The Bartell’s – A Family Forever Changed by Inclusion Alberta
By Karen Bartell
Karen Bartell is the parent of 3 adult children, and a member of Inclusion Alberta’s Dream Maker Society. She lives in Calgary.
Our 3 daughters are adults now, but let’s rewind back to when they were 5, 3 and a tiny baby. We had been invited participate in the Inclusion Alberta Family Leadership Series. We loaded up our daughters, plus all the play pens, fish crackers, diapers, potties and all the rest that comes with traveling with kids as we trekked to Edmonton for 5 weekends of workshops. Whew! Was it worth it? YES!
Nowhere else could we find mentors and advocates for building a beautiful life for our middle daughter Amanda, who was born with an intellectual disability. Not with the pediatrician, speech therapist, children’s hospital, school system, nowhere. Inclusion Alberta showed us how to have hope for crafting a beautiful life for Amanda that would be equal to that of her sisters.
Fast forward to now. All 3 of my daughters attend university, all 3 grew up in community sports and went through Girl Guides. None of this would have been visioned and lived had it not been for Inclusion Alberta supporting us to learn leadership and advocacy skills.
Because of our first-hand knowledge of how Inclusion Alberta changes lives, we became members of the Dream Maker Society, joining over 180 other individuals and organizations that have made a commitment to donate $1,000 or more per year for five years to Inclusion Alberta. We can tell you that attending the Fundraising Event on October 22nd and hearing family stories of hope and belonging are well worth your time. Our money to Inclusion Alberta is dollars well spent improving people’s lives. Through Inclusion Alberta individuals with developmental disabilities get to access inclusive learning in their community schools, grow to work in the labour force, participate in their communities, fall in love, move out, create a home and family and much more. We have been helped, advised and advocated for, and have seen first-hand what Inclusion Alberta can do for the life of a family. That’s why we are Dream Makers and will continue to be.
Our daughter is now a 21-year old woman who is set to complete 4 years at Ambrose University with the support of Inclusion Alberta. This is a dream come true and would not have been possible without Inclusion Alberta. Let’s make it come true for more families. Join us at the Inclusion Alberta Changing Lives, Changing Communities Fundraising Event October 22nd, and become donors and Dream Makers with us!
For more information and to register your spot at Inclusion Alberta’s Changing Lives, Changing Communities Fundraising Event October 22, 2020, please click here.