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Educational Article

“She’s now wheelchair-bound.” “They’ve been confined to a wheelchair for three years.” When we wheelchair users are spoken of, phrases like these are sometimes used -- reflecting the way that some feel about this vital piece of equipment that we rely on. It is seen an instrument of imprisonment, holding us down, keeping us from living full lives. In reality, it is our chairs that give us mobility and independence. Examining the genesis of the wheelchair and how far it has come may help change the way that it is perceived.

Educational Article

The first time I went swimming while disabled was about three years after my spinal cord injury. By this time, I had sat in several clothing-optional hot tubs in the little hippie town we lived in and I was getting more comfortable with being in the water, so trying to swim while disabled seemed to be the obvious next step. It would be years before I got into another pool and tried swimming while disabled again.

Educational Article

We fully believe in and support patient (or client)-centred practice where the patient is at the centre as the most important and in control of what happens next. A key part of this and a part of you being in charge of your own healthcare, is being informed. So today, we are going to review patient rights in Ontario including some real-life examples!

Educational Article

I watched my first disability documentary in 2005, about five years after I became a wheelchair user. I was riveted. I barely moved my body for the next hour and a half, my transfer forgotten as people who looked like me filled the screen. I had never seen so many wheelchair users on screen at one time before. I felt like I was gorging on something I hadn’t even known I was starving for. My worries about what the film would be like were swamped by how good it felt to be immersed in a world of media where I didn’t feel like I was a square peg fitting myself into a round hole. I thought, Why didn’t I start watching this stuff earlier?

Educational Article

“What happened to you?” If you’re a person with a visible disability, chances are you have been or will be asked this question at some point in your life. It’s not uncommon for the people asking this question to be complete strangers. It may take different forms: “Can I ask why you use a wheelchair?” “What happened to your arm?” You may even get, “What’s wrong with you?” This last one is perhaps the most uncomfortable one to hear – no one likes to think that there is something wrong with them, or that others see them that way.

Educational Article

I was scared the first time I travelled while disabled. It was about one year after my spinal cord injury. There seemed to be so much that could go wrong. Over the past two decades as a wheelchair user, I’ve learned many things about travelling while disabled (mostly wheelchair-related, of course). I’ll only be referencing on-the-ground travel here; air travel is a completely different animal that deserves an entire article of its own. While some things here are specific to wheelchairs, others are good to keep in mind for any disability.

Educational Article

On October 14, 2004, I woke up in the morning and started my day like any other. Sitting up in bed, I began pulling my pants off before I was going to transfer to my wheelchair and then go into the bathroom. As I pulled my pajama pants off, I suddenly felt a wetness on my right hand. My first thought was what many people with a spinal cord injury would probably think: that I had had an episode of incontinence sometime during the night. But the moisture was on the side of my right leg, not the seat of my pants. I removed my pants entirely to examine myself and was stunned by what I saw. My foot and ankle were swollen, pink, and hot to the touch. I woke my partner up and told him that we had to go to the emergency room immediately.

Educational Article

When I first became a wheelchair user, life was particularly frustrating. Most of the world is not built with disabled people in mind, and I felt that keenly. I could barely make the hallway turns; most of the shelving was out of my reach; using the kitchen was an exercise in frustration. Over the years I’ve learned a few things that have helped my home become a place that works for me, somewhere I am independent and free of stress. They help me specifically as a wheelchair user, but some of them could apply to other disabilities as well.

Educational Article

A disability might increase your risk of falls at home and in the community. Falls are a serious health risk that can result in injury, hospitalization, and loss of independence. This handout lists some strategies that can help to prevent falls, and that enable you to continue confidently participating in meaningful daily activities.
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