By Sheila Serup, President, CHHA-Calgary
Focusing on accessibility, CHHA-Calgary dedicated its resources on public looping projects, captioning services, and providing CI batteries and accessories for those in need. This year, CHHA-Calgary donated looping systems to several non-profit organizations, including Fish Creek Seniors for their meeting space at Trico Centre and St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church. Counter loops were donated to the Calgary Airport Authority to demonstrate how customer service would be enhanced by the loops. We are working with Alberta Health Services to pilot a loop system in a patient services area at a Calgary hospital. Looping projects are being explored with several organizations including a senior’s centre and a cancer care clinic.
Captioning is provided by CHHA-Calgary to several groups and individuals for training, educational, medical, advocacy and social purposes. The CI coffee chat group has been supported with captioning for years. In addition, we provide top up funding for captioning in conjunction with the Alberta government’s Disabilities Related Employment Supports (DRES) program. In this area, CHHA-Calgary has advocated with MLAs to ensure that Alberta government budget cuts do not impact on accessibility services provided to students with disabilities.
As well, CHHA-Calgary supports the purchase of batteries, accessories and cochlear implant processors for Albertans with hearing loss who experience low income. This is top-up funding to the Alberta government’s CI equipment program.
Looping projects, captioning services, and additional supports are made possible through CHHA-Calgary’s license to raise funds through Alberta casino gaming events. The small but dedicated board of CHHA-Calgary is committed to ensuring that 100 per cent of all funds directly support access in Calgary.
Thanks are due to: Colin Cantlie, VP; Ernie Wheadon, Treasurer; Evan Hamilton, Secretary; and Lynn Wheadon, Member at Large for their huge contributions to inclusion. With this team in place, CHHA-Calgary is working to increase accessibility further in 2020.