$500,000 to Build Stronger Communities?!?

AVIVA Community Fund LogoThat’s the pledge made by AVIVA Canada, an insurance provider who has decided to show that they have heart by putting out a cross-Canada call for projects that will improve local communities.  The top 25 projects will have the opportunity to share in a cool half-million dollars.

The competition began on October 13th with the first round of submissions.  A total of three submission rounds were held and the top 20 entries, based on a tally of votes submitted by anyone caring enough to join the website moved on to the semi-finals.  These top 60 entries moved into the semi-finals, where the top 25 submissions would be passed on to the judging round.  At the time this was written less than 23 hours remained.

What does this have to do What Sorts?  There are some great submissions that it would be great to give a last minute boost of support to.  Here are three:

  1. Medically Fragile Child Supported by Hope's HomeHelping Medically Fragile Children & Families Enjoy Better Lives. Hope’s Home seeks to improve the quality of life for medically fragile children in the community as it provides the very first medical daycare of its kind in Canada. Our mission is to help medically fragile children Continue reading

Bankruptcy for Justice?

Barb and Tim Farlow elected to have a malpractice suit against a Toronto hospital heard in small claims court, but a judge has ruled the venue is inappropriate. (Photo by Tim Fraser, National Post Files)

On Monday, November 30th the National Post (a Canadian national newspaper) posted an update on their previous coverage of the Farlow court case. Those of you who are regular readers will recall that the Farlows have made serious allegations against Sick Kids Hospital in Toronto. These allegations amount to the claim that doctors at Sick Kids deliberately killed their baby, Annie, in 2005 because she had a fatal genetic abnormality. The decision handed down from Judge Herman amounted to a claim that small claims court was no place for the kinds of charges that the Farlow’s were raising: Continue reading

ATMac – A blog for accessible Apple technology

 

ATMAC LogoThis blog/website covers all Apple products with a slant towards disability. They have an interest in users with a disability, adaptive and assistive technology, and making accessible programs and content.  The aim is to cover all Apple products including all Mac OS X computers – the iMac, MacBook, Mac Mini, Mac Pro, and older models; the iPod range; the iPhone and iPod Touch; and other products such as the Apple TV and Apple Remote Control.
Visit the site by clicking on the image above or by clicking on the site URL: http://atmac.org/

The EyeWriter

This little tool kicks ass.  There’s no other way to put it.  Thanks to the EyeWriter development team, $50 and little hardware hacking will produce a fully functional eye tracker that allows the user to express themselves with art by only moving their eyes.  Check out the video to see for yourself: Continue reading

DisRespect Radio Broadcast: Barb Farlow and Rob Wilson

Many of you have likely been following the case of Annie Farlow (Here is a listing of all our Annie Farlow posts) and were looking forward to listening to yesterday’s radio interview of Barb Farlow and Rob Wilson by Geoff Langhorne. If you are unfamiliar with the case then this interview should provide a succinct introduction to the details of the case in an accessible form. The one thing perhaps unclear in the interview is that Annie was NOT a newborn, but 80 days old, and went in to the hospital 24 hours before her unexpected death.  You can also get more from the recently-formed Justice for Annie Facebook group, which you’re welcome to join (it’s an open group), and the Annie Farlow website linked there.

The interview was broadcast on the CFMU (McMaster Unversity Radio) program DisRespect (Here is a little about the show and the program’s host) and is available for listening/download by doing the following:

  1. Go to the CFMU website (http://cfmu.msumcmaster.ca/)
  2. Click the button near the top left side of the screen that says “PROGRAMMING”
  3. Click on “DisRespect” in the programming grid that appears; you’ll find it at 12pm in the Thursday column
  4. A pop-up window will appear. In the left column, just click “14.05.2009” and the program will start playing. (If it doesn’t, you should be prompted to download some free software that takes less than a minute to download.) DisRespect starts a couple of minutes into the broadcast.
  5. If you would like to downoad the program to your own computer (useful for skipping past the intro and the compulsory musical interludes) then just click “14.05.2009” and once the program starts playing there will be a new box in the bottom of the pop-up window with a download link that you can simply click (Note that the file is 60MB).

An unofficial transcript of the broadcast follows:

Unofficial transcript from DisRespect, with Geoff Langhorne, 14th May, 2009

Geoff: DisRespect welcomes Rob Wilson, who is a professor at the University of Alberta in philosophy is it Rob?,

Rob: ah, that’s right, Geoff.

Geoff: and coordinator with the What Sorts of People Network in Alberta, and Barb Farlow, who was a mechanical engineer and is now an advocate on behalf of people with disabilities in Ontario. Welcome to the show.

Barb: Thank you.

Rob: Thanks for having us.

Geoff: Ok. Barb, this concern that brought you together with Rob started with an incident in your life that our listeners might not be aware of. Do you want to give us the once over lightly?

Barb: Sure, I’ll give you the brief version, Geoff. My daughter died in August of 2005 within 24 hours of arrival at the Hospital for Sick Children. Annie had a genetic condition that was related to disability. Generally the condition comes with very serious anomalies that are considered lethal, such as severe brain defects. However, like all genetic conditions there are a wide range that exist, and my daughter was mildly afflicted. We knew that we would have difficult decisions to make before she was born and ironically we had many meetings at the hospital, specifically to discuss policies and eligibilities for surgery, and ethics and what would happen if this and what if that because we really needed to understand the medical system so that we could properly manage our daughter’s heath within its confines. Once we were assured of the policies, her rights, the ethics, the matter in which any ethical disputes or dilemmas would be resolved, we placed our entire trust in the system. Continue reading

Regenerative Medicine

In this post, I pointed to a new technique for regrowing limbs that makes use of “Pixie Dust” to accomplish the seemingly impossible: regrowing the entire tip of a man’s finger.  It prompted the question, “Could we do more?”  To find out, watch this short video from Newsweek.  It features Shilo Harris, a man who suffered the loss of two fingers and extensive burns durring an IED explosion and a discussion of both the treatment he received and the progress that was made.