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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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Accessible Dental, Eye Care and Pharmacy Services in Alberta 2016

The Alberta Committee of Citizens with Disabilities (ACCD) has 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. ACCD’s research study “Accessible Dental, Eye Care, and Pharmacy Services in Alberta” explores the status of accessibility of these health services for people with disabilities in Alberta.
Over the last several years, changes have been taking place in the delivery of Alberta’s health services including, for example, the devolution of responsibilities from doctors to pharmacies as well as an increased ability for dental and eye care professionals to diagnose illness due to new and innovative technologies. 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.
The first goal of our project was to identify the needs of people with disabilities for equal dental, eye care and pharmacy services. In order to accomplish this goal, we engaged people with disabilities, professionals and other employees by conducting surveys to explore their experiences when receiving or providing dental, eye care and pharmacy services. We inquired extensively about ways in which the capacity to provide accessible services could be developed.
The second goal was 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. In order to accomplish this goal, we met with decision makers, public servants, stakeholders in the disability community and professional associations. Our purpose for these meetings was to work towards having the gaps addressed through the standards of the regulatory bodies, as well as to provide strategic directions for professionals to develop the capacity to better serve people with disabilities.
There were a number of different sources of information which generated the information included in this report: literature review, an analysis of existing policy, project specific surveys, focus groups and site visits.

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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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2014 - 2015 Annual Report

April 2015 - Annual Reports
2014 - 2015 Annual Report

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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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Action Notes - May 2014

May 2014 - Newsletters

Recently, ACCD distributed a feedback survey as a way to verify that current programs are relevant to issues that are concerning ACCD members. The survey asked participants to rank a list of issues from 1-10, where 1 represents the issue of most importance and 10 represents the issue of least importance. The topics include: healthcare, transportation, education, housing, employment, recreation, government services, home care, Alberta Aids to Daily Living and income support. The ACCD membership responded eagerly with various concerns and we appreciate your participation.

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Action News - April 2014

April 2014 - Newsletters

The government of Alberta has announced a plan to support Albertans with disabilities who want to find employment. There are many people with disabilities who want to work but are unable to find employment due to discrimination and lack of appropriate training or opportunities. There is a gap between people with disabilities who are looking for employment and employers who may not have knowledge about how to accommodate people with disabilities in the workplace. The government of Alberta is aiming to close this gap.

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2013 - 2014 Annual Report

April 2014 - Annual Reports
Annual Report 2013 - 2014

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Action Notes - March 2014

March 2014 - Newsletters

The Government of Canada has released the 2014 federal budget, which outlines several plans to improve services for Canadians with disabilities. Since 2009, the government has been following an Economic Action Plan by focusing on creating jobs and growing the Canadian economy. This model of planning is clearly demonstrated in the 2014 federal budget.

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Action Notes - February 2014

February 2014 - Newsletters

Alberta Human Services recently released a 2 year plan outlining the purpose, process, success and transformation of the Persons with Devel- opmental Disabilities (PDD) program. After much negativity and confusion surrounding the release of their original plan for PDD changes, the government of Alberta has developed a strategy to work with the public, stakeholders and service providers to improve the services provided by PDD. They have also decided to extend the deadline to 2016 to allow more time for consulting community groups, disability organizations, persons with developmental disabilities and their families, as well as the PDD Provincial Advisory Committee and the PDD Provincial Self-Advocates’ Advisory Committee.

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Action Notes - January 2014

January 2014 - Newsletters

Canada Post recently announced it will discontinue door-to-door service, deliver mail to communal mailboxes in our neighbourhoods and hike the cost to buy stamps. These proposed changes will take place during the next five years, although Canada Post says it is urgent and changes must be implemented immediately or they risk losing millions of dollars a day. How is this going to affect people with disabilities?

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Action Notes - October 2013

October 2013 - Newsletters

The Alberta Disabilities Forum and the Alberta Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health has partnered to produce a position paper entitled, Valuing and Supporting Alberta’s Non-Profit Disability Organizations: Challenges and Solutions. The purpose of the document is to assist funders and others to appreciate and understand the significant contribution NPDOs make and the daunting challenges they face when providing programs and services to persons with disabilities and their families.

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Action Notes - June 2013

June 2013 - Newsletters

Betty Anne Gagnon, a 48 year old legally blind and developmentally disabled person, was found dead in a pickup truck outside a rural convenience store near Sherwood Park, in November, 2009. The medical examiner found that Gagnon had died from a blunt force injury to her head, although they could not determine if it was caused by a blow to the face or by a fall. Her face was bruised and one eye was black. She wasn’t breathing and a paramedic pronounced her dead at the scene. Gagnon lived with her sister, Denise Scriven, and brother-in-law, Michael Scriven, before she died.

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