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 and Tara Gomes EvidenceNetwork.ca 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 being prescribed to children and…

Canada Revenue Agency discriminates against PKU sufferers

The federal government routinely denies the Disability Tax Credit to those who need it – and are eligible by law

Canada Revenue Agency discriminates against PKU sufferersThis story began when I offered to represent the mother of a three-year-old with PKU, a rare genetic disorder, in a federal tax court. She had never even fought a parking ticket before she went against the federal government. We won. It turns out, evidence matters. But the story doesn’t end there. We went to…

How a traditional exam system fails all students

A good educator recognizes that an intelligent student doesn't necessarily fit into a conventional box

How a traditional exam system fails all studentsA recent National Post column argues that the extra time Canadian universities and colleges allot for students with special needs to write exams is unfair, comparing it to “winning the gold medal for the 100 metres by running only 80 metres.” The column by Bruce Pardy, a professor of law at Queen's University, makes some…

Tear down the ‘welfare wall’ for persons with disabilities

A federal disability benefit could be modelled on the GIS for seniors. We should dismantle welfare and replace it with more adequate, dignified income supports

Tear down the ‘welfare wall’ for persons with disabilitiesThe talk of walls between nations garners significant attention. There’s virtually no discussion, by contrast, of the walls within nations. In Canada, a particularly high ‘welfare wall’ keeps people out of mainstream of society. A recent study for the Centre for Research on Work Disability Policy shows how this welfare wall traps hundreds of thousands…

Assisted dying and the dark corners of history

We need to learn from the lessons of history when considering assisted dying for those with disabilities – no matter how unsettling that history may be

Assisted dying and the dark corners of historyHistory has a role in the national conversation about medically-assisted death, despite protests to the contrary. A respected physician and scholar recently stepped down as chair of the expert working group appointed to study the issue of advanced directives for medically-assisted death. Named to this position only two weeks earlier by the Council of Canadian…

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 and Robert Balogh EvidenceNetwork.ca TORONTO, Ont., April 23, 2017 /Troy Media/ – 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…

Ontario traps those with disabilities in lives of poverty

Restrictions on assets and gifts keep many in a state of deep and profound uncertainty and crisis, but other provinces have found a way out

Ontario traps those with disabilities in lives of povertyBy Helen Ries with Jihan Abbas EvidenceNetwork.ca OTTAWA, Ont., April 21, 2017 /Troy Media/ – In August 2016, Ontario's ombudsman released Nowhere to Turn, which outlined multiple systemic failures in provincial supports and services that lead to crisis for many adults with developmental disabilities. The stories illustrated in the report are often heart-breaking and speak to the many ways that the system…