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Justice System Failed Mentally Ill Indigenous Inmate, Lawyer Argues

Michael Nehass, a 33-year-old Indigenous inmate who is mentally ill, spent much of his nearly six-year period of incarceration in solitary confinement. Patrick White
September 4, 2017

In 2016, Michael Nehass swallowed razor blades. To his delusional mind, it was a reasonable act built upon solid logic.

Mr. Nehass, a 33-year-old Indigenous inmate, believed that a technological device of some unspecified kind had been implanted in his stomach during his lengthy incarceration. Consuming the blades, he thought, would force hospital surgeons to open up his torso, whereupon they would see the implant and remove it.

Federal Disabilities Minister ‘Frustrated’ After Family Denied Residency Over Daughter’s Health Needs

Carla Qualtrough hopes to reverse presumption that people with disabilities burden the system By Cameron MacLean
CBC News, July 28, 2017

An advocate who says it is “unfair” that an American family was denied permanent residency due to the potential costs of their daughter’s health problems has found an ally in Canada’s minister of persons with disabilities.

The family of six moved to Canada from Colorado in 2013 and have built a business in the town of Waterhen, Man. Their work permits expire in November.

When they came to Canada, Jon and Karissa Warkentin didn’t know that their daughter Karalynn, then two, had special needs. She was diagnosed in 2014 with epilepsy and global developmental delay.

Social Robots Improving the Lives of People with Autism

Jun 12, 2017

Autism is a neurodevelopmental disabilities in which communication can be hindered in social interactions both verbal and non-verbal. There is a wide spectrum within the effects autism has on a person including intellectual disabilities, physical and mental health issues such as seizures, ADD or ADHD, anxiety and phobias.

robotsWhen placed in a social setting with those without autism, people who do not understand autism may jump to the conclusion that this person is socially awkward, lacks emotion, doesn’t understand humor, or the other nuances of communication learned through time. Social settings can include everything from small talk at the register, expressing empathy to someone’s problems, workplace dynamics, meeting new people, and countless other interactions.

Voters With Mental Disabilities Deserve a Say at Polls, advocates Say

I Am Voting campaign encouraging participation of people with mental disabilities in #elxn2017 By Liam Britten, CBC News Posted: May 09, 2017

Alexander Magnussen is a man with autism who is voting in his first provincial election. He is also an advocate with I Am Voting, a campaign encouraging voters with intellectual disabilities to participate and exercise their rights.

Alexander Magnussen is over the age of 18. He’s a resident of British Columbia.

But he also has autism and, until recently, believed his diagnosis made him ineligible to vote.

“I would hear people talk about voting and I would assume that I was not allowed to vote … I would mind my own business,” he told On The Coast host Stephen Quinn.

UN Calls for Recognizing the Rights of People with Autism to Make Their Own Decisions

31 March 2017

Ahead of World Autism Awareness Day, the United Nations today called for recognizing the rights of people with the spectrum neurological condition, which is believed to affect 70 million people around the world.

Let us ensure that we make available the necessary accommodations and support to persons with autism, Secretary-General António Guterres said in his message for the Day.

With access to the support they need and choose, they will be empowered to face the key milestones in every person’s life, he added, making decisions such as where and with whom to live, what type of work to pursue and how to manage their personal finances.

Put Ministry of Health in Charge of Inmates’ Health Care, John Howard Society Says

Blair Crawford, Ottawa Citizen
Published on: April 19, 2016

Ontario’s John Howard Society is urging the province to put the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care in charge of inmates’ health, taking away the responsibility now held by jail superintendents.

In a report released Tuesday, the society says the province “is facing a growing health crisis in Ontario’s correctional institutions,” a crisis made worse because health care behind bars has been left to the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services.

Why Canadian Companies Can’t Ignore the Cost of Mental Illness

SOOKY LEE
Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Tuesday, Apr. 12, 2016

This column is part of Globe Careers’ Leadership Lab series, where executives and experts share their views and advice about leadership and management. Follow us at @Globe_Careers. Find all Leadership Lab stories at tgam.ca/leadershiplab.

With public figures such as Clara Hughes leading the way to greater awareness and increased discussion around mental health, it’s still a largely overlooked issue in many workplaces.

Each year one in five Canadians will experience a mental health or addiction problem, and in some areas, such as Ontario, this number is as high as one in four. More worrying, these figures reflect only people who have visited a doctor for a diagnosis. The actual number is likely much higher.

Head-Mounted Virtual Reality Could Help People With Autism Learn Social Skills and Develop Employment Opportunities

Issue date: 16 November 2015

Virtual reality technologies (VRTs) using head-mounted displays (HMDs) could help people with autism develop social skills and confidence according to a researcher from the University of the West of England (UWE Bristol).

Dr Nigel Newbutt, Associate Head of Media and Digital Cultures at UWE Bristol, said, With as many as 1 in 68 reported as being diagnosed with an autism spectrum condition, there is the potential for technologies to be used and applied to many affected people. The National Autistic Society, for example, report that around 700,000 people in the UK are affected by an autism condition – a lifelong development disability affecting how a person communicates and relates to other people.

Bronx Medical Facility Sued for Excluding Patients with Disabilities and Jeopardizing Their Health

New York, NY
Wednesday, July 29th, 2015

Today, on the heels of the 25th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Disability Rights Advocates (DRA), a national nonprofit leader in civil rights litigation on behalf of persons with disabilities, filed a federal class-action lawsuit in the Southern District of New York alleging that Union Community Health Center (UCHC) discriminates against patients with disabilities at its medical facility located at 2021 Grand Concourse in the Bronx.

The suit, brought on behalf of Bronx Independent Living Services (BILS) and several individuals with disabilities, alleges that any patients with disabilities who do make it through the facility’s front door encounter widespread architectural barriers, ineffective policies and procedures, and inaccessible medical equipment that cumulatively degrades the quality of care received by patients with disabilities, and ultimately jeopardizes their health.

Toronto Man With Tourette’s Says He Was Kicked Out of Club Over Tic

Crews and Tangos ownership says it is seeking bouncer’s side of story CBC News, July 30, 2015

A Toronto man with Tourette syndrome says he was kicked out of a downtown nightclub after a bouncer mistook his tic for a sign that he was using drugs.

Graham Kent says he was at Crews and Tangos, a busy Church Street bar, with his girlfriend and a group of friends two weekends ago when a bouncer approached him and asked him to leave.

“I said ‘are you kicking me out?'” Kent recalls.

He said the bouncer told him he was “not comfortable” with him being in the club, and that the establishment has a “zero drug policy.”

The Life-Changing Impact of Autism Service Dogs

By Elisabeth Geier

A boy walks through the crowded halls of his school tethered to a dog who helps him remain calm in the crowd, find the correct classroom, and get settled in his seat before class starts.

A family enjoys dinner at a busy restaurant with a dog laying patiently at their childs feet.

A young woman sits in a chair with her head in her hands, rocking back and forth; her dog puts his front paws on her lap and applies deep pressure until her body releases tension and she is able to carry on with her day. These are autism assistance dogs in action.

Female PS Workers’s Disability Claims Outnumber Mmen’s two-to-one

Kathryn May
Published on: January 19, 2015

Shannon Bittman is vice president of the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada.

Women in the public service go on disability leave at almost twice the rate of men, a problem some experts say should be addressed as part of the governments new disability management scheme.

The federal disability insurance plan, managed by Sun Life Financial, is the biggest in Canada. A Sun Life report obtained by the Citizen shows women have ended up on long-term disability at rates vastly disproportionate to their numbers in the public service for more than a decade, especially for mental health conditions.

Scientists Link Environment, Inclusion in Adults with Disabilities

August 11, 2014
Kessler Foundation

Summary:

An association between the built environment and disability-related outcomes for adults with physical impairments has been made by researchers. These findings focus attention on the environment as an important factor in disability-related outcomes.

Kessler Foundation researchers have identified an association between the built environment and disability-related outcomes for adults with physical impairments. The article, Disability and the built environment: an investigation of community and neighborhood land uses and participation for physically impaired adults, was published in the July issue of Annals of Epidemiology. The authors are Amanda Botticello, PhD, MPH, and Nicole Cobbold, BS, of Kessler Foundation, and Tanya Rohrbach, MS, of Raritan Valley Community College, Branchburg, NJ.

Harper Government Supports Innovative Pilot Program Assisting Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder Obtain Employment in the IT Industry

July 23, 2014 Calgary, Alberta Western Economic Diversification Canada

Today, the Honourable Michelle Rempel, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification, together with the Honourable Mike Lake, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Industry and Member of Parliament for EdmontonMill WoodsBeaumont, announced an investment of $150,000 in support of a pilot program that is providing Information Technology (IT) skills training and career opportunities for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

Doctors Turning Away Patients With Disabilities

By Michelle Diament
Originally posted March 19, 2013

More than two decades after the Americans with Disabilities Act became law, a new survey indicates that more than 20 percent of doctors’ offices remain inaccessible to those with special needs.

The finding comes from a “secret shopper” style poll of 256 randomly selected medical practices in Boston, Dallas, Houston and Portland, Ore.

Researchers called to schedule an appointment for a fictitious patient, indicating that the individual used a wheelchair and was unable to transfer independently from the chair to an exam table.

FDA Allows Marketing of First Wearable, Motorized Device That Helps People With Certain Spinal Cord Injuries to Walk

June 26, 2014

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today allowed marketing of the first motorized device intended to act as an exoskeleton for people with lower body paralysis (paraplegia) due to a spinal cord injury.

ReWalk is a motorized device worn over the legs and part of the upper body that helps an individual sit, stand, and walk with assistance from a trained companion, such as a spouse or home health aide.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention there are about 200,000 people in the United States living with a spinal cord injury, many of whom have complete or partial paraplegia.

Canadians’ Mental-Health Info Routinely Shared With FBI, U.S. Customs

CBC News Posted: Apr 14, 2014 8:49 AM ET

Privacy commissioner Ann Cavoukian found attempted suicide calls uploaded to international database

Ontario’s privacy commissioner has discovered that the mental-health information of some Canadians is accessible to the FBI and U.S. Customs and Border Patrol.

Ann Cavoukian said Monday that some Ontario police services routinely uploaded attempted suicide calls to the Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC), to which U.S. border guards and the FBI have access.

Cavoukian began investigating how U.S. law enforcement had access to such personal information after last fall’s news that some Canadian travellers with a history of mental-health issues had been denied entry into the U.S.

Unemployment of People with Intellectual Disabilities More than Twice as High as General Population

Special Olympics Commissions National Study Giving Glimpses into People with ID in the Workplace

WASHINGTON, Feb. 17, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — A new survey shows that unemployment among people with intellectual disabilities is more than twice as high as for the general population.
That’s according to one of the most comprehensive national surveys ever done on adults with disabilities in the workforce. The “National Snapshot of Adults with Intellectual Disabilities in the Labor Force” was commissioned by Special Olympics, conducted by the Center for Social Development and Education at the University of Massachusetts Boston and administered by Gallup.[1]

Parents of Kids With Autism Fight to Get Service Dogs in Schools

While federal law protects a blind person’s right to be accompanied in any public place by a service animal, the rights of children with autism who rely on trained dogs to keep them safe, regulate unruly behaviour and help them develop socially are not so clear.

National service dog agencies estimate nearly 1,500 children with autism have been paired with an animal. The Toronto Star spoke with families across Canada with the animals, several of whom described drawn-out, draining meetings where “standoff-ish” board officials debated the dog’s value and raised concerns about potential allergies, cultural sensitivities (can a child who is prohibited by religion from drawing an animal be in the same room as one?), strained resources (who would fill the dog’s water bowl?) and liability insurance.

Ghotit Releases the First Android Writing & Reading Solution for People with Dyslexia

January 21, 2014
You’re on the road and suddenly you receive an urgent email that you must answer immediately. What do you do?

You take out your smartphone/tablet and write an answer. But what if you are dyslexic and must have a writing assistant to help produce clear and error-free text?