April 25th, 2018

Advocacy conference gets boost


By Schnarr, J.W. on February 25, 2018.

SAIPA supports people with disabilities

J.W. Schnarr

Lethbridge Herald

jwschnarr@lethbridgeherald.com

A self-advocacy conference will move forward in May with financial assistance from the provincial government

Lethbridge West MLA Shannon Phillips presented a cheque for $12,101 to the Southern Alberta Individualized Planning Association on Friday morning through the Community Initiatives Program.

SAIPA works to inspire people with developmental disabilities to be engaged and empowered in their communities

Mark Davids, executive director for the Southern Alberta Individualized Planning Association, said the theme if the conference is “Weaving Your Own Path.”

“It’s largely about helping to provide tools to people to be more independent,” he said.

He said SAIPA’s goal is to “Work itself out of a job,” meaning helping individuals become self advocates, have their own voice, and to be able to contribute to the community in a way they feel they have the best tools and means to do.

“The conference is just sort of giving people a window into some of the things that other people have done, and what they can do to create their own path toward that,” he said.

Phillips said SAIPA fills an important role in the community.

“They have been supporting the community and people with disabilities for many years,” she said.

“We’re very proud to support their upcoming conference for self advocacy.”

A large part of SAIPA’s funding comes from the province.

“Without the government’s support, I don’t think we would get anywhere,” Davids said.

“Encouraging ways for independent living means that we have a more inclusive society and more inclusive Lethbridge,” said Phillips.

“We know we have more work to do making sure that we’ve got the right supports in place for all Albertans to live life to the fullest.” Follow @JWSchnarrHerald on Twitter

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