Accessible Widget

December 24, 2013

Warmest wishes of the Season

The Disability Action Hall wants to wish you a safe and happy holiday. 

  • Our next meeting is Thursday, January 9th, 2014 at the Calgary SCOPE Society Office from 5:30 until 7:30 pm (located at 219, 18 Street SE)

  • Our next Right to Love meeting is Thursday, January 15th, 2014 at the Calgary Sexual Health Centre from 1:30 until 3:30 pm (located at 304, 301 - 14 Street NW) .

Until then, warmest wishes of the Season to you from all of us. 

Photos fo Hall members at various gatherings, events and actions
Warmest Wishes of the Season from the Disability Action Hall

 Members of the Disability Action Hall

December 6, 2013

Celebrating a great City for Everyone

Fists and hands in the air
Celebrating a Great City!!!
This week has been a fabulous step forward with Disability Pride and Culture, better access to Affordable Public Transportation  Fares and Para-transit! 

Thank you City Council for all your support unanimously voting on getting rid of the 1 km restriction. To see video footage of the story....

City Council also voted and gave the go ahead to help make software so all the City departments can work together, share information to help make the applying for low-income subsidies programs like the low-income transit pass easier!  A special thank you to Councillor Brian Pincott and Councillor Richard Pootmans who presented notices of motions to make better transportation possible! 

And what an amazing day we had with International Day of Disabled Persons, Pride: Powered by PechaKucha!  View Photos courtesy of Denise Young. 

So CELEBRATE!!! Great job everyone! Thank you so much for stepping forward, talking to media, writing letters and helping to raise awareness. 

November 13, 2013

Pride:Powered by PechaKucha December 3rd 12 pm Jack Singer

What are you doing this Tuesday, December 3rd for International Day of Disabled Persons? 

Why not come and listing to an amazing list of Community Changers talk about Pride at the Jack Singer at lunchtime from 12 to 1:30 pm?

These amazing speakers are taking on the format of PechaKucha, 20 slides, 20 seconds each! An amazing dynamic concise presentation first discovered in Tokyo. To watch some amazing presentations which occur in over 700 cities, visit the website to learn more. 
Media Advisory here! 

TICKETS!!!  Visit event brite to register!  or you can call the library at 403-260-2620 to register. 

Speakers include: 

  • Marc W Ross - Motivational Speaker, Choicemakerz
  • Emily Hutcheon - Working cross disability and host of 'We should known each other'
  • Morley Elementary/Junior High School - First nations students from Morley Alberta
  • Jacqui Burnham- Deaf Culture and pride
  • Cecile Buhl - Living Library book & dedicated volunteer
  • Nigel Kirk - Poverty Talks & Affordable Housing Advocate 
  • Thomas Poulsen and Lloyd Thornhill - Activism in the arts
And more! See you there!!!

Learn more about the whole day of celebrations for International Day of Disabled Persons in Calgary following the lunchtime event 3 to  6 pm, visit the Calgary IDPD website! 

November 4, 2013

How can PDD do better with employment and community access?

PDD Provincial Self-Advocates' Advisory Committee is a 
committee is made up of people with developmental disabilities from all across the province who are advocates for the rights of people with disabilities. Committee members share ideas from their regional self-advocacy groups with the committee and give advice on how to make the PDD program work better for the people who use it.

PDD stands for "Persons with developmental Disabilities". 
At the next meeting on Thursday, November 21st,  we want to bring back ideas from self-advocates from the Calgary region about the following ideas: 
  1. How can PDD do better to assist people with employment and community access supports?
  2. What is PDD doing well?
  3. What can PDD do better?
  4. What makes a good employer?

Share your ideas!!
One of the ways we are collecting this feedback is at the Disability Action Hall and having a talk about employment with the Calgary Worker's Resource Centre on Thursday, November 7th from 5:30 to 7:30 pm. as well as talks at the Self-Advocacy Summit in June 2014. 

Members of the Hall are interested in what self-advocates have to say in all the Calgary region. 

If you, your organization and group of self-advocates are interested in sharing ideas, please give us a call or email us at 403.717.7630 and we can talk more about how to collect the ideas.

Please feel free to share this with other interested people. 

October 31, 2013

For Betty

For Betty

You are remembered.

To see photos of a memorial held in her memory, please click here

To learn about Betty' story, please click here. The people who are charged for failing to provide the necessities of life and sentenced for twenty years (as stated in the Edmonton Journal. Edmonton Journal October 31st 2013)

You are remembered. You mattered.

In solidarity, 

Members of the Disability Action Hall

October 10, 2013

Dare to Stair: Stairing Poverty in the Face, Thursday October 17th, 2013


Dare 2 Stair with Us! Hundreds of Calgarians, taking steps to help reduce poverty

Calgary, AB, October 17th, 2013

On Thursday, October 17th, 2013 the International Day to Eradicate Poverty hundreds of Calgarians are invited to take the 167 steps to learn how we can all do our own part to reduce poverty. The artist installation will take place on the McHugh Bluff Stairs and bike path for cyclists, citizens with reduced mobility.  Park lovers are encouraged to drop by anytime between noon and 5:30 pm to visit the exhibition. 

Included in the day will be an opportunity to contribute to Canada Without Poverty’s Chew on This! campaign advocating for the federal government to eradicate poverty and hunger by implementing a national poverty reduction strategy. There are 882,000 people who resort to food banks each month and millions of others struggling to get by. Chew on This! volunteers are joining the thousands across the country who have endorsed Dignity for All: The Campaign for a Poverty Free Canada.

While poverty affects us all, the art awareness event is timely given the Calgary election is only days away to discover how each level of government and the community can help reduce poverty in our City.  

The stairs are a well-known landmark in our City and are used by many Calgarians from all economic backgrounds. For many who experience and witness poverty in the everyday fabric of our lives, it is also a chance to share solutions, learn the myths and share stories and ideas to help make a better province for all Albertans.   

What:       Dare 2 Stair: Staring Poverty in the Face - Artist Installation

Who:        Calgary Ability Network-Poverty Reduction, Disability Action Hall, Vibrant Communities Calgary and community partners joining together to share solutions to reduce poverty.

When:       Thursday, October 17th from noon to 5:30 pm. Media conference at bottom of the stairs at noon (near curling club)

Where:     McHugh Bluff Stairs (2nd Street and Crescent Road NW) close to the Calgary Curling Club.

Why:         To help Calgarians learn how we can all reduce poverty on this International Day to Eradicate Poverty.


Kim Matthews 403.219.3606

Colleen Huston 403.717.7630

                   Darrell Howard 403.283.2197

October 2, 2013

2013 City Election Education 101

This Thursday the Disability Action Hall will be talking about voter education.

Many of us find barriers to voting. Here is what some members of the Disability Action Hall said at our last meeting:

  • Voting, its confusing, I don’t know who to vote for.
  • It is hard to tell the difference between city politics and provincial politics.
  • Hard to remember what to ID to bring. 
  • Hard to figure out where to go and voting stations change.
  • We do not like the word incapacitated voter when reading help is all we need. 
  • The information created by candidates is not easy to understand.
  • Information is not easy to access if you do not have the internet.
  • If you make  a mistake on the ballot, they don’t give you an eraser. What if I make a mistake? Can we  get a new one?
  •  If you are blind, you cannot read them, and was refused help to read out the card. 
  • It would be easy for candidates to tell us what is a city issue and a provincial issue. It is confusing.
  • How do know if they are a good candidate?

  • Use plain language.
  • Make it easier to hire people with disabilities to work at a polling station, we understand people have to take a test and do a workshop, take out the test.
  • For those who cannot read, have a reader with them.
  • Vote as a group. Have a party!
  • Change the word incapacitated voter to, "a voter who needs help to vote".
  • Use Picture driven voter machines like the ones used in the States.
  • We like the bus that is driving around to help people vote at certain LRT stations.
  • More advertising prior to the voting day, not just the internet.
  • We need people to compile information important to people with disabilities. A score card, bingo card or report card are handy tools. 
  • Got to a a debate and listen to the candidates. To learn when there is one in your area, Civic camp has a listing on their website. visit 
  • In the past, we have had more success educating ourselves as a group and voting as a group. 
Tips on Voter Education:

1. What helps us vote? We learn as a group.

Voting as a group helps make elections easier. Read about our 2010 experience. This is us at the City Hall station You will need to know what ward you are in order to vote. Check out the ward map. 

If you want to learn who is running for mayor, councilor and school trustee there are many web sites. We tell people, if you do not know who to vote for, call them. We will be given a list of our candidates and phone numbers. We will also prepare some questions to ask the candidates.

2. We learn about who our candidates are! 
Two great places to check out. 

  • The Calgary City Website.You can download a document from the city website.
  • We like the quick reference look up and downloadable contact sheet on 
  • We also like CBC's listing find by postal code if you still cannot ready the ward map. 
  • Ward 1(Retiring- Councillor Dale Hodges)
    Ward 2 (Retiring- Councillor Gord Lowe)
    Ward 3(Incumbent Councillor Jim Stevenson)
    Ward 4 (Incumbent Councillor Gael MacLeod)
    Ward 5 (Incumbent Councillor Ray Jones)
    Ward 6  (Incumbent Councillor Richard Pootmans)
    Ward 7 (Incumbent Councillor Druh Farrell)
    Ward 8 (Incumbent Councillor John Mar)
    Ward 9 (Incumbent Gian-Carlo Carra)
    Ward 10 (Incumbent Councillor Andre Chabot)
    Ward 11 (Incumbent Councillor Brian Pincott)
    Ward 12 (Incumbent Councillor Shane Keating)
    Ward 13 (Incumbent Councillor Diane Colley-Urquhart)
    Ward 14 (Incumbent Councillor Peter Demong)
    Mayor  (Incumbent Mayor Naheed Nenshi)
3. We talk about issues that are important to us. 

We then pick  the candidate who has the most in common with our beliefs. In 2010 our top issues that were very important to us and are still important to us in 2013 are:  

  • What will you do to make city services like public transit affordable for everyone? i.e., seniors are getting quite the deal and less and less people are qualifying for Access Calgary.
  • Do you support city wide service for Access Calgary customers? Learn more about 'say no to 1 km rule' by clicking here.

  • What are your views in protecting the health and welfare of tenants in rental units? I.e. mould, fire hazard, defective appliances.
  • What is your commitment to creating more affordable low- income rental housing?
  • Will you support an independent housing appeal panel that is transparent and appointed by community agencies? 
  • Secondary suites; what will you do make secondary suites safer and available?
  • What will you do to address the housing choice gap for people living with low-income to own a home that is safe, accessible and affordable?

  • What is your commitment to finding places that are financially and physically accessible for people with disabilities?


  • What are you going to do to ensure that disability pride and culture is celebrated?
  • What is your vision on how the city can fund grassroots organizations to create diversity in our city’s culture? 
  • What are you going to do to support the disability arts in Calgary and innovative projects that create diversity in our city?

4. Still don't know? Try election bingo! 

Election Bingo

September 22, 2013

Join us for Calgary SCOPE Society's 30th Annual General Meeting

 Calgary SCOPE Society 

Notice of Annual General Meeting

30 Years of Creating Communities

Tuesday, September 24

7 pm – 8:30 pm

219 – 18 Street S.E.

Calgary SCOPE Office located in Maylands Industrial Park 
We hope you can join us!
Tuesday, September 24th, 7 to 8:30 pm

September 13, 2013

Mobility for All: Its time to change the Service Area for Access Calgary

What would it take for all Citizens in Calgary to be able to move around our City? 
  • Some citizens who rely on Access Calgary as a lifeline cannot rely on the services. People are then asked to find another way or pay more. 
  • Is this fair?

The Disability Action Hall has written to elected officials and planners to ask Access Calgary Services to change the service area to City Wide; Currently, some Calgarians living more than 1000 meters from a bus stop or asking to be dropped off more than a distance of 1000 meters cannot get service.

We feel this rule hinders all 15,000 Customers who use Access Calgary Services. We would like Access Calgary services to get more funding in order to provide City Wide Service. 

If you feel strongly about this guideline that needs to be changed, please write your elected official today! 

Here is our letter to the Calgary Mayor and City Councilors: 

September 13, 2013

Dear Mayor Nenshi and City Council,


Members of the Disability Action Hall a very concerned for the Calgarians’ health and well-being who rely on Access Calgary as a lifeline, ‘Access Calgary can only provide service to areas where Calgary Transit routes currently go. This means Access Calgary only services areas within 1km of Calgary Transit fixed-route stops.’[i] Some customers live outside of the one-kilometer service area and are informed by Access Calgary that service cannot be provided and alternate arrangements have to be made.  Customers who cannot make alternate arrangements are offered service provided they pay for each trip.  This can cost approximately $20 or more depending on the time/distance travelled. The policy of limiting Access Calgary service to be within 1 km of a Calgary Transit bus stop impacts those people with disabilities who are outside the service area and may cost taxpayers and society more money in the long run.  


  •      Social Impacts:  Reducing transportation choices may increase health risks & decrease financial well-being for Calgarians with reduced mobility, resulting in social isolation & poverty.[ii]
  •      Strategic Alignment: The current policy does not align with the vision for the 2020 Sustainability Direction goals of creating a sustainable City.
  •        Equity: Customers living with low-income impacts the ability to pay for a public service:  15,000 Calgarians, including Senior Citizens and people with disabilities, some have restricted public access with unpredictable financial costs for those who wish to contribute to the economy, celebrate citizenship and benefit connecting to friends, family, and places of worship and live in our city.

What we recommend:

The policy needs to realign with the Sustainability Direction 2020 goals[iii] of creating community well being, smart growth and mobility choice, a prosperous economy, a sustainable environment and financial sustainability for our City and its Citizens. Studies[iv] have shown world class transportation systems are inclusive and encourage universal design address for all Citizens:

  • Approve additional funding for Access Calgary to provide service for all customers to the city limits of Calgary.
  • To explore the financial impact of increasing the eligibility distance from 1 km to City Limit Service.[v]
  • Grandfathering existing customers who use to receive service more than 1 km from a bus stop.
  • Phase in City Limit Service by having a 1-year pilot to explore operational costs.
  • Enforce equity across all City subsidized service fees for Calgarians living on low-income, in particular for taxpayers who require trips outside the 1 km zone from a City Transit bus stop, to pay a reduced rate as outlined in the Fair Calgary[vi] policy.
  • The Calgary Metropolitan Plan to include Access Calgary Services in a regional public transit agreement with outlying municipalities.[vii]

Please contact us if you have any questions, we can be reached at 403.717.7630 or email us at

Thank you for your time and consideration.
Members of the Disability Action Hall

CC: Access Calgary Karim Rayani, Imagine Calgary, Office of Sustainability, L. Fowler, Leanne Squair ACA Committee, Civic Camp Calgary, Robert Wiles Fair Calgary

[i] City of Calgary, Access Calgary Website, [website] Available at: [Accessed September 9, 2013]

[ii] Fletcher, R., 2013. Disabled Calgarians Disabled Calgarians hit hard by ‘one-kilometer’ transit rule, advocates say, Metro Calgary, 9 April. [online] Available at: <> [Accessed August 21st, 2013].

[iii] Office of Sustainability, 2013. 2020 Sustainability Direction: The City of Calgary’s 10 year plan towards a Sustainable direction for Imagine Calgary [pdf] Available at: <>[Accessed August, 21st, 2013].
1.) Community Well Being
a.) EQUITY (Target 1, page 15): The 1 km rule policy fair for Calgarians living on low-income who cannot afford an extra-ordinary fee, thereby restricting access to a public service.
b.) PROMOTE INCLUSIVENESS (Target 1, page 17): Calgarians with reduced mobility are restricted in activities, lifestyle and financial well-being.
c.) AGE FRIENDLY CITY (Target 2, page 17): Baby boomers will use Access Services when health is compromised, however restricting trips will discourage baby boomers to apply for the service and only encourage more traffic with use of private cars, potentially add more traffic and compromising safety at the wheel and to other drivers using the roads.
d.) COMPLETE COMMUNITIES (Target 6, page 22): How does this 1 km rule promote accessibility of community services, for a diverse community?
2) Smart growth and mobility choice,
a.) TRANSPORTATION CHOICE (target 2, page 27): A 1 km rule truly makes the transit fleet inaccessible for all Calgarians and forces people into private cars thereby increasing more traffic on our roads.
b.) COMPLETE COMMUNITIES (Target 6, page 22): How does this 1 km guideline promote accessibility of community services, for a diverse community?
3) Prosperous Economy
DIVERSE WORKFORCE (Targets 1&2, page 19): How does a 1 km guideline impact a diverse workforce to a population that is devastatingly underemployed with no means to reach various businesses outside of the existing infrastructure and limiting a Calgarians ability to contribute to the economy and taxation system thereby impairing people’s ability to earn above the low-income cut off.
4) Sustainable Environment (Target 1page 21)
How do we address green house gases and emissions when Calgarians with reduced mobility are forced to operate private vehicles in order to get to the doctor, see family, seek employment and get to the hospital?
5.) Financial Sustainability
CREDABILITY: (Target 1, page 33): It is estimated City Wide Service  will cost approximately $500,000 per year. An investment to help promote better health problems, create jobs and provider a wider tax base to make Calgary more sustainable; A pilot project is required to determine true costs.

[iv] King, R., 2013. Accessibility for All, The City Fix, Embarq, [online] Available at: <> [Accessed August 21st, 2013].

[v] Harper, Chris, Platform 2013 [website] Available at [Accessed September 13th, 2013

[vi]City of Calgary, 2011, Fair Calgary Policy, [pdf] Available at: , [Accessed August 27th, 2013].

[vii] Calgary Regional Partnership, 2012. Calgary Metropolitan Plan, [pdf] pg. 31 Creating Sustainable Communities, Connecting to Regional Transit 3.b.6, Available at: [Accessed August 27, 2013].