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Government takes action to protect the safety and dignity of persons with developmental disabilities

Human Services Minister Irfan Sabir has repealed the Persons with Developmental Disabilities (PDD) Safety Standards Regulation in response to Albertans’ input.

During the public consultation on the standards of safety for Albertans receiving supports through the PDD program, participants said the Regulation was confusing and caused undue stress in the community.

The Minister accepted the Consultation Team’s Phase One recommendations in its summary report to:

  1. Repeal the PDD Safety Standards Regulation in its entirety.
  2. Implement a co-ordinated approach across relevant ministries, including working with municipalities, to ensure clarity, consistency and alignment in, and implementation of, the repeal of the PDD Safety Standards Regulation.
  3. Extend the Consultation Team’s mandate to oversee Phase Two of the Safety Standards Consultation.

“I would like to thank those who shared their views during the consultation. Their valuable feedback told us that safety is important, but that the current Regulation is not the solution. We have heard the disability community loud and clear, and we will continue working to ensure we get this right. Everyone deserves to live safely, and our government is committed to listening to Albertans and ensuring that the dignity of persons with developmental disabilities is upheld.”

Irfan Sabir, Minister of Human Services

“It was important for us to hear opinions and ideas from the community about what makes homes safe, and we appreciate that so many people took the time to sit and talk with us. We look forward to continuing our work on effective provisions for home safety in Phase Two of the consultation. We are committed to working together to identify solutions that will enable Albertans with developmental disabilities to live safely and with dignity.”

John te Linde, Chair, PDD Safety Standards Consultation Team

Phase One of the PDD Safety Standards Consultation took place from February 18 to March 14. More than 750 Albertans attended community conversations in eight cities, and 1,300 questionnaires were completed online or by mail.

Participants included Albertans with developmental disabilities, their families and guardians, service providers, health and safety professionals, landlords, and other stakeholders.

Government has the following measures in place to support safety during the ongoing consultation:

  • Service providers continue to have obligations under their contracts with Human Services to ensure safety, including the adherence to accreditation standards set out by the Alberta Council of Disability Services, which specify safety obligations and procedures.
  • Safety codes legislation (i.e. building/fire codes) will apply to homes of individuals receiving PDD services to a residential standard. Inspections will occur based on a referral, complaint or incident. The care standard will still apply when the individual is detained or totally dependent on staff to evacuate in the event of a fire or other emergency. 
  • Other existing laws still apply, as they do for all Albertans. For example, Alberta Health Services public health inspectors may continue under the authority of the Public Health Act, in circumstances where that act applies, generally in response to complaints.

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