Empowering Mothers with Disabilities

A new Status of Women grant is funding workshops to help mothers with cognitive challenges foster healthy relationships.

The $33,710 grant helps Connections Counselling and Consulting Foundation in Calgary support mothers with developmental disabilities who are often more vulnerable to gender-based violence and financial abuse.

The “Brand New Me” workshop series helps women with disabilities who have experienced violence develop social and boundary-setting skills and build their confidence. Sessions also include sexual health education, employment preparation and tools to address abusive relationships.

Connections Counselling offers child care and travel subsidies to ensure more women can attend the workshops that will run until January 2018.

“Every woman in Alberta deserves to be treated with dignity and respect. Women with disabilities face additional barriers and stigma that expose them to abuse and poverty. With this grant, we are helping moms with cognitive challenges improve their lives and those of their kids.”

Stephanie McLean, Minister of Status of Women

In total, 24 women are expected to participate in the workshop series.

“Moms with cognitive challenges have faced the stigma of disability all their lives. This workshop aims to boost their confidence to counter that stigma. It’s been wonderful to watch women blossom and know their confidence could result in being even better role models for their children, empowering the next generation.”

 Erin Waiteagency director, Connections Counselling and Consulting Foundation

About Status of Women grants

Status of Women’s first-ever grants program funds 34 innovative projects by not-for-profit and charitable organizations for a total of $1.5 million in the 2016-17 fiscal year.

Successful projects, such as the “Brand New Me” workshops, work to end violence against women and girls, help women get good jobs and increase the number of women in leadership roles. Other grants have funded African francophone women find meaningful work in health care and leadership training for women in north-central Alberta.