Donation to help children access communication supports

October 31, 2022

EDMONTON – A $866,000 donation from the Children’s Ability Fund will support young children with communication needs and their families.

“We are extremely grateful to Children’s Ability Fund,” says Mauro Chies, AHS Interim President and CEO. “Because of their generosity, children and their families will have earlier access to specialized communication technology and education in their local communities.”

The Children’s Ability Fund is one of Alberta’s longest-serving charities whose focus has been on enhancing the independence of children and young adults with disabilities throughout Alberta. After 75 years in operation, the charity is closing its doors and disbursing more than $1 million.

“Our doors may be closing but so many will be opening for children and their families in Alberta,” says Carol Russ, Executive Director of the Children’s Ability Fund.  “Our goal has always been to focus on a person’s abilities rather than a disability and we will see that live on through our donation to AHS.”

The donation will be used to purchase specialized equipment and increase access to communication tools, education and support for families and young children across numerous communities, so it is available earlier and closer to home, particularly in rural and remote areas in AHS North Zone.

“This funding will have an incredible impact on the lives of infants, toddlers and young children with communication needs, and their families,” says Julie Evans, Director of Provincial Speech-Language Pathology at AHS. “We have seen how early access to communication tools can influence the trajectory of a child’s life, including how they interact with their family, friends and communities, and their overall development.”

AHS will provide these supports though its Communication Access team, which helps people who have speech, language or hearing difficulties participate in conversations, relationships and activities that are important to them. The goal of Communication Access is to provide all Albertans with a voice. AHS will work in partnership with the Stollery Children's Hospital Foundation, which has accepted this donation on behalf of the Communication Access team. Learn more about Communication Access, visit

Alberta Health Services is the provincial health authority responsible for planning and delivering health supports and services for more than four million adults and children living in Alberta. Its mission is to provide a patient-focused, quality health system that is accessible and sustainable for all Albertans.