VAD Blog Blog posts for VAD en-gb Copyright 2018 Disabled parenting: Prepare yourself and your home for life with a baby Sun, 01 Apr 2018 15:32:00 +0000 Newsletters Conference Call for Presenters Overview and Call for Conference Presenters
Voice of Albertans with Disabilities 1st Annual Conference
October 18 & 19, 2018

Chateau Nova Hotel - Kingsway, 159 Airport Road, Edmonton Alberta
Voice of Albertans with Disabilities is hosting its first annual Conference and is seeking presenters for the event. The conference is a two day dialogue and information exchange. The conference will feature keynote speakers, workshops, panels, presentations and community information tables. This conference is ideally suited to individuals and organizations from Alberta focusing on Accessibility.
A motivational speaker to open the conference and set the tone for the activities is required for Thursday evening, October 18, 2018.  Session, and keynote presenters are required for Friday October 19, 2018.  The audience will be lead through a journey of topics that pertain to the conference theme “Together, We Hold the Power!” Through discussion, interaction and participation in the theme based topics, attendees will work to create strategies and solutions to community challenges, the purpose of the sessions will be to showcase where and how the community is moving forwards towards inclusion and accessibility in society. 
The goal of this conference is to use the unifying theme so everyone can leave connected with each other and connected with solutions, where they know they are not alone in serving individuals with disabilities.
Call for Presenters:
The deadline for submissions is May 1, 2018. We want participants to learn new approaches, inspire action, and network with new contacts. The topics which presenters are asked to focus on are:  
  • Sexual violence and abuse
  • Poverty reduction
  • Human rights
  • Accessible and affordable housing
  • Inclusion

Each presentation is one hour including questions and discussion periods. Submissions to present must include the following information:
  • Identify the area of interest.
  • Title of Presentation (relevant to submission/focus of your presentation.)
  • Educational Objectives.
  • Name(s) of presenter(s) as you would like them to appear in the conference program.
  • Key Contact Information (address, email and telephone number.)
  • Biography of each presenter (50 words or less.)
  • Abstract suitable for inclusion in the conference program (sales pitch/description of your presentation.)
  • Key-points that will be in your PowerPoints or an outline of your presentation.
  • Presentation method details (also include audio/visual equipment required, room set up preference, etc.)
All submissions will be evaluated using the following criteria:
  • Relevance to the conference theme.
  • Clarity and coherence of the submission.
  • Contribution of knowledge, expertise or best practices.
  • Relevance to participants.
  • Evidence that submission will encourage interaction among conference participants.
  • Key points of presentation and evidence of “participant take-away”.
Voice of Albertans with Disabilities would like each participant to leave the conference with a call to action and to leave with the desire and knowledge to implement the learning.
Presenters should submit their proposal or questions to Maureen Murphy-Black, Provincial Coordinator at email: before May 1, 2018. For further information or to discuss the presentation needs, call 780-488-9088 or 1-800-387-2514.]]>
Thu, 01 Mar 2018 18:38:00 +0000 Projects and Research
The Voice 1st Quarter Jan-Mar 2018
  • AISH Forms Updated!
  • Annual Membership Drive
  •  October - SAVE THE DATE
  •  Call for Presenters!
  • 45 Year Anniversary
  •  March ADF Forum
  •  Introducing iVAD
  • Ride Transit Program
  • Think Tank Update
  • Accessibility Assessment Project 
  • New Staff Member
  • ]]>
    Thu, 01 Mar 2018 15:38:00 +0000 Newsletters
    Spring Forum Save the Date ]]> Mon, 01 Jan 2018 20:39:00 +0000 Newsletters The RDSP – A Huge Win for Advisors & Clients The RDSP – A Huge Win for Advisors & Clients ]]> Fri, 08 Dec 2017 19:42:00 +0000 Newsletters The Voice December 2017 Edition  
    This has been a dynamic year of change at the Voice of Albertans with Disabilities.  We have welcomed new staff: Maureen Murphy-Black, Teresa Yagos, Michelle Bissell, new board members: Kristin Jennings - Edmonton, Tarah Patterson - Grande Prairie, and Sharde Davies - Lethbridge.  With new people come new ideas and approaches. This newsletter highlights some of the accomplishments of the past year and new initiatives for 2018.

    I, Meloney Patterson, Executive Director, thank all of you who welcomed me to my new role with VAD and look forward to our ongoing work. Seasons greetings and best wishes to you and your family from Voice of Albertans with Disabilities.

    Fri, 01 Dec 2017 17:45:00 +0000 Newsletters
    The VOICE of Albertans with Disabilities November 2017
    VAD has always been the umbrella organization that hosted the Alberta Disabilities Forum. The difference between VAD and ADF has caused on-going confusion for many stakeholders. Voice of Albertans with Disabilities is taking a number of actions to address this issue.
    Voice of Albertans with Disabilities Update]]>
    Wed, 01 Nov 2017 19:29:00 +0000 Newsletters
    Driver Appreciation Day Poster 1st annual Provincial Accessible Driver Appreciation Day.
    Please let the ladies and men who drive and schedule accessible transportation know that they are appreciated.  It is through their daily work that many people get to live, work and play in our communities. Thank you for your welcoming manner, your professional driving skills, and your organization of complicated scheduling demands. Your work is essential to support the full participation of persons with disabilities in society.  Thank you, Thank you.

    Attached is a poster we are sending to the Accessible Transportation Groups in Alberta. It would be wonderful if you could post it in a public place and share it with the staff connected to accessible transportation in your jurisdictions.]]>
    Wed, 01 Nov 2017 17:50:00 +0000 Newsletters
    The VOICE of Albertans with Disabilities October 2017    Most people know about Black Friday and Cyber Monday …now GivingTuesday is coming to Canada - a new day for giving on November 28, 2017.

    Disability Employment Awareness Month  (DEAM)
       DEAM is looking for examples of employees with disabilities who shine in their roles (DEAMjobs) and employers who are leaders in recognizing the employability of people with disabilities (DEAMemployers).]]>
    Sun, 01 Oct 2017 20:40:00 +0000 Newsletters
    Accessible Canada consultation report Sun, 01 Oct 2017 18:12:00 +0000 Projects and Research The VOICE of Albertans with Disabilities September 2017 Why Voting is Important
       Voting in an election is your democratic right and your choice. Our city and our lives are shaped by the outcome of the 2017 Municipal Elections. Casting your ballot for a mayor, city councillor and school board trustee means you are participating in choosing the leaders that will make decisions about policies and programs that impact your daily life. 

    Education for Life Bursaries!
      Voice of Albertans is proud to present the Education for Life Bursaries to 6 qualified post secondary students, all entering their first year of studies. 

    ADF Forum - October 5, 2017
       You are invited to attend the Alberta Disabilities Forum, October 5th, 2017, from 9:30-2:30 at the Chateau Nova, 13920 Yellowhead Trail, Edmonton.   Confirm your attendance through Eventbrite, follow the link to reserve your tickets today -

       Most people know about Black Friday and Cyber Monday …now GivingTuesday is coming to Canada - a new day for giving on November 28, 2017.  We are proud to be a #GivingTuesdayCa partner.

       September 11, 2017, was the official kick off of the #IBelieveYou campaign. Meloney Patterson, Executive Director of Voice of Albertans with Disabilities, gave a speech in support of the campaign launch and we are pleased to showcase the newest poster in the #IBelieveYou campaign that features an individual with a disability.

    Project Updates
       Voice of Albertans with Disabilities has completed the Creating Accessible Hotels in Alberta project which includes sections on Current Practice, Accessibility Tools and Recommendations for Action.]]>
    Fri, 01 Sep 2017 19:20:00 +0000 Newsletters
    Elections Sheet Fri, 01 Sep 2017 18:40:00 +0000 Newsletters Supporting a vision of inclusion in your neighbourhood  
    Hope you join in to ensure the voices and issues of people with disabilities are heard.]]>
    Fri, 01 Sep 2017 16:45:00 +0000
    The VOICE of Albertans with Disabilities August 2017 Accessible Hotels in Alberta:  Voice of Albertans with Disabilities has completed the Creating Accessible Hotels in Alberta project which includes sections on Current Practice, Accessibility Tools and Recommendations for Action.

    Voting: Step by Step: Make sure your vote is heard in your local elections.

    A Life Full of Adventure, Love, and Heartache. . . Book launch details

    I Believe You: Three Simple Words that can Heal and End Sexual Assault]]>
    Tue, 01 Aug 2017 15:10:00 +0000 Newsletters
    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 has completed the Creating Accessible Hotels in Alberta  including sections on 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 2016 - 2017 Annual Report Sat, 01 Apr 2017 16:10:00 +0000 Annual Reports 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.

    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.]]>
    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