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Hello, ENABLErs!

Meet Andrea van Vugt, the Executive Director of the Disability Pride Alberta Foundation. Andrea is the author of this month’s ENABLE blog.

The second annual Disability Pride Parade is on Sunday, June 9 at 11:00am at Bankers Hall (315 8 Ave SW).

I first came across ENABLE in 2016 when I met Sue Crawford, ENABLE’s Executive Director, in a downtown coffee shop in Calgary. I was an interviewer for the Humans of Calgary initiative and I interviewed Sue for the University of Calgary’s Humanities in Healthcare Symposium (see below). In Sue’s interview, she shared her nursing experiences and her personal mission to “create a community of social inclusion where all community members feel safe, understood, and valued”. …

The experience of having a child with special needs intensifies the challenges of parenthood. In addition to typical parental stressors, other forms of pressure unique to their child’s care are involved. For example, multiple medical and rehabilitation appointments, behavioural concerns, financial difficulties, accessibility issues, etc. Eating, taking them to school or day programs, going to multiple appointments (PT, OT, speech therapy, doctors, etc.), attending recreational activities and volunteering- It can become TOO MUCH!

Respite prevents burnout and allows families to maintain regular schedules. Once a child is born, this child becomes the parents’ whole life. All their energy and attention…

I am a PhD student at the University of Calgary. I have been a support worker with ENABLE since November 2017. When I first heard about the grassroots social enterprise, their mission to create meaningful partnerships between people with disabilities and support workers stood out to me. I signed up shortly after meeting Sue Crawford, the co-founder of ENABLE and a fellow graduate student. I was matched to a youth who excitedly waits for me to take him out each week (okay, I might look forward to it as much as he does).

Let me start by saying, being a…

Hi, Sue! Thanks for agreeing to do this interview. We are curious. Tell us a little bit about how you used your role as a nurse to fill a need in the community by creating ENABLE.

  • After graduating from the accelerated Bachelor of Nursing program at the University of Calgary in 2012, I knew that I wanted to make positive change in peoples’ lives; I just didn’t know what or how at that time. After graduating, I eagerly pursued positions on a medicine/neurosciences unit then on an adolescent addictions and mental health inpatient unit. Through my experiences, I noted inequities…


Overcoming barriers to community access through meaningful partnerships between people with disabilities and support workers.

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