Accessible Widget

September 27, 2021

Our ideas for Disability Inclusion Action Plan

What we want in the disability inclusion action plan (wordle)

September 30th was the deadline to provide ideas for the Disability Inclusion Action Plan. The above wordle is what is most important to us. All Canadians were invited to fill out the survey (link to survey)  due Thursday, September 30th, 2021; for some, people we encouraged to submit a video (as some found the survey too hard to fill out). 

Here is our video as well as a plain language graphic below.  

Plain Language Guide

We focused on these 4 areas: 

We talked about income, employment, mental health and pharma-care, public transit, and access.


  •     Where income from one level of government gives an income, it is not clawed back by another, it is indexed to the cost of inflation.
  •     A national disability strategy and Canadian disability benefit (similar to the AISH program) so everyone gets the same amount that they are entitled to. Canada Disability Benefit is where our income is indexed to the cost of living, as people with disabilities have a higher cost of living due to medical costs.
  •     Accessibility goes beyond physical space, and it includes income. 
  •     Tying income support to inflation is important not just because as costs go up so will their income, but also people will not stress about inflation making them poorer.
  •     A basic income, no clawing back, things that people need. If it wasn’t for AISH I am grateful for that as I make less than $1000.
  •  Work 

  • Interpreters and workplaces that are more inclusive, like my work has been good.
  • For work, making grants accessible for individuals to access work, or supporting businesses to access money for ramps.
  • Provide workers with disabilities the tools they need to succeed and do well at their place of employment.
  • Post-secondary education needs to have tuition that is affordable and accessible.
  • Hire disabled workers to work in various government departments, for example, with Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).
  • Work with people with disabilities for services like airports, and training for ASL interpreters.
  • Make life easier by having a disability with eligibility and services available regardless of age.

  • The federal government should put stuff in plain language in the forms and website and go look for more information on disability.
  • Affordable free Wi-Fi so people may access online services currently only offered online.
  • Create an office you can go to it in person, so you don’t have to go all over the place.
  • Operational funding for public transportation, 
  • We should have a national bus service across Canada; it’s a shame we don’t have it.
  • Make it more affordable for people to go places and easier to get where they are going and better access, not having Greyhound and not having a national affordable bus service makes it hard for people to get anywhere, not just Calgary and Edmonton but smaller places like Okotoks and High River, (and not just during rush hour.

Eligibility for Services

  • A national pharma care program as some people can’t get medication and they need it; including dental care, I have a pill to take now for my tooth and it is expensive, and no longer covered by the province.
  • We need a mental health care system built around eligibility and accessibility to mental health services: the way we handle mental health in this country is horrific and we let a lot of people fall through the cracks as we refuse to investigate the hospital to ensure they are providing the services correctly.
  • We are just assuming people with mental health services are safe to report abuse and people don’t feel that way. You think universal health care would improve.
  • There is not enough done for seniors with a disability like in personal homes vs. facilities and helping people who live alone with a disability; people will need more care and more help.
If you have something to say and for more information about the plan; you may contact the Disability Action Inclusion Plan at this address: 

Disability Inclusion Action Plan
Employment and Social Development Canada
140 Promenade du Portage, Phase IV
Gatineau QC  K1A 0J9

September 21, 2021

Calgary Elections Tool Kit (Where to vote and wow so many candidates... who do I vote for?)

Elections Calgary (the 5w's) Here are some new things we learned about the upcoming Calgary election. (Including free buses) 

Did you know buses will be free for advance polls prior to Election Day and also on Monday, October 18th? Calgary Transit – Use Calgary Transit to go to a voting station during the Advance Vote or on Election Day. Receive two Transit tickets as you exit the voting station. One ticket covers the trip to the voting station. The second ticket covers the trip home.

Why vote? 

Why not? It's easy! 
If you are here... you know why. And if you are not sure... that's ok.. we hope this information might help you decide. 

How do I vote? 

Learn about vote tools to help cast your ballot at the polls! Check out the "Plan my vote" for the Calgary Election

And check out this video on the vote assistance machine!  that will be at the advance poll at a specific location to be announced in the near future!  

Where do I vote?

Links to Elections Calgary website where do I vote using your address.

Mail-in ballots 

will need to be received by Monday, October 18th by 4 pm, for more information about the mail-in ballot process, visit this link

What is on the ballot? 

Besides the mayor, councilor, and school trustees, there are city and provincial questions you might like to answer.Learn about what will be on the ballot (sample version 2 pages). Please also visit The Sprawl's opinion piece  "What's with all the questions on the ballot?"

1. City is looking at fluoride. 

Here are Candidates' positions on fluoride to help you decide.

2. Provincial Referendum Information: 

Picking Senators (for a non-binding election):

As of October 31st, Alberta will have two vacant senate seats.  The Provincial Government would like to recommend three candidates for the Prime Minister to consider (Senators are appointed by the Prime Minister of Canada and not elected by the people of Alberta).  

A link to the candidates on the Elections Alberta Website 13 Senate candidates are registered with Elections Alberta. Nominating the people will take place on October 18, 2021, in conjunction with the 2021 Alberta Municipal Elections.

Some of the senate candidates are affiliated with a federal party, while some are independent. The ballot will ask you to suggest up to 3 candidates out of the 13. Then the Prime Minister and may or may not choose to appoint the people who have been put on the Alberta municipal ballot. It is non-binding. 
Alberta Senators Current and Candidates by Disability Action Hall

Cross Border Interviews hopes to sit down with Senate candidates during the week of October 3rd to the 10th and you can begin watching the recorded interviews on their youtube channel


What would a yes or no mean when filling in the circle about equalization? 
Visit the Government Alberta Website here to see the question.

Here are just some of the many opinions from:
  • The Red Deer news article here 
  • Recorded town hall about equalization (June 2021) hosted by Alberta Senator Paula Simons featuring economist Trevor Tombe; Eric Adams, a professor of constitutional law at the University of Alberta; Ken Boessenkool, professor of public policy at McGill University; historian Mary Janigan, author of the new book about the history of equalization, The Art of Sharing; and University of Alberta political scientist Jared Wesley.  

Daylight Savings

Albertans are being asked again about daylight savings. See the Elections Alberta for a chart on the sunrise, sunset across 4 regions of Alberta. A survey conducted last year by Alberta's Service Minister Nate Glubish said 90% of the 140,000 Albertans said to get rid of daylight savings. (Link to CBC article)

There are many opinions about daylight savings and the Alberta Government wants yours. Based on the 2017 committee report where over 13,000 Alberta provided input into the 'Alberta Standard Time Act' (Bill 203) here is how people voted back then:
  • 3,271 people said are in favour of keeping it as is (MST all year round) due to economic concerns, light-related concerns, safety concerns, and out of step with other provinces. (However Premiere Kenney said in July 2021 now that Yukon got rid of it, BC is also exploring getting rid of it as most of the population lives in the South near the US border keeping the same time all year round pending consultation with US neighbors).  
  • 10,090 said to get rid of it due to many reasons such as health concerns, safety concerns, child-related concerns, animal-related concerns, economic considerations, and/or because they consider changing the clocks twice yearly as unnecessary. 
  • While 200 people were undecided, did not understand the question or said it is not the right question (as Alberta is in need of two different time zones because some of Alberta's population aligns better with Saskatchewan (UTC-7 time) and some of the larger cities align better with BC time (UTC-8 time), while northern cities like Fort McMurray would then have sunrises at 3 am.
Despite most people said to get rid of it, The Government of Alberta voted down the Alberta Standard Time Act 46-7 after a committee studied it (Bill 203) on October 31st, 2017. To read the 2017 committee report visit this link. 

Who do I vote for? 

The Calgary Public Library and the City of Calgary have a great vote plan website to walk you through the steps. 

Community Group Forums with Candidates:

Media Interviews with Candidates:

Third-party Groups Endorsing Candidates:

September 17, 2021

Democracy is calling

Democracy is calling! 

We are celebrating our citizenship and right to vote! Here is a quick 40-second video to enjoy. 


Plain text description of the video: 

Democracy is calling

“Democracy is calling” by Members of the Disability Action Hall

Knock, knock. Who’s there? Someone's at the door… Democracy is calling, Calling, step out for more. Oh, say can you see? Really? How cheesy. Democracy is calling. Join dawn’s early light, Snap election? What’s 1 in 5? Canadians have a disability, the 22%, a force, and hell-bent. Do we trust and must? Will indifference win? Be beat by confusion spin? Will we rise together again? With a mask, to the ramps armed with pens, vote your voice.
Be heard, no joke. Come join us. Cast your vote. Your story matters, Disability matters! You are the 22%.  You better went. Democracy calls you.

Members of the Disability Action Hall recently got together and shared stories of the voting process.

We then put together this spoken word with images we collected at a non-partisan 'Voter Registration booth' we did together with Apathy is Boring, during the 2019 federal election. 

Enjoy! And vote! 

If you have stories to share and great ideas on how to reduce barriers for voters with disabilities, why not share them? Learn more by visiting the  Inspire Democracy website. 

What is your vote plan? 

If you are voting on Monday, September 20th, and starting your vote plan, visit our '8 steps to vote day easy peasy" for ideas and information you might need to get started courtesy of Elections Canada and the Democratic Engagement Exchange. 

September 14, 2021

8 steps to make vote day 'easy-peasy'

8 steps to make vote day easy-peasy by Disability Action Hall

Eight steps to make vote day 'easy-peasy'! 

Female figure sitting on a large calendar with a laptop
Plan to vote!

We are so glad you are here. 
You made the first step by getting on a laptop, phone or table to make a plan. 
Many Albertans are voting on Monday, September 20th starting at 7:30 am MST until 7:30 pm MST. 

Be careful about the information you see online about the electoral process—Get official information on Elections Canada's website:
#ItsOurVote #Elections101 #DemocracyChampions. The graphics and links we are using are from Elections Canada. 

1. Where do I start? Use a checklist. (download PDF)

Checklist includes checking if you are registered, if you have a voting card and bringing ID.

2. Am I registered to vote?

3. Who do I vote for? Undecided? 

Visit the Platform guide by Democratic Engagement Exchange.

A resource guide to all the platforms for September 20th created by the democracy exchange

4. Who is my local candidate? 

Did you know you can look up your local candidate by using your postal code, or by candidate name, city, map or province? 

5. Where do I vote? Use your postal code! 

6. Voting at my local polling station

Steps of

7. What if I need help marking my ballot? (Video)

8. How do I vote safely on September 20th, 2021? (Video)

There are health and safety measures in place to make voting safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. #ItsOurVote
Visit Elections Canada's website to learn more about the options available to you: 

September 1, 2021

Federal Voter Forum using a poverty lens

Federal Voter Forum 

using a poverty lens

Join us for a "Federal Voter Forum, using a poverty lens" on Tuesday, September 7th, 2021. Link to recording 

Hear from a list of knowledgeable speakers on various issues impacting Canadians. 

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

6-8 PM (MST) on Zoom (ASL and CART provided)

A knowledgeable panel of speakers will be addressing topics using a poverty lens - such as Housing, Healthcare, Food Security, Education, Truth and Reconciliation, and more. 

*Sneak Peak working doc of platforms, or Large Print format here.  

We will open it up for a community discussion and close the evening with a presentation on voter literacy- everything you need to vote. Alberta Candidates may also be in attendance. 

The webinar will also be recorded and it is a non-partisan event.

Advanced Polling starts Friday, September 10th,

and Election day is Monday, September 20th. 

➤Register here⮜ 

List of Speakers  

  • Housing by Vote Housing Advocate
  • Income by End Poverty Edmonton
  • Healthcare/Pharmacare by Friends of Medicare
  • Child Care by Women’s Centre of Calgary
  • Food Security by The Alex Community Food Centre
  • Accessibility by Voice of Albertans with Disabilities
  • Education by Alberta Teachers’ Association
  • Race Relations 
  • Truth & Reconciliation by Vibrant Communities Calgary
  • Voter Literacy by Apathy is Boring

The webinar is co-hosted by the following groups: 

  • Public Interest Alberta
  • Voices of Albertans with Disabilities
  • Self Advocacy Federation
  • Alberta Ability Network
  • Disability Action Hall
  • Vibrant Communities Calgary and Enough for All
  • Southern Alberta Individualized Planning Association
  • South Region Self-Advocate Network
  • The Alex Community Food Centre
  • Inside Out Theatre
  • Albertans Advocating for Change Together
  • End Poverty Edmonton