Premier’s Council Awards – Now Accepting Nominations for 2017

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.

Who Will Take Care of Our Kids (When We No Longer Can) – Part 5

In this month’s installment of Who Will Take Care of Our Kids, we look at the gaps that exist in services for adults with autism.

There is no surprise that many gaps still exist in available supports. It was frequently noted that families are not planning ahead, and that the system lacks capacity to manage growing needs and increasing numbers. Less well known is the fact that individuals may face yet another support cliff when they move into seniors’ services, where financial benefits, aging health issues and housing models may change. The need for mentorship opportunities for both families and individuals, promoting a high-quality, trained workforce, the lack of public awareness and fragmented systems were also noted.
Lack of Planning

The main gap noted by stakeholders was that many parents do not plan ahead until a crisis occurs. Most parents are so focused on day-to-day survival they tend not to plan for the future. The daily stress of caring for their loved one makes it very difficult to take the time to search, plan and coordinate for future needs, and it can be difficult for parents to even think about a time when they are not going to be around. This overwhelming task is often put aside for another day that may never come.
Read more…

DEADLINE EXTENDED – Petition to Support Henson Trust Legislation

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.

Brian Malkinson,
MLA for Calgary-Currie

Moving Mountains – My AGM Experience

Jessica Schurman
With Autism Alberta's Annual General Meeting coming up next month, we wanted to share Jessica's piece from last year, where she talks about why attending our AGM was a meaningful experience for her. We hope we'll see you at this year's meeting on August 26th in Red Deer!

I walked into Autism Alberta's Annual General Meeting feeling lower than low, discouraged; my bucket was empty. Three children, 17 loads of laundry, a van covered in Rice Krispies, and having only 24 hours to prepare for a mini-lake vacation will do that to you. Five hours is a great deal of time for anyone to dedicate and commit to a meeting, but wow, what a five hours it was. Everyone there had their own 17 loads of laundry and cereal covered minivan waiting for them, but they volunteered their time, showed up, and shared! I walked away from the AGM feeling completely inspired by the twenty people from across Alberta who were in attendance at the table and over the phone.
It was not five hours of budgets and reports – it was time spent learning and celebrating the other events and initiatives happening all over Alberta. For myself, on a personal level, it was a chance to spend time and connect with other parents and grandparents from across the province who are actively working to make the lives of all people touched by autism better. They are working tirelessly on policy, fundraising, and awareness. Most importantly (for me), I get the privilege of sitting in a room with parents who have children who are significantly older than my daughter and gaining knowledge and tips from them for when we get there. The advice, in my mind, is invaluable. My Matea is ten years shy of adulthood, but what a fast ten years I know it will be. I am forever thankful to this group of men and women who give of their time and their experience to help me and my daughter.
I would encourage any parent, with a loved one of any age, to attend a future AGM or call in if you ever have the opportunity. Walking away this afternoon, the statement that stuck with me the most was one made by both President Deborah Barrett & Vice President Lyndon Parakin: “we were and are just a group of parents, but if we have learned anything, it is that parents can move mountains.”
Thank you for the inspiration, my autism community friends. We in Red Deer are ready for another amazing year of working together with Autism Society Alberta to move some mountains.

Autism Alberta’s Annual General Meeting
Saturday, August 26, 2017
10:00 AM – 3:00 PM

Board Room
GH Dawe Centre
56 Holt St
Red Deer, Alberta
by 4:00 PM, Thursday, August 24, 2017

Child Care is available, but please let us know your needs by the RSVP deadline of 4:00 PM on August 24.