Alberta SCI SOLUTIONS FUND
The Alberta SCI Solutions Fund was a $2 million investment that supports individuals with SCI to acquire needed equipment and services in a variety of areas such as housing, adaptive equipment, and transportation. Applications from organizations seeking to improve access to their services or develop new services for people with SCI were also accepted.
Please note that calls for applications are now permanently closed until further notice.
The following two projects were recognized and funded through the AB SCI Solutions Fund:
Understanding Visitability in the Alberta Context
$50,000 of directed funding from the SCI Solutions Fund supported the research project, Understanding Visitability in the Alberta Context. Research to develop a framework for promoting visitability in the Alberta context was completed in 2010/11. Visitability is the concept of making residential homes accessible enough to allow someone using a wheelchair to visit them, as a guest – this typically includes, for example, at least one entry way without steps, a wheelchair accessible washroom, and doors and hallways that are wide enough to enable passage of a wheelchair. The study was completed by a research team from the Faculty of Environmental Design at the University of Calgary under the direction of Professors John Brown and Barry Wylant. The purpose of the study was to develop a snapshot of the current state of work on visitability across the US, Australia, Great Britain, and Canada as a first step toward the development of an implementation framework for increasing visitability within the Canadian, and more specifically Albertan, context. The study identified community best practices regarding visitability and the enhancement of accessible communities in order to provide realistic and practical approaches to help bring forward visitability into the public realm.
The first part of the study consisted of an environmental scan which reviewed current academic research, legislation, and case study projects on visitability across the US, Australia, Great Britain, and Canada. During the summer of 2010, the research team compiled and reviewed over 356 individual research reports, pieces of legislation, and case study precedents on visitability.
In the second part of the study the research team analyzed the results of the environmental scan and identified the key strategies to consider when incorporating visitability within the Alberta housing industry. The team assembled this work in three areas - education, legislation, and implementation. The study concluded with a set of five practical recommendations drawn from these strategies to help direct the development of a strategy for increasing visitability within Alberta.
The report will be available on the Faculty of Environmental Design website: http://evds.ucalgary.ca/.
AMA Adapted Driver Training Program
In 2009 the Alberta Paraplegic Foundation approved a recommendation from the Alberta SCI Solutions Alliance to protect funding that would be used to develop a driver education program for people with SCI living in southern Alberta. An agreement was reached with the Alberta Motor Association (AMA) who will provide this service. A vehicle has been leased and outfitted with hand controls. The AMA has developed a 10-hour curriculum component for drivers with SCI who held a license prior to injury. The modified vehicle will also be available to new drivers attending their training program. The program is currently limited to drivers who can transfer to a vehicle. Those with a higher level of disability may still access the driver training program at the Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital in Edmonton.
For more information, please visit the AMA website: AMA Adapted Driver Training Program