Access to Housing Choice Series

Learn about the AHSL’s Access to Housing Choice series and download the resources this series created, which were designed for anyone at anytime to be able to better understand the importance of available housing options for people with disabilities.

We invite you to share these resources widely and apply the knowledge gained to push for accessible housing choices.

Series Background

This series was created by disability and human rights activists in response to fundamental issues of (in)equity, representation and critical knowledge gaps of housing and accessibility experienced firsthand with housing ‘solutions’ initiatives.

This is especially damaging when individuals unable to access adequate housing choices – whom these solutions are actually intended for – are further excluded and marginalized. Additionally, this suppression tends to reinforce and reproduce the exact same systemic beliefs, oppressions and power dynamics that create and exacerbate housing issues, which masks or erases the actual underlying problem, all the while using resources to seemingly create more ‘non-solutions.’ (i.e. ‘Building Affordably‘).

Initiated by Roxanne Ulanicki and Donna Bulger (two of our AHSL fellows as well as members of Radical Inclusion) along with Michelle Bissell from Voice of Albertans with Disabilities (VAD), we discussed:

→ what are we missing, what is needed and what would an effective process look likeespecially by integrating and centering the housing knowledge of individuals with disabilities?

Which is not only an example of a rights based approach, but is a way forward to building better housing more effectively and more cost effectively. Particularly as there are adjustments that are really apparent and quite obvious to individuals with disabilities that can be made during the planning, development and building of housing. Trying to retroactively make housing accessible, where even possible, can be extremely expensive and may still insufficient.

This series is what developed in response to that initial discussion.


Driven and led by the “first person” perspectives of disability and human rights advocates Roxanne Ulanicki, Michelle Bissell, Donna Bulger, Nadine Chalifoux and Shima Robinson, these 3 sessions took place virtually on zoom over 3 consecutive Friday afternoons from July 9 to July 23, 2021 (resources linked below):

We are introduced to this series by Nadine Chalifoux and Shima Robinson – and a disability awareness presentation with co-hosts Roxanne Ulanicki and Michelle Bissell (VAD) to “…educate towards acceptance & understanding, while promoting concepts of full inclusion & participation” through first-person perspectives (description / details).

Session 2
First Person

July 16

Roxanne Ulanicki and Donna Bulger guide a conversation with five speakers who will share their lived experiences with the barriers to housing choices.

Key Topics:

awareness of the lack of appropriate housing options & a more meaningful understanding of the impacts of current housing gaps & lack of availability for individuals with disabilities.

Session 3
Putting Knowledge

into Action
July 23

With what we have learned (and ‘un’learned) in the 2 prior sessions, and informed by Radical Inclusion’s Report on the Status of People living with Disability in Alberta attendees will have the opportunity to co-create actions. This session will be facilitated by the John Humphrey Centre for Peace & Human Rights.

To make the most of this series, we distributed a list of key principals developed by Radical Inclusion and invited participant feedback in making any additions or adjustments as needed.

These principals have evolved through all of the subsequent activities of the AHSL, and will continue to.

Initially this series was designed for professionals working in the private and public housing sectors, especially those involved with development. However the need for public education on this topic became clear and invites were extended to any and all interested in joining us.

We requested that participants attend all 3 consecutive sessions and where this was not possible, we did our best to provide recordings and materials for those with scheduling conflicts. As this series was something new we were creating together, and would greatly benefit by calling in attendees as collaborators, we did our best to seek and integrate feedback each following week.

The goal was to engage participants in an intentional and iterative process of un-learning and re-learning about disability and housing. Each session built towards the next, facilitated by ‘homework’ being ‘assigned’ to participants for further reflection during the days in between the 3 concurrent sessions. The intention with this series was for participants to accumulate these knowledge ‘building blocks’ to support the co-creation of actions in the 3rd and final session, guided by the John Humphrey Centre for Peace & Human Rights and informed by Radical Inclusion (Radical Inclusion’s Submission to the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disability).


Our series guidelines and core principles provided a way in to what was necessary for making the process of unlearning and relearning possible. Click on each button above to view/download.