The following is a list of suggested documents that can accompany application forms or appeal forms for any income supports programs:

Prescription medication list for the last year from pharmacist.

Letters from doctors: General Practitioner and any Specialists that have been seen.

Receipts for medical expenses such as walking aids or continence supplies that have been paid for by applicant.

Hospital Emergency Room, Admission and Operating Room records.

If disability was diagnosed at birth include birth records.

Any information in regards to disability, diagnosis or illness.

Records of treatment that has been utilized such as physical, occupational therapy or acupuncture. Request letter from therapist.

When trying to obtain documents you may be asked to pay a fee; inform the hospital or individual that you are applying for income supports or have low income and request that the fees be waived; you may be required to provide proof of income.

***PLEASE NOTE: Make copies of all documents and keep originals for your records in case department loses or misplaces documents; it is a really good idea to scan documents and save them on a memory stick or other external device.

***DISCLAMER: The above information provided is only intended to be general summary information for your use.


By Rick Hansen & Jim Taylor

D&M Publishing Inc.

Biography and Memoir

Ever wonder what really went on during the Man in Motion Tour; well here is your chance.  Rick Hansen was born August 26, 1957 in Port Alberni, British Columbia Canada.  Rick was a healthy and athletic young man; until one day in 1973 when he was paralyzed at the age of 15 in a motor vehicle accident.

This book is categorized as a Biography and Memoir, as you read on you realize that it is also a diary and a love story; what’s a book without a love story right? It is a thorough account of the Man in Motion tour that Rick embarked in March 1985 in order to bring disability accessibility awareness to the world; in Rick’s own words.

I enjoyed this book immensely; this book is thought provoking, will make you laugh and cry; it will make you question everything you thought you knew about individuals with disabilities; it may even give you hope.  It carries the reader flawlessly from Rick’s injury right to present day; if you have suffered a spinal cord injury please read this book; it will fill you with inspiration to achieve great things in life.

Rick Hansen has lived and continues to live an exceptional life; he made the decision early on following his accident to participated in life and not sit on the sidelines and watched it go by, RICK HANSEN MAN IN MOTION is sure to enlighten, engage and empower the reader.

BOOK REVIEW-Cam Tait Disabled? Hell No! I’m A Sit-Down Comic!

Cam Tait Disabled? Hell No! I’m A Sit-Down Comic!

By Cam Tait & Jim Taylor

Harbour Publishing  2015

Biography and Memoir

Cam Tait was born December 10, 1958 in Edmonton, Alberta Canada.  Born with Cerebral Palsy during a time when children with disabilities were not accepted in society as full citizens. Some would say that is still the case even today but I am not here to split hairs I am here to write a book review.

This book is categorized as a Biography and Memoir but it is so much more; it is a chronicle of a life well lived; it is a man’s tribute to people who helped him become who he is today; more importantly it is  a tribute to his parents who never gave up on him.

I enjoyed this book immensely; this book is thought provoking, will make you laugh and cry; it will make you question your preconceived notions of a person with a disability.  It carries the reader seamlessly from Cam’s birth to present day; it stresses the importance of volunteering as Cam benefited from people volunteering to do something called patterning that his parents learned from The Institutes for The Achievement of Human Potential (IAHP) in the USA; from Cam’s days as a NAIT student to his sit down comedy you will not be disappointed.

If you are a parent of a child with a disability please read this book it will inspire you to do more for your child then you ever thought possible.

Cam Tait has had a remarkable life but wait because I have a feeling Cam’s journey isn’t over yet.  This book will definitely enlighten, engage and empower the reader.

The Disabled and Relationships

Relationships for individuals with disabilities can be a challenge whether it is a relationship with a sibling, parent, peers, coworkers or an intimate relationship.

I would like to concentrate on intimate relationships for the disabled; although things have come a long way there is still a stigma that comes with being disabled. People with physical disabilities in today’s society are often regarded as non-sexual adults.  There are many myths and assumptions around sex and disability; for example; the belief that disabled people are asexual (not interested in sex) or incapable of sex.

Quite often the thought of a person with a disability having an intimate relationship makes people very uncomfortable namely parents of individuals with disabilities.

I remember being on a board several years ago at a meeting the topic of sex came up and as I looked around the room to see the reactions of the other people present I could help but notice the reaction of  one particular parent; she was mortified, and this kind of reaction isn’t unusual.

Not wanting to single this parent out I did say to the group that at some point parent would have to deal with the issue of sex, giving their children with a disability the “Talk” just as they would there nondisabled children.

If you are a parent that has a child with a disability and would like to talk to you child about intimate relationships or if you are an individual with a disability and feel that your parents don’t want to discuss intimate relationships with you I suggest that you go see a counsellor as a family to overcome the fear of talking about this topic or any other topic.


Free Counselling Services:

Community Services City of Edmonton 780-496-4777

Support Network Walk in Counselling 780-482-0198

Mon-Wed 1 Pm-8 pm/Thurs-Fri 10am-3 pm

Sliding Scale Counselling Services:

Catholic Social Services 780-420-1970

Family Centre 780-424-5580

You may be someone or know someone that could benefit from the use of the Plan Edmonton Program

PLAN Edmonton is a family directed organization that assists families to build a circle of friends for a family member who is isolated or is at risk of being isolated due to disability, living arrangement, limited opportunities, society’s perception or other circumstance.

PLAN Edmonton encourages families to define “a good life” for their family member and assist with by making that good life a reality. We also assist the family with obtaining a degree of peace of mind through planning for a safe and secure future for their family member who may otherwise have been isolated and vulnerable.

PLAN Edmonton accomplishes this through:

  • Assisting families to plan for the future
  • Facilitation of loving and caring personal support networks based on friendships
  • Provision of information on a wide range of issues and topics including will and estate planning, home ownership and legal guardianship options
  • Provision of family support and advocacy
  • A lifetime commitment to families
  • Advocating on behalf of people with disabilities with government & non-government groups in areas such as reform of tax and trust legislation
  • Creation of greater community awareness of the contribution that can be made by people with disabilities.

Suite 210, 11803 – 125 Street,

Edmonton, AB T5L 0S1

Tel: (780) 488-2422,

Fax: (780) 451-6709

Dating and the Disabled

Although I don’t recommend it there are dating sites that are dedicated to individuals with disabilities.  Although I do caution you to be very careful and be safe if you decide to go that route.

Here is a List of Dating Sites:

Disabled Dating World

Whispers 4 U

Disabled Dating by DAWN

Dating 4 Disabled Singles

Disabled DateAbleDisabled

United Special Singles Online

All Disabled

Disability Hook-up – Yahoo Group

Arab Disability Dating Site

Disabled and Having a Family:

Some individuals with disabilities are already in healthy intimate relationships and are considering having a family however sometimes conceiving a child can be difficult, if you are someone in this situation you have many options.  Two option you can consider is adopt or you can attempt IVF.


If you would like more information about adoption in the province of Alberta, visit for more information


If you would like to explore the option of IVF the following is a list of IVF Clinics in Alberta

Alberta Fertility Centre, Dr. Michael Awad, 5201 43 St., #140, Red Deer AB T4N 1C7, 403-347-2650, Obstetrician-gynecologist; infertility services. Ovulation induction, superovulation, endocrinology, HSG, laparoscopic surgery for infertility, sperm washing, partner and donor insemination.

Fertility and Endocrinology Clinic, Royal Alexandra Hospital, 10240 Kingsway Ave., Edmonton T5H 3V9, 780-735-5609, IUI, cryopreservation of semen. [sometimes, Women’s Endocrinology Clinic]

Regional Fertility Program, Foothills Medical Center, #300, 1620 – 29 Street NW, Calgary T2N 4L7, 403-284-5444, IVF program began in 1984. ICSI, IUI, HSG, superovulation intrauterine insemination, egg and embryo donation, surrogacy.  



Are You Being Bullied

For a number of years now we have been inundated through Public Service Announcements, non-profit initiatives and Social Media about the effects of bullying children; the worst of which is a child feeling so hopeless that they commit suicide; however we haven’t heard a lot about how to prevent and put a stop to it.   

It is starting to come to light that not only children get bullied but adults as well; especially on social media and at their place of employment.

Up until recently I wouldn’t have considered myself to have been or being bullied.   Not until  I really gave it some thought and realized that I too have been bullied; not only as a child but as an adult, the only difference between myself and a child that has committed suicide because if being bullied is that I have been able to deal with it and put a stop to it. 

Personally I stood up for myself and the bullying stopped.  But not everyone feels that they can stand up for themselves.  It is up to strong willed individuals to teach children and adults how to stand up for themselves and stop or prevent bullying.

My experiences with bullying have come about when I have responded to a post on Facebook about a social issue many times and have been met with someone who thinks its appropriate to say something offensive directed at me;  this one is easy to resolve because you can choose to not engage and block the person.  

I can remember an incident in Junior High School with a bully, it was so long ago that I don’t remember what was said to me but I do remember what my response was; funny how that works; I laughed. 

For me I think I have been bullied more in the workplace than anywhere else. Again that has always been easy for me to resolve; I would quit and move on to another position.  Keeping in mind what my High School Accounting Teacher told me, “Keep your job for a minimum of 1 year”. 

In my opinion and my opinion only; I will not speak for anyone else, I have been bullied as an adult in the workplace because people have been threatened by me.  Unfortunately I believe we still live in a society that believes that people with disability are not supposed to excel at anything let alone the workplace.         

I hope I have given many of you who read this post not only options to resolve bullying but also something to think about when engaging on social media and the workplace.   And remember to “Enlighten, Engage and Empower”.  And remember to be kind to each other.  

The Canadian Government has a great website aimed at children being bullied online, you can see it here:

 If you are a parent you can also do something to prevent your child from being bullied, you can see some great tips here:

 If you are an employer and want to prevent bullying this site has some great tips for you:

 Do you feel that you are being bullied in the workplace this site offers tips for you:


Life in the Fast Lane but Looking Up-by Carol L. Cooper November 2013

Ms. Cooper contacted me to discuss her options because as she explained in her letter she encountered issues with accessibility when she attended a conference, I suggested that she contact the Human Rights Commission in her area and also asked if she would consider writing something as a guest writer for my blog; here is her story: 

My life was turned upside down for five years as I dealt with severe arthritis in my knees and knee injuries. My life quickly went from being able to stand, to use a cane, a walker then a wheelchair.

I used to drive for special needs children – so was used to watching for barrier free facilities, ramps, and power doors.

What I found surprising was what it was like being on the inside of the wheelchair, instead of pushing it.

Difficulties occurred within my service work and my personal life.

I worked from home, but had to arrange monthly meetings. I would pick up and deliver items for my work- park the car, get out the walker, load it up then carry on. That did not bother me. What bothered me were peers that I worked for and with, teasing and making fun of me. Depending on the level of my knee pain- I could use either a walker or a cane. A friend would pick me up on bad days and push me in a wheelchair. I was jeered at because sometimes I used one and not the other, or told, “Ya right, you are faking it.”

I am an active member of my service club. Conventions are held twice yearly with people from all over the province. Some of these “service minded” people did exactly the same as my coworkers. “I was faking it.”  I was on our executive board, along with a couple others: one with breathing problems and the other with heart problems. We were to attend an executive meeting on a second floor, only accessible by stairs. No consideration was made for us. I was the only one to speak up about OUR concern and we were told ‘that they were sorry, too bad; we’ll find you when we are done.’ The general meeting was accessible but the hospitality rooms were not. Hmm, our main charity that we raise funds for is Cystic Fibrosis. The person with the breathing problem, which also was excluded from the meeting, has cystic fibrosis.

My personal life changed radically. I am a very outgoing person. I would go on spur of the moment road trips, visit family, go to movies, shop; you name it – I went places. As I became less and less mobile, and was house bound: I had to rely on mostly my husband, my two children that lived out of town and my home service club members. I couldn’t shop for groceries or household items unless someone was with me. Very few wanted to go with me because they had to drop me off at the store door and wait while a mobile scooter became available or they would have to push me. The distance from the parking lot to the store was too far. Some store wheelchairs or scooters are at the back of the stores so I wouldn’t be able to use them either, so I didn’t go there anymore.

Two stores that had mobility scooters that I could use were Costco and Walmart. The shopping experiences were different as night and day. While in Costco – the land of “too big” items, I couldn’t not only lift items into the basket on the scooter, but couldn’t open doors, or even see the titles of my favourite book counter. The books were too high and the doors were too heavy and hard to maneuver. To the other shoppers, I was invisible. If anything, I was in their way of their carts and their shopping experience. Each checkout had a wheelchair accessible sign on the post but you could not get through and have another customer go through the lineup next to you. So I again, inconvenienced shoppers and staff by blocking two lanes.

I cannot say enough about Walmart. Shoppers and staff, for whatever reason, seem more aware and are genuinely more helpful throughout. People would help me to reach something, would move over to let me though an aisle and even carryout my purchases to my car. People talked to me!

My eyes were open to a few of the daily struggles of those that have no choice but to use a mobility device. Barrier free public washrooms are scarce. Yes there may be a large stall, but there are one or more doors to try to go through to get to it. Once in the oversize stall, there may be safety bars but the toilet is too low to get on or off.  It’s ironic how some places will have a fantastic wheelchair accessible washroom but they do not have a power door or even a ramp to be able to get in to use it!

I now have the luxury of two new knees! I can walk! I still have difficulties getting out of too low chairs or vehicles. Yes, I still park in a special needs parking space because I need to open the door fully to get in or out and swing my legs over.

I can’t say enough about friends and family that helped me through the last few years – getting groceries, driving me places, kidnapping me to get out of the house. They held my arm to steady me, walked behind me as I attempted stairs, checked out seating arrangements, so that I would be comfortable, and held me when I cried. I am blessed to have them in my life.

My life on the other side of the chair has made me more vigilant in accessing the needs of others to make their lives happier.  No one deserves to be treated as invisible, as a fake, as a problem.  Their disability was not created to inconvenient others. It’s up to the rest of us to open our eyes and change our way of thinking.