Spinal Cord Injury Alberta

Alberta SCI Solutions Fund

Active Living Strategy 

Enhancing SCI (Alberta)'s Programs and Services

Rick Hansen Initiatives 

Research Initiatives



The Strategy began in 2009 with a plan to bring “stakeholders” – people living with SCI and those who provide them with care and services – from around Alberta together to create a plan to address some of the serious issues that Albertans with SCI face. 


There were several steps to this approach that involved a lot of consultation and collaboration: 


  • Step one: identify the constellation of problems that limit quality of life for people with SCI; conduct a literature review;


  • Step two: narrow the focus to a list of three priority issues (affordable accessible housing, home care/attendant care, and adaptive equipment and devices);


  • Step three: develop action oriented strategies to attack the identified issues;


  • Step four: implement strategies.


We are in the final stage of the Strategy—implementation. Below you will find several projects that are in various stages of being implemented.

The On a Roll document is the framework that led us to the development and implementation of the following action strategies.


Resource Guide

The Spinal Cord Injury (Alberta) is proud to host a new provincial on-line Resource Guide for people with physical disabilities on their website. The intent of the Guide is to present information and options available in a readily accessible format with a single access point. The goal of the Guide is to decrease time and frustration in trying to allocate and access all the services and information people need in order to participate in the community. 


We also believe in sharing the knowledge of people who have “been there and done that.” That is why we've created a place where you can leave comments and/or rate a product or service that you have tried. This information may be helpful to help others when selecting the resources they need.

Resource Guide 


An Evaluation of Supportive Housing Models

In communities across Alberta, the need for a range of accessible housing with supports provided is great and growing. This project will provide communities with information and next steps to help initiate local supportive housing projects. We have examined existing models in Alberta and elsewhere and have identified several characteristics of effective and innovative models that could be replicated. The plan is to share this information with communities, along with a template for a business case and guidelines on how to take the business case to the next level. The goal is to build capacity for future growth in supportive housing that meets the unique needs of people with SCI and similar physical disabilities so that they can continue to live in the community of their choice. 

This project is currently in progress.


A Residential Accessibility Assessment Tool

There is a confusing array of information out there about accessibility and what constitutes an accessible home. The confusion creates problems for people needing to find a place to live that meets their specific level of ability. This project looked at the variety of guidelines, tools and processes that are currently being used to assess and describe the accessibility of homes and created a single, standard guideline that distinguishes between different levels of accessibility. This assessment tool and process will be web-based, allowing property owners to easily identify the important accessibility features of their property, and buyers or renters to locate properties that will best meet their needs. Plans are to launch the website throughout the province in 2012. Our long-term hope is that with wide use of a standard assessment process and website, province-wide access to accessible housing will be improved for people with disabilities. 

This project is currently in progress.


Builders’ Award

Builders and other people working in the building industry are critical partners in the creation of more accessible and affordable housing. With a Builders’ Award we aim to recognize builders, designers and contractors who have shown excellence in accessible home design. To be successful we not only need to create the award, but market the idea of accessible design. This project will do both those things, with the goal of creating awareness, relationships, momentum, commitment and overall raising the profile and desirability among builders – and buyers – of accessible design. A final report has been completed and work is now underway to identify potential award sponsors.

A Framework and Action Plan for the Development of Sustainable Inclusive Design (SID) Awards in Alberta PDF document  

Research and Funding for Pressure Relief and Pressure Reduction Devices

Pressure sores are costly and personally devastating problems. This project researched best practices in pressure sore prevention and treatment, and applied that knowledge to the selection of seven individuals who received funds for pressure reducing/relieving equipment. Funding for the devices was made available through the Solutions Fund. Recipients provided information on their pressure sore risk, health status, and quality of life both prior to and after using the devices. This approach will allow us to address the immediate needs of consumers while gathering important information on the impact of pressure relieving and reducing devices. This information will be helpful to clinicians, service providers, and equipment funders wishing to review the effectiveness of their policies and practices in the area of pressure sore prevention and treatment.

Final Report: The administration of a one-time program to provide individualized funding for pressure relieving / reducing equipment and devices.


Improved Trials for Computer Equipment

Technology is advancing at a rapid rate, and with it, the funding priorities of various programs designed to improve access to computer equipment. More than ever, funders need good information about what types of equipment and technology is beneficial to people with different levels of ability. Consumers need time to trial equipment to see what will really work best for them. This project provides equipment for people to trial so that they can then go forward confidently with proposals to various funders to obtain the equipment they need to get on with their lives – whether it be plans to go back to school, get a job, or just become more independent and connected to the outside world.


You can access this equipment through the following SCI (Alberta) offices:

Red Deer


Medicine Hat


Grande Prairie

Fort McMurray

The SCI (Alberta) office in Calgary also has adapted equipment available – made available through other sources of funding. Please contact your closest SCI (Alberta) office for more information.

Adapted Computer Technology Brochure


Best Practices Research into Catheter Use

There is an ongoing debate about whether, and under what conditions reusing catheters contributes to a higher incidence of bladder infections. This project will look at what current research says about this topic and what Alberta clinicians generally recommend. The findings will be used to develop two brochures on the prevention and treatment of bladder infections, a protocol paper and an algorithm that suggests the preferred course of action in treating bladder infections.” 

This project is currently in progress.

UTI Prevention Brochure

UTI Treatment Brochure