This is a letter (in its entirety) that we received that we felt was valuable information for our members and visitors.
We hope all is well with you and Lethbridge Sport Council. The past year has certainly been a strange and challenging one for everyone but particularly for those with a disability and the organizations that serve them.
The purpose of our letter today is to bring you up to date with the developments of the Active Living Alliance for Canadians with a Disability and give some insight into our year ahead.
ALACD values the membership of the Lethbridge Sport Council. Your work is incredible. As we come to the start of a new membership year, we have decided not to charge membership fees for the 2021/22 fiscal year. We know that COVID has been tough for many organizations, and the Alliance does not want to compound that. We will revisit membership fees for the 2022/23 fiscal year at a later date. We would like to remind you that the Alliance is always happy to share your resources, promote your programs, spread your news, and help you connect through our network. If there are any opportunities or ideas you would like to discuss, drop us a line.
We are very proud of the progress that ALACD has made organizationally. We have built a strong governance model with a hard-working Board of Directors and a small dedicated staff base. We were fortunate to receive some operational support from the Office of Disability Issues, ESDC, and as such, we have grown some very significant strategic partnerships. Here are some highlights. We are excited to take on the following;
- ALACD is examining the attitudes of parents of children and youth with a disability toward sport participation. This is a Sport Canada Innovation Project, and we are partnering with researchers from York University.
- We are exploring the barriers and solutions to being physically active for mothers that have a disability. This is funded Canadian Parks and Recreation Association (CPRA) Gender Equity Program.
- Youth Engagement. Through an ESDC Youth Leadership Grant, we have hired Sierra Roth, who is reaching out to youth with disabilities from coast to coast to coast. Sierra is discovering their “WHY” to sport participation and physical activity. She is also learning that peer support would be a welcome ingredient to getting active.
- Making the Case – We hear from municipal recreation leaders that providing specific or accommodating programs for those with a disability may have disappeared because of other COVID priorities. Over the next year, we will develop a compelling resource that outlines the benefits of being active for those with a disability. This will not only outline the personal health benefits but the societal benefits of community inclusion.
- Build Back Better with Belonging – ALACD sits at several tables and receives countless questions on ensuring that inclusion and access are top of mind in the COVID rebuilding process. We cannot lose sight that our population has been negatively affected by COVID in a number of ways, and it is essential that programs are built for all.
- ALACD will continue to be part of the Pan Canadian Disability Coalition (PCDC) leadership team. The PCDC has morphed from the network that helped to shape the Accessible Canada Act with Minister Qualtrough. ALACD brings a unique voice to PCDC, which is primarily made up of disability-specific organizations.
Susan, it is a pleasure to work with you and Lethbridge Sport Council. All the best for the next fiscal year.
Director of Strategic Partnerships
ALACD Board Member