PDD Support

PDD has formed an Action Committee to put together a plan to turn the recommendations from 2021 into changes to PDD. They hired a consulting firm to plan how to assess needs for PDD supports and to ask stakeholders, including people with disabilities what they think. We do not know who is on the Action Committee or if it includes anyone with lived experience of getting PDD services. 
PDD has not put out a new list of the number of people wiating for services since April 2021.


PDD asked AACT to answer a set of questions about the PDD program so that they can recommend changes to Community and Social Services Minister Rajan Sawhney at the end of January 2021. Click here to read what people with developmental disabilities across Alberta said. The final plain language report came out December 16, 2021. Click here to read the plain language report.
The Minister of Community and Social Services announced that there would be a review of PDD. He named people to a PDD Review panel and they went around Alberta listening to self-advocates, families, service providers, support workers and groups like AACT. Read more about our presentation to the PDD Review panel on November 29, 2018 here. Click here to read the panel's report from July 30, 2019.

PDD announced that there would be $42 million in cuts to funding of Community Access support in 2013. This is almost half the money it gives agencies and families to support this type of help. Community Access money helps people to volunteer, to attend classes, meetings, clubs, shopping, doing things with friends and other activities during the day in their communities. In some cases, this funding helps people to take part in self-advocacy activities, like being on community committees about poverty, transportation, housing and other disability issues. Many people fear that without Community Access support, they will be stuck at home watching TV all day. In some parts of Alberta, cuts may include other areas, like home living supports. The first plan was to have all these changes start on July 1.

We think this is a big mistake for a few reasons. First, the changes are based on how much help the Support Intensity Scale (also called SIS) says individuals need. Not everyone who gets PDD support has done the SIS and some who have done it got told they need less support than everyone who knows them says they need. These problems need to be fixed before PDD makes changes.

Second, we do not understand the SIS, how it works and what it means because no one has explained it to us in simple words. Also, No one has said how PDD uses SIS scores to decide what Level of Support Needs someone is. The Level of Support Need is used to say how much money a person can have to pay for support.

Third, self-advocates want to be part of the group that makes decisions about how the PDD system will work and how it will make decisions that affect our lives. Instead, they made decisions and asked us what we think when they already cut the budget. We have good ideas and want to work together to make good decisions. Nothing about us without us.

AACT Council members have been part of rallies all over Alberta.
Lloyd Thornhill (Calgary), Rose Anne Krikke (Edmonton), Marjorie Thompson (Edmonton) and Ken Ambler (Edmonton) with MLA (left) at the May 15 rally at the Alberta Legislature.
Brad Robertson (Calgary) shares a message of support from AACT at the May 15 rally at the Alberta Legislature. Rose Anne Krikke (hidden by the cameraman) also spoke.
Self-advocacy groups have held rallies all over Alberta to protest the cuts and how they were done. Here are links to some of the stories:

IQ and PDD Support

Right now, PDD uses IQ tests to say who can get help from the PDD program. Some people do not know about it. Other people do not agree with the PDD program using IQ tests.
The PDD Community Governance Act says what the PDD program can and cannot do. Only adults with a developmental disability can get help from the PDD program. The Act says the PDD program must make a rule which tells people what a developmental disability is. The rule is that a person with developmental disabilities has a "significant limitation in intellectual capacity" and a "significant limitation in adaptive skills" that start before age 18.  
  • A "significant limitation in intellectual capacity" means you have lots of problems with your thinking skills, like how you understand, learn, read, remember and work out problems.
  • A "significant limitation in adaptive skills" means you have lots of problems doing everyday activities.  
This page is only about the thinking skills.

The PDD program talked to experts, and also read about how experts and other people say what a significant limitation in intellectual capacity is. They found out 
  • Right now, the best way to know about a person’s thinking skills is to use an IQ test. It is not perfect, but it is the best tool right now.
  • Only registered psychologists are trained to give IQ tests.
  • When a registered psychologist gives someone an IQ test, they get a score or number at the end.
  • An IQ score of 70-75 or lower are the numbers that mean a person has lots of problems with thinking skills. If you have an IQ score above 75, you may still have some problems with thinking skills but you do not have lots of problems with thinking skills (or a "significant limitation in intellectual capacity.").
What IQ Scores Mean

Click here to read more about IQ
Many years ago, IQ tests were tried out on a lot of people. Some people got more answers right than others. Most people got IQ scores of around 100. A few people had scores that were a lot higher or a lot lower. The top 2 - 3 % of people are labeled a "genius." The bottom 2 - 3 % of people are labeled as having an "intellectual disability" or "significant limitation in intellectual capacity."

After talking to the experts and reading about what experts say, the PDD made a rule that said 
  • A significant limitation in intellectual capacity is when someone has an IQ score of 70-75 or lower, and
  • People who want to get support from the PDD program had to have an IQ score of 70-75 or lower.
Tell us what you think about this.

1 comment:

  1. I think it works as a principle, but I also see many exceptions, if this is the rule.