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.
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.
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.
Nursing home outbreaks renew calls for community housing options for younger adults Moira Welsh
Toronto Star, Dec. 28, 2020
As the pandemic continues to kill elderly long-term-care residents, the virus is harming another vulnerable but overlooked group inside the same homes.
Thousands of people with developmental delays or serious mental health conditions live in Ontario nursing homes, many arriving under the age of 65 because there was nowhere else to go.
As of Nov. 30, 382 of the estimated 3,500 younger residents were infected with COVID-19, said the Ministry of Long-Term Care.
Forty-one died, the ministry said. Thirty of those who succumbed to the virus had a mental health condition such as bipolar disorder or schizophrenia and 11 had a developmental delay, such as Down syndrome.
Much has been made of telehealth’s potential to bridge the accessibility gap for those who may be otherwise underserved by the healthcare systems.
But, experts said in a new paper published in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association this past week, telehealth may also exacerbate inequities faced by the disability community.
NEWS PROVIDED BY Addictions and Mental Health Ontario
TORONTO, Oct. 6, 2020 /CNW/ – Everything is not all right, warned Ontario’s leading mental health and addiction organizations including, Addictions and Mental Health Ontario, Canadian Mental Health Association, Ontario Division, the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Children’s Mental Health Ontario, The Royal, Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences, and Waypoint Centre for Mental Health Care in a meeting with Deputy Premier and Health Minister Christine Elliott and Associate Minister of Mental Health and Addictions Michael Tibollo.
The group discussed the critical importance of embedding mental health and addiction as part of recovery efforts for the impact of COVID-19.
by Cynthia Mulligan and Mahnoor Yawar
City News, Sept. 2, 2020
COVID-19 has proven itself as not an equal opportunity crisis, revealing cracks in the system that leave the most vulnerable exposed.
Low income and racialized communities have been hit the hardest, but there is another group that feels abandoned and ignored – people with disabilities.
There are fears some with disabilities are considering assisted dying as a last resort.
Kim is a recipient of Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) and says her life has been “pure hell” during the pandemic. CityNews has honoured Kim’s request not to use her last name.
“It’s like I’m being punished for being born disabled, like I committed some kind of crime,” said Kim.
Yesterday, following the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), Disability Rights Advocates filed a putative class action lawsuit against First Urology, challenging the medical practice’s illegal policy of refusing to help patients with disabilities transfer from wheelchairs or other mobility devices to examination tables and diagnostic equipment, in violation of the ADA and other disability rights laws.
A week after giving birth to her daughter, Shareen Nimmo was forced to enter a psychiatric facility without being informed of her rights or having access to independent legal advice.
by Rabia Khedr
Mississauga News, Jul 13,2020
People with intellectual disabilities and their elderly parents are silently falling victim to COVID-19 in Peel and throughout Ontario. It is not the virus, but rather inequitable policies adopted by agencies operating group homes backed by ill-informed provincial guidelines. Families are afraid to speak up, fearing reprisal.
Agencies imposed visitation bans, which prevented all except “essential visitors” from entering homes of their children. Initially, we understood the necessity of such restrictions. However, as public services and businesses open up, the strict guidelines on family visits are having a discriminatory impact and taking an emotional toll on persons with disabilities who have been isolated from their loved ones for four months.