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BC Coalition of People with Disabilities | Transition | Spring 2011

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Contact us

For information or bookings, please contact Transition at 604-875-0188 or trans@bccpd.bc.ca.

BC Coalition of People with Disabilities | Transition | Spring 2011


Contents 2 | Editorial by Shelley Hourston

22 | End Email “Addiction”

4 | Accessible Travel Tips & Resources

23 | Trip Planning with C-MIST

5 | Exploring on a Tight Budget 6 | Breaking Bread Together

24 | Making BC Ferries More Accessible by Pat Danforth

7 | Ottawa Ordered to Make Websites More Accessible by Janice Tibbetts

26 | Rebuilding a Life After Brain Injury by Carol Paetkau

8 | Announcing Canada’s New RDSP Resource Centre by Jack Styan

28 | Outdoor Exploration in BC

9 | Show Me the Money (Skills)

30 | BC Rehab Supports the Community by Pam MacDonald

10 | Roadtrippin’ with Your Vent by Donna Gibbings

31 | The UN Convention: What’s Next?

11 | Take the PLAN Quiz

32 | To Screen or Not to Screen? by Andrew Quinn

12 | Other Discounts and Benefits

34 | Is Your Organization Ready for an Emergency? A New Manual Can Help

13 | The Kindness of Others by Jane Dyson 14 | Evolution of Access Project 16 | Travelling with Allergies 18 | Taking a break at TED.com 20 | Welcoming the Unknown Brings Pleasant Surprises by Paul Gauthier

Transition is published four times a year by BC Coalition of People with Disabilities. Subscriptions are $20/year. We welcome articles, graphics and creative writing for consideration. The editors reserve the right to edit and/ or withhold material from publication. We are pleased to see Transition material republished without prior permission, with these conditions. Please credit “Transition, BC Coalition of People with Disabilities” and the edition date. Thank you.

BC Coalition of People with Disabilities | Transition | Spring 2011

36 | Behind Every Great Organization...

Special 5 | Workplace Emergency Preparedness Workshops 35 | New Disability Benefits Help Sheets Available

BC Coalition of People with Disabilities 204-456 W. Broadway, Vancouver, BC V5Y 1R3 Tel: 604-875-0188 • TTY: 604-875-8835 Fax: 604-875-9227 Transition only: trans@bccpd.bc.ca BCCPD: feedback@bccpd.bc.ca Canadian Publications Mail Product Sales Agreement No.40051676

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Shelley and Freckle surf the web

Editorial by

Shelley Hourston

“Taking a break” is the phrase we decided best conveyed what we wanted to explore: the respite we all yearn for while juggling the responsibilities and commitments of everyday life.

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“F

ree time … spare time… time off; recreation, relaxation, inactivity, pleasure … the opposite of work.” These are the words my Oxford Paperback Thesaurus offers for leisure–a topic at a recent Transition team planning meeting. Transition team meetings are a highlight in my work here at BCCPD. We’ll start by brainstorming topics that seem timely and, before you know it, we’ve hit upon a completely unrelated theme. Recently, we had one of these quirky, creative meetings that led to our theme, “Taking a break.” “Taking a break” is the phrase we decided best conveyed what we wanted to explore: the respite we all yearn for while juggling the responsibilities and commitments of everyday life. For some of us with disabilities or chronic health conditions, for example, travel is not necessarily a “vacation.” Personally, by the time I pack for a trip, navigate airport security or sit in a car for hours on a road trip, I’m remembering my chaotic work weeks with fondness!

No, travel is not a ticket to the zone of relaxation and pleasure for me. And yet, I know many people with disabilities who love nothing more than researching, planning and visiting new places. Rather than draining their energy, travel is revitalizing. And so our steadfast team moved on to the word “leisure” to try to capture the essence of “time that re-energizes.” This feels like a better fit than “travel,” but “leisure” may also imply a period of time–maybe a week or more. In reality, to have “leisure” is to have any pocket of time to spend as you wish. As you’ll read in this Transition, many of us enjoy pleasurable, relaxing time in small servings–like a minicupcake. “Mini-cupcake-sized leisure” is more available, affordable, flexible and a half-dozen are easily shared with others. Whatever the serving size, we agreed that partly we were trying to convey a “state of mind.” After a couple of hours, there it was–that time in a Transition team meeting when we all look at each other and nod. Someone said “Taking a break! We’re trying to describe taking a break!” So, whether your break involves weeks’ worth of travel or one of my favourites–an hour in a café with a good book–you’ll pick up some ideas inside. In fact, we hope that just reading this issue of Transition will give you a break. We’re always happy to hear from readers. Let us know what you think or if you have other ways of “taking a break.” n

BC Coalition of People with Disabilities | Transition | Spring 2011


CANADA PENSION PLAN DISABILITY

• Were you previously working and now have a disability? • Do you need help to apply for CPP Disability or appeal a denial of benefits? • We can help.

BC Coalition of People with Disabilities is an expert in Canada Pension Plan Disability (CPP-D) advocacy. We provide: • in person, one-to-one assistance • assistance by phone • free self-help publications on what CPP is, how to apply and how to appeal a denial (available in Traditional Chinese and Punjabi in 2011/12) What do I need to know about CPP-D? CPP-D has several advantages over provincial disability benefits. And, recipients may receive provincial (PWD/ PPMB) disability benefits in addition to CPP-D in the form of a top-up, if their CPP-D benefits fall below the provincial minimum. Please contact us to learn more. CPP-D Advocacy Program Telephone: 604-872-1278 Toll-Free: 1-800-663-1278 TTY (for hearing impaired): 604-875-8835 Website: www.bccpd.bc.ca Program information: under Programs/Advocacy Access Self-help guides: under Publications/Advocacy

Taking a Break Chloe

Travel is something I greatly enjoy. Over the past few years, I’ve visited and fallen for Australia, Quebec, Nova Scotia and many parts of BC. While I’d love to dart off across the world to various exotic locales once a year, most of these trips required sacrifices that I am infrequently willing or able to make: months of extreme financial restraint and the surrender of much of my social life. When I need a change of scenery, but can’t stray far from home, I like to take the occasional weekend to act like a tourist within my own city. For me, this involves venturing with my partner or friends to the parts of Vancouver I don’t regularly visit. We explore various neighbourhoods’ shops and sights, without sticking to any particular plan. Quite often, I take my digital camera along with me on these excursions. I’d never claim to be a great photographer, but I find photography relaxing and rewarding. When I photograph my surroundings, I force myself to take them in and notice things I might otherwise take for granted. If some of the photos turn out well, that’s just a bonus. These weekend mini-adventures allow me to enjoy a change of pace, discover more of the interesting things Vancouver has to offer and ultimately recharge.

Funded by The Law Foundation of BC

BC Coalition of People with Disabilities | Transition | Spring 2011

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Accessible Travel Tips & Resources Being well-informed and prepared can make travelling a whole lot easier. Here are just some of the accessible websites and travel tips we found.

AbilityTrip AbilityTrip provides information on accessibility by destination including logistics, accommodations, activities, restaurants and other services aimed at travellers with disabilities. Destinations include North, Central, and South America, as well as the Caribbean, Europe, Africa, Asia, Oceania and the Middle East. AbilityTrip also offers downloadable trip planning materials, such as checklists and phrase books. Reviews of destinations submitted by travellers are also featured and readers can subscribe to a monthly travel newsletter. They also provide the following forms:

Disabled Travel Packing Checklist You have booked a wheelchair accessible vacation, accessible hotels and set your itinerary. Now use this tool to make sure you don’t forget to pack any of the essentials for your trip.

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Phrase Book of Accessible Terms Visiting a destination where English is not the spoken language? Download this tool and print a hot sheet of key terms in the desired language. Current languages include: Chinese, German, Russian and Spanish.

Destination Accessibility Template Download and fill out this template to share your knowledge on destinations. Send in your fully or partially completed template and AbilityTrip will post the information for others. http://AbilityTrip. com/index.php

Travability This wide-ranging site features news, political and advocacy issues, destination reviews, and information regarding accessible tourism. The site offers a selection of blogs, links, photographs and other material aimed at the world traveller. Based in Victoria, Australia, the site specializes in links to travel companies and services for people of all levels of mobility. Canadian sites include Whistler, Grouse Mountain and boat charter services. http://www. travability.com.au/ and http:// www.facebook.com/pages/ Travability/50989681379.

CTA Guide The Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) provides a detailed 54-page guide, Take Charge of Your Travel, on accessible travel on planes, trains, ferries and buses. The guide provides advance travel information for people with mobility, sensory and/or cognitive disabilities. Available online as a PDF file, a DAISY Digital Talking Book or an MP3 file, the guide stresses advance planning and research when preparing for your trip. Main sections include: • A review of Canadian regulations for accessible transportation. • A guide to planning and booking your journey. • A discussion of issues and challenges you may face. • A list of travel reminders. • Ways to resolve conflicts and problems. • A list of useful information sources. • A separate, downloadable reservation checklist. http://www.otc-cta.gc.ca/doc. php?sid=1021&lang=eng n

BC Coalition of People with Disabilities | Transition | Spring 2011


Get Prepared

Exploring on a Tight Budget

Workplace Emergency Preparedness for All: What you need to support people with disabilities

BCCPD volunteer George Lawson loves to travel and he’s an expert at making a dollar stretch. Here are some of his money-saving travel tips. “The important thing about travel is to do research. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, even if you think they’re dumb,” he says. If you ask questions, you’ll find out, for example, that Amtrak will take 10% off your train fare if you have a BC Ferries disability pass or another pass that documents your disability, like a CNIB pass. “If you have a bit of extra money, you can also book business class on Amtrak for another $13 per person. This means you’re first on and off the train and through customs, you get a $3 food coupon and the seats are bigger, too.” “Do general research on the internet and talk to people you know who’ve gone to where you want to go,” says George. “And local transportation costs can be a big expense when you travel; like the costs from the train or plane to your hotel or getting around town. So, it’s a good idea to find a hotel you like that’s close to public transportation.” Some hotels will also offer to pick you up at the train station. And hotel rates are not the same year round. “For our Seattle trip, I called one of the hotel chains and found they had a lower winter rate for two people, with a buffet breakfast included. We saved a lot by doing that. And be sure to ask

Learn the best approaches that community organizations and businesses can use in designing emergency plans that include people with disabilities. For information on workshops or customized training for your workplace, contact: BC Coalition of People with Disabilities Tel: 604-875-0188 TTY: 604-875-8835 www.bccpd.bc.ca karen@bccpd.bc.ca

BC

CPD

BC Coalition of People with Disabilities | Transition | Spring 2011

for your hotel cost, including all the taxes.” Other things you can find on the web or by talking to local people are inexpensive restaurants, free or low cost attractions or free transportation, like the free buses in Seattle’s downtown core or the hour-long ferry that’s a beautiful trip for under $10. “Just be prepared, ask questions and explore. It’s great.” n

Taking a Break Sam

One of my favourite Vancouver spots is New Brighton outdoor swimming pool. When you buy a ticket, you get in and out privileges for the park and pool all day long. You can swim, go BBQ, swim, rest, eat some more…

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Breaking Bread Together For residents at George Pearson, it offers a rare opportunity to participate in the planning and preparation of their own meals and to experience the joy of sharing a meal.

ommunity Kitchen: A community kitchen is an event where a group of people get together to cook dinner in a social atmosphere. After preparing the food, they sit down and share the meal. Community kitchens mean new friends, new skills and new food experiences. BCCPD’s Community and Residents Mentors Association (CARMA) program sponsors the Able Community Kitchen which meets once a month at George Pearson Centre–a care facility that is home for people with disabilities of all ages. The community kitchen brings together Pearson residents and community members to share food knowledge and meal preparation skills. For residents at George Pearson, it offers a rare opportunity to participate in the planning and preparation of their own meals and to experience the joy of sharing a meal. Apart from the community kitchen, Pearson residents’ daily meals are mass produced by the company contracted to provide food services to the facility, so residents have limited food style choices and solitary dining experiences.

During the growing season, the Able Community Kitchen receives fresh produce from the gardens just outside the building. This bounty of organic fruit and vegetables is provided by CARMA’s Farmers on 57th project, an urban agriculture initiative, which includes accessible community gardens. Able Community Kitchen cooks a different meal from scratch each month. This year the menu has included chili with garlic bread, BBQ, lasagna, coconut curry and, most recently, moose stew. Every meal includes a fresh kale salad from the gardens outside and sometimes there is a special homemade dessert. Community members are invited to dinner for a $5 donation. If you would like to join us for dinner, or would like information about dates and times, please contact Sam at sam@bccpd.bc.ca. To learn more about Able Community Kitchen and other kitchens in Vancouver, visit www.communitykitchens.ca. For more information about CARMA, visit http:// www.bccpd.bc.ca/programs/ carma/. n

Accessible Garden Plots Available Cottonwood Community Garden currently has three accessible raised garden plots available. These raised beds are fully accessible and narrow enough to easily reach across from both directions. The pathways are wide and covered with a firm accessible surface. The raised beds are available for seniors, people with chronic health problems, people with disabilities or for anyone who cannot bend to garden in the ground. We also have 20 in-ground plots available. Cottonwood is located in East Vancouver, along the south side of Strathcona Park (Strathcona Park is on Prior, between Main and Clark). Call (604) 608-0384 for details.


Ottawa Ordered to Make Websites More Accessible by Janice Tibbetts, Postmedia News, November 29, 2010

tweets and blogs, launched a The federal government has been court challenge after discovering given 15 months to comply with the Charter of Rights, by making she could not apply for a federal job online, nor could she fill out its websites accessible to visually 1 impaired version Canadians. the 2006 census. “I went to court to catch the A Federal Court judge issued government’s attention because the order in November, 2010, in a ruling that concluded the governthey were not paying attention to any of us when we said we ment breached Donna Jodhan’s Human Design Ltd. equality rights by its “system-wide couldSolutions not access their websites, Makingserall “Built Environments” by Design we could Universal not apply for jobs, we failure” to provide the same vices to the visually impaired as itand Renovation, can’t do anything,” New Home Custom said Jodhan, a does to those who canDesign see. Services. Torontonian who has been blind sincetobirth. “She has been denied equal all homes We design be beautiful and federal access to, and benefit from, govsustainable making itThe possible for government arin written court documents ernment information and services owners to live in gued their homes longer. that federal services are available provided online to the public on Patrick Simpson 604-803-7443 in other ways, such as on the telethe Internet, and that this conphone, in person and by mail and stitutes discrimination against that it is unlikely that the Internet her on the basis of her physical disability, namely that she is blind,” can be perfectly accessible to all, given that there are more than 23 wrote Justice Michael Kelen, who million pages under the domain found the government is not livof gc.ca. ing up to its own 2001 accessibilKelen said that Jodhan ity standards. brought her case to court in the In a rare move, Kelen said he “public interest” and he, therefore, will oversee implementation of ordered the government to pay Ottawa’s online retrofit. version 2 Jodhan, a computer-savvy $150,000 to cover her legal costs. accessibility consultant who also (Excerpted from canada.com) n

Human Design Solutions Ltd. Making all “Built Environments” Universal by Design

New Home and Renovation, Custom Design Services. We design all homes to be beautiful and sustainable making it possible for owners to live in their homes longer. Patrick Simpson 604-803-7443

transition Founding Editor Richard A. Watson Editor/Layout Ann Vrlak Cover Layout Fiona Gamiet Cover Art Sam Bradd Contributors Jane Dyson, Shelley Hourston, Andrew Quinn Proofreaders Amanda Schuldt • Andrew Quinn Alternate Formats Val Stapleton • Elena Kubaseck-Berry Admin Assistant Elena Kubaseck-Berry Mailout Coordinator Janis Walsh Editorial Statement The views and opinions expressed within the pages of Transition are not necessarily those held by the total membership or Board of Directors. The material presented herein is meant to be thought-provoking and to promote dialogue. Transition is a forum to share information within the disability community, and with government and the general public. It is also an opportunity for people with disabilities to display creative talent. Disclaimer Any firm or company advertising in Transition is for our readers’ benefit and does not constitute an endorsement by the BCCPD.


Announcing Canada’s New RDSP Resource Centre by Jack Styan

P

overty is an intractable issue facing Canadians with disabilities. Two million Canadians with disabilities have an annual income of less than $19,000 (PALS, 2006). More than one in four people with low incomes have a disability. The Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP) has the potential to be part of the solution. An estimated 500,000 Canadians should qualify for this savings plan. If those 500,000 people contributed only $1,000 per year (just $83/ month) for the next 20 years, in 2030 they would all have RDSPs valued at more than $200,000. This would permit them to add, on average, about $10,000 to their annual income each year. That would be approximately double what most Canadians receiving disability benefits currently live on. But, only about 40,000 Canadians have opened RDSPs! There are five major barriers deterring people from using the RDSP: • Awareness. People don’t know the RDSP exists. • Financial literacy. People don’t understand how an RDSP could help them. • Eligibility. People have challenges qualifying for the Disability Tax Credit which they need to open an RDSP. • Legal capacity issues. Only “legal representatives” can open an RDSP if a person is “deemed” not to have capacity.

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Fear. People continue to worry that saving will jeopardize their provincial benefits.

Our goal is to overcome these barriers by: • Offering direct services: qualifying for the Disability Tax Credit and filing taxes. • Supporting the Planned Lifetime Advocacy Network (PLAN) to raise awareness. • Advancing public policy solutions to remove systemic barriers. So, we’ve launched the RDSP Resource Centre, a social-purpose venture, to help overcome these barriers and to assist Canadians with disabilities to achieve financial security.

We’re Here to Help The Centre is an initiative of Ability Tax Group (a small disability tax specialist company) and myself. My interest in people’s financial well-being and the RDSP comes from nearly 30 years of working with people with disabilities at Burnaby Association for Community Inclusion and PLAN, where the main part of my job was to advance the idea of an RDSP in Ottawa. The RDSP Resource Centre will work closely with PLAN to raise awareness and improve access to the RDSP, and will use revenue from the initiative to support PLAN’s ongoing work.

An estimated 500,000 Canadians should qualify for this savings plan. But, only about 40,000 Canadians have opened RDSPs! Our services include: • Answering questions about the RDSP. • RDSP and disability tax presentations. • Articles and information about the RDSP. • Assistance in qualifying for the Disability Tax Credit. • Tax filing, tax reviews and tax adjustments. • Appeals and objections for people whose Disability Tax Credit application is denied. We’ve assisted people with all types of disabilities from all parts of the country to qualify for the Disability Tax Credit and open RDSPs. We’ve served people, their families and professionals in the big cities like Vancouver and in more remote locations like Dease Lake. Jack Styan is the Managing Director of the RDSP Resource Centre. n

BC Coalition of People with Disabilities | Transition | Spring 2011


Saving Energy Made Easy (and Free!) Ken Wardroper is a 67-year-old retiree on a fixed income. He’s also by nature a very frugal man. “I’m a true Scot,” he says. “I’ve been a nickel-and-dimer all my life, very conservative with money. I use coupons, I read flyers, I get all the two-for-ones I can.” That’s why he jumped at BC Hydro’s free Energy Conservation Assistance Program (ECAP) as soon as he heard about it. ECAP provides qualified BC Hydro account holders with a free home energy evaluation. Depending on the results of that evaluation, the household will receive a range of easy-to-install energy-efficient products, such as compact fluorescent light bulbs, which use up to 75 percent less energy than regular light bulbs, water-saving showerheads and weather stripping to stop cold drafts around doors and windows. If necessary, BC Hydro will also work with a qualified local contractor to supply and install additional energy-saving measures, such as a blanket to wrap the water heater and thermal covers for hot water pipes, as well as an ENERGY STAR® refrigerator, which uses about half the energy of a fridge made before 1993. “Everyone was so professional,” says homeowner Ken Wardroper of the people involved in BC Hydro’s Energy Conservation Assistance Program. “They couldn’t put the insulation in the walls of my house the easy way, through the outside, because I wanted to preserve the original shakes. They had to do it from the inside, but you can’t see a thing now. And I’ve really felt the difference in the winter. I’m warmer, and my energy bills are much lower.”

For More Information

Show Me the Money (Skills) Next free workshop in June

In February, BCCPD held a free four-week course on Money Skills, offered by the Family Services of Greater Vancouver. It covered topics like budgeting and spending, in down-to-earth language. It was such a success with participants, that we plan to offer the course again in June. Here are some comments from our participants:“It made me think about what I ought to spend my money on and saving is much more a priority.” “I learned new ways of applying and using credit. It will give me more confidence. I also will know how to budget for things and not spend, spend, spend. I’d like to save more.”

The Energy Conservation Assistance Program is available for lowincome BC Hydro account holders (owners or renters) who use more than 8,000 kilowatts of electricity a year—or spend more than $600 a year on their electricity bills—and is available throughout the province.

“I liked the input and how others are in the same situation, and we can all brainstorm to manage our financial goals.”

To find out more about ECAP or BC Hydro’s Energy Saving Kits, which contain $75-worth of easy-to-use and easy-to-install energy-saving products, please call 1 877 431 9463 or visit bchydro.com/ecap.

If you’d like to join us at this free event, please contact Val at feedback@bccpd.bc.ca or 604-8750188. You’ll also find details on our website at www.bccpd.bc.ca.

BC Coalition of People with Disabilities | Transition | Spring 2011

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Roadtrippin’ with Your Vent by Donna Gibbings When I decided to undergo my tracheotomy and go on a ventilator, it was like getting a new lease on life. I no longer had to struggle for every breath and feel constrained by the limited capabilities of my own lungs. While there is so much more open to me, there are some areas that can seem off limits because of my new mechanical companion. For me, travelling was something that seemed impossible. In addition to being on a vent, I’m unable to sit in any other wheelchair than my own. This makes the prospect of air travel a little mind boggling. I was almost ready to resolve myself to the fact that I was stuck in one place forever!

I announced to anyone who would listen that I was going to California in the spring, even if I had to wheel down the I-5 by myself. Luckily, I didn’t have to do anything that drastic.

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Almost. During an especially dreary Vancouver winter, I’d had enough. I announced to anyone who would listen that I was going to California in the Spring, even if I had to wheel down the I-5 by myself. Luckily, I didn’t have to do anything that drastic. My cousin and her family live in southern California and offered to let us stay with them, making an affordable trip a reality. After investigating the challenges of flying with a motorized wheelchair and ventilator, my Mom and I decided that we would drive the 2,118 kilometres to Newport Beach with the help of a close friend. My trip south made me something of an expert, so here are some helpful tips on roadtrippin’ with a vent.

Planning: The Key to Avoiding Trouble We did a fair amount of planning before we hit the highway. I learned that the most important thing was packing supplies. Know exactly how many days you’ll be away and how many catheters, saline instillers, dressing trays, etc., you will need, plus extras in case of emergencies. Place all supplies in clear plastic

containers to keep everything sorted, portable and accessible.

Double Up on the Equipment Take two vents, two suction machines and extra parts for the in-line humidifier. In case of any technical mishaps, you always need a back-up.

Dress for Success Clothes are equally important: take an outfit for every occasion! Well, okay, maybe that’s just me.

Cover the Legalities Before leaving, get a letter from the good people at Provincial Respiratory Outreach Program, identifying your vents and suction machines. This will come in handy in preventing customs officers from ripping through your stuff for drugs or diamonds. Also, buy extended traveller’s insurance.

Be Familiar with Your Destinations’ Medical Stores You may need a lift while you’re there. Rent one and have it delivered to your destination before you arrive. This will prevent you from having to spend your visit in the carport. Finally, it’s time to leave. Stock the van with candy and new tunes on the iPod. These are as crucial as travel insurance when your driver gets lost in the wilds of Oregon. All the fun is getting there! We sailed through the border and drove a total of 24 hours in three and-a-half days, complication free! Along the way, we stayed

BC Coalition of People with Disabilities | Transition | Spring 2011


at the Holiday Inn Express, each time checking in with no reservation. Of course, it’s best to ask for disability designated rooms and it’s good to know where you’re stopping for the night so you can make reservations. The staff was exceedingly accommodating and everything was 100% accessible. Even the parking spaces were ideal, with specially marked spots for vans with side-loading lifts. Once in California at my family’s home, it was a dream vacation. We settled into a new routine with no complications. We had successfully avoided any travelling pitfalls because of our careful planning. We went shopping, attended four Stanley Cup play-off games, hung out at the beach, did Disneyland and a studio tour. Some Disneyland rides are accessible for motorized chairs (and vents!): a great surprise and treat. All of it was fantastic and very accommodating for me, my equipment and entourage. It was a great trip, not only because of all the things I got to do and the time I spent with my family, but because now I know I can travel. The world isn’t shut off from me any more and the feeling you get when you are out there experiencing life is indescribable. With some planning, a little help and lots of determination you can go anywhere. I’m already planning another expedition! (Reprinted with permission. Excerpted from PROPNEWS, Vol. 5, No. 2, Fall 2006, Provincial Respiratory Outreach Program). n

¨ Take the PLAN Quiz Would you answer Yes to any of these questions? • Do you have family friends, or clients with a disability? • Is their financial, legal and social future 100% secure? • Do you feel connected to the wider disability community? Did you answer YES to one or more questions? Then subscribe to the Planning Journal. It is bursting with expert tips on financial planning, independent housing, and personal stories of challenge and celebration. Subscribers are always the first to know about free seminars and workshops. There is no better way to stay informed, stay connected and plan a good life for people that matter. Subscribe today for just $39.95 (digital version $25.95). The benefits include: • A supportive network of families • Four issues of the information-packed quarterly PLAN magazine • The monthly PLAN email newsletter • Free subscription to Abilities Exceptional Family magazine magazine SanareAd February 3, 2011 2:20orPM Transition Planned Lifetime Advocacy Network: http://subscribe.plan.ca.

sanare

A

Awaken Your Healing Potential with Integrative Energy Healing

n effective and holistic method provides an individualized approach with emphasis on awakening the body’s innate potential to heal itself.

IEH treatment helps in reducing pain and anxiety, relieving stress and depression, providing support during chemotherapy, strengthening the immune system, reducing effects of trauma, accelerating wound healing and post spinal cord injury, detoxifying from substance misuse and reconnecting with the body. It is designed to complement, rather than replace, conventional approaches to health care. www.sanare.ca Tel: 604.727.4186

Marija Djordjevic #103-853 Richards St. Vancouver

BC Coalition of People with Disabilities | Transition | Spring 2011

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Awaken Your Healing Potential with Integrative Energy Healing

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Other Discounts and Benefits There are programs available through government and businesses, to reduce travel and recreation costs for people with disabilities. These benefits are taken from BCCPD’s Help Sheet 3: Checklist for the Persons with Disabilities (PWD) Benefit. The first two programs, the Annual Bus Pass and the Special Transportation Subsidy, are available only to people who receive the provincial Persons with Disabilities Benefit, from the Ministry of Social Development (MSD). • Annual Bus Pass ($45 per year) Phone the Bus Pass Program at 1-866-866-0800 and ask for an application. • Special Transportation Subsidy For people unable to use public transit, including handyDART. Contact MSD for information. Each of the following programs or benefits has its own requirements. Some are listed here; for others, please contact the organization for full details. • Autoplan Disability Discount (ICBC) Phone 604-661-2100 or 1-800663-3051 if you are outside the Lower Mainland. You can also contact your local ICBC agent. You must be in receipt of the Provincial Motor Vehicle Fuel Tax Rebate. Website: www.icbc. com.

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• BC Ferry pass Apply directly to the BC Ferry Corporation. You will need a Release of Information form from your MSD office. Phone 1-888-223-3779 for an application form or go to the website at www.bcferries.bc.ca. • Federal Excise Gasoline Tax Refund Phone the Canada Revenue Agency at 1-877-432-5472. The phone lines are open from 12 p.m. to 9 p.m. (BC time). Website: http://www.servicecanada. gc.ca/eng/goc/gasoline_tax_ refund.shtml • Flight Discount Your attendant may accompany you free of charge; ask the airline for details. • Provincial Motor Vehicle Fuel Tax Rebate Phone the BC Consumer Taxation Branch at 1-877-3884440 Website: www.gov.bc.ca/sbr. • HandyDART Look for the HandyDART listing in your phone book. • HandyPass and Taxi Saver In the Lower Mainland, contact your local TransLink office or go to www.translink.bc.ca. People in other areas should contact their local transit office.

• Greyhound (and bus lines other than transit) and Via Rail Attendants travel free with a Disability Travel Card from the Lions Society of BC. Phone 604-873-1865, or 1-800-8184483 if you are outside the Lower Mainland. Blind or sight impaired individuals can present their CNIB Card. Obtain the application form from your MSD office. • Camping is free in BC Provincial Parks Obtain a Release of Information form from MSD to give to campsite operators. Full or partial funding is available for camping at certain recognized camps. • Fishing License Fee Reduction Look under Service BC Government Agents in the blue pages of your local phone book. They will be able to provide you with the information you need and an application form. • Access to Recreation/ Community Centres and Programs Most municipalities provide some assistance for people with disabilities who want to access their recreational programs. Call your local recreation/community centre for information. n

BC Coalition of People with Disabilities | Transition | Spring 2011


The Kindness of Others by Jane Dyson

The SEGWAYE Program

2011 is already a wonderful year

Are you 18-25 years old with a neurological diagnosis?

for BCCPD, thanks to the amazing

Do you want to: ✔✔ Discover the right job for you? ✔✔ Learn the skills you need?

generosity of two families. All of us at BCCPD would like to

Contact us for: ✔✔ Information and Resources ✔✔ Referrals ✔✔ Services at no cost

express our profound gratitude to Joseph Connolly for his donation of $10,000. Joseph made the dona-

604-630-3034 www.centreforability.bc.ca

tion in memory of his wife, Helen, who we were fortunate to work

Joseph made the donation in memory of his wife, Helen, who we were fortunate to tireless advocate for people with work with during her many mental illness. Our Board is discussyears as a tireless advocate ing how best to use this donation for people with mental illness. to honour Helen’s work. with during her many years as a

We would also like to extend our thanks to the Merrell family who donated $1,000. The family sent this note along

Privacy Statement The BC Coalition of People with Disabilities (BCCPD) respects and upholds an individuals’ right to privacy and the protection of their personal information.

The BCCPD is committedProgram to ensuring The SEGWAYE

with their cheque: “Enclosed is our cheque for $1000 as a

compliance with BC’s Personal Information and Protectionold of Privacy Act (PIPA). Are you 18-25 years with a neurologica be in Lillian Wong’s name [one of our advocates]. Thanks to diagnosis? The BCCPD will inform people what Lillian’s assistance, we have gotten [our grandson] his desigpersonal information it collects about Do you want to: and why. It will store information nation as a “Person with a Disability.” Without Lillian’s tireless them securely andjob identify has access to ✔✔ Discover the right forwho you? and cheerful help, we wouldn’t have had a hope of steering the information it collects. ✔✔ Learn the skills you need? this application through the system. Thank you Lillian and donation to ‘The Coalition.’ We would like this donation to

BCCPD Privacy Officer: Sam Bradd the Coalition for your kind and generous help to people Contact us for: 604-875-0188, sam@bccpd.bc.ca; with disabilities.” ✔✔ Information and Resources Alternate: Jane Dyson, jwd@bccpd.bc.ca. Our deep thanks to Mr. Connolly and the Merrells for ✔✔ Referrals your support and recognition. n

BC Coalition of People with Disabilities | Transition | Spring 2011

✔✔

Services at no cost

604-630-30 www.centreforability.bc.

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Evolution of Access Project • What do you see as the new and emerging access issues?

• What do you see as the critical issues with new information technologies? • What barriers do these new access issues create for people with disabilities? • These are some of the questions we asked a focus group in the fall, as part of the Council of Canadians with Disabilities’ (CCD) Evolution of Access project. The BCCPD would like to thank the CCD for the opportunity to participate in this important project for the disability community. It was a fascinating and engaging discussion. We looked at five basic areas in considering the evolution of access: new and emerging access issues, information technologies, barriers to access, good practices to ensure access and remedies.

Highlights and comments •

Participants told us that construction and urban development play a significant role in the creation of new barriers

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for people with disabilities. This is compounded by access inconsistency, for example, differences in curb access and the frequent lack of notification, in accessible formats, of changes resulting from construction or street repairs. The group discussed how challenging it is when the routes they are used to taking are suddenly changed. One participant who is blind, described his frustration and concern for his safety when bus stops are moved and he is suddenly unable to find his way independently around familiar neighbourhoods. Participants discussed how new barriers are created when buildings are retrofitted or poorly designed. The group agreed that BC’s latest round of funding cuts to services introduced in Spring 2010 have had a negative impact on accessibility. As a result of these cuts, people

with disabilities are finding it impossible or more difficult to access the services they need. “There’s an assumption that everybody can afford a computer. And that everybody can [physically use the computer]. That’s an assumption. It’s not a fact.” (Focus group participant) Cost was a major issue for participants in the discussion about access and information technologies. Participants spoke about the assumption that everyone has a computer and can afford the ongoing costs associated with computer ownership. This assumption creates a significant barrier for people lacking information technology access who need a computer to obtain services. One participant pointed out that some government agencies only accept applications that are completed online. High service plan costs prevent people with disabilities from accessing some information technology that can help them to be more independent. One participant told

“There’s an assumption that everybody can afford a computer. And that everybody can [physically use the computer]. That’s an assumption. It’s not a fact.”

BC Coalition of People with Disabilities | Transition | Spring 2011


the group about a program for people who are Deaf and hard-of-hearing. Many of the participants wanted a Blackberry because it is one of the few phones that are TTY compatible. The program provided some participants with $500 Blackberry phones. Unfortunately, the $60 a month operating fee means that many of those who received the phones cannot afford to use them. The majority of participants felt that online information is often presented in a way that is hard to understand. Many websites lack alternative formats that would make them more accessible. Cyber-bullying was discussed and social networking sites, such as Facebook, MySpace and Twitter, identified as new avenues for abuse, harassment and victimization. “So there’s this huge push to put everything online and make it accessible to people because now everybody can have it. But really, I’m not so sure with this specific population that this is actually creating more help in the community. And I think it fits in with that increased isolation…” (Focus group participant).

For more information on the project, please contact the Council of Canadians with Disabilities at 204-947-0303, TTY/ATS: 204-9434757, ccd@ccdonline.ca, http:// www.ccdonline.ca/. n

Taking a break Tom

One of my ways of taking a break is taking photos. It’s my new passion. I love to take photos along the Fraser River Parkway. It’s an excellent mixture of nature, history and a working river. The Parkway stretches from the southern foot of Knight Street in Vancouver and you could conceivably follow the trail to New Westminster. The trail varies from paved to boardwalk to cobblestone to dirt. You can even pick berries, go salmon fishing or just enjoy the view from as high as 700 ft. above sea level in nearby Everett Crawley Park.

Obituary BCCPD Board, staff and volunteers were saddened to hear of Dr. Nancy Hall’s passing on March 23. Dr. Hall was BC’s first (and only) mental health advocate from 1998-2001. She was a tireless advocate for the mental health community and a champion of health promotion and public health. She will be greatly missed by us all.

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Travelling with Allergies What’s it like to travel when you have severe allergies? Cat Bradd talks about getting around in the world with allergies.

Q

What allergies do you have and how do they affect you if you come into contact with the allergen? I am anaphylactic to fish, shellfish and peanuts. I also have other severe allergies to soy, legumes, tree nuts. I also can’t eat any raw apples and pears, stone fruit (like cherries, apricots or peaches) and vegetables, like celery and carrots, without cooking them first. With my anaphylactic allergies, I’m sensitive to allergens if they’re airborne, if they’re ingested or if they come into contact with my skin. No matter how small the amount, if I come into contact with fish, peanuts or shellfish, it triggers anaphylaxis. It’s always violent and instantaneous. My ears, nose and throat close. Usually my skin breaks into hives and I have a fever. A mild reaction of my nonanaphylactic allergies causes my lip to swell and throat to be itchy. I may get blotchy skin and a slight fever. It can also trigger asthma.

Q

How have the allergies limited your ability to travel? The ease of staying local in my city is often more appealing to me than the planning and stress that goes along with a vacation. If you’re going to a country where you don’t speak that particular language, communicating that you have allergies can be uncertain. If you avoid restaurants, even reading food labels at local stores may still pose difficulty, unless you can read the language. Because of the extent of my allergies, I only travel with my own food, even when staying in BC.

Q

In your experience, do travel personnel have a good understanding of allergies? My experiences have been OK. I refrain from saying “good” because it’s rare that I feel comfortable on a plane. For example, on a recent trip, I called a booking agent to request a special meal because it was a very long flight. After some discussion, she said they would

An extreme, often life-threatening, allergic reaction to an antigen (e.g., a bee sting) to which the body has become hypersensitive following an earlier exposure.

Epi-pen An epinephrine auto-injector is a medical device used to deliver a measured dose (or doses) of epinephrine (also known as adrenaline). They are most frequently for the treatment of acute allergic reactions to avoid or treat the onset of anaphylactic shock.

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Q

Are staff generally helpful, even if things go wrong? I’ve had many more good experiences than bad. So many people I’ve met during my travels, or people I’m travelling with, have been kind, patient and understanding. Surrounding myself with people I trust is very important.

Q

Anaphylaxis | noun (also anaphylactic shock):

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have a fruit plate for me. During check in, I confirmed my fruit plate, but when the meal was delivered, it wasn’t what I’d ordered. I was offered prawns or the vegetarian meal (which was chickpeas), both of which are severe allergens for me. Staff were upset that I was upset, and said no one notified them. This was not the first time this situation has happened. For me, this made me very uncomfortable in my surroundings. Sometimes it’s hard to get the point across of the severity of my allergies. I don’t need to consume something to have a reaction. Being in a plane where allergens may be around makes me feel a loss of control.

What precautions do you take when you travel? I try to choose locations that are not influenced by foods that I’m allergic to. When I travel, I carry an extra Epi-pen. I carry a doctor’s note stating what allergies I have and why I carry medication. It also includes an extra prescription copy in case anyone doubts why I carry medicine through customs.

BC Coalition of People with Disabilities | Transition | Spring 2011


I carry hand sanitizer and hand wipes in my bag. Sometimes I need to touch doors or handles or shake someone’s hand, and I can be affected by trace amounts of allergens on a hand or door.

Q

What do you think of the new airline policies for customers with allergies? I think it’s wonderful that the airlines have adapted their policies for people travelling with allergies. It will bring comfort to me and more people travelling with allergies.

Q

Is there anything you would add or change about these policies, anything else you’d like to see carriers do for people with allergies? In a dream word, I would love to see no fish, shellfish or peanuts in menus. And WestJet has a new policy to make an announcement, if a customer states they are allergic to peanuts which is great. The announcement says, “We have a guest travelling with us today who has a severe allergy to nuts. We ask that you do not open or consume any nuts or nut products during this flight. Thanks for your help.” It’s not perfect, of course, because the allergens can still be around. But it’s a start. It would be wonderful if the announcement also included more of the common allergies in Canada.

Sometimes it’s hard to get the

point across of the severity of my allergies. I don’t need to consume something to have a reaction. Being in a plane where allergens may be around makes me feel a loss of control.

Q

Are there any travel tips you could give to people with allergies? Plan in advance to travel where there is a kitchenette or at least a fridge in your accommodations. I carry all my food with me and do shopping in local stores. I never like to take risks. Wash all dishes and counters before use. Carry an extra Epi-pen with you. Know where the nearest medical centre or hospital is and book your accommodations accordingly. If you’re going to a country with a foreign language, it would be ideal to have a guide or local help you when travelling to a restaurant or grocery store. Bring your favourite snack or specialty item to indulge in. Don’t feel forced to make a decision or eat something that makes you feel uncomfortable. Go with your instinct. Ensure that you have proper travel insurance while travelling, in case something does happen. n

BC Coalition of People with Disabilities | Transition | Spring 2011

A message from Anaphylaxis Canada Canada’s major airlines, WestJet and Air Canada, have both recently released information regarding their allergy policy for allergic travelers.

WestJet

In 2011, WestJet will carry EpiPens on board its aircraft as part of their first aid kit. We would like to thank WestJet and King Pharmaceuticals Canada for taking on this important initiative and helping to better protect allergic passengers.

Air Canada

Air Canada has also updated its allergy policy as a result of a recent Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) ruling. As part of the policy, Air Canada has introduced buffer zones for allergic passengers and the need for a medical form for travel. Contact Air Canada directly for clarification on the use of this form, if you plan to travel: 1-888-247-2262.

Contact:

Anaphylaxis Canada http://www.anaphylaxis.org/ Telephone: 416-785-5666 Toll Free: 1-866-785-5660 Fax: 416-785-0458 Email: info@anaphylaxis.ca

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Taking a break at TED.com Travel the world of ideas without leaving your home. TED is a small not-for-profit devoted to “ideas worth spreading.” It started in 1984 as a conference bringing together people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment and Design. Since then, its scope has become ever broader. Along with two annual conferences, TED includes the awardwinning TEDTalks video site, the Open Translation Project and Open TV Project, the inspiring TED Fellows and TEDx programs, and the annual TED Prize.

On TED.com, you’ll find the best talks and performances from TED for free. More than 700 TEDTalks (18 minutes long at most) are available, with more added each week. All of the talks are subtitled in English and many are subtitled in various languages. These videos are released under a Creative Commons license, so they can be freely shared and reposted. Just a hint of the variety of talks you’ll find at TED: • Chef Jamie Oliver’s talks about teaching every child about food. • Physicist Brian Greene’s talks about string theory.

• Daniel Gilbert’s astonishing talk shows how we’re poor predictors of what will actually make us happy. • James Nachtwey uses his powerful photographs to bring a killer epidemic to the forefront. • Malcolm Gladwell, tongue in cheek, explores what we might learn about the pursuit of happiness through one man’s quest to make the perfect pasta sauce. • Jeff Skoll talks about how a great movie can create real social reform. n

your voice counts | become a member of bccpd I accept your invitation to join the BC Coalition of People with Disabilities and enclose my membership fee of $15 (groups and individuals). I am also sending along a tax-deductible donation of $__________.

1

Name ______________________________________________ Organization ________________________________________

2

Address _______________________________________________ City/Prov_______________________ Postal Code ____________ Phone _______________ Email ____________________________

33

Please return your payment/donation with this form, to BCCPD, 204 - 456 W. Broadway, Vancouver, BC V5Y 1R3. You can also become a member or donate online at http://www.bccpd.bc.ca/supportdonate.htm.

Thank you for your invaluable support.

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BC Coalition of People with Disabilities | Transition | Spring 2011


Help Transition Go Green

Thank you to these organizations, companies and government departments who support BCCPD’s work on behalf of people with disabilities.

Now you can join other readers who have switched from receiving Transition in print to reading us electronically. Here’s how: • Renew your subscription using the form in this edition or by visiting our Transition page online. • Contact Val at the office (feedback@bccpd.bc.ca or 604-8750188).

BC Association for Individualized Technology and Supports for People with Disabilities

And, if you still want to receive Transition by mail, that’s ok too.

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Save a tree, save BCCPD money and still receive Transition. A big thank you to subscribers who have already switched!

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Our New Email Newsletter We’ve changed the look of our email announcements and invite you to sign up through our website. Our Voice is the free, full-colour e-newsletter from the BCCPD you’ll receive about every 8 weeks. It includes community updates, resources, and tools. To sign up, please visit www.bccpd. bc.ca and type in your email address. We will not share your information. n

Planned Lifetime Advocacy Network Province of British Columbia Provincial Health Services Authority TELUS Employees Charitable Giving Program TD Friends of the Environment Foundation United Way of the Lower Mainland Vancouver Coastal Health

Find and follow BCCPD at www.bccpd.bc.ca/links.htm.

Vancouver Foundation

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Welcoming the Unknown Brings Pleasant Surprises by Paul Gauthier I’ve always loved to travel and I’ve had a lot of opportunities to see the world by competing in the Paralympic sport of boccia. Recently, my family and I decided to go on a holiday to Cuba which was different than my usual travels. We were not travelling in a group and we had to plan it all to make sure that my needs, as a power wheelchair user, would be met. We knew that it was a risk to go to Cuba because most of the websites that we read suggested it was not very accessible. However, we had always found Cuba interesting and we really wanted to relax on a beach in the sun, so it seemed like the best option. We’ve always been risk takers anyway! The most important part of our trip, like any trip, was to plan well and get as many reassurances as possible that what you need will be there. We booked our trip through Air Canada Vacations and, when I first asked for a roll in shower, we were told that this existed, but that it could not be confirmed until our arrival. We insisted that we have confirmation because without an accessible room we would not be able to go. The next hurdle was finding transportation from the airport to the resort. We settled on lifting me

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into a van and my wheelchair into the back; it seemed that there was no accessible vehicle in Cuba. I was willing to do this, but I definitely wasn’t looking forward to it. I always travel with my own shower chair and anything else that I might need. If you require extra luggage, you can often say that one is for medical equipment to avoid a charge. I also highly recommend knowing your wheelchair and how to keep it as safe as possible on the plane. After transferring on to the skinny “aisle chair” at the gate, my attendant used duct tape to secure parts of my chair. We also unplug the

batteries and post a sign, “Dry Cell Batteries: All plugs disconnected,” so the batteries will not be removed by the ground crew. A staff person takes the chair from there and puts it underneath the plane. Then you cross your fingers because it’s now out of your control! You can request your seats on the plane without an extra charge. You can often talk to the staff, if you are unable to use the seat that has been assigned to you, but it’s definitely best to be prepared with what you need and talk to staff as early as possible. When we arrived in Cuba, not only did my wheelchair not come

We knew that it was a risk to go to Cuba because most of the websites that we read suggested it was not very accessible. However, we had always found Cuba interesting and we really wanted to relax on a beach in the sun, so it seemed like the best option.

From left to right: foster son Derek, Paul, Sarah and baby Matteo

BC Coalition of People with Disabilities | Transition | Spring 2011


to the gate, but we found it going around the conveyor belt with the rest of the luggage! The great news is that it was all in working order. One of the highlights of Cuba is the people. Everyone was willing to help and to do whatever they could to make sure we were comfortable. My number one tip for travel anywhere is that kindness, understanding and patience go a long way in getting what you need and getting people to help you. If you get angry every time something is not done right, you will not get very far in making it better. The next step was the dreaded van and we had prepared ourselves mentally. Much to our surprise, the driver opened the back to reveal a ramp! So there you go, sometimes bad things happen unexpectedly, but good things happen too. The great news about having an accessible van is that we were able to rent it for a couple of tours, one to Havana and one to the city of Varadero. The van was rented through Air Canada Vacations and the company is Transgaviota. Our resort was accessible, as promised, and a little creativity

Taking a Break

My number one tip for travel anywhere is that kindness, understanding and patience go a long way in getting what you need and getting people to help you. from our tour guide and bus driver meant there was no trouble getting around in Havana or Varadero. I would have liked a more accessible beach, but the staff happily lifted me on to a lounge chair and on to the sand so that I could enjoy the beauty of the sandy beaches and the aquamarine water. Cuba may not have been the most accessible country, but I have seen worse. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to others who use wheelchairs. We had a wonderful time and can’t wait for our next adventure! n

Elena I like to explore Vancouver without spending lots of money. Here are some of my favourite things to do around the city. • Visit the bloedel conservatory; it can really lift your spirit! • Visit different branches of the vancouver public library or community centres, and check for events. • Check for interesting and often free talks, music or film offered by the central vancouver public library. • Check local universities for free events. • Explore and browse ethnic food stores; sometimes groceries are cheaper and it’s possible to learn new food experiences. Gabrielle I have fibromyalgia. Here is my recipe for pain reduction and relaxation: Thirty minutes to one hour of walking or cycling, followed as soon as possible by a bath as hot as I can stand with lavender bubble bath and extra lavender essential oil. Then, one hour of very accessible yoga based on Jon Kabat Zinn’s book Full Catastrophe Living course, taught to me by my family doctor. Ahh!

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End Email “Addiction” Email is a great way to stay busy. If you check your email more than five times a day, you may be “addicted” to email! The problem with constantly checking your email is that you train people that you are instantly available. Then, you have to check your email constantly in order to be responsive. Here’s an email rehab program!

Accessibility Information on the City of Vancouver’s Website Earlier this year, the City of Vancouver added a page to its website with specific information related to accessibility and the City. The site covers information such as: •

Transportation, including links to:

1. Tell the truth: What are your email patterns? How much time do you spend per day on email?

-- current information on the location of construction and road closures;

2. Response time: Negotiate realistic email response times with your team.

-- information about wheelchair ramps, audible street crossing signals, parking and taxis; and

3. Email agreements: Set up agreements not to use email for urgent communications and for matters best discussed in person or on the phone. 4. Build your system: Spend a little time to save a lot of time. Get beyond the “send” and “delete” email command. Your email program is equipped with easy-to-use features for filtering, searching, archiving, creating invitations and managing project and people folders. 5. Action required: Immediately separate “for your info” from your “action required” email. Deal with your “for your info” email all at once at a later time. 6. Time block email: Schedule two or three 15-45 minute times to check email and respond to simple requests. 7. Think before responding: For anything that can’t be completed in your set email time, estimate how long it will take and see where it will fit in your schedule. 8. Stay strong: Only check your email during your email time. If you need to check something, check your schedule. Next time you have a big project, try unplugging your email and see how much more focused you become. 9. Pick up the phone.

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Visiting Vancouver/Tourism;

Recreation, including information about parks and libraries.

The site also contains information on building inspection, civic involvement opportunities (such as the City’s Persons with Disabilities Advisory Committee), and community recognition awards. In addition, the site includes seasonal alerts and updates about snow conditions and street closures, for example. This is a relatively new site which is continuing to evolve and the City welcomes your comments and suggestions. If you have feedback on the website, please contact the City’s Equal Employment Opportunity Program, at: Equal.EmploymentOpportunity@vancouver.ca or 604-873-7786.

http://vancouver.ca/accessibility

10. Use email–don’t let email use you. From End Email Addiction, www.BusinessTransformed.com.

-- information and links to public transportation and transit.

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Trip Planning with C-MIST Planning a trip? Instead of, or in addition to, a travel “checklist� consider using the C-MIST system to organize your needs. C-MIST stands for Communication, Medical, Independence, Supervision and Transportation. Create a list, fill in your needs in each category and keep the form with you when

you travel. It can be used as a quick checklist for you and your family. It can also be used to provide information to emergency workers, if an emergency happens while you are travelling. For more on C-MIST, see our Emergency Preparedness Project at www.bccpd.bc.ca, under Projects.

Do you have any communication needs; for example, sign language, hearing aid, etc.?

Note information about your medications, medical equipment, etc.

Do you use assistive devices or a service animal?

Do you need to be accompanied because of a mental health condition or developmental disability?

What are your accessible transportation needs?

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Making BC Ferries More Accessible

W

e hear about and read about projected increases in the fares for BC Ferries’ riders. Some of us get frustrated and wonder why we have put up with this. Why aren’t our voices heard? Well, sometimes our voices are heard! When the BC Coalition of People with Disabilities (BCCPD) learned, in 2004, that new ferries were being planned, BCCPD Board member Valerie Thoem and I went to visit the folks at BC Ferries. The end result of our consultation was good input on our concerns regarding accessibility for the new coastal class ferries, and a way to ensure the concerns of people with disabilities could continue to be heard. The BC Ferries’ Accessibility Advisory Committee was born out of a collaboration between BC Ferries and BCCPD. I co-chair the committee along with Peter Simpson, Director, Fleet Operational Strategy with BC Ferries. Our Committee is made up of representatives of organizations of and for people with disabilities from the communities served by BC Ferries. We work at being crossdisability and current members are: BC Coalition of People with Disabilities, Victoria Disability Resource Centre, MS Society, Seniors Serving Seniors, CNIB, Alliance of Equality for Blind Canadians and

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by Pat Danforth

Canadian Hard of Hearing Association, and BC Paraplegic Association. BC Ferries relies on BCCPD to identify members for participation on the Committee. We promote universal design measures to consider and accommodate the needs of all passengers. We are able to advise on proposed changes, identify potential solutions, review plans for new ships, major refurbishments, and terminal changes to identify opportunities to improve accessibility. The committee has also helped with individual concerns raised by passengers, including the identification of hidden disabilities, service animal verification (what I like to call, “yes, poodles can be guide dogs”), passengers

Travelling with a disability can be challenging and we hope to help reduce some of the barriers to travel. with motorized scooters and local accessibility issues. Travelling with a disability can be challenging and we hope to help reduce some of the barriers to travel. One area we are working on is emergency evacuation. While new evacuation slides are being incorporated into the fleet, making exiting easier for people with reduced mobility, the issue is not solved. It remains a standing item as we gather more information on the needs of passengers who may need help in case of an emergency.

Did you know, for example, that it’s the passenger’s responsibility to self-identify to the Chief Steward that they may need help in an emergency? This issue goes hand-in-hand with training. Staff need to be regularly aware of the supports people with disabilities use and valid identification including the BC Ferries pass, CNIB identification and the universal hard of hearing sign. The committee meets twice a year. Committee members are encouraged to put forward agenda items for each meeting, but between meetings we will address concerns that we become aware of. We meet annually with the Executive Vice President, Operations, and the Executive Vice President, Business Development to provide an annual report of achievements and challenges ahead. At most meetings there is an opportunity to raise issues with David Hahn, President and Chief Executive Officer. He does sit in for part of the meeting and listens to our issues. We do feel heard and recognize there have been improvements in the service –always slower than we hope for, but we can see progress. For more information on the committee or to raise concerns, please feel free to contact me at pidanforth@gmail.com. To chat with BC Ferries, contact Karen Tindall at Karen.tindall@bcferries. com. Pat Danforth is a BCCPD Board member. n

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Taking A Break Pendra

I never realistically wanted to have a dog and it was only through a series of accidents that I got one. You have to make lifestyle changes when you get a dog. Correction: that’s an understatement. Enter Bunny. Friends of mine have dogs that can’t swim and hate the water. Summer was approaching and I felt rather gloomy that my muscle-bound, mysterybreed dog might not be able to swim. Besides being an obsessed swimmer, I had another valuable reason why I needed Bunny to swim. Swimming is a safe nonweight bearing exercise for bigger breed dogs, so it’s a great way to develop muscles on their rear legs–a preventative measure for hip dysplasia. Swimming would be the only way I could develop these muscles because the other option of taking him for long walks in the back country was impossible because of my disability. I didn’t think there were any books on how to teach a canine to swim. What would I do all summer, if Mr. He-Man dog sank instead of swam? Someone must have taught me to swim, but I don’t remember who or when. It seems I could always swim and I could swim forever. As a child, I found walking frustrating, so I would imagine myself swimming to school. I do find myself tired after swimming, but I wonder if it has more to do with returning to the heaviness of land dwelling.

Photo: Pendra Wilson

Summer was approaching and I felt rather gloomy that my muscle-bound, mystery-breed dog might not be able to swim. One day, I took Bunny to Buntzen Lake which is only a half hour drive from downtown Vancouver. My strategy was to swim short distances around the shore of the lake, instead of swimming in the middle. I took Bunny for his first swim from one Spruce tree to another across the inlet. It was probably too ambitious, but I couldn’t help myself. We entered the water, both of us intently watching the other. I was surprised that his paddle stroke was a little more efficient than my own. He seemed apprehensive; I wondered if it was for my well-being. We made it to the inlet as I watched his breathing. It didn’t look like the swim was an exertion for him. I didn’t want my next decision to be influenced by my own need to continue.

BC Coalition of People with Disabilities | Transition | Spring 2011

We continued around the lake and then we continued as if it was the most normal thing to do all summer long. And we made adults and children point and laugh at the oddity of a human and a dog swimming side by side. And of course he developed some Michael Phelps, back leg muscles. Funny, isn’t it? It turns out that getting Bunny may not be an accident. As a natural elite level swimmer, I can tell that Bunny worries about me drowning. He seems to mirror my own fears about him. Both of us are more athletic in the water than land. No one taught Bunny how to swim either. Bunny, has a Facebook page called Bunny Woff. You are welcome to become a friend if interested n

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Rebuilding a Life After Brain Injury by Carol Paetkau, ED, Fraser Valley Brain Injury Association

The Fraser Valley Brain Injury Association (FVBIA) provides a range of services to people with an acquired brain injury. This is the story of one resilient woman they are supporting as she rebuilds her life after a lifechanging injury. “I have to look in the mirror and see the truth, not what the world defines me as,” says Deb Abma. She is well on her way to helping the world define a person with a disability by their potential rather than by their label. Deb’s mirror shows a welldressed, professional woman with a clear idea of her talents and goals. What you will not see in that mirror is the acquired brain injury that she sustained in a car crash in 2001. The owner of a growing training and facilitation company, Accent Consulting, Deb had secured several contracts with large international retailers and was planning to write a book when her “roller coaster ride” life with acquired brain injury began. After returning from a training road trip, she had just dropped her girls off at school when her car was struck at a four-way stop on the passenger side. The airbags

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did not go off and Deb struck her head on the driver’s side window and the headrest. She was taken to the hospital by ambulance and was discharged that afternoon. The next 48 hours were a blur. This was when the “rumble in the jungle” began. This is how Deb describes the seizures that resulted from her acquired brain injury. Terrified and ashamed to tell anyone what she was struggling with at the time, Deb recalls being unable to remember her two-year old son’s name. She also had bladder damage, soft tissue injuries and vestibular problems that made it difficult to walk and maintain her balance. The fashion-conscious woman, who had worked extensively in the retail and tourism industry, was no longer able to enter a store without becoming physically ill. She used to write operational manuals for large companies, but was no longer able to sequence numbers. She had to cancel her contracts and close her business. She spent three months in a wheelchair and then used a cane for a year before being able to walk without aid. Her long road to recovery involved

extensive physiotherapy, numerous assessments, litigation and an unsuccessful trial at the Supreme Court of Canada. All this put a tremendous strain on her marriage. It eventually dissolved, leaving Deb struggling with custody, legal and financial issues. Deb met Mary McKee, Case Manager with the FVBIA, in an Abbotsford coffee shop in October 2009. Case Management is one of FVBIA’s primary services. It uses the “whatever it takes” principle of community rehabilitation (Willer & Corrigan, 1994) to help people with acquired brain injury to move forward with their life. Deb and Mary began working together, along with other community support personnel, to help rebuild her shattered life.

The truth will set you free, but first it will make you flinch. Having a strong support network of family, friends and professionals is essential to a positive outcome for people with an acquired brain injury. Deb has built herself what she likes to call her “tribe”: a team of family, friends and professionals from various organizations to support her with different issues. Rebuilding following a brain injury is a process that cannot be rushed. It moves at its own pace and takes shape while moving. In Deb’s case, it has followed a modified path of her former life and she has gained confidence

BC Coalition of People with Disabilities | Transition | Spring 2011


and strength during the process. She is working on developing her training business, “Speaking Out...!,” and is excited about living independently again with support from the FVBIA’s rent supplement program (funded through BC Housing). “Having your own home is a big step towards health and strength and freedom.” Recovery, health and wellness after acquired brain injury require balance in all aspects of your life. Too often people with acquired brain injury try to go back to work full-time and find that other areas of their lives suffer. Deb is highly energetic and motivated, but “Mary reminds me that there are limitations and that it’s important not to crash and burn.” Deb has accomplished so much in her recovery journey and continues to make great strides. Mary says, “it’s difficult to believe the person we see today, who spoke at the FVBIA’s “Rethinking Employment after Acquired Brain Injury” workshop and who will give another presentation to the Mennonite Central Committee on customer service is the same fractured person I met in 2009.” A strong proponent of being thankful, Deb is modest about the hard work she has done in her recovery, instead crediting the professionals she has encountered throughout her journey “who supported me, challenged me and cheered me on.” “I don’t know where my new business will take me, but I do know I can’t do it alone.” Deb

works with FVBIA’s Community Mentors coordinator, Joy Scobie, regarding her business and her goals. By participating in this program, she was able to explore options in the workplace, gain confidence in her ability to connect with potential speaking opportunities, formulate realistic employment goals and begin to form valuable networks. “Joy helps me to realize the potential within the limits. She reminds me to play to my strengths, minimize weaknesses and empowers me from there.” Deb says that she is trying to figure out “the pieces of the puzzle that have to be filled in order to be a high functioning person with an acquired brain injury.” She’s an inspiration to others who are going through this journey. “I am amazed by the courage of survivors. There is so much good life after acquired brain injury. It’s a matter of just figuring out which direction to go.”

In order to live a successful, happy, balanced life, you have to recognize that there are limitations. Find the fundamental things that are important to you.

Carol Paetkau is the Executive Director of the Fraser Valley Brain Injury Association. FVBIA offers a variety of other services, including support groups, art and photography groups and leisure programs. For more information on available services and resources for acquired brain injury, please contact the Fraser Valley Brain Injury Association at 604-557-1913, info@fvbia. org or check out their website at www.fvbia. org. n

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Outdoor Exploration in BC British Columbia offers a wide variety of accessible camping areas and trails for those of you who’d like to explore our beautiful province. Camp Free in BC reviews over 350 no- or low-fee recreation sites, accessible by car or RV vehicles. From the Sunshine Coast to the Rockies, this 544-page book features colour photos and 18 locator maps. Whether you prefer larger organized campgrounds or seldom visited gems, you will surely find a destination to enjoy. Cost: $29. http://www. hikingcamping.com/camp-freebc.php If day tripping is more your style, Grouse Mountain features spectacular views and attractions. Access to the lower station of the

SkyRide Gondola is either by car or public transportation. Once at the top, a number of attractions are accessible with your SkyRide ticket, including wildlife refuges, a theatre and a lumberjack show. Downloadable maps featuring wheelchair accessible areas are available from the Grouse Mountain website. http://www. travability.com.au/Canada/grouse. html Many good wheelchair accessible trails await the adventurous hiker. The 10-kilometer Seymour Valley Trailway features numerous picnic stops, while the 12-kilometer Inland Lake Trail includes accessible cabins. More challenging is the 55-kilometer Galloping Goose Trail from Victoria to Sooke.

The Stanley Park Seawall offers great Vancouver views with beach access, and Richmond’s West Dyke Trail includes 5.5 kilometers of beautiful marsh and Howe Sound mountain views. North of Squamish in Alice Lake Provincial Park, the Four Lakes Trail provides nearly eight kilometers of forests and lakes to explore. Just west of Whistler Village, the Valley Trail provides the hiker with over 13 kilometers of paved trails exploring lakes, parks and recreational areas. http://travability.travel/Canada/ bc_hiking_trails.html Sticks and Wheels: A Guide to Accessible Travel on the Lower Sunshine Coast The inspiration for this book was born on a hot summer day when Ellen Frank, who has multiple sclerosis and uses a variety of mobility aids, went looking for an accessible Sunshine Coast beach. She consulted tourist information, library databases and the Internet to no avail, so she felt it was time to write this book. Drawing on her background as a travel consultant, Ellen published a comprehensive guide that will enable visitors and residents with mobility concerns to have a great time on the Sunshine Coast–without facing unnecessary barriers. For more on this book, go to http://www.sticksandwheels.net. n

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baggage: take pedals off and tape or Cowley andthe Company tie them the seat of your chair. Try to get a container formagazine your wheelchair anddrafts show Transition -- ad staff how to lock and unlock the brake–or you can tape directions on how to do this on your chair.

Cody mouthpainting

Taking a Break

Cody I travel a lot and I also use a ventilator. Here are some tips I hope will be helpful to you, even if you use other equipment or devices. Have the measurements of your ventilator or other device ready when you book your trip. If you’re travelling by plane, ask for a bulkhead seat because it’s near the front exit and usually has more space

Paying too much for TV? Consider Netflix

Monthly cable TV costs can be unaffordable for many of us. One alternative is to subscribe to Netflix–an internet hub for TV and The best thing about travel is seeing new movies. places and meeting new people. You’ll find With Netflix, you decide what that people everywhere are more than to watch and when to watch. For willing to help you whenever they can. $7.99 a month, you can watch movies and TV episodes streamShawna ing over the Internet to your TV, I filled out an online survey at a local PC, Mac or other devices. You can drugstore and received a $5 gift card for try Netflix free for one month. And, my time. I purchased a fireplace yule log if you subscribe, you can cancel Car Accident Lawyers DVD that had a bonus of ocean waves anytime, online, 24 hours a day. crashing against the shore and a hammock There are no cancellation fees. Dr. Lee A. Cowley, D.C., LL.B. overlooking a beach. Netflix has thousands of movies and TV episodes available 24 I live in a basement suite with104 fewAvenue, win- Surrey, BC V3T 1W7 300-13805 hours day. However, don’t expect P: 604-583-3000 F: 604-583-3045 dows, so when I feel down, especially in W: cowleylawcorp.ca the winter, I put this DVD on. I can listen to to see everything that is on stanthe natural sounds and dream I’m relaxing dard cable on Netflix. See if Netflix is for you; visit http://ca.netflix. under a shady palm tree with a book and com. n cool drink!

If you’re travelling by car or van, of course, book your accessible accommodation and always bring your extension cord and power bar for your equipment (plus transformer for overseas). The most challenging part is remembering all your equipment. Make a list and, when flying, take your essentials in your carry on–Ambu Bag, suction and extra ventilator if possible. Airlines have come a long way and are quite familiar with vents and are even willing to help you transfer. It’s really important to secure your wheelchair for

BC Coalition of People with Disabilities | Transition | Spring 2011

Cowley & Company

Cowley & Company

1

2

Car Accident Lawyers

Dr. Lee A. Cowley, D.C., LL.B. 300-13805 104 Avenue, Surrey, BC V3T 1W7 P: 604-583-3000 F: 604-583-3045 W: cowleylawcorp.ca

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BC Rehab Supports the Community by Pam MacDonald Hello, Transition readers! For those of you who don’t know us, I’d like to tell you a bit about the BC Rehab Foundation. BC Rehab was created in 1994 with the mission to support people living with physical disabilities and we’re proud to be continuing our mission. Here are some highlights of our current programs.

Individual Grant Program This is one of BC Rehab’s most important programs. We provide financial assistance to individuals with physical disabilities who require help in obtaining mobility equipment, programming and other items that will improve their mobility and independence. BC Rehab considers a range of requests from manual wheelchairs to custom orthotics and recreational therapy opportunities. We

also provide personal advocacy support and information on other disability resources available in BC.

Project Grant Program BC Rehab supports projects province-wide that make programs and services accessible to people with physical disabilities. Through this program, we have supported valuable initiatives, such as the Farmers on 57th accessible urban garden, the Community Recreational Initiative Society’s adaptive kayaking program and an acquired brain injury housing initiative run by the Campbell River Head Injury Support Society.

Gert Vorsteher Memorial Award This annual award program recognizes individuals who have demonstrated an exceptional commitment to their physical rehabilitation and achieving per-

Gert Vorsteher award winner Alvin Schulz and family, presented by Kathy Scalzo, BC Rehab Board member

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sonal independence. In 2010, we awarded eight individuals from across the province with $5,000 each. This award is going into its fourth year.

Fund for Research and Innovation This is a competitive annual grant program that supports research in the field of rehabilitation. We provide research grants to rehabilitation clinicians and practitioners to further efforts in new areas of rehabilitation research. In 2010, we provided three grants of $15,000 each toward studies that contribute to physical rehabilitation research and benefit people living with physical disabilities.

Community Partnerships Initiative This is our newest program! The intent of the BC Rehab Community Partnerships Initiative is to increase accessibility in BC communities and create opportunities for the full participation of people with physical disabilities. We encourage projects that involve multiple partners, promote universal access and demonstrate community support. Applications will be accepted for these funding opportunities up until May 13th, 2011. More information on any of our programs can be found on our newly-designed website at bcrehab.com. If you have any questions, please give us a call at 604-737-6383 or drop by our office in room 193 of the GF Strong Rehab Facility. n

BC Coalition of People with Disabilities | Transition | Spring 2011


The UN Convention: What’s Next? In March 2010, Canada ratified the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). The Council of Canadians with Disabilities has been a key player in disability rights and policy on the national scene. This article is an excerpt from a December 2010 speech by CCD Executive Director, Laurie Beachell. Based on the experience of people with disabilities and related research, CCD thinks that exclusion, poverty and isolation are a shared reality for too many of the 14.3% of Canadians who have a disability and approximately onethird of First Nations and other Aboriginal Canadians who have a disability. Sadly, the outcomes are predictable. We know that: • Canadians with disabilities disproportionately live in poverty. • Over two million Canadian adults with disabilities lack one or more of the educational, workplace, aids, home modification or other supports they need to participate fully in their communities. • Over 56% of working-age adults with disabilities are currently unemployed or out of the labour market. • According to the International Labour Organization, the annual loss of global GDP due to the exclusion of persons with disabilities from the labour market is between US$1.37 trillion and $1.94 trillion. • Many people with intellectual disabilities remain

warehoused in institutions, including group homes and congregate care facilities. Slightly more than half of Canadian children with disabilities who need aids and devices need more than what they receive. Rates of violence and abuse against people with disabilities, in particular women with disabilities, are among the highest for any group in Canadian society.

The CRPD provides a concrete way for us to examine our program and services. The question we need to answer over the next few years is: do we have the types and levels of disability supports programs and services that our domestic legal framework requires? Are we living up to the promise of our human rights laws? The CRPD is a useful way of reviewing our programs and answering these questions.

Monitoring The disability community places a great deal of importance on a monitoring process and methods. We know that the long-term advancement of our issues will depend upon appropriate mechanisms being established to ensure good implementation and monitoring processes are in place. We will work hard to make sure that the full range of monitoring methods are implemented.

BC Coalition of People with Disabilities | Transition | Spring 2011

Ratification, above all, means that our political leaders must translate their rhetorical support into concrete, resultsoriented action.

We are especially pleased with the role of civil society and, in particular, of people with disabilities in monitoring contemplated by CRPD. A recent and very encouraging approach has been adopted in New Zealand, where the government has funded a coalition of six disability organizations to monitor implementation.

Conclusion I want to close by reiterating that, in our view, the CRPD is a very useful instrument, bringing together human rights principles and specific measures to be adopted for the benefit of society, including people with disabilities. Ratification, above all, means that our political leaders must translate their rhetorical support into concrete, results-oriented action. This means going beyond current processes and mechanisms, and, yes, allocating necessary resources. Let me close by quoting a statement, that we wholeheartedly support, by Prime Minister Harper: “At this Summit, our discussions should be less about new agreements than accountability for existing ones. Less about lofty promises than real results.” For more on the UN Convention and CCD, visit www.ccdonline.ca. n

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To Screen or Not to Screen? What can you expect from new airport security measures? by Andrew Quinn

O

ne of the biggest changes affecting travellers in the last decade is the increase in security procedures. Metal detectors, full body scanners and enhanced pat downs are now the norm. For the traveller with physical limitations or differences, some of these new procedures may be difficult, painful and invasive. Here’s a look at what you can expect as you move through security, if you choose to travel internationally. The United States Transport Security Administration (TSA) has several links that provide information on security procedures, including those used with people with special needs. http://www. tsa.gov/travelers/index.shtm

Hidden Disabilities Pacemakers, defibrillators, implanted medical devices, diabetes equipment, oxygen devices and medications fall under this category. You have the option of advising security of your implants or disability and the right to request a private screening, accompanied by travelling companions, if you wish. http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtravel/specialneeds/editorial_1374.shtm.

Special Conditions and Situations If your medical condition may not be obvious to TSA officials, you have the option to inform

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the security officer of areas that have undergone recent surgery or reconstruction that may be sensitive to a pat down procedure. Good communication between yourself and the inspecting officer will make the screening go more smoothly. http://www.tsa.gov/ travelers/airtravel/specialneeds/ editorial_1986.shtm

Scanner or Enhanced Pat Down All passengers travelling through airports, especially in the United States, must go through a Whole Body Imaging (WBI) scanner or an “enhanced pat down.” If you choose the scanner, you’ll be asked to step or wheel into a cylinder that is about five feet in diameter and has glass walls. You hold your arms briefly over your head, while the security officer looks at a small monitor. Then you’re done. You can choose the option of an enhanced pat down. During this procedure, security officers must inform you of the areas of the body they will inspect and must offer you a private screening, if you so desire. The procedure includes the use of an open palm to pat down your entire body, including breasts, buttocks, genitals and inside the waistband of your pants. Parts of your wheelchair, such as the sides and cushion, will be removed and sent through a scanner. You may also wish to

make known any extra padding from incontinence products you may be wearing or any ostomy or catheter bags. If you are unable to walk a long distance, stand unassisted for a few minutes or raise your arms, you should request an enhanced pat down. Inform the security officer of any tender or painful areas, and let the officer know of any physical limitations you have such as arm raising or leaning forward. In short, communicate your limitations clearly and allow adequate time for check-in and screening. http://barrierfreetravels.com/serendipity/archives/608-DisabledTravelers-and-Enhanced-PatDowns.html

Opinion from Jaunted.com Finally, a blogger and contributing editor to Jaunted.com shared these feelings about the new enhanced regulations: “If people without a disability think the TSA’s new ‘enhanced’ pat-downs are intrusive (not to mention ticklish), imagine how tedious the process will be if you wear a catheter and leg bag, or have a colostomy bag, a feeding tube, or simply wear a diaper? Or if you spasm easily when touched, or if it hurts to lean forward to let the security guy peer behind your buttocks, or if you have a cognitive disability and object to being groped and prodded for no reason?” n

BC Coalition of People with Disabilities | Transition | Spring 2011


Taking a Break Jeanette

Bits & Pieces

One of my favourite leisure activities is to spend time at Spanish Banks. I love the quietness, the breeze and the sound of waves splashing on rocks. You can meander along the seawall, enjoying the view of the North Shore mountains, the lighthouse, Bowen Island and beyond. And always, there are the ships from all around the world.

VIA RAIL Canada’s train which travels across the country is not accessible to all Canadians. Particularly not to wheelchair users. In March 2010, Catherine Frazee, co-curator of the Out from Under: Disability, History and Things to Remember exhibition, was forced to travel from Toronto to Vancouver via the USA train service AMTRAK because VIA RAIL could not accommodate her. She was bringing the Out from Under exhibition to the Paralympic Cultural Olympiad in Vancouver 2010. After some publicity around our inaccessible national train service, VIA RAIL sent a letter of apology to Ms Frazee and the Vancouver Sun. At a reception in Vancouver for the Human Rights Museum, Catherine Frazee, challenged VIA RAIL to be fully accessible by 2012, when the Museum opens in Winnipeg. http://www.facebook.com/pages/ make-via-rail-accessible-by-2012/102639329774496?v=info

At one point on the seawall, there is a small stream running under a small bridge. The stream has been cleared of all debris, revitalized and brought back to life. The salmon have returned; it’s like a small miracle. When I’m feeling down, spending time at Spanish Banks helps to “restore the soul,” to get things back into perspective, to rediscover the joy in life. To become one with the ocean, the sand, grasses and trees. So beautiful, so peaceful.

Wheelchair accessible holiday accommodations in Thailand, France and Hungary. http://twitter. com/gehandicapten

App 1: Whizzer is a restroom-locating mobile application. It allows you to: • Find clean restrooms when you are on-thego. • Specify how clean a public restroom you will tolerate. • Find baby changing stations. • Find gas stations with clean restrooms. • Find restrooms with security guards. • Find restrooms with showers. Check out Whizzer at iTunes or whizzerapp.com. App 2: Ever wondered when the next bus in Vancouver is coming? Guess no more! Check out the TransLink app to access complete schedules for buses, SkyTrain, WestCoast Express and SeaBus. You’ll also see service alerts and star your favourite stops. TransLink complements the Google Maps application on your iPhone or iPod.

 n

Training on Buses BC Transit offers free training to anyone who needs assistance in learning how to use the bus system. Call 250384-7723 for further information.

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Is Your Organization Ready for an Emergency? A New Manual Can Help “If the value that everyone should be included is not infused into planning, then not everyone will be included.” June Isaacson Kailes Since 2006, BC Coalition of People with Disabilities (BCCPD) has initiated several community-based projects to make emergency planning more inclusive of people with disabilities. We found in our research that planning efforts too often did not consider the diverse needs of people who live with disabilities. And, as a result, these needs were not met in various recent disasters. Our most current work in emergency preparedness has been with our project partner, Volunteer Canada. Eighteen trainers from volunteer centres and disability organizations from New Brunswick, Ontario, Alberta, Yukon and British Columbia came to Vancouver in January 2011 for two days of training on emergency planning and people with disabilities.

You Can Prepare to Help We’re pleased to announce a training manual has now been developed from this workshop. The manual, Prepare to Survive – Prepare to Help: Community Training in Emergency Planning for People with Disabilities, is a joint project of BCCPD and Volunteer Canada. The manual focuses on building community groups’ and networks’ ability to respond and

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recover from disasters. The training content includes: • Disability awareness. • Researching information about your local government’s emergency plan. • Personal preparedness planning. • Social networks in the community. • Community asset mapping that looks at the resources in a community that can be drawn on in emergencies. • Emergency scenario exercises, such as wildfires and winter storms. • Case studies of emergency preparedness programs with community-based and inclusive approaches. • Video clips, powerpoints and exercises to help groups to train others in their communities. • Resources information.

What’s Next? Over the next few months, the volunteer centres and disability organizations that have completed the training will collaboratively train people in their own communities. Here in BC, the partners we have trained are Volunteer Cowichan and Cowichan Independent Liv-

ing, and Volunteer Richmond and the Richmond Centre for Disability. We will announce upcoming workshops in BC through our e-newsletter and on our Facebook page. For more information about the project or the emergency preparedness work of the BCCPD, please contact Karen Martin at karen@bccpd.bc.ca or 604-8750188. You can also download a copy of the Prepare to Survive manual from the BCCPD website, under the Projects section. The Social Organization Framework for Emergency Planning: Community Training in Disability Issues project is funded in part by the Government of Canada’s Social Development Partnership Program – Disability Component. “The opinions and interpretations in this publication are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Government of Canada.” n

BC Coalition of People with Disabilities | Transition | Spring 2011


advocacy

access

helpsheet bc disability benefits

All of our Help Sheet self-help guides have now been updated for 2011 and we have added a new sheet, People with Disabilities on Reserve: The PWD Designation. Help Sheets marked with an “*� are now also available in Traditional Chinese and Punjabi. The Help Sheets are available at www.bccpd. bc.ca, in our publications library or can be mailed to you on request. Email us at feedback@bccpd. bc.ca or call 604-8750188 and ask for Val. Our sincere thanks to the Legal Services Society of BC, Human Resources and Skills Development Canada Homelessness Partnering Strategy and the Health Sciences Association of British Columbia for making this update possible.

*2 The Person with Disabilities Benefit Application *3 Checklist for the Persons with Disabilities Benefit 5A Appealing Denial of the PWD benefit: The Reconsideration 5B Appealing Denial of the PWD Benefit: The Appeal Tribunal 6 Persons with Persistent and Multiple Barriers (PPMB) to Employment Application *7 Health Supplements for People with Disabilities 8 Trusts for Persons with Disabilities (PWD) 9 Employment and People with Disabilities 10 Employment, Education and Training Supplements for People with Disabilities 11A Appealing Denial of PPMB: The Request for Reconsideration 11B Appealing Denial of the PPMB Benefit: The Appeal Tribunal 12 Income Assistance Application Process for People with Disabilities 13 Rate Amounts for PWD and PPMB Benefits *14 Registered Disability Savings Plan and the Disability Tax Credit 15 People with Disabilities on Reserve: The PWD Designation Please visit:

http://www.bccpd.bc.ca/advocacypubls.htm

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Behind Every Great Organization...

transition

subscription form

by Jane Dyson “BC Coalition, good morning, how can I help you?”“Good afternoon, Advocacy Access, let me see if I can find that out for you.” I must have heard those and similar phrases thousands of times in my years working at the BCCPD: the voices of our dedicated volunteers who work so hard to help the many people who call our office. We’re grateful to our volunteers for being the first point of contact for many of our callers and for all the other important work they do for the BCCPD. Volunteers help us to mail out Transition and keep us current with the news.

They deliver and pick up some of our mail, and help us keep our office clean. They share their perspectives about living with a disability and tell us their stories for our articles and projects. They help us with mail-outs and shredding. And they bring their dogs to the office which brightens everyone’s day. To all our volunteers, from the BCCPD Board and staff, thank you for everything you do for the BCCPD and the community. Your contribution is so valuable and we cannot thank you enough for all your support. We hope you feel appreciated every day. n

Yes, I would like to receive Transition magazine 4 times per year. Please add me to your mailing list; I am enclosing my $15 annual subscription fee. Name _____________________________ Organization _____________________________ _____________________________ Address ____________________________ _____________________________ City/Prov _____________________

It’s a Celebration In December, the City of Vancouver hosted the Annual Celebration of International Day of Persons with Disabilities. It was a magical evening, attended by over 700 people from all walks of life. It was wonderful to see so many people, old friends and new, attend this very special and entertaining event. Congratulations to the organizers for putting this together and to everyone who contributed their time and energy to ensure that this celebration was such a success. Everyone from the BCCPD who attended had a great time! Jane Dyson, BCCPD Executive Director

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Postal Code ___________________ Phone _______________________ Email ________________________ _____________________________ Please check one: I’d like to receive Transition in the following format: ❒❒ PDF (by email) ❒❒ I’ll read it online ❒❒ Paper (by mail) ❒❒ Text disc (by mail) ❒❒ Audio tape (by mail) Please make cheques payable to “BCCPD” and send to us at Transition, c/o BCCPD, 204 - 456 W. Broadway, Vancouver, BC V5Y 1R3. For information on BCCPD’s privacy policy, see the Privacy Statement in this Transition.

BC Coalition of People with Disabilities | Transition | Spring 2011


Planned Giving

A New Way to Contribute

The BCCPD has a new Planned Giving program. Planned Giving is the opportunity to think ahead about causes or organizations that you may want to financially support beyond your lifetime. You can take the time now to gather information and leave instructions in your will. By planning ahead, you can research charities, or have someone research charities for you, that fit your values. You won’t feel rushed or pressured to make a decision and you can ensure that your money is spent in the way that you want.

Tax savings

Benefits

To learn more

There are many benefits to Planned Giving. By writing down your wishes, you will have increased peace of mind and control over your finances. Through Planned Giving, you can provide a significant future donation without reducing your income today. A gift in your will to a registered Canadian charity is taxdeductible. And, your Planned Gift helps the BCCPD to be here in the future for those who need us.

You can realize significant tax savings with Planned Giving. For example, stocks, bonds and mutual funds that you may have in a trust can be transferred in your will to a charity and a tax receipt will be issued. A bequest from your estate of cash or RRSPs will reduce the taxes that your estate will be required to pay. Other ways of donating give twofold value: by naming the BCCPD as the beneficiary in a life insurance policy, you do not incur any costs now and a tax receipt is issued when the estate is settled.

You’ve always been there for others. It’s part of who you are. Now, you can continue to give beyond your lifetime with Planned Giving. Your bequest to BC Coalition of People with Disabilities will promote and protect the dignity and independence of people living with a disability.

Our donors are important to us and we’ll work with you to be recognized in the way that you’d prefer. If you would like more information about Planned Giving, please contact Mr. Sam Bradd at the BCCPD at sam@bccpd.bc.ca or 604-875-0188. He will send you BCCPD Planned Giving information for you to review with your financial planner or lawyer, family and friends. n

BC Coalition of People with Disabilities | Transition | Spring 2011

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BC Coalition of People with Disabilities | Transition | Spring 2011

Transition Spring 2011  

Taking a Break

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