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:
Invisible Disabilities (these can include mental health diagnosis)
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:
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:
Mail: 406- 11010 101 st NW, Edmonton, AB, T5H-4B9
Social Media: VADisabilities
Bon Swanson: firstname.lastname@example.org
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