Accessible Widget

December 21, 2022

Happy Hallidays and Warmest wishes of the Season from the Disability Action Hall

Members of the Hall wish you a warm and safe holiday rest. 

Happy holidays! 

Happy Hallidays merry & bright by Disability Action Hall Alt description: A group of animated people in winter cloting standing together as a group with snow falling against a winter blue background with text saysing "May your days be merry and bright"

November 8, 2022

Join us for a Canada Disability Benefit Conversation November 29th, 2022

Do you want to learn more about the Canada Disability Benefit bill? Us too. 

We are working with groups in Calgary and around Alberta to learn as much as possible. 

Join us for a community conversation at the Alex Community Food Centre located at 4920 17 Ave SE Calgary, Alberta, Tuesday, November 29th, 2022 from 1:30 pm to 3:30 pm. 

RSVP to Katherine at the Alex by email or call 403-455-5792. Space is limited. 

Snacks included.

The poster is below and a PDF can be downloaded  here

Canada Disability Benefit Bill at the Alex Food Centre by Disability Action Hall

November 1, 2022

Help Calgary celebrate National Indigenous Disabilty Awareness Month

Last year we officially declared November as National Disability Awareness Month.

It is the "British Columbia Aboriginal Network on Disability Society" (BCANDS) BCAnds 8th annual celebration and we want to help spread the news far and wide! 

Indigenous Disability Awareness Month logo and provincial flags

To learn more about how to endorse the month and download the proclamation please visit

Stay tuned! 

October 28, 2022

Happy Halloween!

Members of the Disability Action Hall wish you a safe Halloween! 

And check out some tips and ideas for all kids of all ages to enjoy Halloween! 

"Accessible Halloween Village is a Treat for All!" Calgary Herald, October 24th, 2022.

"How Re/Max Agents are helping make Halloween more accessible, "  October 27th Vaughn, Ontario. 

"Top 5 Tips to make Halloween Accessible" by InnoCaption, October 23rd, 2022

"10 Accessible and Sensory Friendly Ideas for Halloween" by Wonderbaby, November 1st, 2017 

"Inclusive Halloween Ideas for Seniors"  Lakesport Square, Florida

"Wheelchair Accessible Costume Ideas" on Pinterest

"15 Halloween Sensory Crafts"  by American Austim Association, October 12, 2020

4 animated super heros of different abilities dancing to YMCA

October 20, 2022

October is Disability Employment Awareness Month- a two minute message for you!

This month is National Disability Employment Awareness Month. All month long, people are sharing messages about employment in the workplace for employees with disabilities. 

We have some stats and messages we wanted to share with you. To learn more visit

October 18, 2022

Proud to support Food Security Recommendations Letter to Canadian Government, Chew on This!

Yesterday for International Day to Eradicate Poverty #IDEP2022 we shared a film (link to our Chew on This! Actions) and supported virtual community conversations about food security in Alberta. We are proud to sign this letter in solidarity with Chew on This! and Dignity for All partners that went to eight Members of Parliament. The letter is endorsed by many groups, organizations, and provincial and municipal groups across Canada. #Chewonthis

The letter and recommendations can be read below. Link to the PDF

food is one of the first things sacrificed when there is not enough money
October 17th, 2022

RE: Chew on This! Open Letter to Address Food Insecurity in Canada

Dear Honourable Deputy Minister Freeland, Minister Gould, Minister Fraser, Minister Hussen, Minister Qualtrough, Minister Hajdu, Minister Vandal, and Minister Ien,

October 17 is the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. Dignity for All, along with Chew on This! Supporters across the country are calling on the federal government to implement equitable and effective policies to eradicate poverty and food insecurity.
Canada has signed international human rights commitments and has a duty to uphold the rights of all people in this country. In 2015, Canada adopted the Agenda 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, which include targets for (1) No Poverty and (2) Zero Hunger. 
Reports from ESDC say they are on track to meet, or even exceed, the targets of their Poverty Reduction Strategy. But even with these improvements, millions are being left behind. Rates of food insecurity have continued to climb, with a provincial average of 15.9% in 2021 (approximately 1 in 6 households), and even higher rates in the territories.

  • Poverty and food insecurity disproportionately impact people who are Black, Indigenous, or disabled, and people with precarious immigration status. 28.9% of Black households and
  • 28.2% of Indigenous households live with food insecurity, compared to just 11% of white households 
  • 1 Food insecurity rates intensify for people with intersecting forms of oppression, such as those who are 2SLGBTQ+, women, single mothers, and young adults.

Food insecurity is not about a lack of food, it is about a lack of income and access. Social
assistance rates (including welfare and disability supports) fall short of the poverty line in every province and territory2 with 63.1% of recipients’ households experiencing food insecurity. 3 But this issue must be tackled by the federal government as well. 13.7% of households whose main source of income is employment are also food insecure.4
Inadequate wages and income supports are compounded by high costs of housing, childcare, medical needs, and other essentials, leaving millions of people sacrificing their food budgets when there isn’t enough money to pay for rent and other “non-negotiable” expenses.
Food charity is not the solution. 

Food security requires food systems that provide safe working conditions for all workers and can adapt to climate change pressures. Food security requires income security and affordable housing. It requires empowering and funding community-led local and sustainable solutions. It requires recognizing food sovereignty for Indigenous and Black people.

We have outlined 4 policy recommendations that address some of the underlying causes of food insecurity in Canada and its disproportionate impacts among equity-seeking groups.

1. Increase income security: Increase federal income benefits, including Employment
Insurance, the Canada Worker’s Benefit, Canada Disability Benefit, Guaranteed Income
Supplement, Canada Housing Benefit, and the Canada Child Benefit, to reflect current
gaps and inadequacies. Expand eligibility to ensure all people living in Canada are
automatically enrolled for benefits.

2. Status for All: Give everyone living in Canada permanent resident status to ensure that
they have access to fair wages, worker protections, healthcare, EI, and other government
benefits and programs.

3. Subsidise Food Shipping Costs to the North: While this recommendation will not
address all forms of food insecurity in northern communities, increasing government
subsidies for food shipping expenses will make food costs immediately more affordable
for residents.

4. Support Community-led Programs & Food Sovereignty: Provide stable, adequate
funding to community-run and non-profit food programs (particularly for Indigenous and
Black-led organizations), recognizing community members with lived experience of food
insecurity as experts in what services and food options are needed.
This letter has been endorsed by organizations and advocates across the country and across
sectors (please see the full list of signatures below). We would be grateful for the opportunity to meet with you to provide more information specific to your respective mandates and our policy recommendations.

We look forward to working with you toward our human rights commitments.

Dignity for All Co-Leads
Natalie Appleyard Emilly Renaud Leila Sarangi
Citizens for Public Justice Canada Without Poverty Campaign 2000
613-232-0275 ext. 222 613-789-0096 416-595-9230 ext. 250

National/International Endorsements

Canadian Mental Health Association
Advancement Women of Halton (AWH)
Food Secure Canada
Accessible Housing Network
Basic Income Canada Network
Martha Justice Ministry, Sisters of St. Martha, Antigonish
Disability Action Hall
West Coast LEAF
Canadian Association of Social Workers
Grand(m)others Act to Save the Planet (GASP)
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada
Family Service Canada
Leading in Colour
Greenwood United Church Peterborough
Child Welfare League of Canada
The Disabled Women's Network of Canada (DAWN Canada)
Co: Culture Collective
Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness
Federation of Sisters of St. Joseph of Canada
Public Service Alliance of Canada
Richmond Poverty Reduction Coalition - BC
The Canadian Feminist Alliance for International Action
Council of Canadians with Disabilities

Provincial/Municipal Endorsements
Aboriginal Council of Winnipeg
Antigonish Coalition to End Poverty
Attachment Leadership
BC Poverty Reduction Coalition
City for All Women Initiative (CAWI) / Initiative: Une Ville pour Toutes les Femmes (IVTF)
Grey Sisters
Guelph & Wellington Task Force for Poverty Elimination
Guelph Community Health Centre
Guelph Neighbourhood Support Coalition
Mom2Mom Child Poverty Initiative Society
NB Common Front for Social Justice/Front commun pour la justice sociale du NB
New Tecumseth Climate Action
ODSP Action Coalition
Ontario Dietitians in Public Health
Parkdale Food Centre
Poverty Free Halton
Red Bear Healing Home Society
Reducing Poverty Together Oxford (community collaborative)
Social and Environmental Action Committee, Neighbourhood Unitarian Universalist
Social Justice & Advocacy Committee, Anglican Diocese of Toronto
Social Planning Council Oxford
United Way Guelph Wellington Dufferin
Voice of Albertans with Disabilities
YWCA Niagara Region

4 Same as above.
3 Tarasuk V, Li T, Fafard St-Germain AA. (2022) Household food insecurity in Canada, 2021. Toronto: Research to
identify policy options to reduce food insecurity (PROOF). Retrieved from
2 Maytree Foundation, Welfare in Canada (2021). Retrieved from
1 Statistics Canada, Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS), 2017-2018

October 17, 2022

13.2 Billion Surplus Stew Statement for International Day to Eradicate Poverty October 17th, 2022

October 17th, 2022

Surplus Stew Statement
Photograph of stainless steel pot steaming on stove
Link to view 13.2 Surplus Stew film

Members of the Disability Action Hall thank you for attending the premier of
 The stew is our way to share with you how best to invest the 13.2 Billion surplus to help over 4 million Albertans thrive. 

Who:               Members of the Disability Action Hall, Chew on This! and friends
Why:               To recognize surplus solutions to address food insecurity

1st event:       
Monday, October 17th, 2022 12:30 to 1 pm virtual premiere of "13.2 Surplus Stew"

2nd Event:     

To join the conversation from 7 pm-9 pm, visit this link. 


1. Legislate free Internet Alberta-wide 

Onion and garlic add flavor and stand for choices of things we like and money to spend on what we need.

Free internet is needed, especially in rural communities and on reserves. Tech for Good through TELUS is an affordable way to get a new laptop. We need free internet to become law so all internet service providers can help Albertans stay connected. 10% of people living with low-income access to the internet to help address food barriers and food delivery.[xvi] We think the big phone companies can do better.

2. Index Social Assistance 

Cabbage (another name for money) stands for indexing of AISH (Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped) (Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped), income supports, and Seniors' Special Needs Benefits.

Food insecurity is about a lack of income and access to food.[iii] By indexing AISH (Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped), Income Supports and Alberta Seniors Special Needs Benefits, we can address the root problem. We ask the government to look at how much it would cost to index social assistance to the cost of inflation and increase it every year.

One in four working-age Canadians with a disability lives below the poverty line.[iv] We want the Alberta government and federal MPs to begin conversations to help design the ‘Canada Disability Benefit’, Bill C-22, and a ‘Basic Income’ Bill C223, and  Bill S233 for Canadians who are falling through the cracks. Albertans want to be at the table with the Alberta government to ensure no one is left behind and can begin to eat healthily.

3.    Invest in Public Healthcare 

Rainbow carrots, spices, and herbs add flavour. They reflect the diversity and racialized peoples.

Poverty is hard on your health when you cannot afford the food you need. People are seeking out more private healthcare and that is shockingIn the latest news, ambulances are so overwhelmed that they did not show up as a firefighter lay on the arena ice. Our ambulance service should be better than it is. We think ambulance drivers need full-time contracts [v] to help address the drug poisoning crisis and mental health needs. The biggest cause of bankruptcy in the United States is paying for healthcare[vi]. Our public health care needs to be preserved. If there is not enough public health care and private healthcare takes over, this situation could happen in Canada too. Mental health care is an important part of healthcare and the current investment is not enough. It costs $200 to see a private therapist.[vii] To help address the crisis, adequate mental health services need to be covered by health care. Conversations with newcomers during COVID showed that they could not take time off for their health and sometimes had no health care support.[viii] We need a broad investment in public healthcare to help all Albertans.

4.    Address expensive clothing, bank fees, and other expenses 

Wagyu beef as the surplus are only for the wealthy and the Heritage Fund.

It is difficult to go out and get food if we cannot afford to dress for the weatherAll our money goes towards the rising costs of food. Many times, people with disabilities require modified clothing which costs more, also known in the disabled community as the crip tax.[ix]

We also need better banks for people facing poverty, such as no bank fees, services, and low-interest fees for people facing poverty. We support the four recommendations from Acorn Canada: we need no-fee banking, 0% and low-interest loans to people on a fixed income, get rid of predatory lending, and support a nationalized credit rating system.[x]

5.     We need people to help navigate systems to education and employment. 

Swiss chard is something that not everyone thinks of. Being forgotten excludes people and then people in poverty cannot typically afford them.

Having live humans to talk to, such as when applying for grants to upgrade our education and improve our livelihoods is important. We need plain language and real people to talk to. There are 645,000 Canadians with disabilities who have the potential to work in an inclusive labour market and 75% are not currently working. Many Canadians with disabilities are unemployed or underemployed. Improving workplace access and information would allow 550,000 Canadians with disabilities to work more, and increase the GDP by $16.9 billion by 2030.[xi] At present, many grants can only be applied for online, but many people in poverty do not have devices to access the Internet and, therefore, do not know about programs that are only talked about on the Internet.

 6.     25% Essential Disability Worker pay increase 

Tomatoes and potatoes are basics to help keep our lives, homes and health.

Many of us are reliant on our workers to thrive; however, disability workers live in poverty and cannot afford to put gas in their cars and food on their tables. Many disability workers are forced to leave their jobs due to no raise for eight years.[xii]  Disability workers need a 25% raise to be recognized as essential workers by the government. [xiii]

7.     More affordable, accessible housing 

Mixed beans like fava, black, and chickpeas are cheap and, like housing, are foundational as a protein for everyone all around the world. This includes funds to keep the housing.

Affordable housing is needed for people to rent houses. Some affordable housing projects do not have enough funding to run the housing and keep it up. We are concerned that by 2025 over 100,000 Calgarians[xiv] will need affordable, accessible housing. It is a complex problem needing many solutions. The Alberta government recently announced $ 63 million to help with emergency crisis housing and it is a step in the right direction. More specific solutions are highlighted by Calgary’s ‘Social Policy Collaborative.’ 

“As of April 2021, more than 110,000 low-income Albertans live in affordable housing and more than 24,000 are on a waitlist. The last figure has doubled in the past decade.” 

The collaborative has made  three recommendations; a $ 90 million capital investment in affordable housing every year, to review agreements with operators to determine appropriate funding, and an immediate 10% increase to operation and fully index existing operating agreements to inflation.”[xv]

8. Invest in Affordable, Accessible Pubilc Transportation 

Grains like quinoa in the stew for protein and fibre stands for mobility devices, and public transportation.

It is difficult to buy food when we cannot get to the store and are dependent on the kindness of others for basic needs. All three levels of government need to work together as public transit tries to recover from pre-pandemic levels and service cuts. We need to create better connections to rural communities. We need ongoing operational funding to help create free transportation to address ‘food deserts’ in both urban and rural communities,  secure work, and enjoy our community[xvii]. For instance, we all feel better because of enjoying the great outdoors to feel healthy and connect with nature. To take a group trip on Access Calgary, you must fill out a form 5 days in advance, and email it for every trip. It takes at least 30 minutes to do the form for a group trip. It is a lot of unnecessary work, we need more accessible, affordable public transit buses to help us travel together with our family and friends.

9. Ensure everyone has free, clean water across Alberta 

Water and broth as every good stew have a base and it is critical for nourishment.

Access to water for all is a human right. Many First Nations communities and others do not have clean water at the tap, let alone around the world. All levels of government need to work together on an agreement to help the crisis.[xviii]  It is hard to prepare food if people must pay extra just for clean drinking water.

Serves 4.08 billion Albertans



Surplus Stew Recipe

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 tsp margarine
  • 1 lb rainbow carrots
  • 1/2 lb fingerling potatoes (about 8 little ones)
  • 1/2 small cabbage
  • 2 cans mixed beans (e.g., black beans, fava, kidney beans, chickpeas)
  • 1 large tomato or 10 cherry tomatoes
  • 1 box vegetable broth (900 ml)
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 1 tsp Mexican oregano
  • Sea salt
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • 1 bunch of Swiss chard, chopped
  • Small amount wagyu beef, shaved & chopped

Cook onion and garlic in margarine. Add chopped bite-sized carrots, potatoes, and cabbage. Cook for about 10 minutes. Then add beans., tomato (chopped), and vegetable broth. Cook covered for 15 minutes. Add ground beef and quinoa. Add water if needed. Cook for 10 minutes covered. Add salt, pepper, and oregano. Add stems of swiss chard. Cook for 45 minutes and then stir in the Swiss chard leaves. Cook for 5 minutes more. Taste for seasoning. Add the shaved beef, if you are using it. Stir and cook a bit more until all vegetables are the texture you like. 

Serves 4.08 billion Albertans.





**A second event for a "Virtual Drop-in Community Conversation" facilitated by Voice of Albertans with disabilities, Self-Advocacy Federation, Alberta Ability Network and the Disability Action Hall  from 7 pm until 9 pm  for greater discussion.
To learn more about the evening event, visit this link. 

October 14, 2022

Media advisory: Cooking up food security for Albertans, International Day to Eradicate Poverty with a 13.2 billion dollar surplus

Media advisory: 

Cooking up a solution to food insecurity in Alberta

International Day to Eradicate Poverty with a 13.2 billion dollar surplus

Serving up Surplus Stew for October 17th Film Premier

Registration here

Did you know over half of the people who use the foodbank have a disability meanwhile the Alberta Government reported a surplus of 13.2 billion

For International Day to Eradicate Poverty on October 17th and as part of "Chew on This! 2022" we are serving up "Surplus Stew. " Join us virtually for a film and short discussion to talk more about food insecurity and share the recipe for Alberta’s surplus stew on October 17th. Registration here. 

The film launch will be cohosted by the members of the Disability Action Hall. Everyone from around the province is more than welcome to join. 

To learn more about the stew's star ingredients and special meaning as solutions to address food insecurity please watch for our statement launching at 12 noon on Monday, October 17th. 

If you can't make it and if you know of organizations wishing to endorse the pledge and sign on to an open letter with Chew On This! 2022  here!  

Later in the evening, we will also take part in a virtual community conversation drop-in from 7 pm to 9 pm with our friends from Voice of Albertans with Disabilities, the Alberta Ability Network, and the Self-Advocacy Federation. These events are just some of the many occurring across Canada on International Day to Eradicate Poverty and for a full list of events, please visit the Chew on This! website. 

Who:         Members of the Disability Action Hall, Chew on This! and friends
What:        Virtual Film Screen of "13.2 Surplus Stew"
Why:         To recognize surplus solutions to address food insecurity
When:       Monday, October 17th, 2022 12:30 to 1 pm
Where:      Online on zoom (register)

#chewonthis! #internationaldaytoeradicatepoverty #surplusstew

September 16, 2022

Redefining Equity, an illustration

Redefining Equity, an illustration

"Equality" is when we assume everyone benefits from the same support.

 "Equity" is when everyone gets the support they need. 

"Justice" is when all experience life without support or accommodations as the barrier has been removed; universal access.  

6 images contrasting equality, equity and justice. Shows how universal design levels the playing field. 1st and 4th image three people stand before a fence or store, and only one person sees and get in the building. 2nd and 5th image show a makeshift ramp and box so all can see the game and awkwardly access a building treating people differently, the 3rd and 6th image show all people enjoying the game through a see through fence and universal accessible entrance.

Text description: 

Six images on a yellow background contrast how three people watch a baseball game and the storefront entrance. Three people stand before a fence or store, and only one person sees and gets into the building. 2nd and 5th images show a makeshift ramp and box so all can see the game and awkwardly access a building treating people differently, the 3rd and 6th images show all people enjoying the game through a see-through fence and universal accessible entrance to the store. 

Each image shows levels of access for each person depending on the support provided. The 1st, 2nd, and 3rd images are of three people watching a baseball game over a fence. The 4th, 5th and 6th images are of the same three people facing a storefront either through stairs, a ramp, or a flat sloped sidewalk of a store. 

1st person is standing and average adult height. They are able  to access the building and game no matter what type of entrance and treats everyone the same (Equality). 

2nd person smaller in height:

The second person in the first and fourth images is smaller in height and cannot see the game over the fence or get into the store due to the stairs. In the second image, they can see over the fence given a box to stand on but still cannot get into the store due to the height of the stairs without help (The image is about equity). Justice is when we remove the barrier to have a see-through fence to watch the game or get into the store with a flat entrance.  

3rd person in a motorized chair: 

The 3rd person is using a motorized chair and cannot see the game through the fence or gain access to the building due to the stairs. In the second image and 4th image, the person in the chair and  4th image the person in the wheelchair have a makeshift ramp and a separate way to get into the building (equality) 

In the third image, the person in the motorized chair can also see the game through the fence and gain access to the store because of universal design as the barriers have been removed (Justice) 

September 2, 2022

July 22, 2022

Speak Out, Telling our Stories Update July 2022

On Tuesday, July 5th, 2022 we held our annual celebration for the first time in person! We joined efforts with the Community Action Team at the Alex Community Food Centre and explored storytelling using our five senses. We based our storytelling on five topics:  "Disability Pride and Culture, Relationships and Networking, Enough money to live, A home for all, and Services that we need." 

We made a 1-minute photo album to celebrate the day. The video has images of people gathered around the tables telling stories and enjoying the afternoon together. 

Angie and Alex were co-emcees for the day and began the celebration with a smudge and treaty acknowledgment. Many thanks to Dion who led the ceremony. Angie was honored to provide a land acknowledgment recognizing the land of Treaty 7 first nations, Inuit and Metis Region 3. 

Many Hall members helped organize the event including bringing together useful items, music, and creative ways to spark discussion. Angie made purple bracelets for all attendees and Alex made tiny fidgets to help people feel comfortable at the table. 

Alex also began the day by welcoming people with songs by bringing along an entire DJ set up to spin favorite tunes from the members of the Disability Action Hall. Alex enjoyed the conversation at all the tables and says, "I really like the smaller group size. It was a good amount of people attending for the first time in person. It was a nice change to meet people in a smaller group; when meeting in a big group can be intimidating. We had about 20 people show up. We were also joined by the Calgary Scope Society Counselling team Gabi and Kerstin who brought a zen garden and lots of fun things to play with including a big squishy ball. We had things you could smell like coffee grounds, teas, and herbs. For the housing table, I brought some dish scrubbers, and timothy, (to smell like grass or a lawn). It was so cool to hear everyone telling their stories and went from table to table and watched people pick up different things and tell stories. For the 'Enough money for all' table, Kathleen made a container that had different categories to show where people’s money went (we had $1685) and we talked about what things cost and what we paid per month. That was a good topic and led to some great discussion and storytelling. Exploring the five senses is a cool thing."

Mary says "Everyone went home with a plant or door prize that could be used in a meal or a tool to be used in the home. I liked getting the plants for everyone; things people can use and are hard to kill. Any plants left over that were generously donated by Talia were also planned for future use in meals at the Alex Community Food Centre." 

Lloyd says "We smelled different spices and that was different."  

Kathleen facilitated the "Disability Pride and Culture Table" and got to hear people say what they were proud of. There was one single mother who talked about how she went back to university at a much older age and now she helps people at the Alex Community Food Centre. It was a real treat for me to hear what people are proud of as I love listening to people's stories."

Colleen heard feedback from the Alex staff who really enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere to reflect and pause. Darrell said the center has been very busy and was more than happy to have a relaxing afternoon and shared how she has been part of at least four disability pride celebrations and more than to have The Community Food Centre be a collaborator for Speak Out.

Thank you to all who attended, facilitated, planned, and prepared the wonderful food.