Social connections critical for students with learning disabilities: study

U of A education researcher offers advice on how post-secondary schools and students can foster a sense of belonging and improve learning

Social connections critical for students with learning disabilities: studyFor any first-year student, university classes can seem scary. Add in a learning disability and it’s easy to be overwhelmed. Just ask Lauren Goegan. Now a post-doctoral researcher in the University of Alberta’s Faculty of Education, she vividly recalls one of the first lectures she attended as a new undergraduate with dyslexia. The class was delivered…

It’s foolish to attempt to place a dollar value on human potential

A society is judged by its treatment of its weakest and most vulnerable members

It’s foolish to attempt to place a dollar value on human potentialAs part of my Social Justice 12 class, I have students present their research on a topic of interest to them. These reports always inspire lively and insightful discussions. A subject that seems to consistently draw a great deal of interest is the Nazi genocide of the handicapped. The Nazis determined that many people were…

Breaking down barriers for Canadians with disability

We desperately need a ministry that’s directly responsible and accountable for the broad portfolio of disability policy

Breaking down barriers for Canadians with disabilityBy Jennifer Zwicker and Stephanie Dunn University of Calgary Breaking Down Barriers is the galvanizing theme of a recent report from the Senate Standing Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology. It outlines urgently-needed recommendations to improve access to underused federal disability supports: the Disability Tax Credit (DTC) and Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP). Some of…

What happens to our children with disabilities when we die?

Fix the Registered Disability Savings Plan and close the poverty gap of Canadians with disabilities

What happens to our children with disabilities when we die?Canada’s Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP) is the first poverty-fighting tool for people with disabilities in the world. This remarkable example of federal/provincial/territorial co-operation, created in 2008, has already changed the lives of more than 150,000 Canadians with disabilities. Unfortunately, the RDSP only reaches about 29 per cent of those eligible. And due to restrictions…

Children with disabilities data out of date

We lack critical information on the diverse and often unmet needs of Canadian children with disabilities, as well as the out-of-pocket costs paid by families

Children with disabilities data out of dateBy Stephanie Dunn and Jennifer Zwicker University of Calgary “The true measure of a nation’s standing is how well it attends to its children, including their health, safety, material security, education and socialization, and their sense of being loved, valued and included in the families and societies into which they are born,” according to UNICEF.…

Over-medicating to manage behaviour is damaging and wasteful

It’s time to talk about the overuse of antipsychotics among adults with developmental disabilities

Over-medicating to manage behaviour is damaging and wastefulBy Yona Lunsky University of Toronto and Tara Gomes St. Michael’s Hospital Inappropriate prescribing of antipsychotic medications – drugs like Risperdal, Zyprexa and Abilify – to seniors, especially those in long-term care with conditions like dementia, has been a hot topic across Canada in recent years. We’ve also increasingly heard about the high numbers of these medications…

Mental health system ignores those with developmental disabilities

Almost half of those with developmental disabilities are diagnosed with mental illness or addiction and are among the most frequent visitors to ERs

Mental health system ignores those with developmental disabilitiesBy Yona Lunsky University of Toronto and Robert Balogh University of Ontario Institute of Technology With the recent federal commitment to increase mental health funding across Canada, we need to turn our attention toward a group of individuals who are invisible within Canada’s mental health system – a group that has some of the greatest…