What We Do
No one expects to be diagnosed with an illness or injury that affects mobility, independence and dignity. But one in seven Albertans face those challenges daily. Thankfully, these individuals and their families can rely on the Easter Seals Alberta Society to provide mobility equipment, summer camps and other services to provide the best quality of life as possible.
Throughout Alberta we provide low-income individuals with physical disabilities of any age with the mobility equipment they need to remain independent and to participate in their communities. The equipment we provide through our Equipment and Support Services (ESS) program is life changing. It allows for greater freedom, independence and encourages Albertans with disabilities to live to their full potential. Feeling inspired and empowered, our clients can then better focus on their goals in life which can include accessing their community to volunteer, gainning employment, shopping for groceries and attending medical appointments without having to depend on others.
As a last resort program it acts as a safety net to ensure low-income does not remain a barrier for these men, women and children by ensuring that they do not “fall through the cracks”.
“Easter Seals is a blessing for seniors with limited mobility and on a fixed income. Without organizations like this, life would be almost unbearable for those seniors. They would be confined to their homes or apartments and have little or no independence. Without the help of Easter Seals, it would be impossible for seniors on a fixed income and with mobility concerns to have a reasonable quality of life.” – Dermott, ESS Client
On average there are 17 clients a month in Calgary and area on our wait list waiting for over $60,000 worth of equipment. Provincially, our monthly average is 67 clients a month waiting for over $250,000 worth of equipment.
In most cases, we retain ownership of equipment that is purchased and provided. When that equipment is no longer needed, it is returned to be refurbished and recycled out the next client on our list when possible. This has become a very cost effective way of running our program as last year we provided 207 Albertans with mobility equipment at a total cost of $440,357. Out of those 207 clients, 85 received recycled equipment which saved our organization a total of $245,442.
Average Cost of a Helping Hand
- Power wheelchair …………………………….$3,500 – $12,000
- Portable house ramp ………………………..$600 – $1,100
- Porch lift …………………………………………..$4,500 – $7,000
- Power scooters …………………………………$2,900 – $5,500
- Electric lift assist chairs …………………….$1,000 – $2,300
Another big part of what we do is creating memories, promoting healthy self- esteems, and making dreams come true for the many children with disabilities that attend our summer camps each year at Easter Seals Camp Horizon located in Bragg Creek.
“The kids at school focus on my disabilities, while the people at camp focus on my abilities. That is why camp is so special to me. My favorite activities to do at camp are the Giant Swing because I like the thrill of being so high up in the air out of my wheelchair and the speed of swinging, and also horseback riding because it is calming and a new experience.” – Zachary
Located on 62 acres in Kananaskis Country our campers get to traverse tree-top ropes courses, swing on a giant swing, rock climb, and challenge themselves in ways they never imagined possible through the mentorship and leadership of our camp staff. Children leave camp each summer empowered with self confidence and with the knowledge that for them, anything is possible.
Within Alberta, Easter Seals Camp Horizon is the only provider of residential camping programs for children with kidney impairments, ostomies and those who are burn survivors. We are proud to offer our Ostomy Camp and MS Camp as they are the only ones of their kind in Canada. Each week during the summer has tailored activities for a group of children with the same disability. This allows them to be with other children facing the same challenges and experiences. Many children who have come to camp in the past have said again and again that this has lead to lifelong friendships and helped their self-esteem tremendously knowing that they are not alone in their struggles.
In addition to summer programs for children with disabilities, throughout the year we offer therapeutic recreation retreats and respites, and a treasured Christmas Camp for adults and seniors with developmental and physical disabilities. More than 60 volunteers help to make this program a cherished time for the campers who look forward to this event all year. We also host several adult camps in the late spring.