The Shifting Stigma Around Mental Health

Approximately 30 per cent of people in Ontario age 15 and up will experience a mental health or addictions challenge at some point in their lives Opinion by Dr. Thomas Stewart Hamilton Spectator

Dr. Thomas Stewart says of the decision to go public with a mental health challenge: “That decision takes courage. And for far too many people the complicated and overwhelming web of services makes it difficult for people to get connected to the care they need, when they need it.”

Every year two million people in Ontario visit their family doctors seeking support and treatment for mental health challenges such as depression, anxiety and substance use disorder; but we know the number of Ontarians living with mental illness is much higher.

Approximately 30 per cent of people in Ontario age 15 and up will experience a mental health or addictions challenge at some point in their lives, with one in 40 experiencing a serious mental illness.

Every family has a story about how mental health has touched them, including mine.

I have been a doctor for over 30 years. At the beginning of my career, I was diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder. It hit me out of nowhere. I woke up one day and felt fear. Fear of everything. It didn’t leave my side until I received help and learned to manage it. I remember at the time, one of my mentors said to me “Don’t tell anyone. It’s a sign of weakness.” But I did the exact opposite. I told everyone, and I’m glad I did.

Over the years I have seen the conversation shift. More and more people are opening up about their own personal struggles.

On the upside the stigma around talking about our mental health challenges has lessened drastically. During my medical training it was never discussed, but now mental wellness and mental health and addiction care is a fundamental part of clinical training.

In fact, 86 per cent of Canadians say they are more aware of mental health issues now than they were a few years ago.

But as the conversation grows people are speaking up and seeking help.

That decision takes courage. And for far too many people the complicated and overwhelming web of services makes it difficult for people to get connected to the care they need, when they need it.

The provincial and federal government together has committed $3.8 billion in new funding for mental health and addiction services over the next 10 years to support this work.

The impact of this investment is already being felt.

Our teams at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton and Niagara Health run Ontario’s second largest mental health and addictions program. Every day our dedicated teams are challenging the status quo by working with patients and families to create new models of care to make accessing mental health and addiction care easier and results in a reduction in wait times.

Thanks to government support, working in partnership with community providers and family doctors, residents from Hamilton to Niagara have access to the Rapid Access Addiction Medicine (RAAM) clinic that connects patients with an appointment within 24 hours from the time of their referral.

At the heart of these programs is our commitment to create integrated care solutions that connect patients to one team, with one patient record, and one number to call whether they are in the hospital, at home, or in the community.

Gone are the days where mental illness and addiction were considered taboo subjects that couldn’t be spoken about publicly. But it’s time to shift the conversation beyond awareness; we all need to ensure that adequate funding is available to support people in need of care and co-design care solutions that are readily accessible, patient-centred and support families affected by mental illness and addiction.

Together, we can build innovative solutions that make accessing care easier for patients and families. That is why this conversation matters. Not just today, but every day.

Dr. Thomas Stewart is CEO of St. Joseph’s Healthcare System and Niagara Health

Original at https://www.thespec.com/opinion-story/9149282-the-shifting-stigma-around-mental-health/

Disability Advocates Call for Action Limiting When Principal Can Exclude Student from School

ACCESSIBILITY FOR ONTARIANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT ALLIANCE
NEWS RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

January 30, 2019 Toronto: At a news conference in the Queen’s Park Media Studio today at 10:30 a.m., disability advocates will unite to demand that the Ford Government rein in the sweeping power of school principals to exclude a student from school. The Ford Government has so far announced nothing on this. It hasn’t answered the Ontario Autism Coalition’s December 13, 2018 letter to Education Minister Lisa Thompson, which asks the minister to meet about exclusions. It hasn’t publicly responded to recent media focusing on this issue. See e.g. the Globe and Mail.

Read more at
https://aoda.ca/disability-advocates-call-for-action-limiting-when-principal-can-exclude-student-from-school/

Will Ontario’s New Government Ensure that New Courthouses, Built Using Public Money, Are Barrier-Free for People with Disabilities?

The Previous Government’s Plans for the New Toronto Courthouse Still Have Significant Accessibility Barriers.

Read more at
https://aoda.ca/will-ontarios-new-government-ensure-that-new-courthouses-built-using-public-money-are-barrier-free-for-people-with-disabilities/

Snow Causing Accessibility Issues in North Bay

A woman in North Bay is sharing her frustration about problems she’s facing with accessible sidewalks and bus stops with the city.

Butterfly Beth Fields uses a wheelchair to get around and says many of the stops in her area aren’t shoveled out, making it difficult for her and other riders facing similar challenges to board the bus.

Read more at
https://aoda.ca/snow-causing-accessibility-issues-in-north-bay/

What is the Design of Public Spaces Standard?

The design of public spaces standard of the AODA outlines the need for newly constructed or redeveloped public spaces to be accessible for people with disabilities. This requirement may leave people asking: What is the Design of Public Spaces Standard?

The Design of Public Spaces Standard describes ways to make communal spaces more accessible. Most of the spaces it covers are outdoors. For instance, there are requirements for accessible:

Read more at
https://aoda.ca/what-is-the-design-of-public-spaces-standard/

Accessibility News January 26,2019 Update

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Inclusive is ready to caption and video describe all your video for web, DVD, and computer desktop. They can also assist you in understanding and implementing Ontario’s AODA Integrated Standards’ media requirements. Consider having them check that any of your new web site content is compliant with an Accessibility Audit.

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The AODA Clock is Ticking

There are 5 years, 48 weeks, 5 days until a fully Accessible Ontario! Will you be compliant?

In this Issue

*Accessible Transportation for Colleges, Universities, and Hospitals in Ontario
*The Ford Government Continues Its Freeze on the Work to Remove Barriers in Ontario’s Education System Against Hundreds of Thousands of Students With Disabilities, While the Media Shines A Much-Needed Spotlight on One Troubling Barrier – The Sweeping Power of School Principals to Exclude a Student from School
*Our Biased Web: Why Don’t We Care About Making The Web Accessible For All?
*Accessibility: A Source of Future Anxiety and a Significant Consideration for Canadian Consumers today
*Increased Demand for Specialized Transit
*Valuing the Voice of People Living with Disabilities in Manitoba
*Specialized Transportation in Ontario

For a long term strategy in meeting the AODA and Section 508, Accessibility News recommends Accessibil-IT Inc for all your accessible PDF documentation needs. For more information email them at info@accessibilit.com or visit them on the web at: http://www.accessibilit.com

ARTICLES:

Accessible Transportation for Colleges, Universities, and Hospitals in Ontario

Under the Transportation Standard of the AODA, colleges, universities, and hospitals that offer transportation services around or between their campuses must make those services accessible upon request. Accessible transportation for colleges, universities, and hospitals applies to all…

Read more at
https://aoda.ca/accessible-transportation-for-colleges-universities-and-hospitals-in-ontario/

The Ford Government Continues Its Freeze on the Work to Remove Barriers in Ontario’s Education System Against Hundreds of Thousands of Students With Disabilities, While the Media Shines A Much-Needed Spotlight on One Troubling Barrier – The Sweeping Power of School Principals to Exclude a Student from School

There have been 216 days since work on developing a new Education Accessibility Standard under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act was frozen in the wake of the election of Ontario’s new Government. The work of the two Education Standards Development Committees, appointed to recommend
reforms in Ontario’s school system (the K-12 Education Standards Development Committee) and in Ontario’s colleges and universities (the Post-Secondary Education Standards Development Committee), still remains on hold. School boards, colleges and universities continue to leave disability barriers in place.
They spend public money to create new barriers, without an AODA Education Accessibility Standard in place to stop that from continuing.

Read more at
https://aoda.ca/the-ford-government-continues-its-freeze-on-the-work-to-remove-barriers-in-ontarios-education-system-against-hundreds-of-thousands-of-students-with-disabilities-while-the-media-shines-a-much-neede/

Our Biased Web: Why Don’t We Care About Making The Web Accessible For All?

As society has increasingly awoken to the dangers of algorithmic bias in the machine learning and AI systems that underlie an ever-greater portion of our lives, it is notable that for all of the attention and funding being focused on AI bias, there has been in comparison a deafening silence on the topic of accessibility bias.

As the web rushes ever faster towards a multimedia-first existence, why is it that there is comparatively so little conversation about making this content accessible to those with differing physical abilities?

Read more at
http://www.accessibilitynewsinternational.com/our-biased-web-why-dont-we-care-about-making-the-web-accessible-for-all/

Accessibility: A Source of Future Anxiety and a Significant Consideration for Canadian Consumers today

Seven-in-ten Canadians say universal accessibility should be the goal for newly constructed buildings

As Canada’s population grows older, millions of Canadians find themselves worrying about decreased mobility, vision and hearing and the impact it may have on their own lives or the lives of loved ones.

Read more at
http://www.accessibilitynewsinternational.com/accessibility-a-source-of-future-anxiety-and-a-significant-consideration-for-canadian-consumers-today/

Increased Demand for Specialized Transit

The Transportation Standard of the AODA has numerous rules mandating how specialized transportation providers must operate. Many of these rules play an important role in ensuring that travellers with disabilities have equal opportunities to move around their communities. However, in practice, some specialized
transportation providers are unable to obey a few of the transportation standard’s regulations. Increased demand for specialized transit makes it more difficult for providers to follow the standard’s guidelines regarding bookings and hours of service.

Read more at
https://aoda.ca/increased-demand-for-specialized-transit/

Valuing the Voice of People Living with Disabilities in Manitoba

Recently the Manitoba Government made a decision to reject a core funding application from the Manitoba League of Persons with Disabilities (MLPD) for the 2018-19 fiscal year. It can be very difficult for an organization to function without core funding which diminishes its capacity.

Read more at
http://www.accessibilitynewsinternational.com/valuing-the-voice-of-people-living-with-disabilities-in-manitoba/

Specialized Transportation in Ontario

Under the Transportation Standard of the AODA, specialized transportation providers must make their services accessible to passengers with disabilities.
Here we will outline how people use specialized transportation in Ontario and describe some of the rules that make these services a valuable alternative to conventional transit.

Read more at
https://aoda.ca/specialized-transportation-in-ontario/

eSSENTIAL Accessibility: helping organizations reach, serve and empower people with disabilities.

The eSSENTIAL Accessibility assistive technology app? gives those who have trouble typing, moving a mouse, or reading a screen due to a variety of conditions – such as stroke, paralysis or arthritis – the tools they need to navigate the Web. The app is free to the end-user and simple to use.

Organizations that feature the app on their websites are committed to making it easier for people with disabilities to access information online.

For more info, please visit http://www.essentialaccessibility.com Follow us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/essentia11y or connect with us on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/groups?gid=59891 .

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The views and opinions expressed throughout Accessibility News do not represent those of the various organizations or associated individuals and are exclusively those of the contributor and/or author of the specific article or commentary.

Accessibility News, since November 8, 2006

Accessible Transportation for Colleges, Universities, and Hospitals in Ontario

Under the Transportation Standard of the AODA, colleges, universities, and hospitals that offer transportation services around or between their campuses must make those services accessible upon request. Accessible transportation for colleges, universities, and hospitals applies to all…

Read more at
https://aoda.ca/accessible-transportation-for-colleges-universities-and-hospitals-in-ontario/

The Ford Government Continues Its Freeze on the Work to Remove Barriers in Ontario’s Education System Against Hundreds of Thousands of Students With Disabilities, While the Media Shines A Much-Needed Spotlight on One Troubling Barrier – The Sweeping Power of School Principals to Exclude a Student from School

There have been 216 days since work on developing a new Education Accessibility Standard under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act was frozen in the wake of the election of Ontario’s new Government. The work of the two Education Standards Development Committees, appointed to recommend reforms in Ontario’s school system (the K-12 Education Standards Development Committee) and in Ontario’s colleges and universities (the Post-Secondary Education Standards Development Committee), still remains on hold. School boards, colleges and universities continue to leave disability barriers in place. They spend public money to create new barriers, without an AODA Education Accessibility Standard in place to stop that from continuing.

Read more at
https://aoda.ca/the-ford-government-continues-its-freeze-on-the-work-to-remove-barriers-in-ontarios-education-system-against-hundreds-of-thousands-of-students-with-disabilities-while-the-media-shines-a-much-neede/

Our Biased Web: Why Don’t We Care About Making The Web Accessible For All?

As society has increasingly awoken to the dangers of algorithmic bias in the machine learning and AI systems that underlie an ever-greater portion of our lives, it is notable that for all of the attention and funding being focused on AI bias, there has been in comparison a deafening silence on the topic of accessibility bias.

As the web rushes ever faster towards a multimedia-first existence, why is it that there is comparatively so little conversation about making this content accessible to those with differing physical abilities?

Read more at
http://www.accessibilitynewsinternational.com/our-biased-web-why-dont-we-care-about-making-the-web-accessible-for-all/

Accessibility: A Source of Future Anxiety and a Significant Consideration for Canadian Consumers today

Seven-in-ten Canadians say universal accessibility should be the goal for newly constructed buildings

As Canada’s population grows older, millions of Canadians find themselves worrying about decreased mobility, vision and hearing and the impact it may have on their own lives or the lives of loved ones.

Read more at
http://www.accessibilitynewsinternational.com/accessibility-a-source-of-future-anxiety-and-a-significant-consideration-for-canadian-consumers-today/