Unequal Access to Mental Health and Addictions Services Threatens Ontarians

Ten provincial organizations join forces to mobilize grassroots to Vote on Mental Health and Addictions

TORONTO, May 31, 2011 /CNW/ – Timely and appropriate care for a mental health or addiction problem depends largely on where you live, leaving tens of thousands of Ontarians struggling to get the care they deserve, says a report released today by the newly-formed Ontario Mental Health & Addictions Alliance.

PRESS RELEASE RE: United Way Funding Cuts – Citizen Advocacy Closes Everyday Champions Program to New Applicants with Disabilities

United Way’s decision to de-fund popular matching program leaves Citizen Advocacy with few short-term alternatives

Decade-Long Battle Over York Street Steps Settled

By Joanne Chianello, The Ottawa Citizen May 27, 2011

A new committee to provide the NCC with advice on universal accessibility will be vice-chaired by Bob Brown, seen here in 2006, the activist who brought a human rights complaint against the NCC over wheelchair access to the York Street Steps in the ByWard Market.  

Advocate for Accessible Transportation Wants CBRM to Implement Transit Subsidy

“Every day people with disabilities go out their front door and go into struggle mode,” Shwery-Stanley said in an interview Friday.

“It’s difficult for people with disabilities to advocate because every day they’re struggling with other things.”

Read more at
http://www.accessibilitynewsinternational.com/?p=2134

Good Jobs a Lifeline for People With Mental Illness

Dr. Kwame McKenzie

I count myself lucky. When I arrived in Canada four years ago, I had a job and it helped me find community, colleagues and friends. Work helped me connect with Toronto.

Most of my clients are not so lucky. Living with the stigma and symptoms of a severe mental health problem is challenging enough. But they have to add to that the social isolation that comes with being jobless. Many people with schizophrenia and other serious mental illnesses do not work, and many have been told they cannot work. Yet an interesting thing happens when they do find employment — their health improves.

AODA: Inappropriate Words Can Bite – the Customer Service Standard

The Accessibility Standard for Customer Service Regulation obligates Ontario businesses and their employees to communicate with persons with disabilities in a manner that takes into account the person’s disability. Employers must train employees to interact and communicate with people that have various types of disabilities. Training should also cover appropriate terminology.

Read more at
http://www.aoda.ca/?p=1170

National Federation of the Blind Commends Department of Education for New Accessible Technology Guidelines

Urges Schools to Deploy Technology That Blind Students Can Use

The National Federation of the Blind urged all elementary, secondary, and postsecondary schools to follow guidelines issued today by the Department of
Education’s Office of Civil Rights and deploy new or emerging technologies only if they are accessible to blind students.

Read more at
http://www.accessibilitynewsinternational.com/?p=2132

A Setback for Disability Rights

I am not writing as the Essex County Accessibility Advisory Committee chair, but as an individual with a disability.

I was very disappointed with Essex County Council’s May 18 decision to not support Essex County Accessibility Advisory Committee’s resolution regarding
the Association of the Municipalities of Ontario’s position on the draft Integrated Accessibility Regulation.

Read more at
http://www.aoda.ca/?p=1165

Losing Hope

Province not doing enough for families with disabled children

Lanark County families of children living with developmental disabilities say their situation is becoming hopeless. Funding from the provincial government is not enough to meet the needs of families with disabled children, and the waitlists for services are long and
getting longer, said Dave Hagerman, executive director of Tayside Community Residential and Support Options.

Autistic Children Use iPad at Toronto School to Reach Out and Communicate

TORONTO – Four-year-old Satu Kuisma smiles as she finds a picture of herself and touches it on the screen.

When teacher Sabrina Morey asks the kindergartner to tell her what she did in class that day, Satu taps away on the iPad, selecting pictures for eating,
drawing and playing on swings.

Read more at
http://www.accessibilitynewsinternational.com/?p=2130