AACT Virtual Summit Project
AACT got money through FCSS at the City of Calgary to do a project to connect adults with disabilities in rural and remote parts of Alberta to the self-advocacy community. We provided new tablets and helped people learn how to use them. We put on 6 Self-Advocacy Summits on Zoom in This project ended in December 2020.
There are videos of each of the Self-Advocacy Summit sessions on our Summit page.
We made 3 how-to videos and 10 "cheat sheets" with tips and resources that you can download from our Internet for Self-Advocates page. There is also a Training Manual for the project on the same page.
AACT co-hosted a Town Hall on Zoom with MLAs on May 14, 2020. Our ASL Interpreters were from FLIC Inc. and KLM Captioning provided text of the meeting. Thank you to all who participated.
Zoom Town Hall
Town Hall Zoom Recording. Click on Closed-captioned notes to download the text from KLM Captioning (33 pages in PDF). Also, here are links to Mental Health Resources letter by request (A letter from MLA Tracy Allard to MLA Marie Renaud April 14, 2020)
We have had regular meetings with the Disability Advocate and members of the Community and Social Services (CSS) Ministry in Alberta. This is the Ministry that runs the poverty support programs Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped (AISH) and Income Supports, as well as the Persons with Developmental Disabilities Program (PDD). The government has made a few changes this year that have negatively affected people with and without disabilities who rely on social assistance: 1) They de-indexed AISH and Income Supports so that they no longer increase with the cost of living. This means that the money people get does not go as far and pushes them further into poverty. 2) They changed the date they pay AISH and Income Supports into people's accounts to the first of the month. This means that thousands of Albertans have had to negotiate with landlords, lenders, utility and cell phone companies to change the dates that their payments are due. Many people have had difficulty doing this or doing this quickly and have experienced extra costs in late fees and NSF bank fees (about $45 for each payment). These increased demands on people with few resources has happened during the COVID-19 pandemic, during which time getting things done is more difficult and puts people at greater risk.
So far, the government has changed how they handle CERB for people on AISH and Income Supports who lost their jobs due to AISH. Before, they would claw back CERB or EI dollar for dollar from AISH or Income Support. Now, single people who get CERB and some form of social assistance get to keep $300 of CERB outright and then will have 75% of the rest of CERB clawed back from their AISH or Income Support. People who lost their job before COVID-19 started still have EI clawed back dollar-for-dollar from social assistance.
- We asked the government to change the AISH/Income Support payment date back to what it was.
- We asked for a top-up of $300 (like in BC) to AISH/Income Support payments to help with COVID-19 extra expenses.
- We asked the government to ensure that people on AISH/Income Supports be given proper PPE regardless of whether they get agency support or not.
AACT continues to advocate for these things and for the large majority of people on AISH and Income Supports who do not have access to CERB and have additional expenses due to the payment date change and COVID-19.
2018 ActivitiesAACT took part in the PDD Review! Click here to read what AACT sent to the PDD Review panel based on what self-advocates said at the Self-Advocacy Summit.
We hosted a Self-Advocacy Summit October 1 - 3, 2018 at Deer Valley Meadows Camp near Alix in Central Alberta. Our theme was "Listen. Learn. Take Action!"About 120 self-advocates and allies came and talked with members of the Premier's Council on the Status of Persons with Disabilities, the PDD Review Team and the Disability Advocate's office. We identified lots of issues and came up with good ideas to make things better for people with disabilities. AACT will share these good ideas with the government. Check out our newsletter for the Summit story with photos.