Albertans with Disabilities Fearful of Government Cuts and Reduced Supports
Media Release: Albertans with Disabilities Fearful of Government Cuts and Reduced Supports
For immediate release – September 11, 2020
Edmonton, AB – The recent reporting that AISH may be reduced, which was not denied by government, is one more example of how this government is losing its moral compass in the midst of a pandemic. Government is investing billions in possible pipelines and infrastructure to create mostly short-term jobs, while potentially reducing income supports and other supports for people with disabilities after already eliminating AISH indexing. At the same time, waiting lists are growing for families seeking support for their sons and daughters with developmental and other disabilities due to a lack of government commitment.
Barb MacIntyre, President of Inclusion Alberta and the parent of an adult son with developmental disabilities, stated, “It is almost impossible to put into words the degree of fear and anxiety this government is adding to children and adults with disabilities and their families over and above having to struggle with the overwhelming impact of COVID-19. Government announcements of possible cuts to AISH added to cuts to school support staff and the increasing lack of supports for children and adults with developmental disabilities, has resulted in families feeling forgotten and abandoned.”
It is a well-established fact that short-sighted reduction in supports to children and adults with disabilities is far more costly in social and economic terms, and far more difficult to remedy in the long term. Addressing Alberta’s fiscal challenges by driving Albertan’s on AISH further into poverty and abandoning families with children with disabilities is not an acceptable action.
Trish Bowman, CEO of Inclusion Alberta, said, “Families and their family members with disabilities are equally deserving of investment, if not more so, than widening roads. When governments weaken families, they weaken the very heart of our communities.”
Inclusion Alberta calls upon the government to rule out imposing cuts to AISH, a move that would further marginalize and impoverish individuals with disabilities. The focus of government should be on including individuals with disabilities in Alberta’s economic recovery, for example by ensuring more Albertans with developmental and other disabilities have opportunities and support to secure meaningful employment.
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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.