Alberta budget 2023 leaving behind 1000’s of individuals with developmental disabilities and their families
For Immediate Release – March 1, 2023
Edmonton, AB – In yesterday’s budget release, the province claimed to be ‘Supporting Seniors and Other Vulnerable Albertans’ but will continue leaving thousands of qualifying children and adults waiting with no supports or services, and thousands more to carry on with inadequate support needed to live meaningful and inclusive lives alongside Albertans without disabilities.
Yesterday’s budget did not address:
- expected increases in new children and adults with developmental disabilities needing support
- the thousands of individuals with developmental disabilities and their families who are waiting for supports and services
- the unacceptable length of time on waitlists
- the additional thousands who are receiving less than adequate supports and funding
Taking into account the already announced much needed funding for a disability workers wage increase and additional administration dollars for service providers, this leaves a 3% increase for the provision of new supports to individuals with developmental disabilities and their families. Given the yearly increase in new people needing supports coupled with the rate of inflation, a 3% ‘increase’ will not address the current and growing needs. We expect waitlists and inadequate supports to continue, and that some will see a reduction in their supports.
“While we appreciate the UCP reindexing AISH as promised and the very much needed but still limited wage increase,” says Monica Braat, President of Inclusion Alberta and the parent of an adult son with developmental disabilities, “the province is not addressing the many, many thousands of individuals with developmental disabilities and their families who are at risk, languishing on waiting lists or going without sufficient supports. I am at a loss to understand how the government can justify continuing to overlook these individuals and families when they have a multi-billion dollar surplus.”
Inclusion Alberta acknowledges the commitment of Children’s Services to include children with disabilities in daycares and of Seniors, Community and Social Services to providing culturally relevant supports and services to Indigenous individuals with disabilities and their families. However, disappointingly no funding amounts were tied to these very needed initiatives.
“The announcement of $42 million in new funding to identify and implement strategies that address the complexities of classrooms is welcome,” says Trish Bowman, Chief Executive Officer of Inclusion Alberta. “However, as the budget references support for ‘parental choice in education’ this choice must extend to honour the choice of parents of children with disabilities for an inclusive education. The government must at least ensure the existing Ministerial Order on the regular classroom as the first choice to be offered parents is adhered to and ensure schools and school districts no longer tell parents they do not have the resources to include their child.”
Inclusion Alberta Chief Executive Officer Trish Bowman is available for interviews.
Please contact Sara Protasow, Inclusion Alberta Communications Coordinator at email@example.com or 780-906-4693.
About Inclusion Alberta: Inclusion Alberta 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.