Dec 1, 2016

Celebrating Diversity and Sustainability UN December 3 2016

Images of Sustainable Goals and three festivals in Calgary Dec 2
This year United Nations theme for International Day of Disabled Persons are 17 Sustainable Development Goals citizens want by 2030.

Calgary is also celebrating in a big way with three festivals on December 2nd. All events are free admission and family-friendly.

  • The City of Calgary's "Live, play, work and thrive in Calgary" at City Hall 11 am-2 pm
  • Community Celebration at Jack Singer 10am -1 pm
  • Closing reception for the Spark Festival at Indefinite Arts 6 pm-8 pm



Nov 8, 2016

A real big win celebrating all life events for persons with disabilities

Members of the Right to Love Group are very pleased the Alberta Government has amended the "Vital Statistics and Life Events Modernization Act" (Bill 29)

"It is a real step forward for all Albertans and rights a wrong from many years ago."
-Denise Young


The amendment to the act (link to news release) could not have come a better time for the many friends and citizens who happen to also be represented adults in Alberta. 
A real big win celebrating life events
for all Albertans regardless of disability!

Given the November is the month to help reduce family violence, by acknowledging everyone has the right to have a healthy relationship It will help encourage all Albertans to have safe and fulfilling lives.  Historically many persons with developmental disabilities rights to love has been denied.  

"Acknowledging a person’s right to marry is a huge step forward towards recognizing the dignity of person with disabilities to have the same rights as all Albertans. We are very encouraged the Alberta Government that understands there are enough checks and balances within government to assist an individual’s right to choose be married.  We all have the right to love, we all deserve the right to be safe and in happy, healthy relationships."
-Colleen Huston

Members of the Right to Love, The Disability Action Hall and the Calgary Sexual Health Centre, friends and allies from around the province and beyond worked very hard for this amendment and we are very pleased with this symbolic gesture.

Thank you Government of Alberta and to all who helped make this amendment possible.


Here is some of the Right to Love Members answering the question, what is the right to love! 


Congratulations and thank you Alberta Government! 





Nov 5, 2016

Lessons we have learned

Members of the Disability Action Hall will be joining some movers and shakers today at the Community Learning Development Initiative. 

Just in case you missed our talk, check it out! 
Link to our presentation

Oct 26, 2016

Safety Standards Final Report is Out!

The Alberta government sent out the report called "Supporting Safe and Inclusive Lives". 

"This report will help guide the Government of Alberta’s actions to enable Albertans with developmental disabilities to live safely, inclusively, and with dignity at home and in their communities"

Media Coverage
CBC News Edmonton 


The report said there are 11 ways Albertans may live safely in their homes.
Image modified from copywright @Showsweet.com

Link to the news release
Link to the final report *plainer language
Link to the final report (non-plain language) 



What's next? 

Have a look at the Phase two as to what people said will be important when we move forward. 
https://goo.gl/T0YF1d


What Albertans said about 5 ideas talked about in phase two

Oct 17, 2016

Celebrating a better Canada for All

For International Day to Eradicate Poverty, members of the Hall attended a national talk about what Accessilbity means to us. 

You too can help. Canadians have until February 17th to send in ideas. 

Visit the slide show below to learn more.




Sep 15, 2016

Jun 14, 2016

Round two of Homes Talks begin! Fill out survey by July 6th, 2016


Round 2 of Home and Safety Talks started!  

Link to Round 2 Survey
There are lots of ways to share your story... 


1. Do the survey by July 6th, 2016 by yourself or as a group






2. Try a webinar. (You will have to register)

Monday June 20th 10 am to 12 pm or Monday June 27th 1:30 to 3:30 pm

Monday, June 20, 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Monday, June 27, 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Register



3. Or join a focus group in Calgary or Edmonton








Questions? 
Try emailing: 

Jun 6, 2016

Thank you for the Right to Dream and talking to us Alberta!

Members of the Disability Action Hall and friends have been celebrating since Friday, June 3rd with the Right to Dream.



Since then, the Alberta government has announced an affordable housing consultation and has also ended the supports intensity scale interviews to determine supports for PDD services. 


We are very proud we have a government that believes good policy is made with everyone. We are proud to support a government that believes it is "Nothing about us, without us." 





To learn more about the chance to have your say, look at the following: 


Affordable housing Survey, takes only 10 minutes! 


An end to the Supports Intensity Scale (Edmonton Journal, June 6th, 2016)


Municipal Affairs Governance Act Changes (Summer Tour)



These last few days we need to celebrate these great steps! 


Congratulations to all who helped make our dreams of citizenship, a reality! 


And we hope you have your say in the upcoming talks and surveys this summer! 





Jun 1, 2016

Speak Out...Right to Dream! Join us Friday June 3rd 11-4 pm



Our almost final program for Speak Out 18!!! 
This gathering is to honour National Access Awareness Week and Indigenous Awareness Month. We hope by increasing our understanding of Indigenous culture and sharing our dreams of a society made for all, we will help build new friendships and a stronger community. 

The Disability Action Hall is a collective of people with disabilities and allies who have been telling stories, taking action and changing lives since 1998.

11 am to 12 pm​ 
Opening ceremony followed by greetings by our friends and drumming circle

12 pm to 2pm 
Story Telling & Sharing

2 pm to 2:30 pm 
Lunch and exhibits 

2:30 to 3:30 pm 
Films by Nakoda Audio Visual Club and Picture this...film festival

3:30 to 4 pm ​​
Dream ceremony- hand drum and round dance

The Disability Action Hall Wishes to thank the following volunteers, sponsors and donations that helped make this event possible

12 CSI Michelle Robinson 
Abbas Mancey
ArtBox on 17E
Bite
Calgary SCOPE Society
Calgary Sexual Health Centre
Disability Action Hall Organizers and Volunteers 
Elder Roy Bear Chief, Amanda Ens and Enough 4 All
Glenn Crowshoe
Amanda Foote
Tito Gomez
RJ Hermanson Photography
Illichman's Delicatessan
Grant Neufeld
Melody Scout from the South Region Self-Advocacy Network 
Nakoda Audio Visual Club
Picture this...film festival
Poverty Talks
Push to Open
Tomoka Coffee
Vantage Drummers
Vibrant Communities Calgary
All the many volunteers,community partners and talented friends who made this day possible, Thank you! 

May 6, 2016

Save the date! Speak Out 18 Friday, June 3rd, 2016!

Members of the Disability Action Hall 
getting ready for this year's 

Speak Out 18... 
'The Right to Dream' 

Please save the date! 
And get your tie-dyed t-shirt ready... 

Speak Out 18 Right to Dream, Friday June 3rd, 2016
11-4 pm at The Artbox on 17E 



May 3, 2016

Is it time for a Basic Income Guaranteed Pilot in Alberta

Members of the Disability Action Hall have fought really hard to make sure Albertans have enough money to live. 


We are also excited about the 'Enough For All' report going before Calgary City Council on May 4th. 'Enough for All' is about trying many different solutions to fix big problems like poverty. 

We also think one of the solutions we need to try as a province is basic income guaranteed (BIG).  To learn more about basic income, we encourage you to visit the Calgary Workers for Social Justice website policy pepper which can be found here

We think the Enough For All report is a positive step towards basic income as it means all levels of government and community work together. 

We are sending in a letter of support for the report and have also sent an email to the Alberta government. 


Is it time for a Basic Income Guaranteed Pilot in Alberta?

To read out letter, read the text below. 



May 4th, 2016

Dear Members of City Council,

RE: Letter of Support for the Enough for All Strategy CPS2016-0266

Members of the Disability Action Hall are very pleased to share their support of The Enough 4 All Report. We are very proud of the City of Calgary’s continued efforts to step forward as a leader in this community owned plan.

The Disability Action Hall is a coalition member of many groups working with the “Enough 4 All”. We are excited about the exploration of the use of a sliding scale for Fair Entry and its approach to harm reduction to ensure the City’s services are affordable to all. While we are not here today to specifically talk about the sliding scale, we would like to publicly recognize the City of Calgary for being a national leader in ensuring Calgarians can access the services they need.

No one level of government can end poverty by itself. A coordinated response is needed. The Enough for All strategy is a step in the right direction. Responding to a complex problem like poverty requires a very complex response from all different levels of Government. Changes to the City of Calgary policy will be a critical process in working towards an end to poverty. We applaud the Enough 4 All Strategy working towards the outcome “By 2023, 95% of all Calgarians are living above the poverty line.”

Members of the Disability Action Hall continue to advocate to our province about the need to have social assistance programs indexed to the cost of living. One of the ways to achieve the 2023 goal is to encourage Alberta to take on a social assistance pilot project commonly referred to as the basic or guaranteed annual income.

We have attached our January provincial budget feedback letter to finance Minister Joe Ceci also asking for social assistance reform. Our finance minister Honourable Joe Ceci stated in his recent in the 2016 Budget address “In the past when oil prices fell, the cost of that inaction was downloaded onto hard-working families through short-sighted cuts. Albertans paid in longer hospital wait times, overcrowded classrooms, longer commutes, higher fees, and lost opportunity. Some say we should repeat those mistakes. We say no. Our government won’t turn the clock back on Albertans.” While we are thankful there have been no cuts to social services, as a province we are beginning to see a coordinated intergovernmental approach. After all, “We are in this together.”

When community and all governments work together, Albertans will do better. We applaud Mayor Nenshi who has publicly said at the recent Mayor’s Summit “I think we are in a policy environment right now, perhaps brought on by the economic downturn, where people are willing to experiment a little bit more.” Alberta is ready to try basic guaranteed income. A pilot project will help enable all levels of government to understand how to coordinate poverty reduction efforts in a holistic manner based on the principles of adequacy, universality and individuality. We are ready for Calgary to take on this challenge and can only hope our Provincial Government will also take this lead.

Thank you again for your continued support for the Enough 4 All strategy. We are certain the City of Calgary will continue to be a leader in the national dialogue around a basic income for all.

 Sincerely

Colleen Huston
On behalf of the Members of the Disability Action Hall

Cc:
Honorable MLA Joe Ceci, Minister of Finance
Honorable MLA Kathleen Ganley, Minister of Justice
Honorable Lori Sigurdson, Minister of Seniors and Housing
Honorable MLA Irfan Sabir, Minister of Human Services
Honorable MLA Brian Mason, Minister of Infrastructure & Transportation
Honorable Danielle Larivee, Minister of Municipal Affairs
Ms. Robyn Luff, MLA for Calgary East



Friday, January 22nd, 2016

Dear Honorable MLA Joe Ceci and Members of the Alberta Treasury,

RE: Upcoming 2016 Spring Budget Priorities

Members of the Disability Action Hall wish to commend the first steps to help balance the budget by the freezing of MLA and administration wages for the 2016 calendar year in order to properly fund social services during these challenging times.  We are encouraged the child tax benefit has been expanded for more families in need by your recent announcement, Thursday, January 21st that social services will not be cut. We know that during this time many people are losing their jobs, some of us who are presently employed are very thankful we still have our jobs.

Remember your roots
As a province when we strive to be fiscally responsible, fair and equitable the challenge before treasury is a daunting one. We ask of you, as Minister of Treasury to remember your roots. Don’t be afraid to spend money to help people who are struggling and don’t listen to people who say you shouldn’t be doing it. Investments in the future of our province and its people will help reduced costs in the long run, revenues will go up as people's health improves, have greater access to activities and more money to spend.

Investing in Affordable Public Transportation
We also remind the treasury to help us become more mobile and avoid the impact of isolation in our province by investing in the operation costs of public transportation across Alberta. Helping all of us move around in our province increases everyone’s quality of life.

Investing in the minds of Albertans
We also know in order to increase Albertan’s quality of life we need to be mindful of tuition fees, and they, too, need to be frozen as a symbolic gesture of investing in the minds of our future leaders.

Structure of Social Assistance Programs and Health Benefits
We are very concerned about the structure of social assistance and wonder if it is not enough for Albertans to live a good life in Alberta?  One of us went to the dentist and was refused treatment to fix a cracked tooth and was only given antibiotics. The antibiotics may fix the current infection, but it will keep happening until the cracked tooth is fixed, which is never given the current rules. We would like to see an increase in preventative care such as improving dental care and improving our ability to get help from the doctor before we become sicker.

We also understand some Albertans may be falling through the cracks or are waiting too long to qualify for social assistance. We encourage you to not give into the pressure of cutting services to people, whether we are new to the province or are born and raised here.

Affordable Housing
It has been four years since AISH has been raised and we would like to know the funding priorities for Human Services and if at all possible, hear directly from Minister Irfan Sabir the direction we plan to go as a province. We cannot afford rental homes that are built to current code because the assistance rates are too far low below market. We also believe we need an intergovernmental approach to housing.

We are in a housing crisis and many people are in dire need of affordable, accessible housing.

If we can help our Cities, Province and Country work together to solve this problem, we would love to be of help.

We would appreciate hearing back from you if these are priorities are in alignment with the Alberta budget.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,

Members of the Disability Action Hall

Right Honourable Premiere Rachel Notley
Honourable MLA Mr. Brian Mason, Minister of Infrastructure and Transportation
Honourable MLA Mr. Irfan Sabir, Minister of Human Services
Honourable MLA Ms. Sarah Hoffman, Minister of Seniors, Housing and Health
MLA Ms. Robyn Luff, Calgary East
Office of the Mayor of Calgary, Mr. Naheed Nenshi





Apr 22, 2016

Safety Standards Plain Language Report Now Here!

We are very pleased to share the report written in plain language.
The report helps us understand what was said during the safety standards consultation. 




The Alberta Government made a plain language report on the safety standards. It is nine pages.
You can also download it to view on your computer.

We also co-presented at the ACDS conference.
We talked about ideas to help make our homes stay as homes.  

Click here to see our My House, My Home April 2016