Seniors Gateway to Legal Information & Resources

Gateway Project Background

The Seniors Gateway to Legal Information and Resources Project is a partnership between 411 Seniors Centre (411) and the Representation Agreement Resource Centre (RARC).

The Project is being proposed for two reasons:

  1. The 411 Seniors Centre operates an extensive information, referral and assistance program focused on assisting and supporting the diverse community of seniors in the Vancouver area with their needs and concerns in accessing benefits, services and programs that sustain and improve their quality of life. The Representation Agreement Resource Centre assists individuals, their family and supporters to do personal planning for their future quality of life.

  2. Both organizations have agreed that the project will enhance the services each provides, increase their capacity to serve the growing seniors population and provide an opportunity to strengthen their partnership as information providers for seniors.
The project has two purposes or goals:

  1. GOAL ONE:

    To train Seniors' Legal Information Provider (SLIP) volunteers in accessing and using web-based legal information resources. The project will provide an overview of Internet resources and services. RARC's Nidus eRegistry will act as a practical application for training of on-line legal information resources and services. The project will then help volunteers apply this practical knowledge and experience to accessing the wide array of web based legal resources.

    Specific objectives of goal one are to:

    • Identify potential participants from community organizations that provide information and referral and counselling services to seniors in the Greater Vancouver area. RARC will identify participants from the Fraser Valley and Vancouver Island areas.
    • Develop a training curriculum and program that focuses on both the content of web-based legal information resources and the skills to access them. For example: if a senior client comes for help because their spouse is being tested for Alzheimer Disease they can access information on legal planning tools, income tax credits,
    • Conduct a series of training sessions. There will be two groups of trainees at the 411 Seniors Centre site. Each group will receive training of approximately 2 sessions of 2 hours each per topic
      • Internet Overview;
      • Nidus eRegistry;
      • seniors portal to web-based legal resources.
      Fraser Valley and Vancouver Island sites will receive an adapted training program, which will be developed in collaboration with their needs and capacity and project resources.
    • Provide follow-up phone, e-mail and on-site support to trainees to enable problem solving, evaluation, sharing of knowledge and skills and assist with implementation issues within their organization including policies and procedures.
    • Increase the capacity of the community to access legal information and services including the Nidus eRegistry by involving the existing Community Learning Networks (CLN) / Community Access Program (CAP) sites as local partners. CLN's are mandated to assist community members use of the CAP sites by providing training and support in the use of computers and the internet. CAP sites are publicly accessible sites with computers, printers and high-speed internet connections.)
    • Develop the infrastructure at 411 Seniors and RARC to continue to recruit, train and support seniors volunteers in the use of web-based legal resources and services.
    • Enhance the capacity of 411 Seniors' and RARC to provide legal information and support to the community.
    • Multiply the effect of training. As trainees return to their community organizations they will use their skills and knowledge to help seniors clients and to share with colleagues.
  2. GOAL TWO:

    To develop and build a portal website for use by Seniors Legal Information Providers throughout the province. The portal website will list and annotate legal information and resources on the web. Each link will direct the user to a site and provide a description of the site, the type of information or assistance available and information on how to use the site, including eligibility criteria and other relevant information. Project trainees will assist in its development by providing feedback and testing during the portal's design.

    Specific objectives of the portal website are to:

    • Contain links to sites holding legal information, resources and/or services of value, interest and assistance to seniors.
    • Contain information and annotations regarding legal information and resource websites that assist in the selection of the most appropriate information and resources available.
    • Contain information on how to use tools on the websites such as, search engines, document downloads and online registries.
    • Provide feedback to those agencies responsible for these websites as to their accessibility and usability.