Each offered a 5 minute talk on building awareness. Finding our voice. Advocating and connecting. The empowerment to have a voice, to influence, to encourage participation, build awareness and acceptance.
We were so proud to see our council members present with such flair. They were organized, professional and interesting. Everyone loved each minute of each presentation.
Nibras tackled equal opportunities in employment. The right to get paid for work. Conflict and resolution.
Kevin empowered Job club members with his talk about advocacy. Supporting one another.
Jeffery shared his passion for music and healing. Teaching us all that music heals the soul and brings us together as a community.
Aiden spoke about connection. The importance of participation. To try..
“You can do anything if you try” was the message.
Contributing to community programs, groups, activities, classrooms is not a waste of time and there are many reasons everyone should get involved. You matter. Your opinion is valued. You are important.
HYDAC - Halton Youth Disability Advisory Council is made up of a group of young people of all abilities, between the ages of 14 - 29. HYDAC believes that together you can make a difference in your communities and the Halton region. HYDAC's goal is to empower young people to have a voice, to influence, to encourage participation, build awareness and acceptance. Individually, you each have something important to offer and as a group we can learn and grow, creating positive change that will benefit everyone around.
This month is truly the time of fall with lots of exciting colourful changes in nature and all around us. It’s a reminder that we need to get our winter clothes ready for upcoming season. What to do with your old clothes.
On the schedule - continued learning. Inspiring the mind. Our HYDAC council are so proud to announce that iCAN classrooms are now hosted by the Milton library - these classes start on Wednesday, October 21st - (all ages and all abilities)
What are we covering?
Wednesday evening classrooms - 6:00pm - 7:00pm
Sign up here!
We love and support the YMCA leadership programs - Youth matters. We hope you will join in the fight for a better future.
Have you signed the youth petition?
Taking concerns directly to the political leaders. Opening the conversation. Action is a crucial component of change and our youth advisory council and this is one way you can help.
Report from: Aiden, Jeffery and Anthony
Talking to MP Pam Damhoff about employment for everyone - jobs , housing, residences, and medication. Covid 19 has been hard on families in our community. For many of our youth and adults employment has been the topic of concern. More jobs - better pay.
Talking about community issues was last on the list. Have you noticed any, thought about any issues, including environmental concerns?
‘Loneliness ’ - our crew know this word is vital and are making sure everyone is connected. Creating opportunities for community to interact and connect.
So our council invited Mr. Marcus Logan the manager of community development and engagement for the Oakville Public Library. He has been teaching youth like us all about suicide prevention and the importance of protection of life.
Tonight, he talked about how we as youth leaders can keep building full lives, encouraging our peers, friends to connect. We need a sense of belonging and a sense of kinship and if we keep doing what we are doing we will keep making a difference. Such a great guy.
Let’s keep the conversation going was his message. We are all connected.
Ms.Lisa from the Milton Public Library was next on our schedule. She is our positive beacon of information, inspiration and guidance. Always coming up with brilliant ideas to motivate our young minds.
Learning sign language. Learning a new language. Coding. Resume writing/getting a job, cooking- something delicious, what’s an apiary? are some of the ideas our crews collected for the ‘keep on learning program’ that we are creating with Ms Lisa and Ms. Judith.
‘Winter is going to be so much fun!’ Says Jeffery.
Ms Lisa told us that the new apiaries are doing well at the Milton library and we cannot wait till next spring to check them out in person.
Last on our list was discovering more about the upcoming fall equinox /solstice On September 22, 2020. This is when the day and night will be almost equal in most locations. It’s a time when People around the world greet the change of seasons in the fall with unique celebrations. Here are some examples.
CHINA – MOON FESTIVAL
JAPAN – OHIGAN
LITHUANIA – BALTIC UNITY DAY
HYDAC is an inclusive youth where everyone can belong. So think about joining us.
Send us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org
Talking about community issues: employment for teens and youth was first on the table. Let’s talk about how difficult finding a job is if you have a disability and now with COVID-19 it’s almost impossible.
So what can we as a crew do?
Together the crew decided that doing education classes, interest courses, learning new things and preparing was the answer. “Filling our minds with new learning opportunities will help us prepare as well as build a stronger resume.” Says Aiden and Sierra.
The conversation last night made both Ms Lisa Portelli and myself realize that our youth are 100% concerned about their future. They want security, to be employed, respected, included just like any other youth member.
“I want to have a job.” Said Mel
We as community/society need to take their futures seriously, start preparing early. It’s important that we have opportunities for our youth to grow, develop and be independently successful - let’s plan ahead.
Last on our agenda, we also had a craft session- making masks by reusing and re-purposing old t-shirts. This was perfect for our sensory friends. Soft personal tee’s turned into personalized masks was a perfect way to end the meeting.
Tonight 12 members attended the virtual youth council meeting to discuss important issues on a local community level as well on a global level.
First on the table was ‘Sustainability’
Keeping our world healthy - doing your part
Addressing garbage. Our youth council wants encourage every household to manage and reduce waste. Our goal in the future is a world that has zero waste.
“If you see it - pick it up” Sierra reminded the group
Checking in with Ms Lisa from Milton Public Library who informed us that the grant to offer sensory items to families in Milton libraries has arrived. This means that as our community libraries prepare for opening up public, Ms Lisa can purchase what is needed for patrons. “We are so proud to be a part of the process,” says Aiden. “Imagine how many families will benefit.”
Tonight we also celebrated a birthday and Ms Erin brought her positive cheer into the group with a Let’s get fired up cheer routine, as well as a ‘Happy Birthday’ cheer for Nibras. It was fun seeing everyone up and moving!
Next on the list was our youth momentum. Do what you can in your community.
As a youth member if you feel strongly about an issue in your community, reach out to council members who are in your riding.
Address concerns. Write letters. Talk about it.
Fun fact for July!
Have you ever wished for a day where you can eat absolutely anything you want? Well that day is today. National Junk Food Day is celebrated every year on July 21!
HYDAC - Halton Youth Disability Advisory Council meeting was another success!
council members from all over Halton were present at last night’s meeting and it was wonderful to have special guest - Town of Milton, Councillor Sameera Ali join our crew. She is such a positive person, who cares deeply for the youth in Halton. As an active volunteer in the community she addressed the importance of volunteering and helping out wherever we can. Even if it’s an ear to listen, or your hands to make the work lighter at home. Keeping active, while sharing our positive outlook and creative spirits is key to happiness.
First on our agenda was addressing personal coping strategies, ideas and inspirations for youth that are struggling at home.
If you are feeling overwhelmed, talk to an adult, friends, or a professional. Limit watching the news and listening. Be proactive. Try something new. Go for fresh air walks, bicycle rides etc.
Ms Lisa Portelli from the Milton Public Library added an important element. Books are now available for curb side pickup at the library as well as lots and lots of online options, how to videos, music, audio books etc. We need to open our minds to options and explore opportunities within our communities. So reach out to your local library, look at your town or city website and ask what’s available.
Our crews also took a moment to reflect on the importance of acceptance. Love. Community. The sadness of what happened to Mr. George Floyd has deeply affected our ability community and together they expressed their pain and outrage at what is happening around the world. “Not on our watch!” Says Ms. Judith. Together we will stand in unity. Acceptance. Love and courage. Black lives matter.
June is Indigenous history month and our crew all voiced their interest in learning more. Being more knowledgeable is the key to truth and reconciliation.
Pride month is a chance to recognize the impact all our LGBTQ people have had in the world. ️
The library has collected over 90 pieces of art, poetry and letters from youth that have been printed and sent to Birkdale senior centre to bring joy and happiness to the seniors residing there. She also got permission from our crew to send them to other senior Milton residents. “Send them to as many as possible!” Was the consensus.The Town of Oakville offered a similar program called ‘Message in a bottle’ and our HYDAC crew participated in that as well sending lots and lots of pictures and poetry to help fill the bottles with positive messages of hope and happiness - GO HYDAC GO!
Being home for close to two months has been hard for many of our youth. Many miss the patterns of routines, friends and familiarity. So yesterday during our mental health check our crew opened up and shared how they truly feel.
“Mental health week is an important part of our meeting. It’s a reminder to all families to do a check in, talk about feelings, fears, and anxiety.” Says Ms. Judith “let everyone express their emotions. It’s healthy.”
For national youth week we spoke about environment. Even though we are at home and in our neighbourhoods we can still do something for our planet.
*Maddison and Elaine noticed that the Milton library that is close to them has garbage in the lawns and together these two will pack gloves and pick it up. Thank you guys!
*Aiden spoke about reusing vegetable scraps. Regrowing our foods. Instead of throwing celery, romain lettuce, bok choi, carrots, green onions ends into the compost. Try to regrow then in water and replant then into the garden.
Voices were strong, with lots of humour, tears and inspiring hope, it was wonderful to see our youth members so passionate about life.
Last night the Halton Youth Disability Advisory Council meeting was in Milton. First on the agenda was..... you guessed it. The upcoming ‘Happy Valentine’s Dance’ on February 13th in Milton.
Our HYDAC councillors are so proud of their first community initiative in Milton. They hope to encourage all youth and adults in the community to come out and meet each other on the dance floor. DJ James and Simon are spinning the hits for everyone to dance too, as well the council members have even organized a soothing space for those that need a quiet zone to help themselves regulate.
This dance is to encourage not only community partnerships, by working closely with the Milton Public library, but also to develop organization skills, positive team work, confidence, acceptance and inclusivity.
What a fantastic social opportunity for all our youth and adults!!!
Next on the agenda was the upcoming ‘Artability Showcase’ at the Milton Library
This is a special art exhibition showcasing written, visual, and performance art by Milton’s neurodiverse youth community and HYDAC members. The event will feature the artwork of all HYDAC members!!!
Art and poetry exhibition is open 2020 at Milton Main Library from April 3-9,
Dance performance by Dance Ability Movement as well as performance art on Sat, Apr 4 1:30pm
Last on the agenda was Global concerns and community issues. This is an important part of the meeting as it gives the council a chance to discuss concerns and members spent a few minutes discussing environment, protection of nature, animals and plants - the importance of trees and conservation is Hugh in their list.
First topic on Tuesday evening Halton Youth Disability Advisory Council meeting was the upcoming ‘Happy Valentine’s Dance’ on February 13th in Milton.
Our HYDAC councillors were enthusiastic in their excitement for the First ever Community youth event. This dance is to encourage not only community partnerships (working closely with the Milton Public Library) but also to develop awareness and encourage inclusivity and belonging. “What a fantastic social opportunity for all our youth and adults, with hip music from DJ James and Simon and lots of friends.” Says Mary Rose, community lead.
Next on the agenda was the upcoming Artability Showcase in Milton
This is a special art exhibition showcasing written, visual, and performance art by Milton’s neurodiverse youth community and all our HYDAC members. The event will feature the artwork of Aiden Lee, as he presents his work “Acceptance: We’re All Part of the Rainbow.”
Art and poetry exhibition open April 3-9, 2020 at Milton Main Library.
Dance performance by Dance Ability Movement.
Sat Apr 4, 1:30pm
Yesterday was the first of 2020 Oakville, HYDAC council meeting at the Oakville Public Library
Our council members started off the agenda with a special guest, Ms. Connie Benner from Oakville Transit. Independence is at the top of the list this year and transit is a huge component of how our youth and adults get to employment, shopping, friends, just everyday travel.
Second on the agenda was sensory movies at the Oakville library. Community opportunities that the community celebrated with a loud HOORAY! Junior and senior options were discussed, what types of movies, age appropriate etc.
Next! The upcoming VALENTINES dance. This is the perfect collaborative project for HYDAC - Oakville and Milton, as well as the Special Friends Network.
Lastly was an important announcement. Our friend, Nabeel from the town of Oakville let us know that the Nottinghill Youth Centre have added a monthly, ‘All Abilities Play Night’ for all our youth, of all abilities.
Well done crew!
Recaps of our monthly meetings at the OPL.