Province to review disability program in Alberta

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by Morinville News Staff

The government is looking to improve services for Albertans with developmental disabilities through a review of the Persons with Developmental Disabilities (PDD) program.

“We are committed to listening to and working with the community on all issues that matter to them to make life better for Albertans with disabilities,” said Irfan Sabir, Minister of Community and Social Services, in a news release Friday. “This review will be an opportunity to explore ways to ensure this program remains relevant to the needs of Albertans today and into the future. I look forward to working closely and collaboratively with individuals, families, staff and advocates in shaping and conducting this review.”

The government says it has made significant improvements to the PDD program since 2015, including a $55-million investment to provide supports for an additional 800 PDD clients, ending the Supports Intensity Scale (SIS), and increasing client and staff safety.

Bruce Uditsky, Inclusion Alberta CEO and the parent of a son who receives PDD services, said the vision of Albertans with developmental disabilities and their families have today in terms of a meaningful and inclusive life has evolved over the decades.

“[We] now need a provincial government vision and PDD program that aligns with the hopes and dreams of individuals with developmental disabilities, their families and communities,” Uditsky said. “Minister Sabir’s leadership in launching this forward-thinking review and ensuring families and individuals with developmental disabilities are fully heard and engaged is much appreciated.”

Andrea Hesse, CEO of Alberta Council of Disability Services, says ACDS and their member service provider organizations are encouraged by the commitment to further engagement.

“These voices are critical in ensuring the review results in changes that create a responsive system that supports meaningful inclusion in the community for individuals,” Hesse said. “We look forward to being active voices in this process along with all members of the disability community and are appreciative of the opportunity to be involved in this important initiative.”

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