Discover – Summer 2020

Over the past year, we have heard from participants and supporters who were requesting more information and communications from the Foundation and about our affiliated Societies – BCMOS, ConnecTra, DIGA, DSA, Tetra and VAMS.

Whether you had your first paddling experience with BCMOS this year, or are considering cultivating your musical abilities with VAMS, Discover will share news about opportunities available for people with disabilities to re-imagine what is possible.

Donor Impact Report

What we accomplished together in 2019

Enjoy this special edition of our Discover Newsletter – our 2019 Donor Impact Report!

Over the past year, we have heard from participants and supporters who were requesting more information and communications from the Foundation and about our affiliated Societies – BCMOS, ConnecTra, DIGA, DSA, Tetra and VAMS.

Whether you had your first paddling experience with BCMOS this year, or are considering cultivating your musical abilities with VAMS, Discover will share news about opportunities available for people with disabilities to re-imagine what is possible.

Mindful of the sheer amount of information circulating in your daily life, Discover will be published three times a year. You can also manage your preferences for receiving information from us.

Join our email list by visiting http://eepurl.com/gzP_BP or send an email to info@disabilityfoundation.org. Once you’re added to our email list, you will be able to update your email preferences at any time.



Donor Profiles

Marjorie Rogers

Even as a child, Marjorie Rogers often suffered extreme fatigue, and experienced numbness and pain in her hands. But it wasn’t until 1987, when she volunteered to participate in trials for an early version of MRI technology, that she finally received her diagnosis of multiple sclerosis (MS).

Luckily for Marjorie, it was a slow progressing form of MS. She was able to retain her mobility for most of her life until about 3 or 4 years ago, when she started to use a wheelchair or scooter to get around.

However, Marjorie doesn’t tend to focus on herself. Instead, she tries to improve the situation for other people by being a grassroots activist. When she observes an inequity that increases the barriers for people with disabilities, she often will write to the appropriate branch of government to draw attention to the problem. Although she is committed to voicing her concerns in this way, she realizes that she and her community could really use a designated Disability Advocate in government to give them a voice.

Marjorie has been a recipient of the services of Tetra, whose pedal exerciser has helped her maintain some strength in her legs. And Tetra has inspired Marjorie to make some inventions of her own, to help herself and others.

For example, she has designed a hoop that can help people to independently put on their underwear or pants. The concept is simple: the waistband elastic is stretched over the hoop (which comes in S, M, or L), thus revealing the leg holes. The user puts their feet in the leg holes then simply pulls the hoop up, using the attached handles, drawing the waistband along with it.

Marjorie created another invention to assist her friend, a paraplegic, to take his coat off. A simple hook on the wall, on which one puts the sleeves of the coat, can help to pull the arm out of the sleeve. Humble, but life-changing.

These are just some of the ways that Marjorie helps others. Despite her limited means, she has also chosen to be a donor to the Disability Foundation, directing her donation – not surprisingly – to Tetra. As a recipient and an inventor herself, she knows that this is a powerful way to meet her goal of trying to make life a little bit easier for someone else.

If you are interested in learning more about Marjorie’s hoops or other inventions, please contact us at info@disabilityfoundation.org.

Safe and Affordable Accessibility as our City Opens Up

The people of BC continue to work together to “flatten the curve” of COVID19, and while we’re not out of the woods, things are slowly starting to open up. As people begin to feel more comfortable travelling again, we’d like you to know about a local co-op that makes safe, affordable and accessible transportation a priority.

Modo, BC’s own round trip carsharing co-op, has accessibility vans that can fit four passengers and a wheelchair user. In fact, they are the only shared accessibility vehicles in the province. The vans use a folding ramp and rear entrance for wheelchair users, which includes tie-down straps. Because of the complexity of adapting the vans for different abilities, an able-bodied person would be required to drive the van.

“For many, getting there can be half the fun. But for those living with mobility challenges, getting to places is often half the battle,” says Selena McLachlan, Modo Director of Communications. “Our social purpose – to connect people with places in a way that’s affordable, convenient, inclusive and sustainable – is core to who we are. This is especially true when it comes to members of our community who are under-served by conventional modes of transportation due to a number of reasons.”

One accessibility van is located at the City Hall of Vancouver surface parking lot; the other is in Victoria, located at Community Living Victoria. Using the van is quite affordable starting at $4/hour or $48/day for Modo Plus members, which includes gas and insurance. Round-trip carsharing means that the vans are returned to the original designated Modo parking spot after the booking period is over.

Modo’s offices are currently closed due to COVID19, but they are happy to welcome new members who meet the eligibility requirements and are able to complete their registration online. Anyone interested in joining Modo to use the accessibility vans (or other vehicles in the fleet), can sign up online with the code ACCESS50 for $50 in free driving.

Modo’s primary concern is keeping both members and employees safe. Whenever you do use a Modo van, you and all passengers should wash or sanitize your hands each time before entering or exiting the vehicle. Modo’s Fleet team also works hard to keep the vehicles clean, paying extra attention to high-touch places.

If you have any questions or concerns, please email Modo at info@modo.coop. Their local Member Care Team will be happy to assist.

A Win-Win Donation

Four years ago, Annette and Grant left their life in Oakville, Ontario to move to the West Coast to take advantage of an exciting career opportunity for Grant as a CEO in the banking business.

Upon arrival, they found a home in West Vancouver, close to the Thunderbird Marina. Eager to embrace their new life on the West Coast, they purchased a comfortable, sleep aboard powerboat so that they could explore the Coast on weekends and in their spare time.

Unfortunately, that free time never really materialized. Grant’s new job responsibilities caused him to log over 135,000 flight miles in a single year, which didn’t leave much time to use the boat. Eventually, they decided they no longer needed it. However, they found their initial efforts to sell the boat both frustrating and time-consuming.

One day, Grant was speaking with a colleague who is an avid boater. Sensing Grant’s frustration, he recommended donating the boat to a charity. Grant and Annette were quick to see that their investment in the boat could be used in a better manner – one that would benefit others.

At the end of February, Annette started searching online for boat donation programs and came across the Disabled Sailing Association’s web page. She contacted Dave McConachie, who responded promptly to her query. Shortly thereafter, Dave organized the survey of the boat for the purpose of valuation, and within a month, their boat donation was successfully completed.

Grant and Annette were very pleased with how painless and seamless the process was for them. Not only were they freed from the time-consuming hassle of selling a boat, they had the satisfaction of maximizing their asset by giving it back to the community. They made the very savvy decision to donate the boat proceeds directly to the Disability Foundation, for distribution in whichever way it deemed most useful for any of its six affiliated societies.

Having had such a positive experience, Annette and Grant would highly recommend the DSA Boat Donation program as a viable and convenient alternative to support programs for people with disabilities. They see it as a “win-win” – a painless and seamless process resulting in a meaningful and tax-deductible donation to the Disability Foundation, and hours of joyful adventure for the new buyer.

And, even though they are no longer boat owners, Grant and Annette continue to find ways to embrace the West Coast lifestyle!


In Memoriam

Harry Hardy

Harry James Hardy was a long-time volunteer who started with Tetra in 1994. He applied his electrical engineering skills and created 367 devices and assisted on hundreds of others. For many in Tetra’s vast community of coordinators, volunteers, and clients, when we think about Tetra, especially in BC, Harry comes to mind first.

A few of his many achievements included:

  • Tetra Society’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2010
  • France’s Legion of Honor
  • British Flying Cross
  • Canada’s Sovereign Medal for Volunteers
  • BC Community Achievement Award

To learn more about Harry’s life or to donate, please click the Harry Hardy Memorial Fund button below.