Promoting Equality for Persons Labeled Developmentally Disabled and their Family Caregivers
June 12, 2012
Hosted by Dr. Gordon Atherley
Kory Earle, President of People First of Canada, explains why his organization is needed in today’s society. He describes his own life. He explains how labels like ‘Developmentally Disabled’ cause labeled people not to be viewed as people, not to be listened to, and not to be understood. He discusses the challenges for labeled people when they try to make decisions for themselves. He identifies the rights that labeled people and their families lack. He discusses changes needed to help labeled people join together, keep themselves informed, get their voices heard, support each other, be better respected by the community and to live a good life. Referring to the class-action suits against the Province of Ontario brought by labeled people and their families regarding the care or lack of care they received in certain government residential institutions, he shares the message he believes should be heard and understood by the people of Canada, the politicians and the healthcare system.
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.
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.