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Inclusion Alberta receives largest-ever donation

Published Friday, May 25, 2018 3:25 pm

Inclusion Alberta receives a cheque from Pembina Pipeline Corporation

Inclusion Alberta has received its largest-ever philanthropic gift: a $1 Million donation from Pembina Pipeline Corporation to establish the Lorne and Patricia Gordon Legacy Fund. This generous contribution will enable Inclusion Alberta to further support schools and teachers in the provision of quality inclusive education, assist adults with developmental disabilities to secure and maintain employment and respond to families in crisis. 

This donation from Pembina is to honour Lorne Gordon’s decades of service and leadership. Mr. Gordon is past Board Director and Chair of Pembina, past Chair of the Canadian Petroleum Association and founding member of the Board of Governors of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers.

“For Inclusion Alberta, this gift will be transformational to a volunteer-driven organization that has worked so hard for decades in support of families like ours with children with developmental disabilities," said Lorne Gordon. "Just imagine how you might feel if, after years of trying, your child was finally able to attend school, make friends and participate in activities not previously available to your family.”

How the donation will change lives:

Inclusive Education:

Currently, Inclusion Alberta’s Inclusive Education Consultants work directly with teachers in their schools and classrooms to support them in providing quality inclusive education by assisting in modifying curriculum and adapting instruction. In addition, Inclusion Alberta provides technological and other needed resources to support students with developmental disabilities to be able to learn and communicate with their friends. We have schools and school districts seeking our assistance from one corner of the province to the next but cannot meet the growing demand of all families and schools. We currently receive no provincial funding to provide this support to teachers and schools. The limited funding we receive from the federal government may not be renewed. This amazing gift will enable us to ensure more children with developmental disabilities and their families have access to a quality inclusive education by increasing and sustaining our capacity to work with teachers and schools; and to provide needed resources.   

Inclusion Alberta CEO Bruce Uditsky, who is also a parent of an adult son who had access to an inclusive education and is now employed, said, “Parents who have children with developmental disabilities want more than anything else for their sons and daughters to have friends, to feel they belong and are wanted; and to learn. Schools and classrooms are the principle means by which so much of life happens for children without disabilities and should happen for children with developmental disabilities."

"The funding that this endowment will provide, for years to come, will enable Inclusion Alberta to increase the supports it provides to schools and teachers in creating welcoming places of learning and belonging.”

Inclusive Employment:

Through our employment partnerships with Rotarians, municipalities and the business community, Inclusion Alberta has created close to 500 life-changing jobs for individuals with developmental disabilities. These employment opportunities provide adults with developmental disabilities a sense of belonging and purpose, in addition to substantially increasing their income so that they can better enjoy life. We have businesses willing to hire and individuals desperate for a chance to prove themselves but our capacity to respond has been severely curtailed by recent reductions in federal funding. As a consequence, lives wait on hold and existing jobs are put at risk. This phenomenal donation will enable us to provide direct on-the-job supports to sustain and save inclusive jobs while we continue to seek additional funding to increase our capacity to create employment for more adults with developmental disabilities. 

Barb MacIntyre, Inclusion Alberta President and parent of adult son who had access to an inclusive education and is now employed, said, “With close to 80% of adults with developmental disabilities unemployed and thus leading impoverished and marginalized lives, our employment partnerships have demonstrated it is possible to create a new and promising reality.  This truly remarkable gift will mean the difference between an adult with developmental disabilities continuing to be employed, in contrast to the devastating impact of being pushed to the margins of society.”

For more information, please contact:

Jeff Samsonow, Communications Coordinator, Inclusion Alberta

E: jsamsonow@inclusionalberta.org P: 1-800-252-7556 ext. 422

About Inclusion Alberta: Inclusion Alberta (formerly Alberta Association for Community Living) is a family-based, non-profit federation that advocates on behalf of children and adults with developmental disabilities and their families. Together, we share a dream of meaningful family life and community inclusion for individuals with developmental disabilities. As an advocacy organization we support families and individuals in their desire to be fully included in community life.

About Pembina: Pembina Pipeline Corporation is a Calgary-based leading transportation and midstream service provider that has been serving North America's energy industry for over 60 years. Pembina has pipelines and facilities strategically located in western Canada and in natural gas liquids markets in eastern Canada and the U.S. We use this geography to offer services needed by the energy sector, along the majority of the hydrocarbon value chain. Pembina strives to provide sustainable, industry-leading total returns for our investors; reliable and value-added services for our customers; a net positive impact to communities; and a safe, respectful, collaborative and fair work culture for our employees.

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