Welcome to the ACDS Umbrella, our quarterly newsletter

In This March 2022 Issue

Save the Dates: ACDS 2022 Conference

Between Tuesday, September 27 to Thursday, September 29, we look forward to reuniting the Community Disability Services (CDS) sector, families, volunteers, and supporters through an energizing and celebratory conference. The 2022 annual conference will also mark 50 years since ACDS was established.

ReCharge: Let’s Come Together at the ACDS 2022 Conference will revitalize our sector through engaging and inspiring presentations and activities that focus on building individual and organizational resilience. 

Let’s come together and rejuvenate our spirits as we move ahead from two challenging years. Let’s share knowledge and expertise and further strengthen our capacities to support individuals, our organizations, and our sector. And as we gather, let's restore our passion for the crucial work we do. 

Please save the dates! (Note that the main conference will be held on September 28 and 29.)
Celebrating 50 Years
Since 1972, ACDS has worked to strengthen and elevate the Community Disability Services sector to ensure individuals with developmental disabilities receive the high-quality services they deserve.

On this milestone anniversary, we reflect on our organization's rich history and all we have achieved with the support and trust of our members and other supporters. As we reflect on our 50 years, we also look ahead to all that is yet to to come.

Follow and share our social media activity as we mark #ACDS50Years. If you have photos or stories that you'd like to share to contribute to our social media celebration, please post using the hashtag #ACDS50Years, or send to [email protected] with a description and we will add it to our messaging!
ACDS Strategic Priorities and Actions 2022-2025
In February 2022, we presented the ACDS Strategic Priorities and Actions 2022-2025 to our membership. The strategic plan will inform and drive the development and delivery of ACDS’ programs, services, and initiatives in the next 3 years.
ACDS Program Updates

CET 2021 Accreditation Standards effective April 1, 2022
In September 2021, we announced the launch of the 2021 edition of the Creating Excellence Together Standards. Beginning April 1, 2022, the new Standards are mandatory for all PDD-funded service providers undertaking accreditation.

Since September 2021, service providers have had the option of undertaking the 2021 CET Standards. Here's a summary of what we are hearing from participating service providers.

  • The new Standards offer a streamlined accreditation process: the Standards are relevant and focused and have allowed for an efficient and smooth process of accreditation. Service providers have also appreciated the benefits of customized tools such as the customized self-study guide.
  • The new digital and virtual tools are effective: The new digitized tools have been very well received. Service providers have commented on the ease of using the new digital tools and the effectiveness of virtual platforms (for example, in survey interviews).
  • Shorter pre-survey preparation time: given the reduction in overall standards, the quality of support from ACDS Accreditation staff, digital and virtual tools, the survey preparation time has significantly reduced.
Congratulations to CET Level 2 Service Providers 

ACDS is pleased to announce that the following service providers achieved CET Level 2 Accreditation. Level 2 service providers are recognized for their innovative and creative approaches in delivering quality services to individuals with developmental disabilities. 

Arch Enterprises and Training Association of Edmonton Inc: Arch Enterprises also met the requirements for the Complex Support Needs Designation. Arch Enterprises was the first service provider to be accredited through the new 2021 CET Standards!

Blue Heron Support Services Association: Blue Heron also met the requirements for the Complex Support Needs Designation, Respite for Children and Adults with Disabilities

Chrysalis: An Alberta Society for Citizens with Disabilities. Edmonton Region: Chrysalis also met the requirements for the Complex Support Needs Designation.

Care Human Services Ltd: Care Human Services also met the requirements for the Complex Support Needs Designation.

Empowering Citizens for Health and Opportunities Society: ECHOS also met the requirements for the Complex Support Needs Designation and Respite for Children and Adults with Disabilities.

Congratulations to CET Level 1 Service Providers 

ACDS is pleased to share that the following service providers achieved CET Level 1 Accreditation.

Ability Resource Association
Association for the Rehabilitation of the Brain Injured (ARBI)
Calgary Society for Persons with Disabilities (CSPD)
Canadian Mental Health Association - Northwest
Clients Ongoing Rehabilitation and Equality (CORE) Association
Connect Up With Downs Inc.
Fisher Farm Residential Ltd.
Foothills Advocacy In Motion Society (FAIM)
Graduated Supports
Horizons Training Centre Society
Independent Advocacy 2010 Inc.
Leduc Community Living Association
Mill Woods Society for Community Living
Neighborhood Bridges
Next Step Residential Services (Medicine Hat)
Progressive Alternatives Society of Calgary (PASC)
The Venturers Society of Calgary
Transitions Rehabilitation Association of St. Albert and District
Vegreville Association for Living in Dignity (VALID)
New Services
2004437 Alberta Ltd. O/A Home Care Assistance Calgary
Journey of Hope Inc.

Stand-alone Complex Support Needs Designation
Excel Society - Calgary
Training and Development

ACDS offers several courses and other learning opportunities to disability organizations and staff, giving them the knowledge and tools to provide quality supports to individuals with developmental disabilities.
Courses are designed for leaders and frontline staff working in the disability sector and are available to members and non-members. Many courses are relevant to, and may be of interest to staff and organizations outside of Alberta.
Online Training
Ongoing courses that can be completed and started at a learners' own pace

New courses include:
Virtual Training

View the listing of upcoming virtual training, including:
  • Outcomes
  • Introduction to Positive Behaviour Supports
  • Facilitating Meaningful Change with Outcomes
  • Introduction to Positive Behaviour Supports (Train-the-Trainer)
Advocacy and Research
Blueprint CDS: Towards a Skilled and Sustainable Workforce
ACDS has launched project BlueprintCDS, toward the development of a multi-prong strategy for the Community Disability Services (CDS) sector workforce.

This landmark project will address the sector’s chronic human resource challenges and new pressures resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. Recognizing that the sector’s current workforce crisis is a consequence of complex and long-standing issues, BlueprintCDS will create a strategy for both immediate measures and long-term action.

ACDS Survey 2021
Organizational Wellness and Workforce

ACDS has published the report and infographic summary from the ACDS 2021 Organizational Wellness and Workforce Survey. 

Its release is timely as we continue our relentless advocacy for a skilled workforce and organizational sustainability in a tight fiscal environment. It also provides crucial data to support us in developing a comprehensive workforce strategy for our sector.

Impact of Rising Administrative and Indirect Costs

Early in March, 60 member organizations responded to an ACDS survey on the impact of rising administrative and indirect costs in the CDS sector. 

The survey results will greatly support our efforts in advocating for PDD to recognize and address these rapidly increasing costs.

Advocacy Timeline

We continue to advocate on every major issue impacting the CDS sector related to the pandemic. This comprehensive timeline details ACDS’ advocacy efforts at every stage of the crisis since the public health emergency was declared in Alberta in March 2020. 

Learn more about ACDS’ advocacy efforts on issues related to COVID-19, as well as other issues impacting the CDS sector.