Memos, forms, and processes for Skills Staff related to COVID-19
COVID-19 Information Email for People we Support, Families & Guardians
People we support, families and guardians, can send general COVID-19 questions or inquiries to the following email address: covidinfo @ skillssociety.ca.
We will do our best to respond within 48 hours, however this will be dependent on the volume of emails.
Resources for Individuals & Families
Plain Language Resources
PDF: FAQs on COVID-19 for People with Disabilities
Plain language with pictures FAQ pamphlet created by the Government of Alberta
WEBSITE: Canadian Association for Community Living Disability Related Resources
PDF: Self Advocate COVID-19 Guide and Workbook
Plain language with pictures, guide and workbook for creating a plan during COVID-19 adapted from Opening Doors UK
PDF: COVID-19 Information By and For People with Disabilities
Printable PDF on COVID-19 written in plain language and using pictures created by Green Mountain Self Advocates.
PDF: Easy Read Guide to COVID-19
Plain language with pictures, one page information sheet on COVID-19 developed by Surrey Place.
PDF: Look After your Mental Health During Corona Virus
Plain language information on looking after your mental health during COVID-19 developed by Council for Intellectual Disability.
PDF: Anxiety and COVID-19 Social Story
One page printable PDF that uses plain language and pictures to talk about anxiety and COVID-19 created by YAI.org.
PDF: What’s the Corona Virus in Plain Language
One page printable PDF using plain language and pictures to describe what the Corona Virus is created by Teaching Differently
Things to Do
PDF: Activity Resource Booklet
This is a ‘grab and go’ link to several printable resources to help people find interesting and fun things to do while social distancing. It was designed by Jennifer Jorgensen, a Recreational Therapist.
WEBSITE: Things that are Open Edmonton
A listing of local businesses finding innovative ways to continue to serve Edmontonians in these new times.
WEBSITE: City Share
A real time, crowdsourced platform that houses resources, tools, and stories on how city builders and residents are responding to COVID-19.
Virtual Community Building Initiative
Skills Society is spearheading a new Virtual Community Building Initiative during COVID. Just like before we will be here building community and helping people stay connected – only this year, it will look a little different!
How the people we support can get involved
- Become a Virtual Community Builder: A Virtual Community Builder (VCB) is someone we support who is friendly, interested in having conversation with others to brighten up their day, and excited to meet new people “virtually”. They are conversation stewards – connecting with other people within Skills through informal ‘tea time’ chats using an online platform called “Zoom”. VCBs will be supported by a Skills staff in their role, are required to participate in an orientation, and will be paid an honorarium for each conversation they steward.
- Sign up for a Virtual Chat with a Community Builder: People we support who may be feeling socially disconnected, bored, or lonely, can sign up for a virtual chat with a community builder. A Virtual Community Builder will arrange a time to connect with the person online over a platform called Zoom. Together they can chat, have tea, and maybe even play some games.
- Participate in Weekly Virtual CommuniTEA Connection Activities: there will be weekly Virtual Activities that the people we support can join in on. These might include things like preparing a snack together, having a conversation around a specific topic, or doing a guided art project. See the latest schedule of events here: March CommuniTEA Connection Schedule
Contact Jessica, Virtual Community Building Initiative Coordinator, at ltai @ ualberta.ca or 306.450.3168 to sign up or for more info.
New Virtual Connections Opportunity for People we Support
Our friends at Kudoz, in partnership with co-make-do are offering a range of daily experiences that the people we support can join! These experiences are free and connect folks with self, community and the wider world. Experiences include things like chats, classes and digital cafes. To join an event simply click on the Zoom link in the event’s description at the time of the event. *Note- the time displayed is PST. Events will start one hour later than the time displayed if you’re in Edmonton (MST).
To see the full events calendar click here.
Information on COVID-19, How to Prepare, & Things You Can Do
PDF: About the Coronavirus
One page printable PDF describing the Coronavirus made by Government of Canada
PDF: Be Prepared (COVID-19)
One page printable PDF outlining simple, practical things you can do in a household in case someone in the household becomes ill with COVID-19. Created by the Government of Canada.
PDF: Hand Washing
Printable PDF visually showing the sequence of proper hand washing created by the Government of Canada.
VIDEO: Social Distancing Explained
2 minute video explaining what social distancing is and why it is important created by the Telegraph.
VIDEO: Proper Hand Washing from Skills Society
VIDEO: Taking precautions to wash groceries from Skills Society
PDF: Caring for Someone with COVID-19 at Home: Advice for Caregivers
Printable PDF outlining tips and strategies for caring for someone who has COVID-19 at home created by the Government of Canada.
PDF: Know the Difference: Self Monitoring, Self Isolation, & Isolation for COVID-19
Printable PDF outlining the difference between Self Monitoring, Self Isolation, and Isolation for COVID-19 created by the Government of Canada.
Resources for Staff
WEBSITE: Federal Financial Resources for Individuals and Families
Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan and listing of available financial resources from the federal government.
WEBSITE: Provincial Financial Resources for Individuals and Families
COVID-19 supports for Albertans.
WEBSITE: COVID-19 Updates and Resources from Alberta Council of Disability Services
WEBINAR: Supporting the Health of People with Developmental Disabilities During COVID-19
Webinar on April 14th at 11:00AM EDT that you can register for or request a copy of created by the Community Living Association of Ontario.
PDF: Coping with Uncertainty in Uncertain Times: A Resource for People Supporting Someone with Autism
Downloadable PDF explaining why uncertainty is hard for all people, but can be particularly hard for those with autism. The document offers information and tips for helping someone navigate uncertainty. Created by a professor at Newcastle University.
PDF: Coping with Stress, Anxiety, and Substance Use During COVID-19
Coping strategies for dealing with additional stress and anxiety during COVID-19.
PDF: Mobile Tools to Promote Mental Wellness
Highlights free evidenced-based mental wellness apps and questions to ask when choosing an app to use.
WEBSITE: Alberta Nonprofit Network – Mental Health Resources for Nonprofits
The Alberta Nonprofit Network is compiling existing. mental health resources.
WEBSITE: Alberta Health Services – Help in Tough Times
Supports and resources for Albertans during stressful times. Includes COVID-19 online resources and where to find support.
The Alberta Health Services Mental Health Help Line is available 24-hours a day, seven days a week at 1-877-303-2642.
Skills Society Updates
Sector Advocacy Efforts
Dec 4th, Letter from Skills Board Chair to the Chief Medical Officer of Health Regarding Phase 1 of the Alberta Immunization Program
PDF: March 21st, Letter from Skills Board Chair to Minister of Community and Social Services and Minister of Health
WEBSITE: Inclusion Alberta COVID-19 Updates
Overview of resources and advocacy efforts of Inclusion Alberta related to COVID-19.
PDF: March 28th, Letter from Community and Social Services
Letter to PDD Families from Office of the Assistant Deputy Minister, Community and Social Services.
PDF: May 11th, Letter from Community and Social Services
Letter to members of the disability community in Alberta from the Office of the Minister, Community and Social Services.
Shout Outs and Gratitude!
We are so grateful for the generous support of others in our community in these challenging times! See below some of the folks we’re giving shout outs to for all that they’ve done to help us!
Edmonton Community Foundation
Thank-you for your generous donation of reusable masks! This will go a long way in helping to keep people we support safe!
Thank-you for your generous donation of Personal Protective Equipment! This will go a long way in helping to keep the people we support and our employees safe!
Rotary Club of Edmonton Whyte Avenue
Thank-you for the beautiful variety of meals you’ve provided for some of the people we serve! Your support means so much to us!
St. Albert Dental Centre
Huge thanks to Edwin Mueller at St. Albert Dental Centre for their generous donation of masks and gloves! These are critical supplies that enable us to continue to provide the important support we do to citizens with disabilities.
Staples on Calgary Trail
Thank-you for the generous donation of hand sanitizer!
The Honourable Kaycee Madu, MLA for Edmonton-South West
Thank-you for helping to orchestrate the delivery of 72 boxes of PPE containing thousands of masks, gloves, goggles, wipes, and thermometers to our organization on April 16th! These supplies will help us continue to protect and serve the people we support and our employees on the front lines.
Edmonton Area Disability Service Providers
We have so much gratitude for the following agencies that stepped up and shared protective gowns to us for our employees to use in a time of desperate need! Thank-you Kind Regards, SkyAnne Krupa, Mira Facilitation Centre, Tralee Residential Services, and Transitions! Please know that, if we are in a position to, we will gladly return the favour in your time of need. We are stronger as a community.
Able to Donate?
If you would like to donate Personal Protective Equipment to protect people we support and our front lines –Gloves, Gowns, N95 masks, surgical masks, face-shields
– please email Edward Woodward – edwardw @ skillssociety.ca
If you would like to support by doing meal drops or other contributions
– please contact linda @ skillssociety.ca