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…

Put an end to the use of seclusion rooms for children

We need a national conversation about how Canadian schools can better deal with issues that lead to the use of such rooms

Put an end to the use of seclusion rooms for childrenI’ve often wondered why there’s very little public outcry when the media reports on the cruel use of seclusion rooms for kids with developmental disabilities and delays in schools across Canada. I’ve worked with kids born with developmental disabilities since I was 16 years old. I started out as a respite worker for families through…

Defenceless in the face of possible sexual victimization

Why we need quality sex education for our students with developmental disabilities, too

Defenceless in the face of possible sexual victimizationThere has been a lot of discussion recently in Ontario and elsewhere about sex education. We’ve heard from diverse groups about what’s taught and what’s not taught in our schools. But one group’s voice has been missed. Our students with developmental disabilities need sex education, too. And no one’s talking about it. When my sister,…

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 EvidenceNetwork.ca 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 our most…

Parents have the power to release their child’s remarkable inner gifts

The talents of some children are like buried treasure. But you can trust a parent to see these precious gifts and help unearth them

Parents have the power to release their child’s remarkable inner giftsWhen asked how important family has been on his life journey, motivational speaker Nick Vujicic replied, “It was the most important factor. I’m very thankful that they loved me, challenged me to never give up, try new things, and often gave me godly advice.” What is unique about Vujicic is that he was born without…

The dawning of a new age for Canadians with disabilities

In a world of turmoil, we can’t afford to waste precious resources – particularly the leadership and ingenuity of people with disabilities

The dawning of a new age for Canadians with disabilitiesThe recently proposed Accessible Canada Act and the just released Senate report on essential fixes for Revenue Canada concerning the disability tax credit, Breaking Down Barriers, are stellar achievements for advocates with disabilities and the receptive politicians and public servants who listened. If both are implemented, they will remove the physical, social and financial barriers…

No guarantee of quality supports for disabled Canadians

The tangled web of disability governance and policy in Canada needs to clarified and centralized

No guarantee of quality supports for disabled CanadiansBy Jennifer Zwicker and Stephanie Dunn EvidenceNetwork.ca At a recent Senate committee hearing on the Disability Tax Credit (DTC) and the Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP), the father of a child with autism made a heartfelt plea and a chilling statement: “We are impacted by the inability to secure our son’s future. We are his…

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 is only reaching 29 per cent of those eligible. And due to restrictions…

Disability tax credit falls short for too many Canadians

Why is the Canada Revenue Agency denying the tax credit to those who need it most?

Disability tax credit falls short for too many CanadiansBy Jennifer Zwicker and Stephanie Dunn EvidenceNetwork.ca “Providing benefits not burdens” is how former Health Minister Judy LaMarsh once described the vision for disability policy in Canada. Unfortunately, this vision is not a reality when it comes to one of the main benefits open to Canadians with disability: the federal disability tax credit (DTC). Administered…

‘What gets measured gets done’

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

‘What gets measured gets done’By Stephanie Dunn and Jennifer Zwicker EvidenceNetwork.ca “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. Yet how…