The PDD Review panel has been named and conversations will be held in a limited number of communities across Alberta from October 23 through December 5. Disability workers have been specifically named as one of the parties the panel wants to hear from, along with individuals who receive PDD services, their families, organizations and the public. We urge ADWA members and others to participate in this process to send a strong message about what is needed to address underlying problems and build on the strengths of our sector.
The PDD Review team is composed of respected members of our sector including self-advocates Lloyd Thornhill and Dan Huising, (Dan also works in the field as a community support worker assistant.) Other panel members are executive directors Sahana Parameswara, Lorelei Martin and Ryan Geake; academics and parents Dorothy Badry and Dick Sobsey; disability employment coordinator Johnathon Red Gun who brings expertise with First Nations communities; and former government management Norm McLeod and Ann Nicol (also formerly leader of ACDS). The final panel member is Krista Carr who is executive vice-president of the Canadian Association for Community Living and lives in New Brunswick. Two of the panel are ADWA members and actively encourage disability workers in their organizations to join ADWA. We feel that this panel has the depth of experience to understand the issues facing our sector and will take what they hear to heart.
The first community conversations will be held October 23 – 24 in St. Paul at the Hampton Inn (4902 – 39 Street). Sessions are set as follows:
- October 23 – 10:00 – Noon: For individuals receiving PDD services, family and caregivers
- October 23 – 2:00 – 4:00 pm: For disability workers and service provider organizations
- October 23 – 6:30 – 8:00 pm: Open to the public (including disability workers)
- October 24 – 1:00 – 3:00 pm: Open to the public (including disability workers)
Details are still to be set for the sessions in other communities, but the following dates and places have been set (see https://www.alberta.ca/PDD-review.aspx for updates):
- October 30 & 31 – Grande Prairie
- November 6 & 7 – Fort McMurray
- November 14 & 15 – Red Deer
- November 20 & 21 – Lethbridge
- November 22 – Medicine Hat
- November 27 & 28 – Calgary
- December 4 & 5 - Edmonton
The review aims to
- examine access to services and supports to meet individual needs and goals
- create a service delivery system that:
- responds to the needs of individuals and families
- provides clear lines of accountability and oversight
- evaluate access to training and supports to enable a skilled and well-trained workforce
- examine eligibility criteria to access the PDD program’s services and supports
The review wants engagement with the disability community to have a clear purpose and outcome. Rather than having participants make presentations to the panel, there will be discussion stations with set questions at each. This approach tends to focus discussion on a pre-determined set of issues, which may or may not get at the underlying causes of those issues or their solutions. If you feel that a question does not get to the heart of the issue, we encourage you to introduce the deeper causes of problems into your answers (and into the record). Our recent sector survey uncovered a clear set of issues that are progressively depleting the strength of the support system and need to be addressed by working together on solutions, some simple and some complex.
In addition to the limited number of community conversations, an online survey will be available starting October 23 based on the same questions used in the community conversations. Letter, video and artwork submissions are also welcome and allow a more open approach to discussing the issues that affect access and a responsive and accountable service system. ADWA will provide the survey report to the panel as part of its submission. Despite the numbers represented in the survey report, each submission is likely to be given equal weight. Therefore, we encourage you to participate in the PDD Review process by attending community conversations in and near your workplace, completing the online survey and sending a letter or 2-minute video by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.