For the first time, Albertans with disabilities will have a dedicated advocate to help them resolve issues, find supports and promote inclusion.
Tony Flores has been selected as Alberta’s first Advocate for Persons with Disabilities. He is a self-advocate, 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 inputon the role, responsibilities and top priorities for the advocate’s first year of work during public consultations last spring.
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.