Finding My Voice--Stories from Life with Cerebral Palsy

May 17, 2011
Hosted by Dr. Gordon Atherley

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Episode Description

Don Smith and Jane Field have worked together to record Don's life story since meeting in a community literacy program 22 years ago. At the end of 2010 they published ‘Finding My Voice: Stories From My Life’. They tell us how they came to know each other and to work together on the book. They talk about Don’s life with cerebral palsy, about the people who were his family caregivers and about the challenges his family encountered making ends meet. Don talks about his first wheel chair and the way it affected his life. They both discuss Don’s communications challenges. Jane highlights his communications difficulties. Don explains what happened to his communications after his mother died, and the frustrations he subsequently experienced. Jane explains the help Don got with his communications and how he got the help. Don says what makes the sun shine for him. The book can be purchased for $20 plus $5 shipping and handling from Jane at: janefieldwrites@gmail.com

Family Caregivers Unite!

Family Caregivers Unite!

Archives Available on VoiceAmerica Variety Channel

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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