VAD Blog Blog posts for VAD en-gb Copyright 2017 The VOICE of Albertans with Disabilities July 2017 Meet the Voice of Albertans with Disabilities New Executive Director
Meloney Patterson
   The Voice of Albertans with Disabilities would like to welcome Meloney Patterson as our new Executive Director! 
   Coming to us from Alberta Disabilities Forum (ADF), and PLAN Edmonton, Meloney brings a wealth of experience and knowledge about individuals with disabilities and the community resources available to them. Meloney has a lived experience as a family member supporting, first her father who lived with multiple sclerosis. He lived in a rural area and lived at home for many years with the support of his family. Secondly, she has supported her daughter who lives with an intellectual disability. She has supported her daughter, with the assistance of other family members, to live her daughter’s vision of a good life.]]>
Tue, 04 Jul 2017 21:20:00 +0000 Newsletters
Creating Accessible Hotels in Alberta 2017 Accessible Hotels in Alberta

Voice of Albertans with Disabilities (VAD) is pleased to provide you with the Summary Report of Creating Accessible Hotels in Alberta:  Current Practice, Accessibility Tools and Recommendations for Action.   We thank the 162 Albertans with disabilities and 40 hotel managers who provided input into this project.

Sat, 01 Jul 2017 20:47:00 +0000 Projects and Research
The VOICE of Albertans with Disabilities June 2017    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 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.
Thu, 01 Jun 2017 21:07:00 +0000 Newsletters
The VOICE of Albertans with Disabilities May 2017    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
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.]]>
Mon, 01 May 2017 21:42:00 +0000 Newsletters
The VOICE of Albertans with Disabilities April 2017 Check out our latest newsletter for more details.]]> Sat, 01 Apr 2017 21:50:00 +0000 Newsletters The VOICE of Albertans with Disabilities March 2017 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.

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.]]>
Wed, 01 Mar 2017 15:27:00 +0000 Newsletters
The VOICE of Albertans with Disabilities November 2016 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. ]]> Tue, 01 Nov 2016 16:25:00 +0000 Newsletters Action Notes Fall 2016
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]]>
Thu, 01 Sep 2016 19:32:00 +0000 Newsletters
Action Notes Summer 2016 Wed, 01 Jun 2016 20:42:00 +0000 Newsletters Action News Spring 2016 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.]]>
Sun, 01 May 2016 15:36:00 +0000 Newsletters
Action Notes April 2016    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.]]> Fri, 01 Apr 2016 15:10:00 +0000 Newsletters 2015 - 2016 Annual Report Thu, 31 Mar 2016 23:23:00 +0000 Annual Reports Action Notes March 2016  
   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 and fill out the survey, which will close on March 31, 2016.

   Read the 21 Recommendations here.]]>
Tue, 01 Mar 2016 16:09:00 +0000 Newsletters
Accessible Dental, Eye Care and Pharmacy Services in Alberta 2016 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.]]>
Tue, 01 Mar 2016 15:53:00 +0000 Projects and Research
Action Notes February 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.]]>
Mon, 01 Feb 2016 23:09:00 +0000 Newsletters
Action Notes January 2016 What is a Hate Crime?]]> Fri, 01 Jan 2016 16:27:00 +0000 Newsletters Action Notes December 2015 Creating an accessible pharmacy in terms of physical layout and communication strategies]]> Tue, 01 Dec 2015 23:36:00 +0000 Newsletters Action Notes November 2015 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.]]>
Mon, 30 Nov 2015 16:32:00 +0000 Newsletters
Action Notes October 2015 Thu, 01 Oct 2015 21:28:00 +0000 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.]]>
Tue, 01 Sep 2015 20:15:00 +0000 Newsletters
Action Notes June 2015 Mon, 01 Jun 2015 16:26:00 +0000 Newsletters Action Notes May 2015 Wed, 06 May 2015 18:41:00 +0000 Newsletters Action News Spring 2015 Thu, 23 Apr 2015 18:31:00 +0000 Newsletters 2014 - 2015 Annual Report Wed, 01 Apr 2015 21:12:00 +0000 Annual Reports Action Notes March 2015 Mon, 02 Mar 2015 18:19:00 +0000 Newsletters