As a disabled person, navigating Toronto is stressful and dangerous -- not just because of potholes and construction-brutalized sidewalks, but because of transit. And people. Especially people operating or riding transit. This is largely due to the absence of inclusion of pedestrians in the Ministry of Transportation's Accessibility Permit Program, currently only issued for drivers/passengers of cars, which leaves the rest of us vulnerable to harassment and injury.
Nowadays, businesses are not only more aware of autism, some are willingly offering special accommodations. They are meeting families where they're at -- so kids like mine can enjoy what's on offer along with everybody else. The following autism friendly attractions is by no means exhaustive, and I would love nothing better than to see this list grow.
Mauril Bélanger, MP, was recently named Honorary Speaker for a day in the House of Commons. He had put his name forward for the official position of House Speaker before his diagnosis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease. He withdrew after learning of his illness. The House of Commons gave Bélanger a standing ovation for his courage, dignity and pride. And they were right to do so.
For someone who has a mobility challenge, vision or hearing loss, or uses an assistive device to get around, daily decisions are not so carefree. Stores and shops need to be researched ahead of time to make sure they are accessible. Aspects of daily life that most take for granted can be riddled with accessibility challenges. In Canada and around the world, people with disabilities are still limited by physical barriers in the built environment -- and there is urgent need for change.
Over the years, Autism Canada has talked to thousands of parents and there has been a similar refrain. Early diagnosis didn't happen for their children because too many well-intentioned health practitioners and educators dismissed early red flags and parental concerns in favour of a "wait and see" approach.
Accessibility has become a scary word for a lot of businesses, especially in Ontario with the looming deadlines of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA), which requires that web content pass WCAG 2.0 level AA accessibility guidelines by 2021. It might be less intimidating to think of accessibility as a design philosophy.
The media spotlight has long dimmed on the recent unraveling of Goodwill. But the realities remain. In their own way, each embody a range of significant issues that most of us take for granted. One of them concerns the health, wellness and livelihood of people with disabilities -- many of whom formed Goodwill's very own staff.
As Canadians we like to take pride in our publicly funded healthcare system, but the truth is many of us -- especially those with or caring for someone with disabilities or chronic conditions -- pay out of pocket for a wide range of essential health services. Studies show Canadians pay as much as 30 per cent of our health needs privately.
People often ask me what the most difficult part of the Man In Motion World Tour was. When I look back, it wasn't the physical toll, braving the sometimes-punishing weather, or even when my future wife Amanda threw her salad at me and almost left the tour because I was acting like a jerk. Honestly, the most difficult part of the tour was just starting on that first day - March 21, 1985.
The Registered Disability Savings Plan is a savings plan that helps parents and caretakers of those with a disability save for their loved one's long-term financial future with some financial contributions coming directly from the government -- free money, in other words. So why are so few using the RDSP?
It's no surprise that governments are focusing more attention on how to better support musculoskeletal (MSK) patients, considering that back pain is now the leading single cause of disability worldwide. Ontario chiropractors are playing a crucial role in the development of new models of care to help our province face these challenges.
People with disabilities are often judged as broken, incomplete, or lacking. Because of this, their bodies are not considered beautiful. Surrounded by these negative and dismissive attitudes towards the disabled body, it is a joy to watch fledgling movements take flight, which portray disabled bodies in more positive light.
Buying a new home can be a daunting experience -- especially if it's your first time. One thing that banks love to do is tie mortgage insurance into your mortgage agreement, right along with a dangerous-looking checkbox you need to fill in if you choose to "recklessly" opt out. Here's why I want you walk into that mortgage broker's office, check that box, sign that line and opt out of it with total confidence.
I am hard of hearing and rely on lipreading. Video can be difficult, for a variety of reasons, including camera angle, voice-overs, sound effects, accents, and animation. Every time captioning fails at the movies, I am reminded of my inability to participate in activities many Canadians take for granted. I feel belittled, squashed, unimportant.
Many organizations and affected families across the country have been calling for a national autism strategy. The wide range in disparity of publicly funded services for autism across the country has even generated a kind of "medical migration" with several published accounts of families leaving their home provinces (most commonly, Atlantic provinces, Ontario and Quebec) to move to Alberta or British Columbia where autism services are more readily available and/or more flexible. It is also no longer uncommon to find Canadian families using crowdsourcing campaigns to fund their children's autism and related therapies.
The impacts of informal caregiving commitments do not remain confined to the home: they are felt in the Canadian workplace and reduce productivity. They translate into 2.2 million hours of reduced effort in the workplace every week and cause an estimated $1.3 billion productivity loss annually, says the report.
Human beings are not good at predicting how they will react in circumstances that have yet to unfold. Those of us working in healthcare understand that life-altering illness, trauma or anticipation of death can sometimes sap the will to live. In those instances, healthcare providers are called upon to commit time; time to manage distress, provide unwavering support and to assuage fear that patients might be abandoned to their hopelessness and despair. That is the essence of how medicine has traditionally responded to suffering. Stopping time by way of arranging the patient's death has never been part of that response.
While my hearing is pretty bad, I can hear some things and am not considered clinically deaf. I had a CAT scan in my early 20s, which showed that my cochleas didn't completely form. My diagnosis is "profound hearing loss." Loud, deep noises are my friends. I've never heard a bird sing. I can't hear the kettle whistle or the doorbell ring.