Turning Vision Challenges into Visible Successes

July 13, 2010
Hosted by Dr. Gordon Atherley

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Guest Information

   

Episode Description

Melanie Cooper, the first legally blind teacher to graduate in Ontario, founded the Connect Learning Centre. Dr Stuart Wittenstein is the superintendent of the California School for the Blind. Melanie explains her experience with vision loss and the challenges it created for her. She talks about the history of Connect Learning Centre, and speaks about the types of vision challenges of the adults attending the center. She discusses the career paths for the trainees when they leave the center. Dr Wittenstein describes the history and work of the California School for the Blind. He talks about the types of vision challenges of the children who attend the school. He explains the teaching methods used in the school’s programs, and discusses the use made of computer technology. He outlines the career paths for the students. Together they explore the financial and other difficulties of meeting the needs of children and adults with vision challenges, and say what they would like to see done.

Family Caregivers Unite!

Family Caregivers Unite!

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Family caregivers are the people who provide care to partners, parents, children, brothers, sisters, cousins, friends, neighbors and even co-workers. They are the people who provide care when everyone else has gone home. They are the people who organize the functioning of the home for the person with special needs, and for the family as a whole. They are the coordinators of care, the managers of appointments, the preventers of loneliness, and the makers of decisions even to the point of Power of Attorney. And they are so often people who themselves are burdened with their own health challenges and who may be in only marginally better health than the persons to whom they are providing family caregiving.

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Dr. Gordon Atherley

Dr. Gordon Atherley

Dr Gordon Atherley holds the British equivalent of the Canadian PhD and MD degrees, and LLD, Honoris Causa, from Canada’s Simon Fraser University. His awards include Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, UK. His medical specialties are occupational medicine and public health.
As first President and Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety, the Canadian equivalent of the US National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, he led the creation of Canada’s electronic information service in occupational health and safety, now used in more than 40 countries.
In academia, he held senior, tenured, full-time positions, including departmental chair, in university faculties of physics, engineering, and medicine. He is the author of a textbook and numerous articles and publications.

Since retiring from medical practice, he’s built up Greyhead Associates, which critically researches the safety, effectiveness and fairness of health services for persons with special needs.
Through Virtual Care International, a company of which he’s President, he’s involved in providing sensible technology to family caregivers to help them with their responsibilities, workloads, and concerns.
Now an activist, he urges family caregivers to unite because, more and more, it’s not just their families who depend on them, it’s also the healthcare system as a whole, as it struggles to meet more and more needs of more and more people.

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