Easter Seals Alberta is a registered charity that provides services that foster inclusion, independence and recreation for individuals with disabilities and medical conditions. We have been connecting Albertans with direct services, programs and advocacy since 1951.
According to Statistics Canada, 22.3% of the population of Alberta identifies as being a person with a disability (2017). Based on the current population of Alberta, that means nearly 1 million Albertans live with a disability. There are countless conditions and disabilities, each with unique challenges. Living with a disability often means you have to do things differently. This results in barriers to communication, mobility, services, employment, income, and overall acceptance. As a result of these barriers, people with disabilities often experience higher rates of isolation and struggle to enjoy experiences that so many of us take for granted.
Easter Seals exists to advocate for an inclusive society, ensuring that the necessary supports to overcome these barriers are readily available. With our 4 main programs we work to inspire potential, build community, and enrich lives. Our clients often call our programs ‘life-changers’, as a piece of mobility equipment or week away in the outdoors has proven to fuel confidence and independence.
In 1951, motivated by the polio epidemic sweeping the continent, Albertans gathered to raise funds for services needed by physically disabled children. That year the first Easter Seal and Easter lily appeared in this province, as did the newly formed volunteer organization, later incorporated as the Alberta Council for Crippled Children.
No one expects to be diagnosed with an illness or injury that affects mobility, independence and dignity. But one in five Albertans face those challenges daily. Thankfully, these individuals and their families can rely on YOU, our supporters, to provide mobility equipment, summer camps and other services to help remove barriers to inclusion and provide the best quality of life.
Lorinda, pictured above, would love to share her story with you:
“When I was just 17-years old, I was camping with my friends, when a freak accident occurred during a large storm. A tree fell on our tent while we were trying to leave to seek shelter and I was left pinned underneath. I couldn’t seem to move my legs to get out from underneath the tree. It was a dramatic night and honestly felt like I was in a horror movie as the lightning, thunder, and the storm continued to rage around us. After a few hours, I was able to be rescued and was air-lifted to the hospital where I was informed that I had broken my back and my spinal cord was severed which meant that I had lost the function of my legs and had become a paraplegic.
It was a hectic time while I was in the hospital. There was so much going on between surgeries, rehabilitation, learning how to cope with being in a wheelchair and the list went on and on. On top of everything, our family home was not accessible at all.
As the prospect of going home was getting close, my dad knew that we needed help and he turned to Easter Seals Alberta. Easter Seals helped us formulate a plan to get me home from the hospital by donating stair-lifts so I could get around in my home and be a little bit more mobile. While it was great and it allowed me to be at home, it didn’t really give me the independence that I craved as a 17-year old. I still needed someone to help bring my wheelchair down to the level I was wanting to be on.
But, then we were told that Easter Seals was partnering with a local elevator company to provide a residential elevator in a family’s home and that our family was the first recipient of the Give A Kid A Lift program! We were shocked, surprised and overwhelmed with too many emotions because having an elevator was the only solution for me to be independent in my home. After five short weeks of renovations our house was entirely wheelchair accessible meaning I could go up and down stairs and be on whatever level I wanted to be and could go out with friends and come home and not disturb my family! I was mostly free to roam my home, and it felt GREAT! We were overwhelmed with the support we received from Easter Seals and still to this day I feel tears of gratitude when I think about how this elevator has helped me! It’s so hard to go from running around your home to being stuck in a wheelchair. The elevator truly impacted my life and allowed me to get my independence back.
Now all these years later I have had time to reevaluate and decide my future, and I am so happy to be able to be back at Mount Royal University and pursuing a career in public relations. Once again, Easter Seals is supporting me on my journey as I am so lucky to be a recipient of the Phyllis Davidson Scholarship and am able to use the scholarship money to put towards my schooling costs.
I feel so fortunate that my Dad connected with Easter Seals all those years ago, and I can truly say Easter Seals has had such a positive impact on my life and my family’s lives. I am grateful beyond words for the difference you make in our community, in our city and in our country!
Thank you! ”
How We Provide Supports
For more than 70 years, Easter Seals Alberta has supported individuals with disabilities and medical conditions. We strive to ensure this vulnerable population has the resources they need to live an independent and full life. Our mission is to provide services that foster inclusion, independence and recreation for individuals living with disabilities and medical conditions.
With help, from people like you, we make this possible with our main supports:
– Easter Seals Alberta’s Camp Horizon provides subsidized five-day summer camps and respite weekends for Albertans with disabilities and medical conditions.
– Accessibility Supports provides critically needed equipment and support to those who qualify both physically and financially to access their community
– Easter Seals McQueen Home is a self-governed, 24-hour personal care residence in Edmonton for people with disabilities looking to develop independent living skills.
Providing the necessary supports can be costly. We would gratefully accept your donations to our programs through the Calgary Foundation or online at www.easterseals.ab.ca/donate. If you offer grants, please reach out to [email protected] and we would be happy to discuss a project or partnership with you.
Volunteer at or attend our events: These include events in Calgary and Edmonton such as our Kevin Karius Celebrity Golf Classic (Edmonton), and the JC Anderson Memorial Golf Tournament (Calgary) .
Advocate: Follow us on social media!
Facebook: Easter Seals Alberta
LinkedIn: Easter Seals Alberta
Donate: Your donation is life changing. To donate, you can provide monetary or in-kind donations or you can donate mobility equipment to be refurbished and recycled to clients.
Organize a work party at Easter Seals Camp Horizon: Come take a camp tour, serve ice-cream to the campers, or get your hands dirty and help out with a special project for our programs!