Accessible Widget

December 21, 2023

Happy Holidays!

 Wishing you 'Happy Holidays' from the Disability Action Hall. 

We will be taking a well deserved break from 

Friday, December 22nd, 2023 to January 15th, 2024. 

We will be back soon. Happy New Year! 

Group of Hall members wearing outdoor winter clothing

December 20, 2023

Albertans react to the 2024 indexing of social assistance rates

The indexing of social assistance benefits December 2023 by Disability Action Hall

Plain text below. 

Albertans react to the 2024 indexing of social assistance rates 

“At least we are not getting cut back; however, everything is going up.”  
- Angie Brown

We asked for Disability Action Hall members' thoughts on the recent December 15th announcement of the Alberta Government fulfilling the 2023 campaign promise to continue to index social assistance every year. For 2024, there will be a 4.25%$ increase in Alberta’s social assistance programs like Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped (AISH), Alberta Income Supports, and Special Needs Assistance for Seniors, which will help with the cost of living.  Most of our members said that the AISH increase to $ 1863 a month (an increase of 76 dollars more from $1787) is a step in the right direction, and they see it as one step closer to living out of poverty. Many Albertans are falling further and further behind since benefits were paused back in 2020. Moreover, in the past year, many more Albertans have struggled with rising costs for food, rent, and utilities. Statistics Canada just released the market basket measures update last month, and now Calgary is the most expensive city to live in among the ten provinces in Canada.

Reggie states, “The indexing increase is something, but it could be more. Since the reindexing of benefits in January 2023, I still had to move back home to live with my parents as social assistance has not kept pace with rising costs.” Typically, social assistance rates are slow to respond to make life affordable. Despite the 4.24% increase. Reggie continues, “Living alone is not an option due to high increases in rent.” Liv. Rent [i]reports the one-bedroom unit increased 13.9% since November 2022 to $1678 for an unfurnished apartment.

With a 5.5 billion surplus, Hall members are now challenged on how Albertans will try to make every dollar count for 2024. Eliza suggests, “I agree every little bit helps. Regardless, I don't think the rent should've been inflated anyway. Even though we are grateful for the increase, we should not have to fight for increments. Why does it have to be inches? We want a little bit more. Twelve months is a long time to wait to index the benefits. Maybe it could increase by $ 75 every three months vs every year; that way, it would be a more significant jump to address living costs.

In November 2023, the Stats Canada 2017-2022 survey reported, [ii]People with disabilities are at a far greater risk of living in poverty than people without disabilities. Nearly 30% of those with more severe disabilities lived in poverty in 2017. Those who had severe disabilities and lived alone were the most likely to live in poverty at over 60%. Before the pandemic, over one million Canadians with a disability lived in poverty.”

 “We don’t deserve to be kept in poverty because we are disabled; it’s not our fault we are disabled; nobody chooses to live in poverty and live in a system that does not allow them to make a livelihood for themselves. And at the same time, we are also concerned about the many Albertans who rely on the Alberta Works Income Supports program and how Albertans are getting by.” Says Alex.

Many are thankful for the provincial program and the health benefits provided. However, 2024 will be another year of trying to pay for food, heat, and other essentials for many across Canada. Mother Debbie and daughter Amber used to live in Ontario, where the program for people with disabilities, known as ODSP, is $ 1000 a month; Debbie, who is Amber’s Mom, says, “If you are lucky, you will get an extra $300 for diapers. That’s a huge difference; in Ontario, the diaper and passport funding help if you want to work and swim, but you don’t get it directly; you can sign up for it.” Amber says “I am very grateful for what I get in Alberta. I had to pay for an extension for bags and tubes in Ontario, which was free in Alberta. We are all feeling very blessed.”

At the same time, not all Albertans in the AISH program understand or are overwhelmed with navigating the benefits between their doctor and AISH worker to assist with medical needs. “It’s frustrating to hear how one person is eligible for medical assistance. Meanwhile, I struggle to pay for my medical needs. It’s not easy for me to go and visit a doctor and go through all the eligibility processes. It can be frustrating as I cannot afford a medical device and groceries.” Says Alex.

Hall members also challenge the public notion of being grateful for what we get. Mike says, “I guess it’s just the word "gratitude.” I get very emotional about the things I'm grateful for: my friends, my wife, my family, and other things. I'm not grateful that the government let me buy an extra bottle of dish soap. I'm not okay with letting them pat themselves on the back for doing the bare minimum.” Jennifer provides a solution and adds, “While we welcome the increase, social assistance rates based on a measurement of what it costs to live in Calgary would be a genuine change in policy to improve affordability for Albertans.”

December 15th, 2023 announcement



December 1, 2023

Celebrate International Day for Persons With Disabilities in 3 ways!

Join us as we celebrate International Day for Persons with Disabilities in 3 ways!

1. Tell us what you are proud of. 🙋

We want to know what you are proud of. We answered this question to recognize the United Nations, the official day to recognize Persons with Disabilities worldwide. Watch our 4-minute video here. 

2. Help make rules for the Canada Disability Benefit. 🍁

Send a letter, photo, poem, or video by Thursday, December 21st, 2023, about what a Canada Disability Benefit needs to include. Learn more hereThe direct email address is

*Don't know what to say? Try our worksheet to get you started.

3. Help all Calgarians have warm, heated homes. 💡

Did you know the City of Calgary wants to help everyone have warm, safe, heated homes? It is called Energy Equity. This group wants to hear from you. There is a focus group on December 11th and a survey, too; visit

November 27, 2023

Join us for International Day of Persons with Disabilities, December 3rd, 2023 at Calgary's City Hall

It's time to celebrate! 

When: Join us at City Hall on Friday, December 1st, 2023, 11 am to 2 pm

Why: To recognize the United Nations "International Day of Persons with Disabilities"  

Where: The address of City Hall is 800 McLeod Trail SE. We will be part of the resource fair near the escalators. 

What: It should be a lot of fun!  There will be a photo booth, puzzle wall, sensory space, art gallery, celebrations, and of course,  come by and say 'Hi!' 

We can't wait to meet you. In the celebration portion, there will be closed captioning and ASL.

Reminder of LRT Service changes: 

A reminder: the red line from the north runs to City Hall only. Redline LRT coming from the South will be shuttle buses. 

Learn more about the switch on the Calgary Transit website to plan your visit! 

International Day of Persons with Disabilities Poster

What you can look forward to: 

  • Resource fair featuring organizations from across Calgary (vendor applications are still open!)
  • Art gallery by local artists 
  • Photobooth
  • Presentation on how to make your websites more accessible 
  • Musical contributions by Taylor Nile and JB Music
  • And a sensory space!


November 13, 2023

Thank you for attending "Let's Grow Together" Nov 9th, 2023

Thank you again to all who attended "Let's Grow Together" on November 9th, 2023. 

A list of resources related to food dignity is linked here (PDF)  (November 8, 2023)

October 24, 2023

Let's Grow Together- Strengthen our Community Roots, Thursday, November 9th, 2023 online

Join us for "Let's Grow Together, Strengthen Our Community Roots". A 1-hour talk for community connectors, builders, community hubs, and activists on Thursday, November 9th, 2023. Everyone is welcome.

Members of the Disability Action Hall are working with "The Alex Community Food Centre and 'The Calgary Distress Centre's 'Community Information Exchange' (CIE) to learn how to end poverty and live with dignity.

We hope to begin to look at more ways we can: 

  • Strengthen our connections to work smarter instead of harder, 
  • How to help people tell their story once to get what we need, 
  • Learn about the benefits of peer advocates,
  • Talk about ways to create more sustainable spaces to welcome all.
You can register on Zoom for Thursday, November 9th, 2023, from 1 pm to 2 pm (MST). Help us spread the word. 
You can download the poster or use the QR code to share with friends. 

October 13, 2023

Let's Do Food Dignity! October 17th is the International Day to Eradicate Poverty

 Let's do food dignity (Plain text below image, click here for PDF

Image of a white plate with fork, knife and spoon in peace pattern with the words Learn, Talk and Suppport
Let's do food dignity, Three actions you can do for October 17th, 2023,

Plain text

This year for the 'International Day to Eradicate Poverty', Hall members recorded short videos highlighting food dignity (Either on our YouTube channel or Scroll to the bottom of the page and click on the people's names). We want to help promote food dignity, such as growing our own culturally appropriate food, grocery cards, mobile food sources, and places that are welcoming and treat people with dignity. You can do three actions anytime: "Talk, learn, and support food dignity."


Share good ideas across the food cycle from farm to table!

·      You are already on your way just by watching today's short films (listed below) on “What is dignity.’ It is crucial to co-create with experience living in poverty to access food with dignity.

·      Visit and learn about welcoming food-secure places and volunteer with the Alex Food Centre

·      Learn about Fresh Routes, a mobile food resource in communities of Calgary

·      Support grocery card campaigns like “I Can for Kids” that empower families to feed themselves.

·      Encourage programs like the 2020 National Market Greens Program, providing discounts at the till to ensure we all have choice and dignity.

·      Help reduce food waste such as the “Too Good to Go Food” app as featured in the Global News article titled “Tim Hortons joins app that reduces restaurant food waste, saves money” Global News, October 4th are another excellent way to ensure less healthy food gets thrown out.



·      Did you know? Alberta's report card on ending poverty is a 'D,' and one of the recommendations is a Provincial Poverty Reduction Plan; check out the interactive Canadian Report Card from Food Banks of Canada Report Card.

·      Check out Alberta Health Services “What is Food Insecurity” infographic, August 2023

Did you know?  The United Nations, “Food and Agricultural Organization”, has an e-learning course on the right to food policy legislation.

·      Grocers will try to stabilize food costs. Grocery chains promising more discounts, price freezes to stabilize food costs, minister says” October 5, CBC News      

Did you know? In the most recent Alberta government mandate letter for the Minister of Seniors, Community, and Social Services, there are commitments to ensure social protection, including affordable housing, seamless support to disability services from birth to adulthood, indexing social assistance, and ongoing funding to food banks and affordable transit.

·      Did you know? More than one in five working-age single adults is living in poverty. Yet they receive the lowest amount of government support? Read more in the Community Food Centres of Canada report “Sounding the Alarm: The Need to Invest in working-age Adults.”


·      Support affordable food by encouraging grocers to keep costs within reach;

· Support lived-experience initiatives like the Facebook Group “Last Chance Produce,” a private group promoting food dignity
· “I Can for Kids” empowers families to feed themselves with grocery cards
·    Support the “Open market YYC,” a pay-what-you-can pricing model in Meadowlark
·  Where to access food in Alberta? Call 211. In Calgary, visit the Calgary food map to find the nearest affordable food source near you.
It costs more to live with a disability; remind Canadian MP #budgetthebenefit by sending in a postcard.
·    Many food organizations recommend access to good food; people need more income. Support Basic Income by sending a letter of support to your local senator and MP from Basic Income Alberta.

Film Shorts - What Is Food Dignity Film Shorts

August 18, 2023

Celebrating Pride, Disability and the Right to Love, September 1st, 2023

We are proud to be part of a community collaboration present "Queerly Disabled" featuring 2SLGTBQIA+ Rainbow Panel, short films and drag performance. 

FREE entry plus great Italian Street food and ice cream from our sponsors, Village Ice Cream and Italiano Please YYC . We have door prizes from Mud Urban Potters and more!

Spaces are limited so get your tickets on Eventbrite.

Queerly Disabled, Friday, September 1st, 2023 A group of gender diverse individuals with a variety of disabilities in rainbow colours and dressed in celebration of pride, smiles, featuring pride flag and disability pride flag. Logos for Village ice cream,  Mud Urban Pottery, Italiano please and the Alex Community Food Centre. The event is from 1:30 pm to 3:30 pm on Friday September 1st located at 4920, 17 Avenue SE, Calgary, Alberta

Accessible accommodations include: 
ASL provided by FLIC Inc, a low-sensory dedicated area, masks to ensure our esteemed panelists and performers stay as healthy as we can be to share our message, and art in celebration of pride. 

It is an all-ages event with mature content. It is a masked event and masks will be at the door. 

More details to come about our featured panelists and drag performance! 

With our community partners The Alex Community Food Centre, Centre for Sexuality and Vantage Enterprises Ltd we are featuring panelists on a lively conversation about the 'Right to Love' during Pride Fest. 

sponsored by Italiano Please, The Alex, Mud Urban Potters and Village Ice Creamx

July 31, 2023

Out and About Picnic at Bowness

Groups that play together, stay together for a much needed relaxing time. Good times has by all at this years picnic in Bowness Park. The weather was not too hot nor was it too cold; it was just right for a  day of scavenger hunting, photography, strolling, food and  fun at Bowness Park. We soaked in the flowers, scenery and history of Bowness Park. 

For folks who may have missed it, and or plan on going to Bowness soon,  feel free to download our scavenger hunt. You will need a camera and some reading skills to stroll around the park. 

We were really happy to meet Fede and Barbara and hope they are able to join more meetings in the near future. We are also glad Aleem from the University of Calgary stopped by to say hello. 

Thank you everyone for a great day; pretty sure the lagoon ducks may miss us  most! 
To learn what is in the picture collage below, follow the link for a description of each photo.


July 25, 2023

Our top 6 ideas for better housing solutions through a 2LGTBQSIA+ lens

We put together our top concerns about the gaps and barriers to housing in Calgary, Alberta using a "Disability and 2LGBTQIA+" lens (persons with disabilities, families, and people who identify as transgendered). Our plan is to then share our experiences, ideas, and solutions with the federal housing advocate in August. We also summarized our ideas and more details are below the comic.

9 panel cartoon highlighting six solutions for housing in Calgary

A person on a bike holding signs

Description automatically generated

“Top 6 ideas for better housing in Calgary through a 2LGTBQSIA+ lens"

 by Disability Action Hall, July 2023

1. Housing in all areas of Calgary

    Affordable housing zoned in all areas of the city, (not just in limited places). 

    To prevent alienating people; help people to live in a community of their choice; Allow people to make their own decisions. 

    Useful design is near frequent transit with disabled parking spaces near the home.

2. Housing accepts all animals

    People should be able to have animals if they can care for them. 

   Housing that accepts all animals as we like living with animals to help us with our emotional and mental well-being to help us get out of bed. 

3. The need to understand and accept all diversity 

    Folks who are trans need safe spaces that are safe to live, “In my experience, they told me they could not have me as I was going through a transition instead of saying ‘Why don’t we move you into men’s housing?’ Please don’t alienate people based on their identity and culture.

   Housing options that are not gender segregated (As that is binary in terms of the way people think)”. 

    Allow people to live where they want to live in the place, they want to live in… “As a trans man right now in a time, I would not be comfortable moving into a space with a bunch of guys”. Trust is critical and surrounding neighbours who understand what I am going through helps me feel safe and on common ground. 

   There needs to be a lot more flexibility in housing eligibility and options; “I’ve seen senior couples get separated” and have limited options, or when a family is looking for housing are then split apart. 

    “Living at a treatment center with women as a transman felt weird, as I felt like a guy living among a bunch of women. Having a sense of community and more opportunity for community support and natural support instead of just slapping labels on us”. 


4. Accessible, safe, affordable designed homes

    “Some of the low-income housing doesn’t look like houses, it looks like square boxes; When building homes, they should look nice for people to live in, not a square box. People should have the right to live in a nice house or a nice apartment building, not just square cracker boxes”. 

   Accessibility and housing, “I need a shower that I can roll a shower into, otherwise I have no shower. It sucks I can’t shower. We really hope to find a house cause my foster sis moved to Calgary and our needs are for a family, not just me”.

    We need more accessible, and affordable for low-income folks and queer folks.

    Affordable housing also needs to be safe. “Just because it's ‘low-income folks’ it does not mean we don't deserve to live in a clean, safe, comfortable environment”.

   Social housing needs enough funds to help to support the housing to keep it safe and in safe neighborhoods. 


5. Housing Supports that build community co-created with people with a variety of disabilities 

    “Living in supportive housing with trustworthy staff who don’t steal things from you”. 

    When you have support workers coming into the space, design more available housing on how people live, versus around housing providers. It is always nice when the housing provider supports the building of community in the housing.

    People with disabilities should be involved in creating housing so it can be accessible to everyone. 


6. All levels of Government work together to help coordinate housing gaps and barriers across the housing spectrum 

    PDD does not help people get housing for people with disabilities; The Government needs to help buy their own houses.

     Be able to stay in the housing until we no longer wish to live there. 

    The Government to raise people’s incomes so everyone can live where they want. 

   All three levels of Government need to coordinate together for housing strategies. When governments don’t coordinate, then it’s left up to the agencies, yet every agency has different criteria and rules for social housing; it is confusing and a lot of work trying to understand, and people fall through the cracks.

     We need a provincial housing minister to work with the city and the federal government. 

   The ‘Owen Hart Home Ownership Program’ and ‘Habitat for Humanity' help people buy their home; however people on social aid (like Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped AISH) aren't always eligible to be in the program as our income is too low. Help ensure people who wish to be homeowners on social aid programs qualify for home ownership and mortgages. 

 Housing is broken. Housing is a basic human right.