The Alberta Ministry of Human Services gave us money to plan this event so it was free for up to 200 self-advocates and their supporters. This was important because many people with disabilities are poor and cannot travel because it costs too much. It is hard for them to find out what is happening and learn from self-advocates in other places.
People at the Summit learned
- how to live better on a budget
- how to have a say in government
- how to try new things like dance, art, outdoor activity and social media
- how to be a better you
We would like to thank the following for their support of the Summit...
What happened at the 2009 Summit
We want to be accepted as equals. To do this, each of us needs to do two things. First we need to take responsibility for what we do. Second, we must get involved in our communities. When we show others what we can do, they will be on our side. We can tell our stories at schools and group meetings. Self-advocacy groups can tell others that we need things in plain words. That way, we can understand and have our say. We can help folks make their words plain.
We want to have strong relationships. To do this, we need workshops and information about how to make friends. We need to join groups and clubs and go to meetings and dances. It is there we can make friends. We need to phone and e-mail our friends and meet them for dates. We need money and support to get out to places to find and keep friends.
We want enough money to live on. We need more money from AISH. And we need to keep more money from jobs. We need rent, utilities and transportation to cost less. To get these things, we need to talk to MLAs. We can tell them what it means to have so little money when things cost so much. We need to tell them what would help.
We want services that meet our needs. To do this, we need government to ask us what we need. Government should listen to us when they want to make changes. We need information to be easy to understand. Then we can work together to give government good ideas. We also need AISH and other program rules and forms to be simple. That will help us not make mistakes.
We want nice, safe places to live. To do this, we need to tell government about our needs. First, we need more places we can afford. Second, those places need to be in good neighbourhoods. Third, we need agencies and PDD to listen to us. If we need to live alone or have a pet to make us feel good, then hear that. Do not make us live with others to get the services we need if we do not want to. We need to be able to pick who we live with and the rules for our home.
We want to be strong self-advocates. To do this, we need workshops on how to be leaders. We need information about issues to be in plain language, Plain words help us understand. We need people and money to support self-advocacy. We need self-advocacy groups to help us. That way we can plan things that give us a say in our communities and what governments decide. We need a provincial self-advocacy group and more Summits so we can feel united and share what we have done.
To find out more about what happened at the summit, go to http://www.sasummit.com.