OCTOBER IS COMMUNITY LIVING AWARENESS MONTH
As a lead in to Community Living Awareness month in October, the South Region Self Advocacy Network held their annual Citizen Walk. This event is meant to raise awareness of the contribution and potential of adults with developmental disabilities and to understand what real inclusion is supposed to be. I have always admired the power of collective self advocacy, mostly for its potential to influence social policy. Another benefit of collective self advocacy for people with developmental disabilities is that it provides meaningful civic engagement for those important voices of experience. Any group of people that comes together for the greater good must have the ability to communicate a message to others that will resonate with the society and promote positive social policy change. The quest for belonging is universal to all people and that is the understood and common message of people with disabilities as they seek inclusive lives. We, as a society have come to know that the more diversity we have in community engagement, the better off we all are. People with developmental disabilities are represented in all minority and diversity groups so they are an important voice that should be listened to and allowed us make the changes they are pushing us towards.
THE HENSON TRUST
When Inclusion Lethbridge helps families plan for a safe and secure future we always cover Financial Well-Being. A Henson may become an important part of that planning should the proposed changes be put into legislation. The barrier to Albertans planning the financial security of a loved one with a disability is that the Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped (AISH) regulation specifically includes funds held in trust as an asset of the AISH recipient. The proposed change in removing subsection 4 from the AISH regulation in schedule 2 which is entitled
“Determination of Value of Assets”, if successful will add one more future planning tool for families. Many of you have been part of the community consultation process or have signed the petition circulated by Inclusion Alberta and you can still help by making sure your MLA knows you support this important change. The more tools we have to support inclusive lives the better we all are for it.