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CASS is Purchasing Annual Memberships in the Alberta Disability Workers Association (ADWA) for Staff

Posted on Mon, Feb 7, 2022 By:
Posted in: blogSLT Update

Calgary Alternative Support Services is excited to announce that the agency is purchasing annual memberships for the Alberta Disability Workers Association (ADWA) for the vast majority of CASS employees.

In order to be eligible, CASS employees must;

  • work in a CASS program area primarily focused on providing supports to people with disabilities (i.e. CARS, CADO, CAES, and CAPA) and,
  • be employed in a non casual/relief role and,
  • have passed their 90 probationary period.

CASS will also purchase memberships on behalf of new hires as they pass their 90 day probationary period as we proceed throughout the next year. We will assess our capacity to continue this practice going forward in early 2023.

Eligible CASS staff should expect to receive an email from ADWA with their account information shortly.

CASS has chosen to make this important investment in our staff and the Alberta Disability Workers Association because we believe that it will serve several important functions.

  1. CASS staff will get to take advantage of the benefits available to ADWA members including the important advocacy work that ADWA does on behalf of disability support workers.
  2. CASS staff will gain networking opportunities and a better understanding of the challenges facing our sector
  3. This investment will support ADWA in their important work which is in turn of great importance to CASS staff, the individuals we serve, and our sector in general

ADWA’s vision and mission are as follows:

ADWA’s Vision:  An Alberta where people with disabilities are supported by a valued, skilled and certified workforce.

ADWA’s Mission: To advocate for, represent and support a professional workforce in the disability services sector.

Advocacy for  disability support workers and our sector in general is crucial for the well-being of staff and the individuals that we serve, now more so than ever. This is something that CASS and ADWA are closely aligned on. As many CASS staff know well, it has been eight long years since frontline disability support workers have seen a raise. This is beyond unacceptable and is rapidly turning into a crisis for our sector. Agencies like CASS have very little flexibility in deciding the rate of pay for disability support workers. Compensation for disability support workers is determined by Persons with Developmental Disabilities which is funded by the Government of Alberta’s Ministry of Community and Social Services.

CASS regularly supports and engages in advocacy efforts on behalf of disability support staff with the Ministry of Community and Social Services through a variety of channels.

The decision by CASS to purchase ADWA memberships for CASS employees will better empower CASS employees to engage in advocacy for themselves, create important networking and organizing opportunities, and promote a better understanding of the sector for frontline staff.

CASS staff will also be able to take advantage of other benefits of ADWA membership including but not limited to: access to discounts with Perkopolis (, information about best practices, and opportunities to participate in membership votes and on the ADWA Board of Directors.

ADWA will benefit from additional funding to support their important work, and 139+ new members to reinvigorate their efforts which in turn will support disability support staff across the sector, and ultimately the individuals that we support.

You can learn more about ADWA at their website here:

4 Responses to “CASS is Purchasing Annual Memberships in the Alberta Disability Workers Association (ADWA) for Staff”

  1. Sue Manery says:

    Welcome to the many new ADWA members from CASS!
    ADWA is the provincial advocacy voice for people employed in community disability services across the province. My thanks to Kyle who has done a great job explaining who we are, what we do and the benefits of membership.
    We are launching a new website at the beginning of next week and you will receive your “official” welcome package from our new database. I look forward to getting to know you.
    All the best.

    • Kyle Maclean says:

      Thank you for the kind words Sue.

      I’m very much looking forward to future collaboration opportunities.


  2. Tracy Ralph says:

    Hi there. I am already a member of ADWA since Feb. 2016. – have written letters to MLA’s for the Critical Workers Benefit and also another letter recently to ADWA regarding wage increases in our profession. ADWA asked if they send my letter to their Board of Directors. I gave permission. Would my membership be covered by CASS? I have been paying out of pocket all these years. It would be very helpful as we have not had a wage increase since 2014.

    • Kyle Maclean says:

      Hello Tracy,
      That is fantastic! Thank you for your amazing advocacy efforts.

      Absolutely, please submit an expense claim for your ADWA membership for the current year and CASS will reimburse you.
      Kyle Maclean
      Director of Operations

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