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Welcome to the eRoundtable!

eRoundtable is the quarterly newsletter of the Cerebral Palsy Association of BC (CPABC). The latest in supporting Life Without Limits!

2014 Life Without Limits Gala. Visit our Facebook page to see more photos.
From Our President
Dear CPABC Members,
 At the CPABC AGM held on Sept. 11, 2014, Ron Wyant, our longtime member and volunteer, spoke up to say how our programs are making a huge difference in his life. Hearing this comment made me realize that the hard work of, the CPABC Board, staff and volunteers has been.....WORTH IT!!!
I am honoured to serve you again as President of the CPABC for the next year. Thank you to the CPABC Board for having the confidence in me to lead our Association for a third term.  Balancing my responsibilities as President of the CPABC with my full time job and family life has not been easy. But, even if there were a lot of long days and sleepless nights we are proud of the advancements we have made over the past 2 years.
 Since the AGM, we have embarked on two huge initiatives.  The first one was Steptember. We held the successful Steptember with 206 participant and $25,000 raised for the third consecutive year.
On October 23, we celebrated 60 years of service with our very first Life Without Limits Gala. With 134 in attendance including government representatives, business leaders and 33 CPABC members, we had the pleasure of learning about the "Return on Disability" from Rich Donovan, our keynote speaker.  We have raised $26,000 from the event. Though short from our goals of $50,000...not bad for a first gala. I would like to thank our sponsors, volunteers and our staff especially to Feri Dehdar, Executive Director and Sandeep Gill, Development Coordinator for making our 60th anniversary Gala a successful event we can build on in the years to come.
The Association’s programs and services have been expanding. Our newest addition is our monthly Community Kitchen, held on the last Monday of every month at First Baptist Church at 969 Burrard Street from 11 am to 1 pm. Join us for good food and learn new recipes and cooking tips and techniques to expand your healthy diet.
I would like to invite you to our Holiday Community Connection event in North Vancouver, December 3rd from 5:30 to 8:30 pm at St Andrew’s Church 1044 St George’s Ave. See you there!
Look to our website for 2 new workshops starting in the New Year. To register for Legal Education Series or Accessing CSIL –Guide To Self-Managed Care, contact the office at (604) 408-9484 or
 Wishing you and yours a magical holiday. Don’t stop believing!
Andy Yu
President of CPABC


Holiday Community Connection Series

Come Celebrate International Day of Persons with Disabilities with a night of fun, food, festivities and education at our next Community Connection series! This event will be held on December 3rd at 5:30- 8:00pm at St Andrew's United Church in North Vancouver (click for map).
CLICK HERE for more information about Community Connection series

Community Kitchen

This event will bring people together in a supportive and fun environment to share a meal, learn and socialize. We will be creating delicious, affordable and healthy meals that can easily be replicated at home. As well as learning about different aspects of healthy living from our monthly guest speaker. Next community Kitchen on Monday, November 24th at 11am at First Baptist Church.
CLICK HERE for more information about Community Kitchen

Dance Without Limits

This program provides an opportunity for children with disabilities to learn the art of dance. Programs run in  Vancouver and Surrey.
CLICK HERE for more information about Dance Without Limits

Adapted Yoga Therapy

This program provides people with physical disabilities the opportunity to explore yoga. Our experienced instructors adapt Yoga posses to fit the abilities of every participant. Programs will run in Vancouver and Victoria in Winter 2015.
CLICK HERE for more information about adapted Yoga
Congratulations to CPABC President Andy Yu and wife Stella on their new addition to the family!

CPABC New Workshop Series: Accessing CSIL

In keeping with our vision of Life Without Limits for our membership, starting in January 2015, CPABC is launching a new program: Accessing CSIL.
, pronounced “SEE-suhl”, stands for Choices in Supports for Independent Living. Run by the local health authorities, CSIL provides funding for self-directed care. While the advantages of increased control and flexibility can be very attractive, the process to negotiate CSIL contracts and manage the employer responsibilities can be confusing and discouraging.
This is where we come in: Our Accessing CSIL Workshops will demystify the requirements and responsibilities of CSIL contracts.
We are offering help in graduated intensities, depending on your needs. Our initial workshop presents an overview of CSIL. For those who would like more in-depth skill development, we are offering a series of 10 workshops, breaking down the processes such as writing a Life Support Plan, tips for meetings with Case Managers, Bookkeeping, banking and employment regulations.

Facilitator: Paul Gauthier
Paul has much experience working with individuals, groups and the government to create successful and innovative programs, including the Choices in Support for Independent Living [CSIL program]. This program allows individuals to have more control and flexibility.
Paul is a 5 time Paralympian – an athlete in the sport of boccia.  At the 2004 Paralympic Games in Athens he won the Gold medal in individual competition and bronze with his teammate in Paris.
Paul has been involved in many initiatives to improve the lives of people with disabilities, uniting a variety of organizations and providing individuals with the supports they need to fully participate in society. He is the Executive Director of a new society called the Individualized Funding Resource Centre.

First Accessing CSIL workshop:
Saturday, January 17th 1:30-4:30pm at                     The Roundhouse Community Center

2014 CPABC Tanabe Bursaries

What does Life Without Limits mean for you?
Our Tanabe Bursary recipients are preparing for their futures and Life without Limits through education.
This year, the CPABC awarded a total of $10000 to eleven post-secondary students who are studying a range of disciplines including journalism, philosophy, cognitive neuroscience, biotechnology, visual arts, public health administration, philosophy, international relations, accounting and environmental geography.
Nor are these young people waiting to graduate to start giving back: they are contributing now. Some of the accomplishments include anti bullying presentations, motivational speaking, and sitting on North Shore Advisory group for Disabilities, working with vulnerable aboriginal youth, participating in model UN and volunteering at recreation centers.
These awards were made possible through the generous support of the Kinsmen Foundation and Face the World Foundation. One quality that unites our CPABC Tanabe recipients is their sheer determination –to complete their studies, participate in their community and to make a contribution. Students with disabilities often take longer to complete course work and graduate with up to 60% more student debt than their peers. They need our support, and we need their voices to be heard.
Investing in the education of a talented young person is truly a gift that keeps on giving – your contribution not only helps one student complete his or her studies, the community benefits from their skills and abilities, and you are helping to ensure representation of people with CP in research, policy development and in public debates
However, our funding did not permit supporting every worthy application. Consider donating to the CPABC Tanabe Bursary programs so that we do not have to say no to helping these amazing, determined and inspirational students make their mark on the world.


2014 CPABC Camperships

Dreams really can come true, according to one recipient of our Campership program. Louisa told us that she was able to experience her lifelong dream of attending a BC Lion’s Training Camp in Kamloops thanks to the CPABC Campership program.
Or, ask Shayne to recount his adventures in Vegas (if the story doesn’t ‘stay in Vegas’) –the ultimate destination for a 23 year old.
When summer rolls around, most of us look forward to the opportunity to get away, relax, perhaps to commune with nature or to experience other adventuress. For people living with CP, vacation expenses, including attendant care can be as prohibitive as the physical accessibility of many destinations.
Once again, the CPABC is thrilled to be able to provide support for people living with CP to relax and enjoy a summer break at the special needs resort of their choice. This summer, we helped 13 people, granting just over $4700. Like, Louisa and Shayne, each of our campers reports having a wonderful time.
We are grateful for the support of the Central Okanagan Foundation for both campers and facilities in the Okanagan region.
Help support these programs. Click here to make a donation.

Michael Bortolotto: A Rebel with a Cause

by Susanne K. Raab, CPABC Vice President

Every now and then one encounters an individual who redefines the boundaries of what is possible. I had this opportunity recently when I sat down with Michael Bortolotto.  Michael was born with cerebral palsy, an injury to his brain which affects his muscle coordination, as well as his speech. Throughout his childhood, his medical team and teachers focused on what he could not do, and painted a bleak picture of his future.  He struggled through school, and eventually ended up living on the streets in Nanaimo, British Columbia.  Then one day, he came across an idea which resonated so deeply within him, it changed the course of his life. 
Today, Michael is a successful entrepreneur, public speaker, husband and father.  He has recently been awarded the prestigious Cathleen Lyle Murray award by the American Academy for Cerebral Palsy and Developmental Medicine (“AACPDM”)  The AACPDM is a multidisciplinary scientific organization made up of physicians, allied health professionals and researchers whose mission is devoted to the study of cerebral palsy and other childhood onset disabilities primarily by promoting professional education around the world to improve the quality of life for children with disabilities. The purpose of Cathleen Lyle Murray award is to recognize outstanding individuals in non-medical professions “on the basis of their impact on society through their humanitarian efforts to enhance the lives of persons with disabilities”. 
In September, Michael will be attending the 68th Annual Meeting of the American Academy for Cerebral Palsy and Developmental Medicine in San Diego, California to accept his award and to deliver a 45 minute presentation to physicians, allied health professionals and researchers, which will include new insights into how “resetting” can assist a person living with cerebral palsy improve their muscle control, including their speech and movements. 
I had the opportunity to sit down with Michael to find out why he calls himself a positive rebel, and how he has overcome great challenges in his life to build a successful business and family life.

Q:  You call yourself a positive rebel - have you always been that way?

A:  Without actually knowing it, I've always been a "Positive Rebel" growing up. At approximately 27 years old, I was reading a book by Marsha Sinetar entitled  "Do What You Love, the Money Will Follow".  In one of the early chapters of the book, I read about self-leadership and people who had succeeded during the history of human kind. The people who conquered, led, won, and rebuilt societies and civilizations always rebelled against their minds’ temptation to think negatively, have ideas of limitations, and giving into fear. As I read this, I thought - this sounds like the way my mind works. Being a positive rebel is not easy - especially when society isn't going your way.  I have to be highly creative and innovative, as well as a little bit stubborn, to overcome the challenges that I face in my life.

Q:  You are careful to use the word "challenges" when you speak about your life, rather than "disabilities". Why do you make that distinction?

A:  I am 51 years old, and during my years in this world, many different people have come through my life who have greater challenges than me. When the first such person came into my life - I initially saw the so-called label - "disability", but when I took time to see their heart, mind, and spirit, the "disability" faded away and I saw the "challenge". 
At roughly the same time, my attention was drawn to look at the so-called able-bodied person. Soon their challenges became apparent and I thought – wow, they’re struggling in many different ways as well, but nobody is calling them "disabled".
Then one day everything came into clear perspective when a person was telling everyone around me I couldn't do anything. That's when I showed it could be done.  
We all have challenges, barriers we encounter in our lives, but they can be overcome. 

Q.  What has been the most challenging barrier for you to overcome?
A:  My most challenging barrier has nothing to do with me – given time to explore, invent, adapt, create, and do things at my own speed - I can do almost everything. My biggest limitation is society, and the bias society has toward people living with disabilities.  Society’s fear of uncertainty and insecurity builds canyons and mountains around me and people like me everywhere. Please let me follow my heart and I'll succeed just fine, and I promise, I WON'T NUKE AND DESTROY ANYTHING OF MAJOR IMPORTANCE! 

Q:  You have accomplished a lot in your life – what are you most proud of?

A:  Overcoming all of the limitations my physicians, teachers and society placed on me early in my life, and living my life on my own terms.  This includes building my own business which allows me to make a positive difference in the lives of others who are facing challenges of their own.  Also, and perhaps most importantly, I am incredibly proud of my family – my wife Dorothy, our daughter Natasha and our son, Quintin.

Q:  Tell me about your personal life. When you are not working, speaking, and inspiring others, what do you spend your time doing?

A:  My personal life is about learning how to be a husband, father, and accountable person who shows up when the chips are down.  Being accountable to me means constantly trying to stretch my abilities to do things around the home and throughout society. Being a father is more than just parenting, it is about the opportunity to explore what else, and more, I can do. This has ranged from changing diapers to landscaping, to running a chainsaw, to building an ice-cream cone and buying a new truck.

Q. I understand that you have delivered thousands of presentations to a variety of audiences, including school children, corporations, athletes, entrepreneurs, firefighters, police officers, and self-advocates all over Canada, as well as the US. What draws you to public speaking?

A.  I want to show people everything is POSSIBLE, not only in my life - but more IMPORTANTLY, in their lives. I want to be a hero to people who believe they can't and never will. I want to be an example to those people who need a leader to show it is possible, to never, never quit and to help people live their lives to their maximum.
I want the world to see my heart, body, and soul for what it can DO!

Q. What's next?

A.  I want to continue to inspire people to believe in themselves, to change the way they think about themselves and their abilities and to give them the chance to live their life to their fullest potential.  I am publishing a new children’s book called Tour de Courage, to inspire children to believe in themselves, at a time when they are most impressionable.  I will continue to travel across Canada and the US to speak to children and adults about the power of being a positive rebel.
Susanne is a medical malpractice lawyer and advocate for people living with cerebral palsy.  She practices at Pacific Medical Law in Vancouver, BC.

The CPABC wishes you a safe and happy  holiday season.

A special thank you to our dedicated volunteers, for all of their hard hard work.

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