We are now accepting nominations for 2017.
Do you know someone whose achievements and leadership contribute to a better life for people with disabilities? If so, consider nominating them for a Premier’s Council Award. Learn more about the awards and access an awards nomination form.
These awards recognize Albertans who have demonstrated outstanding achievement and leadership in making positive changes that create inclusive, barrier-free communities where persons with disabilities can fully participate. The awards are: the Gary McPherson Leadership Award, the Marlin Styner Achievement Award and Awards of Excellence in Education, Employment, Community and Public Awareness.
NOTE: The deadline for petition submissions has been EXTENDED to October 13. All petitions must be received by mail or delivered at Inclusion Alberta by this new date. Please act now to help bring Henson Trust legislation to Alberta!
Hello Advocates, Families, and Caregivers,
That’s a wrap! It’s time to advocate. The consultations are over but we are still taking feedback until October 13th.
Attached is a petition that you can print, sign, and pass along to all those who wish to see Henson trust legislation as a reality in Alberta.
Inclusion Alberta has agreed to collect the petitions and send them to the Calgary Currie office so that they can be tabled at the Legislature in the fall.
Please ensure the petition is filled out with a full name, Alberta address and signature, and then bring them in or mail them to Inclusion Alberta ( address on petition) or to the Calgary-Currie constituency office at 2108B 33 Avenue SW Calgary, AB T2T 1Z6.
The deadline is October 13.
The more signatures that we can present to the legislature for tabling, the better. Let’s show Albertans and the members of the Legislature that there is a great deal of support for Henson trust legislation here in Alberta. We will of course continue to send updates on our progress.
Thank you all for your participation and passion.
As always, feel free to contact our office regarding any questions or feedback on the Henson trust.
MLA for Calgary-Currie
Carolyn Dudley & Shino Nakane
In last month's issue of Autism Around Alberta we introduced the "Who Will Take Care of Our Kids" study. This research project was spearheaded by Autism Alberta to help find out what is being done to create better futures for adults with autism, and how we can do more. This month we'll be summarizing some of the challenges that adults and caregivers currently face.
Research indicates that many adults with ASD live at home with aging parents. In a study from Ontario of 480 adults with ASD, 60% lived with family. Many adults with ASD remain highly dependent on family, and compared to higher-functioning individuals with other developmental disabilities, those with high-functioning ASD are less likely to achieve independent living.
Many adults with ASD, regardless of level of ability, need lifelong supports. In an American survey of 143 families caring for an adult with autism, 58% of adults with ASD needed help with activities of daily living (toileting, bathing, dressing), and 84% needed help with auxiliary daily living skills like bill-paying, cooking and cleaning.
Although some aging ASD families might not specifically identify themselves as a disadvantaged population, the unfortunate fact is that many experience negative physical and mental health and financial consequences resulting from the autism diagnosis. Parenting an individual with autism is associated with reduced quality of life and high lifelong levels of stress, depression and anxiety due to the nature of care required. Elderly caregivers of individuals with developmental disabilities, including ASD, frequently experience stress that can develop into more serious illness. Mothers of individuals with ASD reported significantly more time spent on care and chores and less leisure time compared to a sample of mothers of children without disability. Lifelong caregiving is very stressful, and in the context of unprepared support systems, is not sustainable.
As many of you know, for the past two years the Canadian autism community has been working on a proposal for a Canadian Autism Partnership (CAP). The expert working group tasked with this project has finished its work and the Executive Summary of their report can be found here.
The report includes a request for funding that would come from Budget 2017. Last week, I asked Health Minister Jane Philpott a question in Question Period, requesting support for the proposal. We have posted the question and answer on our Facebook page, with a call for action in support of the CAP. Here is the link: https://www.facebook.com/MikeLakeMP/videos/1330076580356533/.
‘It made me want to do more in Fort McMurray, but because we were so well set up, it was hard to come back’
By Travis McEwan, CBC News
Kirsti Mardell, and her 6-year-old son, Quentin who has a non-verbal form of autism.
Kristi Mardell got the keys this week for an office where Fort McMurray’s autism society will soon set up shop, good news that came five months after she and other members fled the wildfire with their children.
Many society members went to Red Deer or Edmonton in the days after the wildfire. The forced evacuation was especially stressful for autistic children, who need specific help and programs most children don’t require.
A handful of society members haven’t returned since the city reopened in June, because the supports and classes for their children were better than those provided in Fort McMurray.
“We evacuated to Red Deer and we were well setup there, and the services we got kicked in right away,” said Mardell, president of autism society in the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo. “Our kids had support in school right way. It was amazing how fast and supportive the other communities were compared to Fort McMurray.
“It made me want to do more in Fort McMurray. But because we were so well set up, it was hard to come back.”
Autism Canada has released a useful language and communication guide to help media, organizations and the general public use words appropriately when talking about autism. It’s a short and informative read, and you can check it out here.
Children with autism become adults with autism, and we need to make sure that these adults have access to a safe, comfortable and dignified living environment – even after they outlive their parents. The Government of Canada is currently developing a National Housing Strategy, and this is our chance to help set the agenda for housing for adults with autism and other disabilities. The more people who tell the government this is important, the more chance we have of being heard. With 1 in 68 children now being diagnosed with autism, we need the government to know that this is a huge problem that won’t be going away anytime soon.
To make your voice heard, you can fill out a short online survey here. Or make an even bigger impact by writing a letter or submitting your own ideas online. To see all the ways you can get involved, visit letstalkhousing.ca. The deadline for submissions is this Friday, October 21, 2016.