust. Directed by Kelsey Mann and produced by Mark Nielsen, “Inside Out
2” releases only in theaters June 14, 2024.

Kindness and Compassion with Melissa Fournier

By Lisa Coriale
As self advocates, we teach those around us how to look at life from our perspective. Kindness
and compassion change our interactions from strained, stressful, unpleasant, and hurtful to
easy, peaceful, joyful, and healthy. There are many simple ways to express and offer kindness
and compassion each day. This feature shows us how many different individuals use kindness
and compassion to improve their daily lives and the lives of those around them.
Please tell me about yourself.
My name is Melissa Fournier. I grew up on the East Coast of Canada and currently live in a
small town near Moncton, NB. I have a passion for the outdoors and being surrounded by picturesque shorelines
and beautiful hiking trails fuels this passion. I really enjoy hiking, camping, photography, and beach combing for
sea glass, driftwood, and pebbles that I incorporate in arts and crafts to express my creative side. In my spare time,
I love traveling, reading, and spending time with my 15-year-old daughter. I recently had the opportunity to travel
to Kamloops and other parts of BC and fell in love with its magnificent and varied landscapes. I also made some
great connections and friendships which led me to contribute to Lisa’s feature on Kindness and Compassion.
What do you do for a living?
I am an Information Management Coordinator for an organization that supports diversity inclusion, mental health
& wellness, accessibility in the workplace, and much more. I’ve participated in several workshops, learning activities/events, and information sessions offered by my employer that helped me get a better understanding of the
needs of individuals. I also had the opportunity to work alongside persons with disabilities throughout my career
and that in itself helped me value how our differences are the secret to a successful, thriving workplace, and a fair
work culture.
What does kindness and compassion mean to you?
To me, kindness and compassion go hand in hand and are virtues that are deeply rooted in our human nature. Being
compassionate is a deep empathy and concern I feel for others when they are facing challenges, suffering, or in
need of support. It leads to kindness and acts of goodwill like extending a helping hand, offering a listening ear,
and/or providing comfort to those in distress. It doesn’t need to be a grand gesture, but simple everyday moments
when we choose to show consideration and respect to those around us.
Why is it important to show kindness and compassion to others?
I believe it is not only beneficial to those around us but also to our well-being. It helps build deeper connections
and a better sense of purpose. It creates a ripple effect of positivity and often inspires others to do the same. It can
boost your mood while experiencing a sense of fulfillment that goes beyond self-interest. It costs nothing to be
kind and yet the rewards are immeasurable.
How do you show kindness and compassion to others?
Often just a smile or a kind word can make all the difference in a person’s day. Simply holding the door for someone behind me. Taking the time to express gratitude to the people in my life. Leaving an encouraging message to
someone who might need a little push or a thank you note to show my appreciation. Donating food, books, clothes,
and toys for individuals and families in need. Being considerate of other people’s feelings and setting aside time
and undivided attention to a person or matter at hand. Quality time is priceless and in my opinion one of the best
gifts you can give.
How can people show compassion when they are in community?
I think it starts with self-care. Taking care of your physical, mental, and emotional well-being, and finding a
healthy balance helps model empathy and compassion for yourself which in turn will benefit others around you. I
believe listening actively is a great way to connect on a personal and emotional level. I also believe volunteering is
a great way to gain first-hand experience and insight into the realities and needs of the community.
What are some ways people can show kindness and compassion to people with diverse abilities?
Like anyone else, people with diverse abilities are both capable and at times, in need of some help. Just as with
every other human, their competence and needs are unique. It’s important to pay attention to understand them.
Make sure to include them in our organizations, businesses, and programs, and allow them equal opportunity to
perform in more roles. Make them feel important and valuable. Do our best to make the world accessible to them
and recognize that including people with diverse abilities is a kindness for all of us.
Being kind to ourselves improves our mental health. In what ways are you kind to yourself?
I think having healthy routines is an important way to look after yourself. Healthy eating, exercising daily,
connecting with nature, meditating, and practicing gratitude are some of my favorites. It is also very important for
me to make time for my interests, passions, and things that bring me joy. Whenever things don’t go as planned, I
remind myself that I tried my best and focus on the positive. As challenging as it may be sometimes to live in the
present moment, being mindful of the here and now allows me to find peace with the situation at hand.

Continued on next page

Kindness and Compassion with Melissa Fournier continued
People sometimes have negative views and/or attitudes towards people with diverse abilities. What do you
do, or can you do, to increase kindness and compassion for those who are diversely abled?
First, I think we need to be open to getting to know people as individuals and work on breaking down barriers and
misconceptions. It’s essential to show respect to others and never forget that we often don’t know the battles others
are fighting. I believe if everyone made a conscious effort to see that a person with a disability is first and foremost
a human being with desires, talents, skills, heartache, and loss, just like everyone else, they would see the similarities we all share for being human and we could create a world where kindness is not just a fleeting moment but
more of a standard behavior.
Lisa’s Thoughts
This month I am honoured and excited to welcome my guest, Melissa Fournier from New Brunswick.
I appreciate Melissa’s definition of compassion and how it leads her to act with kindness. As she points out, everyone’s day can be made better when we do small everyday things for one another. These make just as big a difference, or even bigger, than a grand gesture.
Melissa states, “It costs nothing to be kind, and yet the rewards are immeasurable.” This is an excellent reminder
that when we take the time to be kind to one another oftentimes we receive exponential benefits ourselves.
Melissa’s final paragraph touches me deeply and is very powerful because she expresses that all people have the
same qualities, desires, and needs. When we see this, it is easy to treat everyone with equitable kindness and compassion. This is the world I believe we can create for one another.

Disney Jokes

Knock, knock.
Who’s there?
Tinkerbell who?
Think your bell is out of order!
Why is Cinderella so bad at
She’s always running away from
the ball!
Which Disney princess would
make the best judge?
Snow White. She’s the fairest of them all!
What did Snow White say while waiting for her photos?
“Some day, my prints will come.”
Where can you find a little mermaid?
Under the sea!
Why didn’t Elsa see a doctor when she had a sore throat
and cough?
The cold never bothered her anyway.
Why did Elsa get a new laptop?
Her old one was frozen.
What’s Minnie’s favorite outfit?
A Minnie-skirt.
Which Disney character can count the highest?
Buzz Lightyear — to infinity and beyond!
Minnie Mouse asked Mickey Mouse, “Are you listening?” What did Mickey say?
“Yes, I’m all ears.”
Why does Alice ask so many questions?
Because she’s in Wonder-land.

June 10, 2024, will be the 4th annual
Action Anxiety Day!
Taken from https://


What is Action Anxiety Day?
We founded Action Anxiety Day (AAD) as a national awareness and education day to educate
Canadians about anxiety, reduces stigma, creates
awareness of our evidence-based resources, and
raise funds to support our free programs.
Every year on June 10th, we ask Canadians to
join the movement by getting loud about anxiety
and participating in spreading anxiety awareness
and education.
AAD helps us raise awareness, dispel common
anxiety myths, and underscore the importance of
prioritizing mental health in our society.
One of our hashtags for AAD is
#ACTonAnxiety. What does it mean to ACT?
Awareness – Raise awareness of anxiety and our
trusted, evidence-based resources.
Colours – Wear blue and orange on June 10 to
show support!
Talking – Tell your
anxiety stories and
encourage others to share.
Let’s break the stigma


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