Dt mag winter 2017

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The Best in Caribbean Accessibility for Tourists

Accessible By Design

Everyday products that work for all!

10 Reasons Why I’m Thankful for My Disability

Wendy Crawford, mobileWOMEN.org $3.95 CDN/US


FALL/WINTER 2016-2017

Get the best selection of accessibility devices. Intuitive and designed for accessibility, the Doro 824 offers larger, easy-to-tap buttons, while the Doro 824C provides a tactile keyboard overlay, screen reader and over 25 specialty apps. Both devices are available exclusively from Bell. For people with limited mobility, the Tecla seamlessly connects to a smartphone to provide the ultimate portable, hands-free experience. Exclusive offer Complimentary Android screen reader app ($100 value). Learn more at bell.ca/accessibility or call our dedicated accessibility centre at 1 866 310-2355.


FA L L / W I N T E R


F E AT U R E S 14 A Rose for Accessible Barbados Access for Tourists in this Island Nation Considered to be Caribbean’s Best

20 A ccessible By Design Everyday products that work for all! Be they intentionally accessible, or accidentally, these products are simply awesome for all.

Barbados is a neatly packaged bundle of variety with something different around every corner. But there’s something else unique to Barbados that sets this courteous country apart from its Caribbean cohorts. It has been applauded as being the most accessible country in the Caribbean.

D E PA R T M E N T S 4 Publisher’s Note 6 Big News

10 Point of View Education is the Beacon of Light Ruth Wilcox, Executive Director, Ontario Brain Injury Association

New Class of Canadian Disability Hall of Fame Inductees

10 Reasons Why I’m Thankful for My Disability Wendy Crawford, mobileWomen.org

Special Needs at Sea Celebrates 10th Anniversary Wheelchair Use and Diabetes Link

28 Bulletin Board

Google Maps Now Shows Wheelchair Accessibility

Welcome March of Dimes People in Motion Paralympic Swimmer Named to Order of Canada Ability Online’s 150 Challenge Carbon is the New Back Simple Socket Solution is Revolutionary Horsepower – Therapeutic Riding Award Winners

Anxiety Busters Program for Youth Increasing ODSP Benefits

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Disability Today NETWORK



7 Cover photo by: Dena Gouweloos, Siren Communications

Visit Us. Follow Us. Join Us. Disability Today “ Where the willingness is great, the difficulties cannot be.” – Niccolo Machiavelli A friend once said to me “accessibility is in the eye of the beholder.” In other words, accessibility means something different to all of us. Her words rang true for me on a recent trip to the Caribbean to meet with the Barbados Council for the Disabled, and learn about their Fully Accessible Barbados program for tourists with disabilities. While nothing is perfect for all, not here at home nor abroad, Barbados has made remarkable strides on the access front… and has earned the reputation of being the most accessible tourist destination in the Caribbean. But accommodation is not always all about ramps and grab bars. It’s about people too… attitude and the willingness to find solutions on the fly. This too is what accessibility means in Barbados. I experienced this “can-do” approach first-hand in only my first few hours in this welcoming island nation. In need of a prosthetic repair, with no prosthetist to call, I deferred to Barbadian kindness and creativity. Donning my spare pair of arms – I never leave home without them – I reluctantly handed my everyday set over to an enthusiastic resort employee who was bound and bet to find a fix. And he did. Accessibility is in the eye of the beholder. That’s what the Disability Today Network is all about. Bringing together the best products and places for the disability community under one “virtual roof” with a network of people as our greatest resource for information and inspiration. Check out our newest channel – Fully Accessible Barbados – in our Travel category. With new content every day, follow us as it happens through DT Network Tweets (@DisabilityToday) and Facebook (/DisabilityToday). It’s all at www.disabilitytodaynetwork.com.



DT Publishing Group, Inc. Box 327, 2 Main Street E. Grimsby, Ontario L3M 4G5 T: (905) 945-6016 E: jeff@disabilitytodaynetwork.com DT Publishing Group, Inc. P.O. Box 2660, Niagara Falls, NY 14302-2660 www.disabilitytodaynetwork.com MANAGING EDITOR: Brenda McCarthy E: brenda@disabilitytodaynetwork.com EDITOR-IN-CHIEF: Jeff Tiessen ART DIRECTOR: Starr Hansen DESIGN & LAYOUT: SJ Design Studio ADVERTISING SALES: DT Publishing Group, Inc. Jeff Tiessen, publisher T: (800) 725-7136 E: jeff@disabilitytodaynetwork.com LEGAL CONSULTANT: Bernard Gluckstein, Q.C. Disability Today magazine is published two times a year by DT Publishing Group, Inc. DTPG accepts no responsibility for injury, damages or losses arising out of the use or misuse of ideas, opinions, activities or products contained in this publication. Where appropriate, professional advice should be sought. All material submitted to the magazine becomes the property of Disability Today magazine. CANADIAN Postmaster: Please send address changes to Disability Today magazine, Box 327, 2 Main Street E., Grimsby, Ontario L3M 4G5. U.S. Postmaster: Please send address changes to Disability Today magazine, P.O. Box 2660, Niagara Falls, NY 14302-2660. SUBSCRIPTIONS: 1-year (2 issues) is $7.50. International orders add $10.00 U.S.

ABOUT US Who are we? We’re an online village like no other; the disability community’s social media network… an online “expo” of information of special interest to people with disabilities, their families and healthcare professionals. Developed by Disability Today Publishing Group, Inc., a community pioneer and leader for people with disabilities for over 25 years, the Disability Today Network is connecting our community in a revolutionary new way through the power of print, internet and social media. Jeff Tiessen, Executive Producer


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Founded by the Canadian Foundation for Physically Disabled Persons, the Canadian Disability Hall of Fame welcomed its new class of inductees in 2016, recognizing outstanding individuals who have made extraordinary contributions to the quality of life for people with physical disabilities. Top-ranked wheelchair basketball player Marni Abbott-Peter led Canada’s national women’s wheelchair basketball team to three gold medals and a

bronze in her four Paralympic Games appearances (1992, 1996, 2000, 2004). She was the flag-bearer for Team Canada at the opening ceremony of the Atlanta 1996 Paralympic Games. A native of Vancouver, Abbott-Peter retired in 2004 and now coaches as she works to develop junior wheelchair basketball athletes. Tim Frick championed major innovations in sport development. Frick, of Pender Island,

B.C., made Team Canada one of the most dominant squads in the history of Canadian amateur sports. He was the head coach of Canada’s national women’s wheelchair basketball team from 1990 to 2009. Frick coached Canada to an 11-year winning streak with three consecutive Paralympic gold medals (1992 - 2000 and four World Championship titles (1994 - 2006). He continues to support wheelchair basketball in Canada even as he has “retired” from the game. Musician Terry Kelly, a Newfoundland native, has released seven full-length recordings, resulting in seven East Coast Music awards and nominations for four Canadian Country Music awards and a JUNO. A recipient of the Order of Canada, Kelly, who is blind, remains very active in his profession, regularly performing throughout North America and beyond. He uses his music to focus attention on helping youth reach their full potential, honour our service men and women, veterans and first responders, and support Canadians with disabilities.

Photo: Wheelchair Basketball Canada

Learn more about the Canadian Foundation for Physically Disabled Persons at www.disabilitytodaynetwork.com in the Associations category.



WHEELCHAIR USE AND DIABETES LINKED Special Needs at Sea® Celebrates 10th Anniversary Special Needs Group®/Special Needs at Sea®(SNG), the leading global provider of special needs equipment rentals, celebrated its 10th anniversary of delivering accessible travel in 2017. Since its launch in 2007, SNG has completed over 150,000 orders, making travel dreams come true for individuals with special needs and/or disabilities, the fastest-growing market segment in travel. “SNG was founded with a strategic vision to deliver an accessible world and make it possible for anyone to travel, even if they have a disability or special need,” stated Andrew J. Garnett, SNG founder, president and CEO. “Today, we are breaking travel barriers for hundreds of thousands of individuals with special needs who wish to see the world.” SNG services 165 metropolitan areas in 35 countries across the globe. It is the leading global provider of wheelchair rentals, scooter rentals, oxygen rentals and other special needs equipment rentals, and also offers a broad range of equipment for purchase. In addition to providing special needs equipment, SNG continuously raises awareness of special needs travel through newsletters, webinars, blogs, social media tools, panel discussions, and presentations.

Visit SNG on the DT Network at www.disabilitytodaynetwork.com/ special-needs-group.

There is an inexorable link between wheelchair use and diabetes. Research shows that individuals whose mobility is severely limited have a greater chance of developing diabetes. Paralysis increases one’s risk for developing diabetes due to a number of factors, including decreased physical activity and decreased control over food choices. Specific measures need to be taken to prevent and treat the problems associated with this disease. www.disabilitytodaynetwork.com/mobile-women#news to learn what preventive measures can be taken.

Google Maps Now Shows Wheelchair Accessibility

Google Maps, an app favoured by nearly 70 percent of iPhone users, will now list wheelchair accessibility alongside information like traffic and store hours. The app lists wheelchair accessibility under the “Amenities” tab. A team of Google employees, led by Google Drive product manager Rio Akasaka, took advantage of a company policy to make Google Maps accessible for people with physical disabilities. The famous “20 percent policy”, instituted by Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin in 2004, encourages employees to spend up to 20 percent of their working hours on projects with a personal interest that might benefit the company. Akasaka spent the last year working with a team of contributors to develop accessibility guidelines for the app. He collected information on accessibility from users of Google’s “Local Guides” who contribute information about locations in exchange for access to beta features and free Google Drive storage.


Anxiety Busters Program for Youth For youth having problems dealing with anxiety, Ability Online has introduced a new Anxiety Busters module! The program’s goal is to provide resources and strategies to help children and teens manage their anxiety in easy, healthy ways. On the Kids and Teens side of the site (www.abilityonline.org), there are relaxation activities and forums where visitors can find support from their peers. For parents, Ability Online has put together a collection of Do-ItYourself stress reduction toys that the whole family can make, as well as the same forums for support, and tips for managing anxiety and mental health for parents and kids. Ability Online welcomes your input. To suggest tools or strategies you would like to see, contact the organization through their website or their media channel on the DT Network: www.disability todaynetwork.com/ability-online.

INCREASING ODSP BENEFITS If living in Ontario, and have a loved one living at home with special needs, he or she will most likely be in receipt of Ontario Disability Support Program benefits (ODSP). Most people in this situation are receiving $850 monthly from ODSP, this being the Room and Board amount. “But did you know that if your loved one with a disability is able to shop and cook simple meals, even if they require supervision, they could qualify to receive $1,110 per month from ODSP?” asks Kenneth C. Pope, one of the most experienced practitioners in Ontario for families with a member with a disability. Pope has focused his practice on Henson Trusts, which ensure that the child with a disability will not lose provincial disability bene-


fits as a result of an inheritance, but his firm helps clients across Canada plan effectively for the future of their family members in a variety of ways… Disability Tax Credit Approval and Transfer,

Disability and Caregiver Tax Credits, Adult Dependent Survivor Pensions, Powers of Attorney and Guardianship, Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP, and Wills and Estates Law.

To learn more visit the Kenneth C. Pope, LLB channel on the DT Network at www.disabilitytodaynetwork.com/kenneth-pope. Very informative videos. See Resource page as well.



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Education is the Beacon of Light

By Ruth Wilcock, Executive Director, OBIA

I think of the many families and persons living with brain injury who have shared their very personal stories with me. One of the most common threads is how in an instant their lives were changed forever. As I listen to their narratives, I am always moved by their courage, strength and resiliency. However, there are many trials and tribulations that they will encounter throughout their journey. I recall a mom (who I will call Ashley) sharing with me how she was thrown into an unknown world called brain injury when her young child was injured. Medical terminology, various types of procedures and treatment plans were all foreign to her. She felt like she was completely in the dark until she began to edu-


cate herself about brain injury. Ashley’s story reminds me of a descriptor of the meaningfulness of education, in which Helen Keller so eloquently put forward. Keller asked, “Have you ever been at sea in the dense fog, and it seemed as if the tangible white darkness shut you in and the great ship, tense and anxious, groped her way toward the shore with plummet and a sounding-line, and you waited with beating heart for something to happen? I was like that ship before my education began, only I was without a compass or sounding line, and no way of knowing how near the harbour was. ‘Light! Give me light!’ was the wordless cry of my soul, and the light of love shone on me in that very hour.” So many people who are hurled into the sphere of brain injury, like Helen Keller, feel that they are com-

pletely swallowed up by darkness and utterly out of their element. However, the good news is that education can serve as that beacon of light and hope for both the family and the person who has sustained a brain injury. Education can begin to demystify and bring understanding to what has happened to the injured brain and the consequences of brain injury. Furthermore, it can provide useful strategies to deal effectively with various deficits that may be present as a result of the injury. For Ashley, after her child was injured, she reached out to OBIA (Ontario Brain Injury Association) and began to educate herself on brain injury through the training programs we provide. The OBIA training programs became her own “beacon of light.”


OBIA has become the leader in Canada, by providing quality training programs to those working in the field of brain injury, within home and community-based rehabilitation. Through our certificate training programs that we hold in collaboration with Brock University and the Brain Basics Course, we have educated close to 12,000 people. This includes professionals, as well as family members and also those who live with the experience of brain injury. The way I look at it, if those 12,000 people each year impact at least 10 others, then OBIA, through our educational programs, has been directly instrumental in enhancing over 120,000 people who are living with the effects of brain injury.

Although it sounds like a cliché, knowledge really is power and we can never underestimate the power that education brings to us both personally and professionally. I again think of Ashley, and how she imparted the knowledge that she gained through the OBIA courses, to not only further her own understanding, but also to those who were coming into her home and working with, and supporting, her child. When I hear

stories such as these, I do count it an honour that OBIA, through our educational initiatives, is able to be that beacon of light to professionals and family members who are supporting those living with brain injury.

Learn more about OBIA on the DT Network at www.disabilitytodaynetwork.com/ontario-brain-injuryassociation.

Reasons Why I’m Thankful for My Disability By Wendy Crawford and the mobileWOMEN.org team.

Over 30 years ago, I lay in a hospital bed with a metal halo screwed into my skull, immobilizing my neck. I had a C5/C6 injury due to a motor vehicle accident caused by a drunk driver. I was paralyzed. I needed a tracheotomy to breathe. I was scared, depressed and angry. How could this happen to me? I was independent, adventurous and athletic. This does not happen to people like myself. I didn’t know where I was going to live or how I was going to manage physically and financially. If someone told me then that someday I would actually be grateful in some ways for my disability, I would’ve screamed at them that they were out of their mind!


But the years passed and I began to realize that this massive hurdle that was thrown at me as a young adult came with unexpected gifts that slowly rose to the surface, often difficult to identify through my tunnelled negative vision. The older I get, the more in touch I am with myself and the more I’ve learned to embrace the positives. We all have obstacles, relatively speaking, that are overwhelming at times but if we force ourselves to look introspectively, we will see that those challenges are actually the tools that have sculpted us into the person who we have become. That doesn’t necessarily mean I rejoice over having a disability – it’s frustrating and difficult beyond words sometimes, but if you are able to see the glimmer of light throughout those tough times, they are not only bearable but much easier to overcome. Many years ago, I was complaining about everything that had gone wrong one day and my friend suggested that I get a journal and each day, enter five things for which I was grateful. Sounds easy right? At first it was next to impossible and I would sit racking my brain trying to think of anything positive out of yet another crappy day. But gradually I learned to shift my way of thinking to see things with a different perspective. Fifteen years later, I have no idea what became of the journal but every night before I go to sleep, I think of five positive aspects of my day, trying not to turn to the same ones over and over again. It may be as simple as a smile from a stranger or a pretty sunset. The exercise actually calms me and helps me go to sleep.

Often we cannot change our circumstances but we can strive to change how we deal with them. Thinking positive can be challenging but not impossible, especially if you work at it. We at mobileWOMEN.org came together to share some of the reasons why we are thankful for our disability: • I am so grateful for all the amazing people, especially other “mobileWOMEN” who I have met due to my disability. Even though we come from different backgrounds, there is an undeniable bond that creates a deep connection. • My disability has taught me to have empathy for others. I truly did not understand what it meant to have compassion for others’ struggles until I lived through my own. • My disability taught me that I want to help people. Working with older adults for over 20 years who are now facing their own disabilities, it has taught me to understand the sudden changes they go through or the losses they face. It has also taught me to directly address them and not act like they are not present when family or staff are present. • My disability has taught me perseverance. My disability has taught me that there are always multiple ways to accomplish something, and the perseverance to find my own best way of doing something with a positive attitude is a quality that I’m proud of and something that other people often comment about as lacking in other people they meet.

• Living with my disability has taught me patience. Not everything can be done quickly and some tasks require resourcefulness, and so I grew into a fairly patient individual. • I’ve learned to look beyond the receipt of a person and a situation. Things are definitely not always what they seem! • My disability taught me to be a great listener because I understand the importance of support. • Disability taught me to understand what prejudice is like and be more compassionate to anyone or group who has faced their own bigotry. Not saying I’m perfect with this, but I pay attention and try to be more empathetic. • My disability taught me to be strong and that I am a survivor.

• My disability has taught me how to be responsible. I have a lot of fun in life and live life to the fullest, but having unique aspects of dealing with everything from my medical care to making sure that my chair stays in good working order has taught me to be responsible at the same time.

Share with us why you are grateful for your disability at www.disabilitytodaynetwork.com/mobile-women#blog.




A Rose for Accessible Barbados ACCESS FOR TOURISTS IN THIS ISLAND NATION CONSIDERED TO BE CARIBBEAN’S BEST Andromeda (above) is a unique and historical botanic gardens that draws visitors along winding pathways, strolling or rolling through this horticultural delight. With an amazing variety of trees and plants, a wealth of wildlife, and serene ponds, there is a spirit to this wonderful space that is both invigorating and relaxing at the same time. Completely accessible? No. But plenty to enjoy by wheelchair or scooter. Bathsheba, St. Joseph. www.andromedabarbados.com.

By: Jeff Tiessen

Measuring just a compact 21 x 14 miles, Barbados is a neatly packaged bundle of variety with something different around every corner. Whether a random exploring adventure or a planned visit to some attractions, the island provides a compelling range of scenic surprises, a fascinating history and rich architectural heritage, and a chance to interact with people who are considered to be among the friendliest in the world.


But there’s something else unique to Barbados that sets this courteous country apart from its Caribbean cohorts. It has been applauded as being the most accessible country for tourists in the Caribbean, and a work-in-progress example for other sun-splashed islands in the region to which to aspire. It’s a fact, accessibility is not inherent throughout the Caribbean due in some part to the impediments of natural terrain and standing styles of architecture. Also a fact, accessibility for tourists with physical disabilities really hasn’t been much of a concern to the keepers of the tourism industry in these

nations either. But that is changing. And that change is trending upward, literally, from the vision and yeoman work in one of the Caribbean’s most southern islands – Barbados – to the archipelago’s northern nations, particularly the Bahamas. And it all began with a Rose. Roseanna Tudor, actually, the Operations Manager for the Barbados Council for the Disabled (BCD). And at her side another Rose… Rose-Ann “Rose” Foster-Vaughan, the organization’s Administrative Project Officer. Roseanna initiated Fully Accessible Barbados, a BCD program, in 2005, and has battled for its assent and guided its growth


to this day. “Rose” is competitive countries. the program’s trusted FAB encourages that ambassador of sorts, level of accessibility.” an unstoppable force FAB is very strict of validity who will with its standards. manoeuver her scoot“Nowhere in Barbaer over hill and dale, dos is anything 100% steps and stones, to accessible,” Roseput a fine point on her anna acknowledges. message of inclusion “Many properties are through accessibility. getting there though. Rose knows. She’s But we won’t issue lived with segregation our highest standards Rose-Ann “Rose” Foster-Vaughan by way of a societal if they are not meetdisregard for acing them. We start Paddle Barbados is the one-stop-shop for everything surfing, paddle cessibility. But the boarding and kayaking in Barbados. Owners Jason and Sarah Cole are with the basics and challenges associated committed to offering their lessons and tours to all, and very proud of issue certification their company’s accessibility for people with disabilities. Their inclusionwith cerebral palsy based on the level of ary approach extends to their rental equipment, which includes an achave not limited her accessibility – ranging cessible water chair. Located at the Barbados Cruising Club. Bridgetown. from features that achievements, especially not as an ardent www.paddlebarbados.com. can offer complete advocate for Barbadiindependence for How about this for a measure of ans with disabilities, and those with a wheelchair or scooter user, to success… the United Nations has special needs who visit her country. accessibility that accommodates endorsed FAB with full support. BarCoupled with her Bajan charm, wit that individual, but with some assisbados’s Ministry of Tourism is now and undying persistence, she is tance.” FAB also has two categories partnering in FAB’s efforts, and at impossible to deny. for individuals who are blind or an “accessible tourism” conference The tireless and undetered visually impaired, and one for deaf in the Bahamas, the Prime Minister labours of the two Roses are bepersons as well. of that country recognized FAB and ginning to bloom. Fully Accessible Yet, as the disability communiBarbados as the Caribbean’s leader Barbados (FAB) encourages and ty well knows, catering to special facilitates inclusive tourism. Its main in accessibility. needs is not always limited to physRoseanna doesn’t hesitate to purpose is to raise the quantity and ical provisions. The service offered share that the road thus far has not the quality of services available to by staff to guests with a disability been easy and convincing tourism tourists with disabilities by accredis important as well. Roseanna stakeholders to make changes to iting those properties and facilities notes that even where a facility does their properties is not a simple that provide accessible services. It’s not have ideal physical access, a task. “We understood that we were more than that too. FAB now serves welcoming attitude makes all the dealing with an already-built touras an accessible tour rep, providing difference. This subjective side of ism environment… which does not transportation from the airport and accessibility is one that does not lead to easy access. And we knew to attractions, wheelchair rentals, disappoint in Barbados. the cultural environment we faced, and a robust listing of hotels, restauBajans have a deep-rooted which is similar to many other rants and attractions, detailing their spiritual consciousness, and values levels of accessibility. “It’s becoming countries in the world, where tourof etiquette, courtesy, thoughtfulists with disabilities are too often a business,” says Roseanna, “which ness and generosity that have been ignored. Tourists with disabilities is right in line with what we are passed down for generations. Those could no longer be ignored,” she promoting to the tourism industry tenets can trump a lot of step and exclaims. here in Barbados, and beyond. That stair trouble for most. The culture’s “In today’s globalized market,” is, there is business potential in the personality is anchored by its willshe explains, “Barbados has to offer international disability community.” ingness to help, a key contributor to our guests the same quality of serSo how is FAB’s admirable misits prescribed status as the Caribbevice that they are accustomed to in sion translating in the trenches? an’s “best in accessibility.”


In keeping with us for advice, and yet Roseanna’s point, we run into roadblocks Rose adds that when in our own country. servicing visitors and Enough diplomacy,” locals with disabilshe asserts. What she ities alike, attitude means is that things is everything. “In my are not changing fast sensitivity training enough for her and the sessions for our BCD, particularly for clients, I do everything Barbados’s disability I can to impart that community. Her work is my physical disability not done. doesn’t mean I have The BCD is inunan intellectual disabildated with inquiries ity too, that I lead a An accessible room with a view at the Accra Beach Hotel & Spa, one from overseas from normal life and I have of the most beautiful hideaways in Barbados. Tucked away amid lush travelers with disabilitropical gardens and swaying palm trees, the hotel sits directly on an education, and a ties who want to know the white sands of Rockley Beach on the south coast – consistently job, and I got married, about accessible propand I like to have fun, ranked as one of the top beaches in Barbados. www.accrabeach erties and services and enjoy many things hotel.com. on the island. “But in life… especially there are still service Without explanation, the tagline nice clothes! It’s important for the providers paying no attention to our and demeanor of its wearer could tourism industry, and service indusneeds,” she confesses. “In Barbadefinitely be misconstrued. Make no try in general, to know that we share dos, there is a trickle-down effect on mistake, Roseanna still cares deeply many things in common with their everyone from tourism in the country. for Barbadians with disabilities, the able-bodied customers.” We know that we can’t sit and wait BCD and the mission of FAB. What for everyone to build accessibility Roseanna Tudor she doesn’t care for so much anyinto their properties, but we celebrate more is the diplomatic approach that There’s more to the those that are doing something.” she subscribed to in working toward FAB story when the Roseanna admits that it was change for people with disabilities, curtain is pulled back strategic on the part of the BCD to be they residents or visitors to the for a peek behind-thefirst create access in the country’s island. “I’ve spent many years being scenes. A slogan on tourism industry with the expectadiplomatic but I’ve become much one of Roseanna’s tion that accessibility would follow in more demanding, more radical,” favourite t-shirts offered other aspects of life for Barbadians, she chuckles. “We have countries a notion. It reads: “Too like housing, health, employment, throughout the Caribbean come to Tired to Care.” education, recreation, etc.

While designed with several low curbs and steps amid the property, The Club, Barbados Resort & Spa is an excellent example of the willingness of Barbadians to find a way to accommodate visitors. Portable ramps await the needs of guests and hotel staff are always on the ready to assist. Not perfect, but perfectly inclined to do what’s needed for guests with special needs, this adults-only, all-inclusive escape has all the amenities and activities on a charming property with a terrific location on Barbados’ west coast… a boutique feel about it for those looking for something more slight in size and serene in style. www.theclubbarbados.com.



Rose takes in the breathtaking views atop one of Barbados’s greatest wonders, Harrison’s Cave. Located in the central uplands of the island, the beautiful, crystallized limestone cavern below is a testament to nature’s mastery. Listed as an Accessible Place by Fully Accessible Barbados. www.harrisonscave.com.

“Inclusive tourism, and accessibility for locals, comes down to one question,” simplifies Rose. “Can someone with a disability access services that are available to every citizen in Barbados or every visitor to our shores? The answer, she says, is not yet. “There is still work to be done. But creating a better environment falls to the disability community too,” she promotes, adding that “people with disabilities

have to take responsibility for certain things, as with anything in life. That is the best part of what I do as an advocate – changing stereotypes to positive attitudes.” “We’ve accomplished a lot,” Roseanna recognizes, “and I appreciate how far we’ve come, but I also see how far we have to go. We’ve created a brand for FAB, we’ve won awards, and we’ve made great gains in accessibility on the island,

but as the Barbados Council for the Disabled we are also looking to improve the lives of people living here. We’ve made strides on the tourism side, and we hope that we can ride that wave for our citizens too.” That wave is to be commended. FAB has ensured a level of access in Barbados’s tourism industry that visitors expect in a destination. FAB has facilitated a higher level


of access for visitors than any other island in the Caribbean. FAB is now getting calls from new properties asking for advice regarding accessibility. And maybe better yet, FAB is happening upon new and established properties that have implemented accessibility features on their own. “Come to Barbados,” Roseanna cheers, “but before you do, check with the property to be sure it offers the level of access that you are expecting.” Better yet, start with Fully Accessible Barbados… www. fullyaccessiblebarbados.com.

Tamarind Cove Hotel’s luxury accommodations meet most accessibility requirements for wheelchair users, with a staff that’s on point to accommodate in whatever way is needed, and is situated in one of the most idyllic locations in Barbados. With private balconies or patios, and spacious marble bathrooms, each of the resort’s rooms evoke an intimate feel. www.tamarindbarbados.com.

The best in luxury estates in Barbados, golf enthusiasts will revel in this world-class golf resort with its twisting, rolling fairways and stunning ocean views. The prestigious Royal Westmoreland is set in a lush tropical landscape and is consistently rated as one of the top courses in the Caribbean. Spacious, elegant villa accommodations with accessibility with assistance, The Royal Westmoreland shares its outdoor space with an amusing audience of resident monkeys. www.royal westmoreland.com.

The Rostrevor Hotel is remarkably accessible considering that it is geared to the budget traveler. With a prime beachfront location in the vibrant St. Lawrence Gap on the south coast, it is an ideal spot for those looking for accessibility and affordability. www.rostrevorbarbados.com.

EXPLORING BARBADOS From the full fury of the Atlantic Ocean pounding the steep cliffs of the northern coastline, to the south coast blessed with spectacular beaches, lively nightlife and the UNESCO World Heritage site of the capital city, Bridgetown, there’s plenty to explore on this small Caribbean island which still teems with British Commonwealth influence well into its own independence. The lush Central highlands are home to an array of horticultural delights, beautiful Gothic churches and small country villages. The eastern side of the island is known for its stony crags and fishing villages, and the west coast – the Platinum Coast – is populated with posh hotels, luxury villas, exquisite restaurants and dazzling sunsets. Discover more about Barbados at www.visitbarbados.org.




Accessible B Y D E S I G N E V E R Y D AY P R O D U C T S T H AT W I L L W O R K F O R A L L ! SNO-GO. This fun product gets people on the snow who might not otherwise try it. The 3-board trike has handlebars and a braking system so you can ride without needing a sit-ski. If you’re ambulatory, you can likely ride this. www.sno-go.us.

RG1-DX CORE FULL FACE HELMET. The helmet Dave Poole (madman poole.com) wore in X-Games Monoskier X. Pick your colour. From $360. www.ruroc.com.



You can never ever, ever have enough. www. yaktrax.com.

Took wool, that old itchy but insanely warm standby, and upgraded it with a hint of bamboo resulting in a soft, silky, very warm, wicking base layer. From $79. www. lebent.com.

THERMA-PHONE. These seriously-overdue phone pouches keep your phone warm so your batteries last longer. The built-in warmer pocket lets you pop in a heater (included in the recovery pack) to help on really cold days. Inhaler users say that it helps keep their inhalers from freezing. Affordable and very useful. www. Therma-phone.com.



GO PUCK PORTABLE POWER. Charge and power your electronics for hours. $99. www.gopuck. com.

SEAT RACK. No SUV? No problem. This interior cargo rack will hold your skis, snowboard, outriggers, poles, and other goodies safely and securely. $129.95. www.seat-rack.com.

MOUNTAIN GOAT SKI TOTE. It’s hard enough carrying skis when you have two free hands, never mind if you have sticks or outriggers. This nifty, handy item also works perfectly from a wheelchair. $29.95. www. mountaingoatskitote.com.

VAPUR ANTI-BOTTLE. These flat, collapsible bottles fit in your front pocket and have a very convenient removable straw system. No more bulky backpacks or solid bottles, or worse, going without. For less than $30 you can have a reusable, all-season hydration system. Sizes range from 0.4 to 1.5 liters. www. Vapur.us.

GO GLOVE WEARABLE REMOTE. Operate your GoPro or Smartphone with a wave of your fingertips. $99. www.GoGlove.io.

PHOENIX INSTINCT BAG. Unstoppable wheelchair luggage designed by a wheelchair user for wheelchair users. $249. www.phoenix instinct.com.


CHAPPLICATOR. Lip balm container/ dispenser secures your lip balm. $14.95. www.chapplicator. com.

BONX. Keep in touch with your crew or group with outdoor communication from Bonx. The soft, flexible and comfy earpieces fit under your helmet or hat. Synchronize your app and have group or one-to-one communication. Available at www.bonx.co.

SKI MOJO. These ski braces will help support and align your knees and ankles while acting as an extension assist and shock absorber for your knees. E 399. www.skimojo.com.

ORIGINAL SKI BALM. Non-comedogenic wind and sunburn protection in Skin and Lip Balm formulas. $12.99. www.originalskibalm.com.

TORCH COAT HEATER. This heater goes into any coat, with three warming areas to keep your back and sides warm. Battery operated and rechargeable, you can go out and stay out longer, without worrying about getting too cold to be comfortable. With four different settings, this affordable system will keep you warm for up to five hours on a single charge. www.torchcoatheater.com.

SKI-KEY BC FROM RANDALL INNOVATIONS. This handy little tool lets you single-handedly tighten your ski boots as much as you want, not just as much as your fingers can turn them, and the lever makes undoing them just as simple. For $14.95, it’s perfectly priced as well. www.randallinnovations.com.



Check out our new and improved website! Gain quick access to our product line-up, current and archived newsletters and our new on-line ordering system (coming soon). WHEELCHAIRS | FAUTEUILS ROULANTS









51 Caldari Rd, Units 6-7B Concord, Ontario L4K 4G3

49@49bespoke.com T. (416) 661-4499

LAPTOP LAIDBACK. A must-have for anyone, especially if you spend a lot of time in bed or reclined. Ultra lightweight, extensively adjustable, and comes at a surprisingly affordable price. $99. www. laptop-laidback. com.

BFRESH. These wellmade, sturdy backpacks are the perfect width for a chair and the heavy weight and construction of the packs mean no more floppy, sloppy bags on the back. The builtin padded tablet slot and other pockets make it ideal for business trips or school. Available in multiple colours. Get yours today at www. bfreshgear.com.

PRET HELMETS. Check out the new Pret X with three levels of venting, ear bud pockets, single hand buckle, MIPS and Recco technology. www. prethelmets.com.

TREK SNOWSHOE KIT. Easy on, with spring assistance to make snowshoeing easier. Adjustable poles and carry pack included. $229.95. www.redfeather.com.

SKIA SWEETSPOT. The most affordable ski trainer in the world. Use them at home or anywhere to find your “sweetspot�and improve your skiing. $69.99. www.skia.com.



SIOEYE IRIS 4G LIVE BROADCAST CAMERA. Life happens live. Broadcast it. $429.99. www.sioeye. com.

LIGHTERBRO. A must-have, super-cute multi-tool that slides over your disposable lighter. They come in three configurations with 7 to 18 tools. Keep it in your vehicle, pack or purse for on-thego repairs or emergencies. For the price of $19.95 for the Pro version, you can’t go wrong. www. lighterBro.com.

THE DISHON-SHORE-S-EZ PONTOON BOAT RAMP. Deploy the ramp and access the boat without assistance with the push of a button. Adjusts to almost any shoreline. www.dishonezdesign.com.

FREELINER. It’s a cross

SHREDSAVER. A snowboard strap that attaches to the free binding of your snowboard eliminating the stress on your other leg by holding your board up. It also doubles as a board tether. www.shred saver.com.


between a scooter and a three-wheeled motorcycle. With features including lights, cruise control, rear view mirror, hand-operated brakes, a range of 70 kilometres on a full charge, and speeds reaching 20 kph, the foldable Freeliner fits in your trunk. Different seats available. Single or double battery models. www.ecomo tionsolutions.com.


($863 – $1,128)

Real Life in Action. Invacare Top End is the brand you trust on the court, the track and every day. The Invacare® Top End® Crossfire™ All Terrain Wheelchair, Invacare® Top End® Crossfire™ T7A Wheelchair, Invacare® Top End® Pro™-2 All Sport Wheelchair and Invacare® Top End® Lil Excelerator™- 2 Handcycle are up to the challenge, because life doesn’t stop and neither do you. For more information visit

www.topendwheelchair.com or call 1-800-532-8677.

©2016 Invacare Corporation. All rights reserved. Trademarks are identified by the symbols ™ and ®. All trademarks are owned by or licensed to Invacare Corporation unless otherwise noted. Form No. 16-274 161221

16-274 Top End Real Life in Action half pg Ad FINAL.indd 1

12/16/16 11:53 AM


WELCOME MARCH OF DIMES CANADA The latest addition to the Disability Today Network’s family of media channels, March of Dimes Canada has been building an inclusive society since 1951, improving the lives and livelihoods of people with disabilities. Among many programs offered by March of Dimes, its Recreation and Integration Services helps

individuals with physical disabilities overcome barriers to recreational opportunities. Whether you are looking for a week-long adventure or would like to meet new friends, March of Dimes Recreation and Integration Services can open the doors to participation and take you where you want to go.

The awards continue to pour in for Canadian Paralympian and parasport ambassador Benoît Huot. The nine-time Paralympic gold medalist was recently named to the Order of Canada. The award was established in 1967 and is one of Canada’s highest civilian honours. The Order of Canada celebrates Canadians who have excelled in their field or who have demonstrated exceptional dedication or service to their country. Competing in his fifth Paralympic Games at Rio 2016, Huot earned a bronze medal in the 400-metre freestyle S10 – the 32-year-old’s 20th individual medal.

For more programs from March of Dimes visit www.disabilitytoday network.com/march-of-dimes-canada. Informative videos too.

PEOPLE IN MOTION Canada’s Largest Disability Exhibition. Celebrating 25 years of helping people live better lives. May 26-27, 2017. Exhibition Place, Queen Elizabeth Building. Free Admission. Visit www.people-in-motion.com for information on the Career Fair and other Show Highlights.



Photo: Canadian Paralympic Committee

More on Paralympic Sport at www.disabilitytodaynetwork. com/canadian-paralympiccommittee.

© Össur, 01.2017


From early rehab to full recovery,

go anywhere

From rehab, to the home and office, to the gym and the trail, RHEO KNEE XC confidently goes anywhere, whatever the weather. In fact, in a controlled clinical trial, RHEO KNEE XC enabled users to walk further, faster and with less fatigue.* RHEO KNEE XC supports advanced capabilities like cycling, leg-over-leg stair ascent and running.

For the most dynamic user experience, PRO-FLEX LP


we recommend coupling RHEO KNEE XC with Pro-Flex® feet.


Visit www.ossur.com/rheoknee-xc or ask your

Össur rep about RHEO KNEE XC today.


USA (800) 233-6263 CANADA (800) 663-5982 WWW.OSSUR.COM

* Visit www.ossur.com/rheoknee-xc for details

ABILITY ONLINE’S 150 CHALLENGE To celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday, and to build support for Ability Online and its 25-year-history as a charity reducing the social isolation of youth with disabilities, the organization is issuing its own 150 Challenge. The goal is to find 150 individuals, businesses, organizations or even schools who will each donate or raise $1,000 for Ability Online, and while ambitious, the goal is to do it in the first 150 days up to 2017! To learn more, or be one of the 150, visit www.disabilitytodaynetwork.com/ability-online. .

RO H O L A U N C H E S C A R B O N AG I L I T Y B AC K “Carbon is the new back” is the resounding theme for the new AGILITY CARBON™ back from ROHO, a business unit of Permobil. The new back is compression-molded and lightweight, featuring a 12K flat tow carbon fiber weave construction that combines high-strength performance with a streamlined design — using similar materials and construction to those used in Formula 1® race cars and America’s Cup yachts. The result is a precision-crafted back system that looks as great as it performs. For more information on these new backs, visit http://hub.permobil.com/rohocarbon. For more information on Permobil visit www.disability todaynetwork.com/permobil.



SIMPLE SOCKET SOLUTION IS REVOLUTIONARY Ottobock recently released a revolutionary new device, the DVS-Dynamic Vacuum, a new solution for trans-tibial socket technology. Each amputee’s residual limb has an individual shape, and skin types are all different. Many people experiment with different solutions throughout their life and never really find the right one. DVS-Dynamic Vacuum can help bridge that gap by offering a product that is both comfortable and secure, as well as easy to use. Integrating innovative design with simplicity, the DVS reduces the movement between the limb and socket associated with limb volume fluctuations by generating a vacuum during walking within the socket.

Learn more on Ottobock’s media channel on the DT Network at www.disability todaynetwork.com/otto bock#news.

ProCarve Pure sport

Pull the knee belt to disengage the joint for easy sitting

Adjustments can be made according to your individual riding style and body weight

www.ottobockus.com www.ottobock.ca

Designed for skiing and snowboarding but great for other sports such as wakeboarding and water skiing

HORSEPOWER – THERAPEUTIC RIDING AWARD WINNERS And the winners of the 2016 Canadian Therapeutic Riding Association 2016 Awards are Alissa Cue, Butch McGee, Michelle Bozec, and Molly, the Therapy Horse of the Year. Alissa Cue, from the Free Spirit Therapeutic Riding Association in Aylesford, Nova Scotia, won the Andrea Gillies Outstanding Instructor Award for an ever-positive and encouraging voice that empowers her students regardless of the level of their personal abilities. She celebrates every milestone and accomplishment and has the ability to make people, especially young people, believe in themselves. The Rhonda Davies Award for the Outstanding Volunteer went to Butch McGee from The Joyriders Therapeutic Riding Association in Hunter River, PEI. McGee accumulated over 500 volunteer hours as a side-walker with The Joyriders, and gave many more hours of his time as a member of the Board of Directors and helping with fundraising and community promotion. Michelle Bozec was presented with the Jetty Chapman Award for the Outstanding Administrator. Involved with therapeutic riding (PARD) in Peterborough, Ont., as a volunteer for 14 years, she has taken on a role on the Board of Directors as Volunteer Coordinator. Bozec spends many volunteer hours working to keep PARD up-to-date on disability community news and volunteer information. “MOLLY” wins the CanTRA Therapy Horse of the Year Award. Molly has loyally served the SARI program in London, Ont., for eight years with great predictability and reliability. Her size and temperament are the “classic” traits that all therapeutic riding centres value most in their service animals. From unbalanced riders, loud riders to squirmy ones, her slow and steady gait puts riders and parents at ease. Molly thrives as a therapeutic riding horse, one that every instructor dreams to teach with. Learn more about CanTRA at www.disabi litytodaynetwork.com/canadian-therapeu tic-riding-association.


Serving the Community Since 1979

Discover the Latest Products Meet New Friends Talk with Experts Family-Friendly Experience Newest Technologies Life-enhancing Products Sports for All Abilities Informative Workshops Disability Services Essentials for Seniors Fun & Games for Kids Creative Adaptive Dance Devoted Service Animals



Register online for priority access

Bay Area November 18-20, 2016

DC Metro December 2-4, 2016

Toronto January 20-22, 2017

Los Angeles March 24-26, 2017

New York Metro May 5-7, 2017

Chicago June 23-25, 2017

Houston August 4-6, 2017

Boston September 8-10, 2017

A Better Way to Sit.




Comfort, tissue management, and stability are essential for good health, for work, play and leisure. Essential for peace of mind.

A solid back system is essential for proper positioning. It supports the spine and positions the pelvis. Lateral supports of the back system keep the end user stable. The back system provides a mounting structure for headrests, thoracic supports, chest harnesses and hip belts.

The VARILITE JUNIOR line features a full range of size-appropriate seating and positioning items to support children in their mobility device, allowing them to go where their imagination takes them.

More VARILITE Products....

Check out our new and improved website! Gain quick access to our product line-up, current and archived newsletters and our new on-line ordering system (coming soon).

51 Caldari Rd, Units 6-7B, Concord, Ontario L4K 4G3 E. 49@49bespoke.com T. (416) 661-4499


For each person and every moment Permobil is determined to develop industry leading solutions empowering you to experience, explore, and enjoy everything that life has to offer. POWER MOBILITY | MANUAL MOBILITY | ADVANCED SEATING & POSITIONING


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