A Microboard Helps Make My Life Better So I Can Be More Independent

Rob McLean is the “official” photographer of Chase, BC. You can find his beautiful photographs on websites and print materials promoting the town of Chase, local events and businesses. His photos have been published in local newspapers and have been displayed in the Mayor’s office and Chase Museum. “When I am not enjoying my photography and drone, I am volunteering at one of my volunteer jobs,” says Rob.
Rob created a gallery of his winter photographs for our 12 Days of Christmas event. You can view his photos here.
Rob has an extensive volunteer resume (12 volunteer jobs to be exact) keeping himself busy everyday. Throughout the year Rob works at the recycling program at the elementary school and high school, as well as works at the Literacy program where he cleans, labels, and sorts donated books and places them on shelves around Chase. Rob has been told that these programs would not exist without his help. He also manages the mail for the Mayor’s office and local Chamber of Commerce, and volunteers for the Chase Festival Society’s special events such as Music on the Lake, Cornstalk, Canada Day, and pictures with Santa.
If you are from the town of Chase, you know Rob. He is accepted with open arms and extremely connected to the community. When asked if Rob has found it hard to access resources for people with disabilities, he says “it’s not a problem because I do 12 different volunteer jobs.” Living in a small town provides you with the opportunity to immerse yourself into the community making it easier to access resources and make connections.
Rob can focus on his photography and be actively involved with his community because of the help from his Microboard. “A Microboard helps make my life better so I can be more independent,” says Rob. He lives in his own apartment and has two support workers who come and assist him during the week days. “In the evenings and on the weekends I get to be home by myself. It’s when I get a break from all my volunteering,” says Rob.
Rob started his Microboard 13 years ago when he was in his mid-twenties. He was going to school in Kamloops and once he finished his program, he knew that he wanted to find a way where he could have control of the decisions in his life and live independently. “We hold regular Microboard meetings to help plan out my support. I am a director on my board and get to be very involved with the decisions the Microboard makes. There are seven people on my board consisting of family and friends,” says Rob.
Rob and his family learned about Microboards through a family friend who has her own Microboard. “We saw how well it was working for my friend. I wanted to make my life better too,” says Rob. Everything has been running smoothly for Rob’s Microboard and they don’t feel the need to call Vela for extra assistance. “We only contacted Vela at the beginning when we were setting everything up. However, we know they are there when we need them,” says Rob.
Rob recently obtained a drone license so he can take photographs of the scenery around Chase, like Shuswap Lake. He also has a community garden where people can plant their own vegetables. “I grow my own vegetables too,” says Rob. Rob lives a very active, self-directed lifestyle. He is welcomed and known in his small community of Chase. “Because of my Microboard, all of this is possible,” a quote from Rob that he strongly stands behind.
Here is a small sample of where you can find Rob’s photography:
December is the month of giving and for the next 12 days we will be sharing stories about families and their loved ones with disabilities who have been impacted by Vela Canada in hopes that you, or someone you know, will provide a donation, allowing us to continue the positive work we do.
Learn more about how you can give the #giftofindepence this holiday season by clicking here.