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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 December 2015

Government Institutes PQR Standards
The Ministry of Human Services is in the process of evolving toward a delivery model to align and integrate contracting for programs and services.
   The Pre-Qualified Resource (PQR) is a tool that government has identified as a way to provide open, fair and transparent access to qualified service providers. The PQRs will provide a clear picture to government of who Human Services contracts with to deliver services and supports. The use of PQRs aligns with the 2014 Treasury Board Procurement and Sole Sourcing Directive.
   Alberta Human Services intends to implement four new PQRs for the 2016-2017 fiscal year:  services to individuals with disabilities; child and family services; transportation services; and, psychological and other specialized assessments, consultation and direct clinical services.
   Service providers who meet minimum requirements as defined in each PQR will be eligible for future contracting work under the scope of the respective PQR. Once established, these PQRs will provide a foundation for divisional and regional procurement activities, which may include competitive Requests for Proposal (RFPs), limited competitions based on specific service requirements, and where required, sole-source arrangements.
   The PQRs will be posted to the Alberta Purchasing Connection in early January. Applicants will select the service categories, client group to be served and service delivery regions for which they wish to be qualified. Those who meet minimum requirements will be considered a qualified resource and eligible to enter into a contractual agreement with Human Services.
   Government has had a series of information sessions across the province to give community organizations representatives a chance to find out what this transition will mean to their organizations. All organizations are encouraged to apply for and get on the PQR list to guarantee they will be considered a qualified resource for future contracting.
   A team of Human Services staff will be responsible for evaluating the submissions based on the criteria outlined in the PQR. Each PQR will outline any scoring criteria that will be used in assessing proponents. Service providers who do not get on the list will be provided feedback after their unsuccessful attempt and are encouraged to try again on the next submission window for that PQR.
   Needless to say, this transition is causing concern in the community as service providers worry about loss of their government contracts and the programs and services they have been providing for many years. To learn more about the PQRs and the transition that government is going through, please visit: 
www.humanservices.alberta.ca and search for PQR.
It is with heavy hearts that we let you know that our board member and past president, Weslyn Mather, passed away suddenly on November 22, 2015. Our hearts go out to Weslyn’s family and her grandson, Richie. Weslyn had been on the ACCD board for seven years and during that time she was admired and appreciated for her dedication and hard work on behalf of people with disabilities in Alberta. It is difficult to put into words how we feel about Weslyn and how much she enriched the lives of the people who had the good fortune of knowing her. She helped countless people and she will be greatly missed by everyone.
Call for Nominations: CCD Award                                     
   ACCD will be presenting the Council of Canadians with Disabilities Award to an individual who is dedicated to the “pursuit of full participation in society by people with disabilities.”
   If you know an Albertan whose commitment to the disability community deserves recognition, please consider nominating that person. The deadline for nominations is December 31, 2015. Nomination forms are available by calling ACCD’s office at 780-488-9088 or toll free at 1-800-387-2514. Nomination forms are also available on ACCD’s website at www.accd.net and they are attached to this email.
The Importance of Giving: Consider a Donation to ACCD!
     Each Christmas, friends and family gather to celebrate the holiday season. Central to the celebration is the reminder of the importance of giving, whether it is in the form of a gift, a volunteer effort, or making a charitable donation. Please consider making a gift to ACCD this holiday season.
   As a non-profit organization, ACCD’s hard work and sustainability rely on charitable donations. With your contribution, ACCD will continue educating and raising awareness about people with disabilities; conducting assessments of public spaces to ensure they are accessible to people with disabilities; providing consumer support and referral services to people with disabilities and their families; producing disability-related projects and research; and, collaborating and partnering with like-minded organizations.
U of A Students Take Up the Challenge
   Fourth year U of A Pharmacy and Industrial Design students are creating an accessible pharmacy in terms of physical layout and communication strategies to remove barriers that people with disabilities face when they visit their pharmacies. Students researched promising practices during their first semester where they laid out their initial plans for their projects. During the next semester they will develop creative strategies integrating their work at a policy level to meet the needs of pharmacy clients with disabilities. Our hope is that this cutting edge work will catch on with pharmacists and pharmacy associations so that in the future pharmacies will be accessible to all. Dr. Cheryl Sadowski has been the impetus behind this exciting work with her students and we congratulate her on being the first that we know of to institute accessible pharmacies into the course curriculum. Thank you to the Human Rights Education and Multicultural Fund for giving ACCD the opportunity to work on making pharmacies, eye care and dental establishments accessible.
Bingo Volunteers Needed
   Do you have some spare time on your hands? How about helping ACCD by working a bingo? We will provide you with a meal, camaraderie and the knowledge that you will be helping ACCD work towards full participation in society by Albertans with disabilities. Call Annette at 780-488-9088 for more information.
Season’s Greetings!
    From all of us at ACCD, we wish you peace, joy, and happiness throughout the Holiday Season and the New Year.
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