The Office of the Advocate for Persons with Disabilities represents the rights, interests and well-being of Albertans with disabilities. The Office’s dedicated staff build relationships with community members to understand the issues and concerns they face every day.
The Office helps children, youth, adults and seniors with disabilities find and get access to the supports and services available to them. By building relationships with people and stakeholders in the disability community, the Advocate’s Office can learn about and bring important issues and concerns to the government with recommendations.
Learn more about the Office of the Advocate for Persons with Disabilities and how to get in touch with us.
The Advocate’s Office can help
The Advocate’s Office acts as a point of contact between the community and government. Contact the Office by emailing [email protected] or calling 1-800-272-8841. Let us know if you require any support related to your disability.
Fact sheet - Office of the Advocate for Persons with Disabilities
The Office of the Advocate for Persons with Disabilities can help:
- Guiding people to find available disability supports and services.
- Helping to find resolutions to challenges.
- Promoting the rights, interests and well-being of people with disabilities through awareness and education.
- Bringing awareness of programs and services available to the community.
- Engaging with the community and building partnerships to understand issues.
- Identifying gaps in programs and services and delivering expert advice to senior leadership.
- Collaborating with other provincial advocates and advisories.
The Office of the Advocate aligns with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which was ratified by Canada and supported by Alberta in 2010. The principles include full and effective participation and inclusion in society, respect for difference and acceptance of persons with disabilities as part of human diversity and humanity, equality of opportunity and accessibility.
Note, the Office of the Advocate for Persons with Disabilities is unable to:
- provide counselling for individuals
- make decisions on behalf of another person
- provide formal mediation services or represent individuals at a court or tribunal hearing
- provide ongoing case management support
Help with applying for supports
For help with applications or applying online for benefits and services, visit an Alberta Supports Centre in your community.
About the Advocate
After an open recruitment process to find a new Advocate for Albertans with disabilities, Gregory McMeekin is Alberta’s Advocate for Persons with Disabilities.
McMeekin has a law degree from the University of Calgary and a bachelor of arts in mass communications from Carlton University. Despite many physical challenges, he made history when he was called to the Alberta Bar in 2016. McMeekin has extensive personal and professional experience working with people with disabilities, their support networks and other stakeholders. He believes strongly in empowering people with disabilities to reach their full potential and looks forward to being part of a team that is focused on improving the quality of lives of people with disabilities.
He has worked at Alberta Justice and Solicitor General, Legal Aid Alberta, and has volunteered on various councils, advisory committees and boards working to improve accessibility, most recently as chair of the Premier's Council on the Status of Persons with Disabilities.
The Advocate for Persons with Disabilities position is appointed for a 3-year term.
Connecting with Albertans
For a number of years, many Albertans have requested an advocate who could be the voice for people with disabilities. In 2018, after public consultation throughout the province, the Alberta government created the Office of the Advocate for Persons with Disabilities and appointed an Advocate.
One of the top priorities identified for the Advocate was to build relationships with people living with disabilities.
In addition to connecting with Albertans with disabilities, their families and caregivers, representatives from the Advocate’s Office are able to attend and present at disability-related events, such as community meetings, annual general meetings or discussion groups. Presentations may cover the work of the Advocate specifically, or critical issues affecting Albertans with disabilities.
The Advocate and staff have been building partnerships with community groups, advocacy organizations and people with disabilities to better understand issues and changes in disability supports in Alberta. Ongoing input from the public is used to provide information and advice to the government with respect to the rights, interests and well-being of persons with disabilities.
The Advocate for Persons with Disabilities and the Office of the Advocate for Persons with Disabilities developed its 2022 to 2025 strategic plan through:
- a rigorous research approach that included identification of key issues and barriers experienced by Albertans with disabilities as shared with the Office
- the review of grey and academic literature
The plan serves as the basis for important actions the Advocate and the Office will undertake to champion and support the inclusion of people with disabilities in Alberta’s social and economic fabric.
Read the Advocate for Persons with Disabilities 2022 to 2025 strategic plan
The Advocate for Persons with Disabilities Act mandates that the Advocate prepare and submit to the Minister of Seniors, Community and Social Services a report summarizing the activities for the previous calendar year. The minister will present the report to the Legislative Assembly.
The Office of the Advocate for Persons with Disabilities can provide assistance with questions about disability programs and services.
Connect with the office or make an appointment to meet with an Advocate representative:
Hours: 8:15 am to 4:30 pm (open Monday to Friday, closed statutory holidays)
Toll free: 1-800-272-8841
Email: [email protected]
Address (when you make an appointment or to write us):
Office of the Advocate for Persons with Disabilities
Suite 1110, 10055 106 Street
Edmonton, Alberta T5J 2Y2
If you would like the Advocate to visit your organization, email us with more information.
Call 911 if you or someone you know is in an emergency situation.
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