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The Voice of Albertans with Disabilities actively promotes full participation in society and provides a voice for Albertans with disabilities.

Action Notes February 2015

Is an Alberta Election in the Air?

Albertans may be noticing many indications of an upcoming provincial election. In Alberta, elections generally take place between March 1 and May 31 of the election year. If an election is called, what does it mean for you?
It is never too early to prepare for an election and it is important to educate yourself on the candidates who are running in your constituency. You can find your constituency and the name of your current MLA by visiting http://streetkey.elections.ab.ca.
   In order to vote, you must ensure that you are registered to vote in Alberta. You can register by visiting www.voterlink.ab.ca.
   You will need to know where your polling station is located. During an election you can find out where to vote by watching for information in local newspapers or calling the Voter Information Centre at 1-877-422-8683. If you live in a supportive living facility, a senior’s lodge or are in the hospital on Election Day, you will still be able to vote through mobile polls. Be sure to check with your facility to see if a mobile poll will be coming around on Election Day. If you have more questions about voting in Alberta, visit www.electionsalberta.ab.ca/Public%20Website/faq.htm.
Tetra Edmonton Can Make it Happen!
   The Tetra Society of North America is a non-profit organization that provides customized assistive devices to people with disabilities. This organization is made up of volunteer engineers and technicians that work one-on-one with people with disabilities whose needs cannot be met by commercial assistive devices.
   In 1987, Tetra was started by four men who needed a way to adapt their wheelchairs to meet their unique needs. Since that time, Tetra has completed more than 4,000 projects and there are more than 200 volunteers in 40 chapters across Canada and the United States.
   Tetra has recently started an Edmonton chapter that is working hard to raise awareness of this service for people with disabilities. The volunteers at Tetra will make any device that will improve the lives of people with disabilities and only charge for the costs of the materials they use. Previous projects include a side-opening crib for a mom who uses a wheelchair, a portable door-locking device for a person who cannot get out of bed on their own, a recorder that can be played with one hand for a child who was born without the ability to use his left hand, and many other unique and innovative assistive devices.
   To learn more about Tetra or to request an assistive device, visit www.tetrasociety.org or email edmontontetrasociety@gmail.com.
Check out the Education for Life Bursary

   ACCD supports students with disabilities to achieve their goals in their post-secondary education, www.accd.net/what-we-do/bursaries-and-awards.

Council of Canadians with Disabilities Award: Iris Saunders 2014 Recipient
   Congratulations to the family of Iris Saunders, whose contributions to Alberta’s disability community are being honoured by the Council of Canadians with Disabilities Award posthumously.
   Iris was the driving force for EmployAbilities for over 28 years. Throughout her career she fought tirelessly for inclusion of people with disabilities. Iris started as a job developer in 1986 and was named executive director a short time later. EmployAbilities now employs over 40 staff and contractors, and offers seven different programs in seven different communities, including Edmonton, Bonnyville, Cold Lake, Athabasca, Vegreville, St. Paul and Lac La Biche.
   Iris was recognized across Canada for her lifelong passion, dedication and innovative ideas that brought awareness to the untapped workforce of people with disabilities. She received countless awards and honours in her career with EmployAbilities. She was the first recipient of the Lumina Award; was named a Global Woman of Vision in 2003; was awarded the Lois Hole Community Award and the Marion Shipley Award by the Junior League of Edmonton in 2009; and she was nominated for the Order Canada in 2010.
   Iris’ passing has left a large void in the world of people with disabilities. ACCD is honoured to present the CCD Award to the Saunders family.
Early Bird AGM Notice
   The ACCD Annual General Meeting is scheduled for May 30, 2015. Be sure to add this event to your calendar and stay tuned for the full details in the next ACCD newsletter.
The Registered Disability Savings Plan Saving for the Future
   The Registered Disability Savings (RDSP) Plan is a long-term savings plan to help Canadians with disabilities and their families save for the future. This federal program is available at Canada’s major financial institutions and some credit unions, and includes contributions from the federal government.
   ACCD will be hosting workshops for people with disabilities to learn about the RDSP. These workshops will explain how you can open an RDSP, contribute and withdraw funds from an RDSP, close and RDSP and other important information that will help you decide if an RDSP is right for you.
   The RDSP workshops will take place between March 6 and July 3, 2015. Contact ACCD at 780-488-9088 or accd@accd.net for more information.
Text 911 Coming to Edmonton
   The deaf, hard of hearing and speech impaired communities in Edmonton will soon be able to use new Text with 911 service to communicate with 911 operators in emergencies. This service is already available in Calgary. Before utilizing this service you must register for T9-1-1 with your wireless service provider, and must have a compatible cell phone. Information on cell phones that meet T9-1-1 requirements is available on your wireless service provider’s website.
For more information please visit www.textwith911.ca.
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