There is no autism-specific funding in Alberta. Access to funding is based on the identified needs of the person and family, as determined by clinical and governmental assessments and the review of other available supports that are funded by various government departments and private organizations. Funding support varies greatly from province to province in terms of qualification requirements and the types and quality of support available. A multidisciplinary team is typically involved in the diagnosis and assessment processes, and written recommendations are provided on the types and intensity of support needed. Older adolescents and adults with disabilities can often find it harder to access support.
Adult with disabilities such as autism are primarily funded by a program called Persons with Developmental Disabilities (PDD). However, there are other options out there and support can be accessed from several programs at the same time. It can take a lot of effort to find the right programs and resources, and I hope this list will serve as a starting point.
PDD (Persons with Developmental Disabilities): (http://www.humanservices.alberta.ca/disability-services/pdd.html): A government financial supplement program that provides financial support for “Community Living Supports”, “Employment Supports”, “Community Access Supports”, and “Specialized Community Supports” for eligible people.
AISH (Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped): (https://www.alberta.ca/aish.aspx): A government financial income supplement for Albertans who have limited ability to attain/maintain employment. They provide monthly income, health benefits, as well as financial benefits for those caring for adult dependants for eligible people.
Calgary Ability Network: (http://www.calgaryabilitynetwork.ca/): Advocacy for poverty reduction, assistance with AISH applications.
Calgary Alternative Support Services, Money Matters Program: (https://www.c-a-s-s.org/programs/ ) Provides financial and budgeting information for individuals with mental health challenges.
Canada Revenue Agencies: Free Tax Clinics: For low-income individuals and families.
Connections Counselling & Consulting Foundation: (http://www.connectionscounselling.ab.ca/services/financial-coach) Provides financial coaching for individuals and families with cognitive challenges.
Developmental Disabilities Resource Centre (DDRC): (https://ddrc.ca/ddrc-scholarships/) Offers scholarship opportunities for students with developmental disabilities attending Bow Valley College.
DRES (Disability-Related Employment Supports): (https://www.alberta.ca/disability-related-employment-supports.aspx ) A government program that has 3 main sections of funding support for individuals facing barriers to employment / educational training due to a disability. The three sections are “Job Search Supports”, “Workplace Supports”, and “Education Supports”.
DTC (Disability Tax Credit): (https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/tax/individuals/segments/tax-credits-deductions-persons-disabilities/disability-tax-credit.html ) A government tax credit that reduces the amount of income tax that a person with a disability and/or their caregiver must pay.
ILRCC (Independent Living Resource Center Calgary): (https://www.ilrcc.ab.ca/programs-services/personal-empowerment/) Personal Empowerment Program helps with AISH applications, AISH appeals, PDD funding info, RDSP info and budgeting.