Alberta Council of Disability Services

Acts of Collaboration During COVID-19

From the onset of the pandemic and throughout these past few months, the sector has engaged in some impactful acts of collaboration, supporting one another through this challenging time. From sharing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to sharing relaunch plans, service providers have stepped up for one another in remarkable ways, allowing the continued delivery of quality supports to individuals with developmental disabilities. 

The following are just a few examples of acts of collaboration by service providers and by regional service provider councils, during the pandemic.

Sharing business continuity plans, and creating joint plans:

Staff-sharing initiatives: Service provider regions shared staffing agreements, allowing employers to temporarily move under-employed staff to under-staffed locations. The Calgary Region set up a Staff Sharing Task Force to ensure that all locations remain adequately staffed.  

Sourcing PPE: 

  • New Age Services shared their source for obtaining gloves, and visors after an outbreak in one of their group homes
  • SCOPE sourced medical masks, that were available in orders of 100,000, and reached out province-wide to service providers who were in dire need of PPE
  • Connections Counselling and Consulting Foundation organized a joint order for bulk amounts of hand sanitizer
  • Other service providers shared the creative ways they were acquiring PPE. For example, Westlock Independence Network (WIN) reached out to dentists in the NE region.
  • The Edmonton Service Provider Council created an inventory of available resources in the region, for use during the current and future emergency situation

Advising and consulting: Service providers consulted with one another regarding day program reopening. The Edmonton Regional Service Provider Council created the Day Program Group task force to discuss guidelines and considerations for reopening day programs in Alberta.  The Calgary Regional Service Provider Council held meetings specifically to address day programs.  

Relaunch plans: Service providers shared plans province-wide, allowing organizations to collaborate and plan their reopening more efficiently.