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

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Newsletters


The VOICE of Albertans with Disabilities June 2017

June 2017 - Newsletters
AISH Update
   In November 2016, the Auditor General released a report to recommend improvements to the AISH program.  Here are three recommendations that outline the commitment to Albertans to make the AISH program better.
 
1) Improve Program Accessibility
  • make the AISH program information more accessible and user friendly.
  • simplify the AISH application form. The new simplified AISH application form should be available by July 31, 2017.
  • improve the internal AISH application process.
 
2) Set Service Standards and Improve Eligibility 
  • Procedures and Guidelines
  • set standards for application processing times.
  • improve communication with applicants who are not eligible for AISH.
  • support staff decision-making through enhanced training and supports.
  • track and analyze appeal panel decisions.
  • review all eligibility policies...to provide clarity and transparency.
  • strengthen internal oversights and implement the Ministry’s Internal Audit recommendations.
 
3) Improve Reporting on Efficiency
The following indicators will be monitored and publically reported on:
  • efficiency/timeliness of program delivery.
  • effectiveness of program delivery.

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The VOICE of Albertans with Disabilities May 2017

May 2017 - Newsletters
Support and Referral   
   Voice of Albertans with Disabilities staff provide support (e.g. filling out forms, providing information of disability supports and programs) and referral services to people with disabilities, their families and advocates. Requests for information and support are received through telephone calls, letters, and emails.
 
   As people with disabilities, we know that government programs and services can be a challenge to access and/or understand. For this reason, Voice of Albertans with Disabilities has maintained our Support and Referral Program since 1973.

Get Loud for Mental Health
   GET LOUD BY SPEAKING UP!
We often suffer silently. One of the ways to Get Loud is to speak up. Talk openly to someone you feel safe with: a loved one or a friend. If they’re informed and supportive, they won’t judge or shame you about your mental health concerns. They may even have their own concerns, and you’d be opening a dialogue. Either way, talking about it can end the silence.

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The VOICE of Albertans with Disabilities April 2017

April 2017 - Newsletters
AISH Changes - Disability Advocate - Service Dogs and More!
Check out our latest newsletter for more details.

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The VOICE of Albertans with Disabilities March 2017

March 2017 - Newsletters
Time for a vacation?
Albertans with physical disabilities will have five more parks to enjoy with their families this summer, plus a new place to fish in the Castle Wildland Provincial Park next summer.

ADF AISH Update
On March 2, 2017, government representatives from the AISH program met with members from the ADF AISH Working Goup, Guy Coulombe, Spinal Cord Injury, and Meloney Patterson, ADF Provincial Coordinator, to discuss recommendations outlined in the ADF paper submitted to them in January. They invited us to outline in a letter our recommendations for suggested improvements to the AISH application forms, their processes and eligibility adjudication criteria.  We strongly reiterated the call for cost of living increases as outlined in the AISH Working Group paper. 

Board Members Needed
Would you like to make a difference in your community? We are looking for board members from all areas of the province who are 18 years of age or older, who can commit to a two-year term and have access to email. Priority will be given to those individuals with a disability or who have disability awareness.

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The VOICE of Albertans with Disabilities November 2016

November 2016 - Newsletters
The VOICE of Albertans with Disabilities discusses Auditor General of Alberta report on AISH Program deficiencies. He concluded that “the Department of Human Services is unable to demonstrate that the AISH Program is efficient.  The AISH application process favours people who are good at completing forms and are persistent.  Assessing eligibility takes too long, and the department cannot be sure its staff’s decisions are consistent.  With its existing reporting process, the department does not know what it needs to change to improve the program.” He gave recommendations to improve the AISH Program.
The Alberta Disabilities Forum struck the AISH Benefit working group to look at how Albertans with disabilities are impacted by the amount of monthly income provided by the AISH program.  The ADF AISH Benefit working group distributed a survey to their member organizations to hear the perspectives of Albertans who participate in the AISH program. 

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Action Notes Fall 2016

September 2016 - Newsletters
What does an accessible Canada mean to you? Be part of the conversation.

Did you know that approximately 14 percent of Canadians aged 15 years or older reported having a disability that limited them in their daily activities? And that there are approximately 411,000 working-aged Canadians with disabilities who are not working but whose disability does not prevent them from doing so? Almost half of these potential workers are post-secondary graduates. All Canadians are encouraged to take part in the consultation process, either by attending an in-person session or by participating in the online consultation. A full list of in-person sessions can be found at www.Canada.ca/Accessible-Canada.

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Action Notes Summer 2016

June 2016 - Newsletters
New Executive Director, Accessible Hotels??, A new $2000 bursary from the Pembina Pipeline Corporation and ADF Updates

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Action News Spring 2016

May 2016 - Newsletters
Accessible Hotel Rooms in Alberta
For people with disabilities, travelling is often fraught with uncertainty, especially when it comes to hotel accessibility. This has become more evident as ACCD is approached by individuals and organizations that are unable to find accessible accommodations. We hear from people with disabilities who travel for work or leisure, families with children with disabilities and others who have found their travels compromised by inaccessible accommodations. While some steps have been taken to provide accessible accommodation, a disparity exists between what the industry deems accessible and the diverse needs of people with disabilities. Educating the hotel industry on what constitutes an accessible hotel room would be a great benefit to people with disabilities, as well as the hotel industry.

Accessible Dental, Eye Care & Pharmacy Services: Research Project Completed        
ACCD identified the need to raise awareness about the institutional and organizational barriers that exclude Albertans with disabilities from fully participating in dental, eye care and pharmacy services in Alberta. Our research study “Accessible Dental, Eye Care, and Pharmacy Services in Alberta” explored the status of accessibility of these health services for people with disabilities in Alberta.  To ensure equal access to health services in Alberta, it is crucial that people with disabilities are included in future strategies and implementation in order to provide accessible dental, eye care and pharmacy services.

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Action Notes April 2016

April 2016 - Newsletters
An Alberta Accessibility Act
   Through the years ACCD has received calls from community members asking if we are advocating for accessibility legislation in Alberta. Our response was, “Although we think it would be a good idea, we are not actively promoting accessibility legislation.” The steps necessary to have legislation drafted and enacted is a daunting task and one that ACCD has not pursued. However, given what is happening across Canada, now might be the time for Alberta to get on board and start the discussion about an Alberta Accessibility Act.

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Action Notes March 2016

March 2016 - Newsletters
   On June 6, 2016, physician-assisted death will become legal in Canada. Decisions are presently being considered about how physician-assisted death will be carried out in Alberta. The government of Alberta has created an online survey to hear from Albertans about what is important to us as the regulations/legislation are being developed.
 
   The government survey preamble states, “Physician-assisted death is a delicate and emotional issue. Alberta Health wants to ensure that Albertans have had, and will continue to have input into sensitive and difficult choices concerning end-of-life decisions and access and delivery of physical-assisted death.”
 
   The voices of people with disabilities must be heard. Please go to www.health.alberta.ca/initiatives/physician-assisted-death.html and fill out the survey, which will close on March 31, 2016.

   Read the 21 Recommendations here.

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Action Notes February 2016

February 2016 - Newsletters
The Supreme Court of Canada granted a four-month extension on the effective date of the Carter judgment to June 6, 2016.
 
What does this extension mean to Canadians?
   The provisions of the federal criminal code that prohibit doctor assisted dying will be in effect until June 6, 2016. After June 6, 2016, a competent adult with an “irremediable medical condition that causes enduring suffering that is intolerable to the individual in the circumstances of his or her condition” can get help from a doctor to die.

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Action Notes January 2016

January 2016 - Newsletters
How do we make more opportunities available for persons with disabilities to receive these benefits from nature?
What is a Hate Crime?

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Action Notes December 2015

December 2015 - Newsletters
Service providers are concerned about loss of their government contracts and the programs and services they have been providing for many years.
Creating an accessible pharmacy in terms of physical layout and communication strategies

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Action Notes November 2015

November 2015 - Newsletters
Leaving Some Behind
The Institute for Research on Public Policy has produced a document entitled Leaving Some Behind: What Happens When Workers Get Sick. This report calls for a fundamental renewal of Canada’s income, disability and employment support system and calls on the federal government to champion the renewal. The purpose of the report is to highlight the burden and household impact of serious illness in Canada.
 
   The report asks and answers the question, “How is Canada doing in supporting the employment and income needs of workers and families when they experience a major health issue?” Various aspects of Canada’s disability and employment support system are analyzed. A series of principles that could form the starting point for defining a new framework for supporting individuals deal with sickness or disability are identified.

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Action Notes October 2015

October 2015 - Newsletters
The federal election is coming soon and we want to make sure that Albertans with disabilities are ready to vote! In order to vote on Election Day, October 19, 2015, there are some things you need to do.

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Action News Fall 2015

September 2015 - Newsletters
Action News Fall 2015
 
Physician-Assisted Suicide in Canada
Sometimes decisions made by our elected representatives or by court challenges can fundamentally change the way we live our lives up to and including what happens at the end of our lives. The landmark February decision of the Carter Case by the Supreme Court of Canada is one such decision that has the potential to alter end-of-life for all Canadians. Many Canadians with disabilities are extremely concerned about the implications of this ruling.

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Action Notes June 2015

June 2015 - Newsletters
As Canadians wait to see the effects of the massive shift in Alberta’s government, the question faced by ACCD remains: what does this mean for Albertans with disabilities?

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Action Notes May 2015

May 2015 - Newsletters
The Federal budget for 2015-2016 has been released. The budget mostly maintains the course from previous years as Canada continues to recover from an economic downturn. There are, however, a number of new initiatives which may be of interest for people with disabilities, including a new Home Accessibility Tax Credit and a renewal of the Mental Health Commission of Canada's mandate for another 10 years.

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Action News Spring 2015

April 2015 - Newsletters
There is a provincial election on the way! The election is spurred on by the Alberta Budget 2015-2016, a budget which features tax increases and program cuts so widespread that Albertans will be demanding a vote to either validate or reject it. While disability programs and services including AISH are being maintained at present levels, cuts to Alberta Health Services and to education concern every Albertan. The voices of persons with disabilities must be heard in the coming election.

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Action Notes March 2015

March 2015 - Newsletters
The Supreme Court ruling in the Carter case has fundamentally altered end-of-life decisions for Canadians. An important discussion must now begin with Canadians and politicians of all levels, with civil society, health professions, and the legal community.

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Action Notes February 2015

February 2015 - Newsletters
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?

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Action Notes January 2015

January 2015 - Newsletters
Continuing Care front-line staff, patients and families are concerned about recent changes to the staffing structure at several continuing care facilities that are managed by Covenant Health, a branch of Alberta Health Services.

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Action Notes December 2014

December 2014 - Newsletters
Have you ever seen a service dog helping a person with a disability cross the street or find their way into a building? Have you wondered about how the dogs are trained and why we are asked to not pet the dogs when they are working?

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Action News Fall 2014

September 2014 - Newsletters
In July 2014, two ACCD staff members attended the first International Accessibility Summit in Ottawa hosted by Carleton University. This event featured hundreds of people from around the world who are working on a common goal: to remove barriers that prevent people with disabilities from accessing the world. Improving the accessibility of various physical spaces, education tools, documents, media, technology and employment processes are some of the many topics that were discussed.

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Action Notes June 2014

June 2014 - Newsletters
The government of Alberta has started a new pilot project, entitled Alberta Food Service Labour Connections, which connects Albertans with disabilities to employment opportunities in the food services industry. Other underrepresented groups, such as youth, seniors, immigrants, Aboriginals and those unemployed for long periods of time are also eligible to participate. Currently, the project is working with provincially and federally funded service providers that help underrepresented groups find employment in Edmonton only; however, there is potential for this to become a province-wide program.

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