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Momentous day for Albertans with disabilities: BILL 26 indexes AISH

Published Thursday, November 8, 2018

After decades of advocacy by Inclusion Alberta and the broader disability community the day has finally arrived in Alberta when AISH will be indexed to increases in the cost of living. No longer will Albertans with disabilities wait years for an increase in AISH only to then watch this erode by inflation year after year. As a consequence of not indexing AISH, Albertans with disabilities effectively became more impoverished with each passing year.

Inclusion Alberta president Barb MacIntyre, who is herself a parent of a son with developmental disabilities, stated “We wish to express our appreciation to the Premier and Minister of Community and Social Services Irfan Sabir for not only listening to the disability community but for taking action that was long overdue. We hope there will be continuing action on other matters of deep concern to children and adults with developmental disabilities and their families.”

The NDP government is to be lauded for Bill 26 (An Act To Combat Poverty and Fight For Albertans With Disabilities). While the increase in AISH overall is welcome it does not make up for the impact of inflation since the last increase. Nevertheless, indexing AISH is vastly more beneficial to individuals with disabilities in the long term than the past practice of sporadic and unpredictable one-time-only increases. Indexing does not preclude additional increases to AISH, when and where this will be needed in the future.

Inclusion Alberta CEO Trish Bowman added, “Income support is not a substitute for meaningful employment, where possible. Alberta’s approach to income support for persons with disabilities continues to lead the country, including AISH’s incentives in support of employment. It is time for the Alberta government to not only lead on income support but to become a leading employer in creating inclusive employment opportunities for individuals with developmental disabilities.”

Premier Rachel Notley and Community and Social Services Minister Irfan Sabir announce details of proposed legislation that would index AISH funding.

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To arrange interviews about changes to AISH funding, please contact:

Jeff Samsonow, Communications Coordinator, Inclusion Alberta

jsamsonow@inclusionalberta.org | 780-451-3055 ext. 422

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