The Connection Series
Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus Association of Northern Alberta (SBHANA) is dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for people affected by spina bifida and/or hydrocephalus through advocacy, education, and support. SBHANA addresses the key issue of individuals having ".....significantly lower levels of participation by youth (adults) experiencing disability, as compared to their non-disabled peers (Active Healthy Kids Canada, 2009). SBHANA feels that this is a priority in terms of the health of children, youth and adults, but also of their families and the broader community. We perceive the major challenges to achieving this as centering around issues of opportunity and understanding. Individuals with disabilities often require specialized programming that involves the use of specialized equipment, specialized programming, unique coaching and teaching knowledge to identify strengths and provide modification for individual needs, and a climate of acceptance and challenge. Many of the individuals who come to our organization do so because their social and physical needs cannot be met in the broader community and they seek support and advice to what is occurring in the larger community.
The Connection Series will be a virtual and in person event series, where we will bring in different speakers, educators, support services, and others who have lived the experience to share their knowledge with the disability community in Edmonton and across Alberta. The focus will be towards those with disabilities and their families. Individuals who face disabilities, often feel isolated and alone, as sometimes they find it difficult to access the larger community and find that mainstream programming is geared towards the able-bodied world.
Who Will it Benefit?
At the SBHANA we feel that if we provide individuals and families with a community to share their experiences and to learn from others and professionals this will assist them with challenges often faced within the disability community. The creation of The Connection Series will provide individuals and their families with support, connections, ideas, programming and education to help them navigate their community, access much needed services and learn from others, who have lived experiences. We will provide them with resources to engage in programming, provide education opportunities from guest speakers and services that are offered out in the community, develop a support and connection network with others, and provide information, ideas and solutions from lived experiences as well as guidance and education.