Accessible Widget

December 2, 2019

What we think of the changes to AISH, Bill 21

December 3rd, 2019 is International Day of Disabled Persons. 
It is a day to celebrate around the world our differences and diversity. 

This week we will be sharing our thoughts on changes to policy that do not include us. In fact, a policy that makes it that much harder to be part of society.  

On November 27 Bill 21 passed at the Alberta Government. 
 This Bill included changes to AISH. 
Changes that we were not asked about. 

Here is what we have to say when AISH no longer keeps pace with the cost of living. 

Bill 21 moves the AISH Act into regulations. This mean the Alberta Lieutenant Governor now has the power to make changes with a pen, no longer needed to bring and changes back into debate at the Alberta Legislature. 
It comes into affect December 31st, 2019.

We hope the Alberta Lieutenant Governor watches the video and listens to Albertans. 

November 28, 2019

How AISH will be spent in 2020 for the average Calgarian

Saying "After de-indexing, AISH will be the strongest program in Canada" is it an accurate statement?
65 percent is spent on a 1 bedroom in Calgary
How the $1685 of will be spent in Calgary for 2020-
65% on housing, 13 % on food, 12% on utilities, 
3% transportation 2% on clothing 5% for bills and emergencies

Many provinces provide housing, social assistance, and other benefits in several programs, wherein Alberta it is one program. The cost of living varies from one province to the next, from one city center to the next. 

Comparing programs from one province to the next is like comparing apples to oranges. 

It is very difficult to compare province to province how each individual with a severe disability receives social assistance and benefits. We invite data folks to show us this comparison from province to province to territory. 

November 7, 2019

What's going on with AISH?

Many people have heard about proposed changes to the 'Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped' program, otherwise known as AISH. Here are the common questions people have asked about changes to AISH. 

Q. How many Albertans are receiving AISH?

In 2018, 60,679 people received Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped. The government recently released its budget. To see the changes in chart form, visit  page 37 of 167.

Q. What is the monthly amount for AISH? 
  • Straight AISH $ 1685 a month
  • AISH/CPP-D (Canada Pension Plan-Disability) Benefit. This amount varies but typically does not exceed $ 1685. (Or if the person works, then the base amount is deducted based on earnings). 
  • Modified AISH for Albertans living in a health facility or long-term care home the amount includes room and board at the facility and a personal spending amount which is set at $ 322.
Q. Is the AISH monthly allowance cut? 
A. No. The government put in an additional $ 142 million into the social assistance program to help with new applications to the program. The government will say they have 'paused' the cost-of-living increase (which was supposed to start on January 2020 until Alberta recovers from the recession). 

Q. Are medical benefits cut? 
A. No, they are maintained. (It is unclear at the moment if there are changes as to what the AISH medical benefit covers).

Q. What does it mean to de-index AISH, Alberta Works or Seniors Alberta Benefit? 
A. It means the base amount will not go up as the cost of living goes up for the next four years. It will stay at the current amount. It is fixed. 

Q. But isn't de-indexing like a cut? 
A. According to the opinion of economist Trevor Toombe, he says yes. 
It means your monthly amount will not be able to keep up with changes to the cost of living.
By 2020, 2021 and 2022  $ 1685 may not pay for as much of what it costs to live in 2019.
This means a person's purchasing power goes down. Trevor  says "It is like a cut."  The economist says "The move shrinks the purchasing power of AISH monthly benefits by roughly $35 next year (depending on inflation), by $65 the year after, by $100 the year after that, and so on until indexing resumes". 

Real Value of AISH Benefits shows by 2024 $ 1685 a month will be more like $ 1585 a month due to the costs of living (From CBC Article, October 28, 2019)

Q. Are there other changes? 
A. Yes. The amount of money going into Alberta Works also decreases by almost $200 million by 2024. 

The budget shows less money being put into Alberta Works for the next four years

October 17, 2019

Ending Poverty-Tree on Tour! Trees really do talk!

In honour of United Nations  "International Day to Eradicate Poverty" members of the Hall attended  'Blaze Your Own Trail' poetry slam and shared our "Ending Pover-Tree" poem. 

And many thanks to the Poverty Talks organizers of Blaze Your Own Trail and all the busy hands behind the scenes who helped make the evening a safe, welcoming place for all of us to listen to heart felt words and experiences. 

Ending Pover-Tree takes root into community

People who attended the event also added to the growing "Ending Pover-Tree" Our tree is on a road trip. 
Up next? 
We take root at the 'Good Food Alex Community Centre' for breakfast! 

Here is our first poem "Ending Pover-Tree" and stay tuned for our city wide collaborative piece. 

If you would like the tree to hang out in your area, please let us know! 

October 3, 2019

Let's talk about Budgets for Transit!

Did you know that the partnership funding between the City and Province to fund Calgary's low-income transit pass ends in 2019? 
Learn more by reading this article posted by the Star 
Picture of Public Tranist bus surrouned by politicans doing a ribbon cutting
The Affordable Transit pass funding needs to be renewed by December 2019

If you think it is important to keep the pass going, share why with the City of Calgary and Province of Alberta. 

The City of Calgary want to hear from you by Sunday, October 6th, 2019  4:30 pm

The Province wants to hear from you by Friday, October 11th, 2019

September 12, 2019

Get ready to vote! Vote day Monday October 21st!

It's that time to cast our votes for the federal election.
Are you ready? 
Image of two women with I vote do you painted on their t-shirts standing on City Street
source "Apathy is boring" (non-partisan) helping youth get ready to vote 
 Click on this link to Elections Canada

Do you know where to vote? 
Do you know who to vote for? 
Then visit the voter information site 

To learn more about different ways to vote click on this link. 

Advanced Voting days are Friday, October 11 until Monday, October 14th (Thanksgiving).  

If you have a question for the Monday, October 7th debate 5pm to 7 pm MST  (English version) click on this link
(Submit it by Sunday, September 22nd, 2019) 
The French leadership debate will be on October 10th 6 pm to-8 pm MST

September 10, 2019

Transit Summit, Thursday September 26th, 2019

Are you concerned about the future of Calgary Transit? 

We are too.  
We are co-hosting a community conversation about transit with Vibrant Communities Calgary, Calgary Climate Hub and Fair Calgary Community Voices.

Picutres of people holding signs in front of LRT, Calgar Transit Access
Register on Eventbrite for the Transit Summit, Thursday, September 26th, 2019

What: Transit Summit

Where? CNIB - 10, 11 A Street NE

When: Thursday, September 26th from 10 am to 2 pm (Lunch provided)

Why: To talk about the future of Public Transit in our City

Please register on Eventbrite 

If eventbrite is not accessible to you, please contact Hagir Sail by email at

August 8, 2019

PDD Report Out!

A big thank you!!!

Thank you to the Minister of Community and Social Services (CSS and the Persons with Developmental Disabilities (PDD) Review Team for all their hard working completing the report! 

We understand because an election took place, we had to be patient. 
We want to give a big thank you to both Honourable Minister Rajan Sawhney and former minister of CSS,  Minster Irfan Sabir for supporting the hard work of the 11 people who traveled around the province to talk with us. 
And a big thank you to the dedication of the Review Team who put all the information together. 

We understand over a 1000 people talked about these 5 topics: 

  1. Who can get help from PDD
  2. Getting help when you need it
  3. How PDD helps
  4. The people who help – support staff and PDD workers
  5. Working together (How we communicate) 

Link to the Report

You can read more in details about the report. 
It is available in two languages...

For the plain language version, please click here
For the non-plain language version, please click here 

What's next? Read what's next: 

There will be now two ways to talk about next steps: 

A Disability Advisory Forum. 

The first topic is about how people qualify for PDD such as IQ. 
Provincial groups will be encouraged to take part sometime in the fall.


A Service Provider Forum 

A group that is part of the government and Alberta Council of Disability Services. 

July 17, 2019

3 things you can do to help Keep Calgary Strong

We just finished putting together 200 Keep Calgary Strong buttons for Monday, July 22nd, 2019

1. Join us 
A large group of us will be at Calgary City Hall Council chamber to celebrate strong city services such as police, fire, transit, and crisis services Calgarians depend on. 

Please arrive around 9 am to allow time to be screened by security and to grab a seat.

2. If you cannot make it, then please sign this petition.  And if you can make, sign the petition to help stay in touch with Keep Calgary strong. 

This is Jennifer putting together 200 buttons, 
button takes about 45 seconds each to assemble. Way to go Jen! 

We hope you can join us .

3. Spread the word! 
 If you cannnot come and still want to help besides signing this peition then please share this poster to someone who can join us! 

Please share and arrive early to get past security and to grab a seat! 

Let people know about the Keep Calgary Strong petition and to loan support towards protecting all Calgarians. 

July 12, 2019

Help us Keep Calgary Strong!

Last month Council decided to look at how to chop $60 million from the budget. 
This cutting will affect us.

We need to keep services like police, fire and transit. 
We think it is wrong to cut these services. 
We need to be safe in our City.
All Calgarians need to be able to get on the bus to keep their jobs, see the doctor and call for help when needed.

We are asking Calgarians to these four things: 

  1. Sign the petition
  2. Write a letter to your City Councillor
  3. Ask you organization to support the Keep Calgary Strong Website with their logo
  4. Show up at City Hall on Monday, July 22nd, 2019 at 9:30 am to support the services all Calgarians value most. 

July 4, 2019

Halliday Picnic Thursday July 18th, please join us!

Help us kick of Summer at Prairie Winds Park. 
We are proud to say we have booked a shelter in the event of rain, picnic site 3!

Who: Halliday PicNic!!!
Where: Prairie Winds Park Site 3  (223, Castleridge Blvd NE)
When: Thursday, July 18th from 4 to 6 pm
Why: 'Cause its summer!
RSVP: or leave a message at 403.717.7630

How to get there? 
Just hop on the northbound LRT and get off at Westwinds Station (Station after Whitehorn) 

If you still can't find the park, please call us and we will help you get to the park. 

June 6, 2019

Getting ready! Disability Pride Parade kicks off Sunday, June 9 at 11 to 2 pm

We are very excited to be a part of Calgary`s Disability Pride Parade 
on Sunday, June 9th, 2019 - 11 to 2 pm

 At our meeting tonight we made posters, buttons, & bandanas and some of us will also be sporting this pride button.
To learn more about the details of the disability pride parade, just click on Disability Pride Alberta's link. 

People will start gathering around 10:30 am meeting at B
anker's Hall at 315 8th Ave SW.

Kick off at 11 am.

Then we will head on down to the 
Olympic Plaza (205 8th Avenue SE)
Festivities are expected to run until about 2 pm. 

People are encouraged to register on eventbrite to help count how many people will be in attendance and to stay in touch.

See you soon! Loud and Proud!  

May 1, 2019

Congratulations, and an open invitation to all MLAs to join us, meet and talk about ideas, issues and solutions

Members of the Disability Action Hall wish to congratulate you as a Member of the Legislative Assembly on your recent appointment as an MLA for the people of Alberta. We would like to take this opportunity to extend an open invitation to meet with us and talk about issues and solutions affecting persons with disabilities in Alberta, some of which include: 

PDD Review
Alberta government should continue the review of Persons with Developmental Disabilities (PDD) Services to ensure Albertans are able to access services and supports they may need.

Affordable Transit Fares
The Alberta government should renew its commitment to fund the low-income transit pass in both Edmonton & Calgary and continue the rural public transit pilot projects to ensure Albertans can get around our province

Continue to improve income support programs
We are very thankful the Alberta legislative assembly unanimously approved indexing AISH and Alberta Works every year to reflect the current cost of living.

Create an Accessible Act for the Province
By 2035, 1 in 5 Albertans will have a disability. Albertans need universal standards to help people access the community, create accessible buildings, jobs and services

We look forward to you contacting us and talk more about the Alberta government priorities in the near future and ways we can work together.

Members of the Disability Action Hall

April 5, 2019

Our apologies

Our email address was compromised from 9:30 am until 12:30 pm on Friday, April 5th, 
Please accept our apologies,  we ask you to please disregard any email sent during the above mentioned time frame.


Colleen Huston

April 4, 2019

Election Bingo using a disability lens

The election is just around the corner. 
Over the years, and especially in the last few months, we talked about what is important for candidates to know. We created this bingo sheet using a disability lens. 

During the all candidates debate we will be using the bingo go as a way to track if candidates have a plan for Albertans with disabilities 

We wish all the candidates good luck!
Alberta 2019 Election  Bingo using a disability lens

March 15, 2019

Are you ready to vote?

Are you ready to vote? 

How do you know if you are? 

Visit find out until April 6th! 

Chances are if you voted in the last election and have not moved, you are good to go! 

Click on the video to find out how! 

If you moved, never voted... 
Then all you need is either a driver's licence or an Alberta Identification Card. 

It only takes 5 minutes! 

Good luck! And as they say "Make your mark count!"

February 7, 2019

Budget 2019 What we think needs funding

Members of the Hall have been talking about the Alberta Budget.

Here is what we think Alberta Finance and Treasury needs to look at: 

We think their needs to be a basic income pilot. Many people do not have the ability to fill out forms to show they cannot work due to their disability or for other reasons. People fall through the cracks. We think it is about time a basic income pilot happens to help figure out if it may make things better for all Albertans living in poverty versus just doing the same thing. 

We want to see no cuts to services. They save money as people stay out of the hospital, jail and are healthier because of these services offered by Community and Social Services and other ministries. Keeping Albertans stable helps us get to work, volunteer and build a better Alberta. 

Our direct care workers have not had a raise in four years. We are afraid if they don't get a raise soon they will leave or get hurt on the job because they are tired. The average starting worker wage is $ 16.60 ($ 1.60 more than minimum wage).

Many of our friends do not qualify for Persons with Developmental Disabilities program but have had a disability before the age of 18. If we look if IQ or other ways, then the ministry  needs more money to help all people with all people with developmental disabilities to help get the help we need. Its just not a big enough pie to help more people with less money. 

Advanced education needs to help level the playing field for people to attend school, ensure people have access to education and can earn credit in affordable post-secondary understandable courses, longer term to pay of student loans and more bursaries or subsidies. 

Loneliness is a problem around the world and Alberta has the same problem. Some studies show loneliness can be worse than smoking a pack of cigarettes. Some countries doctors write prescriptions (health, physical health, mental health and places for people to connect with others, supporting each other, prescriptions for rent control,  supporting healthy sexuality and healthy relationships (training, more knowledge) and supporting people with disabilities, supporting people to explore building relationships whether they are LGTBQ or not. 

We need to make Alberta more accessible.  The Canadian government is working on an Accessibility Act.  We need more tools, plain language and language materials more money for Aids to Daily Living. We need more accessible, affordable housing and rent subsidy programs. Our entire province needs steady money to help make transportation affordable like the partnership between the Calgary and Edmonton low-income transit pass.

Tell the Alberta government by Sunday February 10th what should be in the budget. Have your say by clicking on this link. 

January 24, 2019

Alberta Budget, your ideas needed by February 10th, 2019

What does the government need to fund the most? 

Tell the government by Sunday, February 10th, 2019.
Alberta Budget by following this → link ←

The social determinants of health (SDH) are the conditions in which people are born, grow, work, live, and age, and the wider set of forces and systems shaping the conditions of daily life.  

17 Goals to Transform Our World

The Sustainable Development Goals are a call for action by all countries – poor, rich and middle-income – to promote prosperity while protecting the planet. They recognize that ending poverty must go hand-in-hand with strategies that build economic growth and address a range of social needs including education, health, social protection, and job opportunities, while tackling climate change and environmental protection.

January 7, 2019

Happy New Year! Meeting with the Disability Advocate

We hope you had a restful and safe holiday season! 

Our next meeting we will be joined by the Disability Advocate on Thursday, January 10th. 

We hope you can make it, 

See you soon!