Blind Students Class Action against a School for the Blind and Visually Impaired

July 3, 2012
Hosted by Dr. Gordon Atherley

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Episode Description

Jonathan Bida is a lawyer in the class action group at Koskie Minsky LLP. Bob Seed is the lead plaintiff in a class-action against the Brantford school for the blind and visually impaired, which he attended from 1954 to 1965. They explain what the class action seeks to achieve, and how the allegations relate to experience of care at the school. They explain the class action and its different stages and what the court will be asked to decide. They discuss responsibilities and attitudes. They talk about the ways in which staff and administrator responsibilities did or should reflect standards of care. Regarding care for the students, they discuss the role of family caregivers. They discuss how the class-action could help remove any remaining stigmatization of persons with vision and hearing challenges. They say what former and current students can do to get involved in the class action, and what the class-action’s messages are for persons with special needs and for family caregivers.

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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