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Voice of Albertans with Disabilities (VAD) - November 2022 Presentation


Our November monthly presetation was done by Voice of Albertans with Disabilities (VAD). Voice of Albertans with Disabilities has been actively promoting full participation for people with disabilities in society for 49 years. They represent government organizations, public organizations, and individuals to provide a voice for Albertans with disabilities. Access to safe, affordable, adequate and accessible housing is a significant part of that participation, and we have seen a steep and dramatic increase in calls relating to housing in the last 3 years. Sam Mason spoke on behalf of VAD. Sam is the Provincial Accessibility Coordinator at Voice of Albertans with Disabilities since 2018 and in that position have done accessibility audits and built relationships with many Albertans that are committed to accessibility.

As a new member of ECOHH, we were able to learn their work and how they support Albertans.

Who they are:

  • Margot Brunner - Executive Director

  • Teresa Makarewich - Program and Service Manager

  • Sam Mason - Provincial Accessability Coordinator

  • Michelle Bissell - Education Coordinator

  • Ava Morasch - Financial Accountant

Disabilities may include:

  • Vision

  • Auditory

  • Invisible Disabilities (these can include mental health diagnosis)

  • Motor/ Mobility

  • Seizures

  • Episodic Disabilities

  • Learning/ Cognitive

We all experience barriers even as able bodied people, and several examples are:

  • Incidental - Sleep deprivation

  • Environmental - Trying to use a mobile device underground

21.7% of Albertans 15 and over have a disability (2017 stat)

35% of all AISH recipients in Alberta are in Edmonton

39% of all income support recipients are on barriers to full employment

More accessible housing is needed, and the UofA research team is working on providing data for an accessible housing project. Some of the focal points are:

  • Defining accessibility

  • Creating and modifying a checklist

  • Accessing and modifying non-market units

  • Capture market units

  • Create a database/ directory that can be used

  • And they need your help!!!!!

For more info on VAD or to access their supports, contact them at:

Email: accessibility@vadsociety.ca

Phone: (780)488-9088

Mail: 406- 11010 101 st NW, Edmonton, AB, T5H-4B9

Social Media: VADisabilities

Bon Swanson: btswanso@ualberta.ca

8 people on the board of directors have disabilities and 80% of the staff have disabilities


ECOHH wants to thank VAD for sharing their hard work and the supports they provide with our membership. We welcome them as a member and hope to make many more collaborations in the future.

If you would like to become part of these conversations and advocate for affordable, appropriate, accessible and human rights housing for all, please join our monthly meetings. Sign up on the membership tab on the website. ecohh.ca

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