With the province set to cut roughly $42 million in funding for people with developmental disabilities, many Alberta families are struggling to figure out how their loved ones will be affected.

For Sharon Crozier, whose 49-year-old step-son has cerebral palsy and a developmental disability, there are a lot of unknowns.

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People in Calgary watched a webcast of a meeting in Edmonton concerning cuts to programs in Alberta for people with developmental disabilities. (Jennifer Lee/CBC)

"So the cuts could be very difficult and could mean that Cameron can't be placed in programs that are really good for his state of well-being right now."

Crozier is also frustrated with the province.

"Lack of information, lack of consultation is not a good way to work with people affected," she said.

"It's very stressful for us as a family."

In addition to cuts, the province is pushing to get more people with developmental disabilities working, and it’s changing how it decides what funding individuals get.

Elaine Yost, the executive director of Options, a service provider in Calgary, has misgivings.

"It isn't just about money. It's about people. I’m very concerned about families and their capacity to make the adjustments as quickly as might be required."

Frank Oberle, associate minister of services for persons with disabilities, said the government decided to shift support away from the community access program, which helps get people out in the community through volunteer and recreational activities.

"We spent just short of $100 million on that program last year and we get some of our lowest outcome scores on social inclusion," Oberle said.

"We think that’s indicative that’s money not very well spent. We want to focus more on inclusive outcomes, including employment."

A family forum was held Monday in Edmonton with Oberle. It was also made available via webcast for people who could not attend.

Corrections

  • The province told CBC News on Friday that there would be roughly $40 million in cuts to Community Access Supports funding, but that number increased to $42 million at a provincial meeting held Monday.
    Apr 15, 2013 12:59 AM MT