New ad­vo­cate for per­sons with dis­abil­i­ties

The McLeod River Post - - Family, Farm & Garden - Spe­cial to the Post

Tony Flores has been se­lected as Al­berta’s first Ad­vo­cate for Per­sons with Dis­abil­i­ties. He is a self­ad­vo­cate, in­ter­na­tional para ath­lete and has ex­ten­sive ex­pe­ri­ence work­ing with peo­ple with dis­abil­i­ties.

In his role, Flores will sup­port chil­dren, youth and adults with vary­ing abil­i­ties by rais­ing aware­ness of their rights and the ser­vices avail­able to them and their fam­i­lies.

“I am pleased to an­nounce Mr Flores as Al­berta’s first Ad­vo­cate for Per­sons with Dis­abil­i­ties. Mr Flores is a ded­i­cated and pas­sion­ate ad­vo­cate whose story is an in­spi­ra­tion to all Al­ber­tans. I am con­fi­dent in his abil­i­ties for this im­por­tant role and hope this of­fice will play a key role in help­ing peo­ple ac­cess sup­ports and im­prove ser­vices. I look for­ward to work­ing with him to make life bet­ter for Al­ber­tans with dis­abil­i­ties.”

Ir­fan Sabir, Min­is­ter of Com­mu­nity and So­cial Ser­vices

The Al­berta gov­ern­ment in­vested $1 mil­lion in Bud­get 2018 to es­tab­lish the Of­fice of the Ad­vo­cate for Per­sons with Dis­abil­i­ties. The of­fice, led by Flores, will of­fi­cially open in mid-Novem­ber.

“It is an hon­our to take on this his­toric po­si­tion. As a per­son with a phys­i­cal im­pair­ment my­self, this is an ex­cit­ing time. We now have a voice. I look for­ward to work­ing with self-ad­vo­cates and or­ga­ni­za­tions across Al­berta over the com­ing months. I en­cour­age any Al­ber­tan with a dis­abil­ity and their fam­ily or care­givers to re­quest as­sis­tance from my­self and my staff, share con­cerns, and learn more about their rights. We are here to lis­ten and to help.”

Tony Flores, Ad­vo­cate for Per­sons with Dis­abil­i­ties

Al­berta’s new Ad­vo­cate for Per­sons with Dis­abil­i­ties was se­lected af­ter an open com­pe­ti­tion process. More than 1,300 Al­ber­tans with dis­abil­i­ties, fam­i­lies, ser­vice providers and sup­port or­ga­ni­za­tions pro­vided in­put on the role, re­spon­si­bil­i­ties and top pri­or­i­ties for the ad­vo­cate’s first year of work dur­ing pub­lic con­sul­ta­tions last spring.

Bi­og­ra­phy

Flores has a bach­e­lor of arts de­gree in eco­nom­ics and po­lit­i­cal science with ex­ten­sive per­sonal and pro­fes­sional ex­pe­ri­ence work­ing with peo­ple with dis­abil­i­ties, their sup­port net­works and stake­hold­ers. He is a self-ad­vo­cate who be­lieves strongly in em­pow­er­ing peo­ple with dis­abil­i­ties to reach their full po­ten­tial and looks for­ward to be­ing part of a team that will fo­cus on im­prov­ing the qual­ity of life for peo­ple with dis­abil­i­ties. Flores is an ac­com­plished ath­lete, has ex­ten­sive ex­pe­ri­ence work­ing with a non-profit or­ga­ni­za­tion and has vol­un­teered – both lo­cally and in­ter­na­tion­ally – men­tor­ing and coach­ing ath­letes with dis­abil­i­ties.

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