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Seeing The Unseen: Nonvisible Disability

By Adriana Temprano | Staff
Published July 14, 2021

At the time I’m beginning to write this, I am slightly elevated in a hospital bed of an intensive care unit. Setbacks from a neurological procedure are why I once again find myself with a diet involving intravenous fluids and a wardrobe consisting of a hospital gown and nonslip socks.

As someone who experiences chronic pain, my appearance doesn’t always explicitly notify others I’m feeling unwell. Sometimes, this can look like me smiling through what hurts while telling those who ask, “I’m doing fine.” It can also result in a trip to the emergency room in an effort to try and overcome an incessant bout of pain. In both cases, trying to explain to those without this type of condition can be a task and a headache in itself.

Curbside Pickup Boosts Accessibility for People With ADHD and Autism

It’s more than a COVID prevention measure. Curbside pickup means I never have to drag myself through a store with a long list again. Laura Hautala
June 3, 2021

Grocery stores exhaust me. Before the pandemic, I would grind through a shopping list on my iPhone’s Notes app, checking it over and over as I reminded myself where items were in a store I’d shopped at for years. Why did I feel so tormented by shopping?

Health of Canadians With Disabilities Suffering During the Pandemic

June 2, 2021

The COVID-19 Disability Survey captured perspectives from Canadians with different types of disabilities and their family members.

Nearly 30 per cent of those polled are hesitant to get vaccinated

A new study led by UBC researchers and the Ontario-based Abilities Centre is sounding the alarm over the damaging effects of COVID-19 for Canadians with disabilities.

Dr. Kathleen Martin Ginis, director of the Centre for Chronic Disease Prevention and Management, points to public health restrictions and lack of community resources as key contributors to heightened challenges facing those living with disabilities.

The Disabled Doctors Not Believed by Their Colleagues

Miranda Schreiber

BBC News, Apr. 19, 2021

When I was 15, I described what turned out to be the neurological symptoms of mental illness to my doctor. I told him I couldn’t do schoolwork, feel the cold, or understand a book. He suggested I go on walks if I was stressed.

This breakdown in communication, in which patient and doctor seem to live in different worlds, is well-documented by disabled people. Many feel they have to translate their experience, because disability and medical structures seem incompatible.

But this experience is familiar to disabled doctors too, and some are seeking solutions.

Mental Illness is Another Pandemic in the Making

By Benjamin Rempel
Mon., April 5, 2021

Cachelle Colquhoun, mother of four from Collingwood, Ont., is frustrated with the state of mental-health supports available to her children.

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Colquhoun has struggled to meet the needs of her nine-year-old with general anxiety disorder and attention deficit disorder and her six-year-old who has challenges with neurodiversity, including sensory disorder.

“I spend a lot of my days trying to find the right resources for my kids,” Colquhoun says. “Getting help is nearly impossible. And if you can access services, you price yourself out immediately.”

Disabled Canadians Face Uphill Struggle for Regular Care as COVID-19 Drains Resources

Emily Fagan
Special to The Globe and Mail
Published March 22, 2021

There’s a lot Heather Morgan has figured out on her own to ensure her family’s well-being. She spends 10 to 30 hours a week as a caregiver for her Ontario-based family of four, helping manage their multiple disabilities in addition to looking after her own health.

Her husband is autistic, while she and her two young adult children have an undiagnosed muscular condition that requires them to use power wheelchairs.

With what little time remains, she’s pursuing her master’s degree. It’s an uphill battle.

U of T Study Highlights Health-Care Barriers Women With Disabilities Face During Pregnancy

Women with disabilities are nearly twice as likely to experience life-threatening pregnancy complications or maternal death compared to their peers, a study by University of Toronto researchers has found.

The finding, published recently in the journal JAMA Network Open, is the result of the largest study of maternal outcomes for women with disabilities in Canadian history, highlighting the need for better access to medical care in this population of women.

“We need to make health care more accessible, but this also raises awareness that women with disabilities have a right to quality health care and good pregnancy outcomes,” says lead author Hilary Brown, an assistant professor in the department of health and society at U of T Scarborough and an adjunct scientist at Women’s College Research Institute and Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES).

The Pandemic Has Made Post-Secondary students’ Mental Health Even Worse

As college and university students face a mental health crisis, faculty and institutions are looking at making structural changes By Julia Mastroianni
Now Toronto, Jan 25, 2021

Among the many negative effects of COVID-19, deteriorating mental health of post-secondary students has been one of the most serious and widespread.

Mental health stressors are a major issue for post-secondary students in particular, though the pandemic has only exacerbated a growing crisis in Canada.

“Things were going downhill in mental health for students across North America before COVID,” says Paul Ritvo, a psychology professor at York University who has been studying the effects of mindfulness on student mental health. “What COVID has done is it has put health and health science in the top headlines, and we have become a more health-oriented society.”

Cyberpunk Adds Epilepsy Warning After Reviewer Warns of Seizures

Published December 11, 2020

The developer of Cyberpunk 2077 is adding warnings to the game, after reviewers and charities complained it caused epileptic seizures.

It thanked one reviewer who said it had triggered “one major seizure” and left them “close” to another several times.

“Regarding a more permanent solution, [the] dev team is currently exploring that and will be implementing it as soon as possible,” it tweeted.

The game is released on Thursday, after months of repeated delays.

What is the problem?

Video games have long been a potential trigger for those who have epileptic seizures and standard warnings have been written in to licence agreements over the years.

Why Disability Advocates are Worried About Changes to Canada’s Medical Assistance in Dying Bill

Jeff Preston wants to know what governments are doing to help people with disabilities live Rebecca Zandbergen , CBC News
Posted: Dec 08, 2020

If Bill C-7 passes, the federal government will give many more Canadians access to medical assisted dying (MAID), particularly those in the disability community.

The legislation removes a requirement that a patient’s natural death be “reasonably foreseeable,” a change that would satisfy a September 2019 Quebec Superior Court ruling that deemed parts of the federal and provincial laws on assisted dying unconstitutional.