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British Columbia

2 May, 2024

DWP Newsletter: April 2024

This month we are proud to feature Spectrum Society For Community Living!
Spectrum Society for Community Living is a Vancouver-based registered non-profit society and charitable organization. Established in 1987, it emerged from the vision of a small group of friends and family members who were passionate about creating community-based services for people with disabilities. Over the years, Spectrum has grown and evolved, expanding its reach and impact across British Columbia. 

Our Mission and ApproachAt Spectrum, we believe that everyone deserves the opportunity to lead a fulfilling life. Our mission is to empower individuals with disabilities to express themselves, build personal networks, and find their voice. We recognize that each person’s journey is unique, and our approach is centered around person-centered planning and community inclusion.

Services and Initiatives Community-Based Services: Spectrum provides a range of services tailored to meet the diverse needs of individuals with disabilities. These services include residential support, day programs, employment assistance, and skill development. Our dedicated staff work closely with participants to enhance their independence, self-advocacy, and overall well-being.

Spectrum Learning: As part of our commitment to lifelong learning, we have travelled throughout British Columbia to deliver community living workshops. These workshops cover topics such as communication skills, self-determination, and navigating community resources. By empowering individuals with knowledge and practical tools, we foster greater independence and active participation in their communities.

Spectrum Press: Through our publishing arm, Spectrum Press, we create community living books and DVDs. These resources address a wide range of subjects, from self-advocacy to building meaningful relationships. By sharing stories, insights, and practical advice, we contribute to a more inclusive society.

Our Impact: Spectrum Society for Community Living has touched countless lives over the years. We’ve witnessed individuals discover their passions, develop lasting friendships, and contribute to their communities. Our commitment extends beyond providing services; it’s about fostering a sense of belonging, dignity, and purpose. 

Join Us
Whether you’re an individual seeking support, a family member, or a community partner, Spectrum welcomes you. Together, we can continue to create a world where everyone’s voice is heard, connections are nurtured, and barriers are dismantled. Learn more about Spectrum Society for Community Living on their website:  

Disability Story of the Month: Andy Fiore

Andy Fiore is a filmmaker on a mission, weaving narratives that challenge perceptions and amplify the voices of the marginalized. His journey began at home when he used his father’s super 8 camera to make shorts with his friends. In high school, supportive teachers nurtured his passion, granting him access to video equipment and igniting his creative spark. With a thirst for exploration, Andy embarked on his first a film called, “Necessary Evil” about prostitution in Toronto.

Andy decided to enrol Ryerson’s Radio and Television Arts program and major in documentary production. He also worked part time as a video editor and cameraperson shooting weddings and bar mitzvahs. He focused on mastering all the equipment from cameras to sound to lighting. One day he purchased a 16 mm Arriflex ST motion picture camera and started shooting indie music videos that ended up on Much Music Indie Spotlight. For a brief time he worked at CKFM 99.9 as a P.A, and Seltech Satellite and City TV as an editor.

In 1997, Andy unveiled his first feature independent documentary, “Becoming Sound: The Healing Journey,” a testament to the power of alternative medicine and the resilience of the human spirit. This early success fueled his desire to delve deeper into the realm of storytelling, leading him to Vancouver in pursuit of a metabolic therapist named Frank Ludde who claimed to hold the key to curing all diseases.

In1999 he wanted a change and embarked for Seoul, Korea to teach English.. It was there that he had his first psychotic break which was misdiagnosed as schizophrenia. Andy had to return home and then he started self medicating with heroin. This led him down a path of incarceration, homelessness, hospitalization and marginalization. From 2000-2007 a series of near-death experience served as the catalyst for change, propelling Andy towards a new direction in filmmaking—one rooted in empathy, authenticity, and advocacy. Armed with a prosumer camera and a passion for justice, he embarked on a quest to amplify the voices of those often overlooked by society. From 2007 to 2013 he produced a series of films about the marginalized that he showed and sold to universities and colleges in B.C.

Those documentaries can be found at:

With each documentary, Andy honed his craft, capturing the complexities of life on the margins with raw honesty and unflinching courage. His latest opus, “INVISIBLE NO MORE,” (2023) ( shines a spotlight on the intersection of brain injury and criminal justice in Canada, resonating deeply with audiences and critics alike. Premiering to acclaim at the Vogue Theatre on Jan. 28, 2024, in Vancouver, the film brought together luminaries such as Dr. Gabor Mate, MP Alistair MacGregor, and clinical neuroscientist, Catherine Wiseman-Hakes, to name a few, underscoring the urgency of the issues at hand and raised both awareness and funds for brain injured children.

But for Andy, filmmaking is more than just storytelling—it’s a call to action, a platform for change. Inspired by the democratization of media, he envisions a future where everyone, regardless of background or expertise, can share their stories with the world. His dream of launching a streaming network for marginalized voices speaks to his commitment to amplifying diverse narratives and fostering a sense of community and empowerment.

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