Thursday, January 31, 2008

Upcoming disability workshops--Lower Mainland

Time sensitive

Below are some upcoming workshops announced in Keeping In Touch newsletter (February 2008) from the North Shore Association for the Mentally Handicapped in North Vancouver.
You can also read back issues of this great newsletter.

1. Safeguards & Quality Service Training Project
2. Visual Strategies – The Keys to Improving Communication, Behaviour & Social Skills
3. Mental Illnesses & Developmental Disabilities Training Program
4. Co-occurring Disorders


1. Safeguards & Quality Service Training Project: what families need to know and do to help create good lives for their children.
Saturday March 1st, 2008
9:00 am to 4:00 pm

Family Support Institute
North Shore Disability Resource Centre
3158 Mountain Hwy, North Vancouver
Contact Nusrat Peerbhoy – 604-540-8374 ext. 521 or email


2. Visual Strategies – The Keys to Improving Communication, Behaviour & Social Skills with Linda Hodgdon, M.Ed., CCC-SLP
Monday March 10, 2008

Council for Exceptional Children
St. Patrick’s Elementary School
2850 Quebec Street, Vancouver
Contact Bev McRae by email at


3. Mental Illnesses & Developmental Disabilities Training Program
Fridays – March 28 to June 13, 2008

Developmental Disabilities Mental Health Services
The Galbraith
131 Eight Street, New Westminster, BC
Contact Anne Halas by email at


4. Co-occurring Disorders
March 27, 2008

A mental illness or an addiction by themselves may be difficult to treat and support. When combined, the service system continues to struggle to meet the needs of clients. This workshop will discuss symptoms and treatment with an emphasis on current BC developed best practices.

Presenters: John Fox and Bob Shebib, Instructors
Douglas College
All sessions: Douglas College Boardroom
(Room 4920) New Westminster Campus,
700 Royal Avenue (one block from New
Westminster SkyTrain station)

Please pre-register if you plan to attend.
To pre-register or to be added to our mailing list call: Barbara Hill 604-527-5484 or e-mail:

Universal Design principles in the post-secondary setting

An Inside Look: Creating Inclusive Environments with Universal Design
Teleclass held January 23, 2008
Transcripts and workshop handouts are available at:

"This one and a half hour TeleTraining was designed to provide an overview of Universal Design principles in the post-secondary setting. Panelist addressed universal design with deaf and hard of hearing students in the postsecondary setting. Panel members have a plethora of experience and expertise with presenting and implementing universal design and their varied background and experience provided a unique discussion on accommodation and service provision."

"Some of the issues that were discussed in this TeleTraining included:

  • Universal Design and its underlying core principles
  • Dispelling common misconceptions about Universal Design
  • How can online classes be made accessible
  • How are the changes in student population effecting the accommodations being requested"


Carol Funckes
Associate Director,
Disability Resource Center, University of Arizona
President of AHEAD

Susan Foster, Ph.D.
Department of Research and Teacher Education
Rochester Institute of Technology
National Technical Institute for the Deaf

Melanie Thornton, M.A., CRC, LPC
Director, Project PACE
University of Arkansas at Little Rock

Burnaby's New Canadian Clinic now open

Burnaby's New Canadian Clinic was established as part of Fraser Health’s new primary health-care network with start-up funds provided by the Province’s Health Innovation Fund.

The Burnaby clinic is one of two New Canadian Clinics established by Fraser Health. The second clinic, located in Surrey, has been accepting referrals since late November and offers the same range of integrated medical and social support for new immigrants.

“Each clinic is staffed by a multidisciplinary and multilingual team that includes a nurse practitioner, nurse, mental health counsellor and community support worker who each specialize in addressing the needs of recently-arrived immigrants,” said Connie Lapadat, the nurse practitioner who leads the Burnaby clinic’s team. “Interpreters are scheduled to assist clients as needed, and our team works in collaboration with Dr. Baldev Sanghera, the primary care physician I consult for more complex medical issues.”

The new clinic’s focus is on providing health management, education and self-management support for new immigrants with chronic diseases and two or more co-existing illnesses, such as diabetes, heart, lung and renal disease.

Burnaby's New Canadian Clinic is currently operating Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and will adjust and extend its hours of operation based on evolving client needs. Visits are by Appointment only.

New Canadian Clinic in Surrey

The New Canadian Clinic in Surrey is overcoming language and cultural barriers to provide better health-care access to immigrants who have recently arrived in the Lower Mainland.

A large new immigrant population in Surrey, combined with a current shortage of general practitioners in the community, has meant some immigrants are relying on emergency services for medical care. The new clinic is addressing this problem by augmenting and integrating existing Fraser Health services with the social supports of the immigrant network in Surrey to provide a co-ordinated continuum of care.

The benefits of this new health-care model include shorter lengths of stay in hospital, fewer visits to emergency departments and an improvement in the overall health of new immigrants. The first patient referrals to the Surrey clinic were accepted in late November 2007. By this January, the Surrey clinic had attended to over 85 clients with multiple needs and very complex medical problems. For some, it was their first time receiving any health services.

“Our clinic uses a multidisciplinary and multilingual team approach to assist new immigrants to integrate more quickly into the mainstream health system,” said nurse practitioner Bal Dhesi. The team is led by a nurse practitioner and includes a nurse, mental health counsellor, medical office assistant, and community health liaison worker who each have the skills necessary to address the complex needs of recently arrived immigrants. “Interpreters have been scheduled for most cases,” said Dhesi, “and we collaborate closely with Dr. Kamaljit Sekhon, our primary care physician, on more medically complex cases.”

The clinical team focuses mainly on providing health management, education and self-management support for new immigrants with multiple chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart, lung and renal disease. According to Sekhon, “Many immigrants are at an increased risk over the general population of developing diabetes and heart disease.”

The New Canadian Clinic operates Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., with plans to adjust and extend hours of operation to reflect the evolving needs of clients.
Visits to the clinic are by appointment only.

Conference: Health Literacy in Primary Care: Best Practices and Skill Building

Time sensitive

May 1-2, 2008
Irvine, CA
The Institute for Healthcare Advancement's Seventh Annual Health Literacy Conference, Health Literacy in Primary Care: Best Practices and Skill Building, will be held May 1-2, 2008 at the Hyatt Regency in Irvine, CA.

Keynote speaker is Richard H. Carmona, M.D.., M.P.H., FACS, the 17th Surgeon General of the United States (2002-2006).
To register:

A Call for Posters has been issued. Those doing research in health literacy or working on innovative programs are encouraged to apply. Join the mailing list to receive information about the conference as it becomes available.

New to health literacy and want to get up to speed on the issues?
Wednesday night, April 30, 2008: free, one-hour preconference session, Health Literacy 101

Vancouver workshops by Crisis & Trauma Resource Institute

Time sensitive

Two workshops offered in Vancouver by the Winnipeg-based Crisis & Trauma Resource Institute Inc.

Responding to Trauma – March 10, 2008
The impact of trauma is complex and confusing and it affects all people differently. This introductory workshop will explore some of the more relevant understandings about how trauma develops and then influences and impacts an individual. A brief synopsis of the more common approaches about how to work with those impacted by trauma will be reviewed. Participants will gain a better understanding of the nature of trauma and be better equipped to continue their work in responding to trauma.

Self-Harm Behaviour in Youth – Issues and Strategies – March 11, 2008
Self-harm can be difficult for loved ones and people in the helping field to understand. This introductory workshop will assist participants in understanding the experience and motivations of adolescents who intentionally injure themselves. In addition, the course will provide practical strategies for working with youth struggling with this complex issue. Participants will leave this
workshop with increased insight regarding self-harm behaviour in youth and direction for effective interventions.

Costs for each 1 day workshop:
$125.00 (Early Registration – 3 weeks prior to workshop date)
$150.00 (Regular Registration)

For more information or for information about manuals and free resources (for personal use), visit:
Phone: 204-452-9199
Toll Free: 877-353-3205

BC Parents Information Network

Parents of BC students in kindergarten through Grade 12 can now access educational resources online through LearnNow BC, a partnership between the Province and the Virtual School Society.

The Parent Information Network (PIN) is a one-stop online resource for parents looking for up-to-date information relevant to their child’s learning and experiences at school. The information component of the site contains several topics, including:

  • A Learning Support section that includes information on tutoring, literacy and supports for ESL and students with special needs in BC.
  • A Parent Involvement section that outlines the various ways parents can participate in their child’s school community.
  • A Health and Safety section that includes information about daily physical activity and healthy eating guidelines in BC schools, codes of conduct, and information on seismic upgrades to schools in BC.
  • A section on graduation that outlines the requirements for graduation from the BC school system and includes information about post-secondary education and career planning.
  • A Learning Options section that highlights the types of schools and learning methods available in BC.
The site, which was built in consultation with BC parents and the BC Confederation of Parent Advisory Councils, also includes information on early learning and adult education programs available for BC’s lifelong learners.

The interactive component of the site features video clips and provides a forum to facilitate communication between parents around the province. The network allows parents to create and attend virtual meetings, so more parents can get involved in the education system while reducing the amount of travel necessary and, in turn, helping to create a greener BC.

Parents and guardians can access the Parent Information Network through the LearnNow BC website at

The Homeless Hub: Canadian Homelessness Research Library

The Homeless Hub
Canadian Homelessness Research Library

"The Homeless Hub is an innovative research library and information center focusing on homelessness issues in Canada. Building on the success of the Canadian Conference on Homelessness, held at York University (2005), the Homeless Hub represents a new approach to sharing information and research on homelessness. We strongly believe that evidence-based research can and should have an impact on decision-making and solutions to homelessness, through helping to educate the public, and to inform policy and practice at all levels of government and in the social, health care and housing sectors."

Family Violence and Homelessness: A Review of the Literature [PDF] is available at the National Clearinghouse on Family Violence (NCFV)

For a free, print version, please visit the NCFV website, Family Violence publications section and use the shopping cart feature to place an order.

For links to additional articles on family violence and homelessness, visit the Homeless Hub – Canadian Homelessness Research Library at:

Handheld Computers as Cognitive Aids [webcast]

Time sensitive

Handheld Computers as Cognitive Aids
Tony Gentry

Date: February 19, 2008
2:00 - 2:45 PM ET
11:00-11:45 PT

In this webcast, Dr. Tony Gentry will discuss his community-based research into the use of PDAs, GPS units, cell phones and reminder watches to assist people with cognitive impairment related to autism, brain injury or multiple sclerosis in the independent management of their everyday activities. The presentation will include discussion of research findings, products, software features, intervention protocols, video testimony from a user with Asperger's syndrome, and recommendations for best practice.

Registration options: individual registration for one webcast is $50 (US) or:

  • Individual Subscription to Webcast Series: $150 [see link below for series details]
    Includes access to all webcasts in the series for one individual.

  • Agency Subscription to Webcast Series: $550
    Includes access to all webcasts in the series for five individuals from your agency.

  • Multiple Location Subscription to Webcast Series: $1000
    Includes access for 10 computers in multiple locations to all webcasts in the series.

Sponsored by:
Virginia Commonwealth University
National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research
VCU Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Workplace Supports and Job Retention
To register:
To view complete series:

Friday, January 25, 2008

Nurses’ Advice Boosts Smokers’ Chances of Quitting

January 22, 2008
By Joan Hennessy, Contributing Writer
Health Behavior News Service
Center for the Advancement of Health

Despite countless public service ads, educational programs and the scary warnings on cigarette packs, roughly one in every five American adults still smokes. However, a new systematic review finds that nurses can get the “quit now” message across effectively.

The analysis of 31 clinical studies—comprising some 12,000 adult smokers—finds that smokers offered advice by nurses have an increased likelihood of quitting compared to smokers without such intervention.

The review appears in the current issue of The Cochrane Library, a publication of The Cochrane Collaboration, an international organization that evaluates medical research. Systematic reviews draw evidence-based conclusions about medical practice after considering both the content and quality of existing medical trials on a topic.

Studies analyzed involved at least two groups of patients: one that received advice from nurses and another that did not. Some studies were low intensity, involving a single 10-minute consultation with no more than a single follow-up session, while high-intensity intervention provided longer consultations in which patients were given materials and strategies and received additional follow-up care.

Rice VH, Stead LF. Nursing interventions for smoking cessation (Review). Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2008, Issue 1.

Media release:

Follow-up study to the International Adult Literacy and Life Skills Survey (IALLS)

The Daily (Wednesday January 9, 2008)
Statistics Canada

International Survey of Reading Skills

Canada has very few people who exhibit a really limited capacity in reading skills, according to a new follow-up study to an international literacy survey.

The study suggests that the approach to improving reading levels for people with the lowest proficiency will likely have to vary from individual to individual. That is because their specific reading skills differ widely and thus, the teaching methods will vary according to learners' needs.

The study was based on results from the International Study of Reading Skills (ISRS), conducted in 2005. It was a follow-up survey of the Canadian component of the 2003 International Adult Literacy and Life Skills Survey (IALLS) that measured literacy skills among individuals aged 16 to 65 in Canada and six other countries.

The ISRS reassessed about 2,000 Canadians from all literacy level but focused on those whose literacy scores in the IALSS fell into levels 1 or 2, the lowest of five. Level 3 is considered the desired threshold needed by adults to participate fully in the knowledge economy.

The purpose of the ISRS was to describe in greater detail the reading abilities of the least-skilled adult readers in society to better understand their instructional needs.

The 2003 international survey found that about 9 million Canadians aged 16 to 65, or 42% of the working-age population, scored below Level 3 on the prose literacy scale. This proportion had not changed since 1994.

Differences in literacy performance between individuals and regional economies are a concern for Canada because they constrain our ability to compete with nations in which the level of literacy skill is rising rapidly.

Continued at:

Nutrition Place Mat for Diabetes Education

The Nutrition Place Mat for Diabetes Education Kit for Diabetes & Health Educators
from Table Top Nutrition

From the website:
"Here is an effective, easy-to-use tool for teaching diabetes patients how to apply a nutritional plan in their meal-by-meal or daily diet. The Diabetes Place Mat is a sturdy, heavily laminated, 11" by 17" place mat that can be used over and over. The Kit includes many, many copy-ready handouts including 4 sample meal plans--one each for 2250, 1800, 1500, and 1250 calories per day plus a blank plan for you to fill in custom plans as needed for some patients."

Other nutrition-related place mat kits are available.

Planning for the Future workshop series--Down Syndrome Research Foundation

New from the Down Syndrome Research Foundation
Planning for the Future workshop series 2008

From the website:
"The Down Syndrome Research Foundation (DSRF) is pleased to offer a series of workshops designed to provide relevant information to assist families who have a child with special needs prepare for the future.

Workshops will be presented in Burnaby the 2nd Thursday of each month and in Surrey on the 3rd Thursday of each month. In July and August, no workshops will be held.

The primary presenters are Robert Melrose and Joy Hayden"

For details, visit the DSRF website:

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Health literacy online tutorial

Health Literacy: New Field, New Opportunities
online tutorial covering:

  • Health literacy challenge
  • Who are health literacy practitioners
  • Successful strategies and practices
  • Applying what you have learned
Produced by World Education with support from the National Network of Libraries of Medicine, New England Region

Funding opportunity: "On the Move" physical activity programs for Aboriginal girls & young women

Time sensitive

Aboriginal Girls on the Move
Request for Applications
Submission Deadline: Monday, February 18, 2008 4:00pm (Pacific Standard Time)

The Canadian Association for the Advancement of Women and Sport and Physical Activity (CAAWS), in partnership with the Aboriginal Sport Circle, is seeking opportunities to collaborate with six communities to develop and implement On the Move physical activity programs for Aboriginal girls and young women. Communities across Canada are invited to submit an application.

Funding is available to support the development and implementation of an On the Move physical activity program for inactive Aboriginal girls and young women (aged 9-18). This program will be delivered twice during the funding period, prior to March 31, 2009 (e.g. Fall 2008 and Winter 2009). Each program must be a minimum of 8 weeks, and provide a variety of physical activity and educational sessions (e.g. healthy eating, tobacco prevention and cessation, self-esteem, media awareness, healthy living-themed arts projects) with the goal of promoting the importance of healthy, active living.

Communities will also benefit from:

  • An On the Move workshop to increase community capacity to deliver physical activity programs for Aboriginal girls and young women;
  • Participation in a national project meeting for professional development, evaluation and celebration prior to the end of the national project;
  • Project communication and evaluation strategies; and
  • Ongoing support and communication with CAAWS.

Download the Request for Applications for more information

Organizations considering submitting an application are encouraged to contact Sydney Millar, Project Manager, to discuss proposed activities and address any questions.
Tel: 604.738.2468 or

Funding for the Aboriginal Girls On the Move project has been made possible through a financial contribution from the Public Health Agency of Canada.

Health literacy resources at the Adult Literacy Education (ALE) Wiki

Visit the Health Literacy page at the Adult Literacy Education Wiki

A great site providing links to health literacy resources (predominantly US) including:

  • What's NEW in this area?
  • Research
  • Resources
  • Discussions
  • Promising Practices
  • Stories from Learners and Patients
  • Announcements & Upcoming Events

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Have a sibling with mental illness? Focus group for 16-30 year-olds--Vancouver

Time sensitive

Do you have a brother or sister with a mental illness?

We would like to learn from you about what services would be helpful in coping with a sibling living with a severe mental illness.

A focus group for 16 to 30 year olds who have a sibling living with a severe mental illness.

January 30, 2008
location: 800 East Broadway
Mount Pleasant Neighborhood house
7 PM – 9 PM

Refreshments will be provided. Please pre-register!

To register or for more information, please contact:
Jessica Smits at 604-247-1884/
Sherry Gable at 604-708-5289/

Adapted Recreation Programs - North Vancouver

1. Adapted After School Club 7-13 yrs old
For children with a developmental disability. Participants will enjoy making new friends while participating in a variety of structured motor and social activities.
We now have 2 certified instructors (Laura and Carla) and a fantasitic volunteer who has worked with the group since the fall. Activities include swimming in the wave pool, sit-scooters, popcorn parachute & tactile ball games along with a variety of cooperative activities.
Karen Magnussen recCentre (North Vancouver), Eagle Rm.
#181531 Monday Feb 11-Mar 10 3:30-5pm

2. Adapted Aquafit 15 yrs&up
Join us in the poool for this new modified fitness program for people 15 years old and up with a developmental disability. All participants extra support please attend class with a support worker or call Meh at 604-987-7529 to request a volunteer. (Please note that if you have a child wishing to participate in this class and they are not quite 15yrs, please give Jackie a call at 604-982-8331)
Karen Magnussen recCentre, Games Pool (North Vancouver)
#188250 Tuesday Jan 15-Feb 26 1:30-2:30pm

3. Stroke By Stroke 19 yrs&up
(Adapted Painting program)
Karen Magnussen recCentre (North Vancouver), Eagle Rm.
Join Vern Montgomery, local artist and stroke survivor, to learn basic painting techniques. This program has been designed for people recovering from a CVA, all abilities are welcome.
#181529 Friday Jan 18-Feb 8 11:45-12:30m

Jackie Hamm
Recreation Programmer- Leisure Access, First Aid, Martial Arts, Sports & Racquets
John Braithwaite Community Centre
145 West 1st Street, North Vancouver, BC

Monday, January 21, 2008

UBC Health Promotion Workshops: Stop Smoking & Healthy Brain

Time sensitive

UBC Health Promotion Workshops are open to the public. For registration and additional information, visit the websites below.

Helpful Tools to Quit Smoking
January 22 and 24, 2008
To mark National Non Smoking Week, January 20 – 26, 2008

Speaker: Veda Peters, Tobacco Education Coordinator for the BC Lung Association
"Veda outlines the variety of reasons why people smoke, the meaning of addiction and the stages of change in a smoking cessation program."

More information:


The Healthy Brain: Reducing the risk for Alzheimer's disease
January 30, 4:30 – 5:30 pm
Room #234, General Services Administration Building

Speaker: Judy Bourne, Support and Education Coordinator Vancouver for the Alzheimer Society of B.C.
"Judy will present information about known risk factors and Alzheimer's disease. She will also review the health measures and tools that we can integrate into our daily lives immediately to reduce the risk of Alzheimer's disease or a related dementia in the future."

More information:

Friday, January 18, 2008

Cross Cultural Health Broker Program

[from the brochure (PDF)]
The Cross Cultural Health Broker (CCHB) provides cultural and linguistic interpretation to facilitate communication between clients and health care service providers, thereby contributing to improved overall health outcomes.

Who is this service for?

  • Immigrants, refugees and refugee claimants experiencing multiple barriers to accessing health services
  • Health care service providers requiring support in fully meeting the needs of immigrant and refugee clients
The CCHB Program is currently staffed to support the Afghan, Latin American, African, South Asian and Vietnamese communities in the follow languages:

Clients can access the services of a Cross Cultural Health Broker by calling 604-709-6475 and requesting the language they speak

Service providers can access a referral form online at:
By phone: 604-709-6475
By email:

The Cross Cultural Health Brokers Program is a partnership program between:
BC Multicultural Health Services Society and REACH Community Health Centre (Vancouver Coastal Health)

Thursday, January 17, 2008

“Suicide & Young Children (under 12)” Workshop

Time sensitive

“Suicide & Young Children (under 12)” Workshop
Sponsored by the Living Through Loss Counselling Society of BC

The youngest recorded suicide in North America involved a 5-year old. Statistics Canada reports that some 300 children under the age of 19 years – and more than 50 under the age of 14 years – take their own lives each year. And that only includes those officially identified as “suicides”; it omits dozens of questionable deaths, and doesn’t even begin to deal with other incidences of self-harm among the young.

The Training Workshop will cover such topics as:

  • the reality of young child suicide – who, how often and what does it look like
  • the signs and the risk factors for young child suicide and self-harm
  • a brand new professional’s guide tool has been developed to assist with the identification of the dangers and endangered”
  • the professional guide provides insight into intervention strategies when working with at-risk children and their families
Workshop leader, John Dube, will draw on his 20 plus years of experience in dealing with the signs, causes, and the aftermath of a suicide.

The workshop is interactive – with dialogue, sharing of ideas and opportunities to discuss real and theoretical case studies –so we can build the kind of learning that we can take home to our own agencies and our own children to try to keep them safe.

We have room for a maximum of 35 people

WHEN: February 22, 2008

WHERE: Vancouver Public Library – Alma VanDusen Room

COST: $200.00

REGISTRATION PROCESS: Phone 604-873-5013

Note: Lunch will not be provided

John Dube is a registered clinical counsellor and a registered social worker. He completed his Bachelor of Social Work degree in 1986 and completed his Masters Degree in Education in 2005 with a thesis focused on Suicidal Children and the development of a professional guide to assist in determining the suicidality of children.
For more, visit:

Friday, January 11, 2008

"The Brain that Changes Itself"

The Brain that Changes Itself: Stories of Personal Triumph from the Frontiers of Brain Science by Dr. Norman Doidge is available in bookstores.

"The brain can change itself. It is a plastic, living organ that can actually change its own structure and function, even into old age. Arguably the most important breakthrough in neuroscience since scientists first sketched out the brain’s basic anatomy, this revolutionary discovery, called neuroplasticity, promises to overthrow the centuries-old notion that the brain is fixed and unchanging. The brain is not, as was thought, like a machine, or “hardwired” like a computer. Neuroplasticity not only gives hope to those with mental limitations, or what was thought to be incurable brain damage, but expands our understanding of the healthy brain and the resilience of human nature."--from the website.

Talking Back to Grownups: Healthy Children, Healthy Communities

Talking Back to Grownups: Healthy Children, Healthy Communities: A Report on the Social Determinants of Health And Middle Childhood in Canada 2007

"The United Nations Association in Canada’s Healthy Children, Healthy Communities (HC²) project is a community based engagement and research project which aims to identify and examine the perceptions and priorities of young people between the ages of 9 and 12 years of age from a “social determinants of health” perspective."--Executive Summary

The 80 page report covers self-reported health of Canadian young people and adults, emotional well-being and young people, defining health, impact of the social determinants of health, healthy lifestyle and risky behaviour, and health and sexuality.

"Children’s Mental Health Research Quarterly" Fall '07 issue available

Children’s Mental Health Research Quarterly is produced by the Children’s Health Policy Centre at Simon Fraser University.

"The Quarterly provides updates on the best currently available research evidence in children’s mental health. This issue’s theme is attention problems in children, with particular focus on the assessment and treatment of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Themes for The Quarterly are chosen in consultation with Child and Youth Mental Health (CYMH) staff at BC’s Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD). ... The theme for our Winter 2008 Quarterly will be building on children’s resilience with particular focus on programs addressing supportive relationships."--from the website

Understanding Stroke & Brain Injury: A Workshop for Family & Friends

Presented by Dr. Jennifer Yao and facilitated by Jennifer Wonders. Held monthly at GF Strong Rehab Centre, 4255 Laurel St. in Vancouver. Please contact Jennifer at 604-737-6221

2008 schedule:
Thurs. – Jan. 17, 6 – 9pm
Thurs. – Feb. 21, 6 – 9pm
Sat. – March 15, 9am – 12
Thurs. – April 17, 6 – 9pm
Sat. – May 24, 9am – 12
Thurs. - June 19, 6 – 9pm
Thurs. - Oct. 16, 6 – 9pm
Sat. – Sept. 12, 9am – 12
Sat.–Nov. 22, 9am – 12

Grass Roots Press Reader-friendly Health Titles

Edmonton-based Grass Roots Press offers reader-friendly books and videos on health as well a broad selection of titles to support literacy education. Topics in the new 2008 catalogue include easy readers, chapter books, aboriginal resources, health, workbooks, numeracy and science, software, tutor training, reading and writing instruction, assessment, ESL, communication skills, family literacy, women and literacy, employment and workplace literacy, community education and development, and volunteer appreciation. Visit the website for information.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Ferlazzo's 'Best Health Sites For English Language Learners'

California high school English language teacher, Larry Ferlazzo, offers a list of Best Health Sites for English Language Learners at his blog. He describes this entry as "...a ranked list of what I think are the twelve best sites that combine health information/literacy with English Language development."

Youth InfoNet No. 41 – December 2007

Youth InfoNet (No. 41) is a monthly electronic newsletter focusing on youth reproductive health and HIV prevention. This issue features summaries of presentations on youth from the 4th Asia Pacific Conference on Reproductive and Sexual Health and Rights [], held 29-31 October 2007, in Hyderabad, India.

The projects summarized are from more than 20 countries, nearly all in Asia and the Pacific region. Topics include (the following are links to PDF files):

Sexual Behaviour among the Young: Risk and Protective Factors

Sexual and Reproductive Rights Issues: Specific Concern for Young People

Special Needs of Married Young People: Addressing Sexually Transmitted Diseases and HIV Risks

Successful Approaches in Scaling Up Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights Programmes for Young People

Peer-led Interventions: Evidence beyond Pilots

Bridging the Generation Gap: Reconstructing Attitudes towards Young People’s Sexuality

Understanding Sexual and Reproductive Health Needs of Pre-adolescents

Young People in Difficult Situations: Ensuring their Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights

Promoting Sex Education for School and Out-of-school Children

Back issues of Youth InfoNet are available on the Family Health International Web site

Maine 2008 Health Literacy Institutes

Announced by Sue Stableford on the NIFL Health Literacy listserv:
2008 National Health Literacy Institutes - the premier opportunity to learn plain language skills to plan, write, and design effective, accessible information for print and web. This Institute has been sponsored by the University of New England in Maine for the past 16 years.

The 2008 Summer Institute will be held June 8-11. The 2008 Fall Institute (repeat) will be held October 26-29. Both Institutes are hosted in Freeport, Maine, home of LL Bean, and just 20 minutes from Portland. The area offers many venues to explore, both indoors and outdoors.

All details and registration information are at this website:

Each Institute is limited to 30 participants, so register early to hold your place.

Canadian Women's Health Network magazine

Network magazine
Fall/Winter 2007 - Volume 10, Number 1 available online

Network magazine

Feature articles include:

Editor's note by Kathleen O'Grady - The HPV vaccination debate rages on

Women, gender and mental health

Long-term care homes legislation: Lessons from Ontario

"What Older Women Want"

Timely access to care

Women's equality has come a long way and we're not finished yet

Women and private health insurance

Winning the war on cancer

Infant feeding experiences of women survivors of childhood sexual abuse

One woman's experience with early harm reduction programs in BC

New medications target menstrual suppression for healthy women and girls

When a young woman has a stroke

-- and much more!

Full PDF of Network:
Fall/Winter 2007 - Volume 10, Number 1

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Articles from Helen Osborne--Health Literacy Consulting

Recent articles by Helen Osborne of Health Literacy Consulting

  • "Screening for Health Literacy Using the Newest Vital Sign" [using nutrition labels as a literacy screening tool]
  • "In other words...Using Graphics and Humor to Convey Healthcare Essentials"
  • "In Other Words...Confirming Understanding With the Teach-Back Technique"
These articles and much more practical information about health literacy can be found at Helen's website.

Laughter is the Best Medicine on Knowledge Network

Time sensitive

Laughter is the Best Medicine on Knowledge Network
Cracking Up! premieres Monday, January 28 at 9 p.m.

From the first fumbles of the microphone, to their one-on-one performances in front of the mirror, to their sold out graduation show at one of Vancouver's biggest theatres, Cracking Up! takes viewers on a quirky journey through the unique perspectives of some remarkable people.

Cracking Up! follows the story of 11 courageous people who stand up for their mental health – literally! Using laughter as a form of therapy, Vancouver counselor and comedian David Granirer trains these individuals, who suffer from mental illnesses such as schizophrenia,
obsessive-compulsive disorder, and manic depression, to confront their problems through stand-up comedy. While learning to laugh at themselves, they get to share their stories and address public stigma with an audience that has a lot to learn about mental disorders.

Giving a face to mental illness, this documentary introduces audiences to inspiring individuals, such as Michael Warren who has both bipolar disorder and attention deficit hyperactive disorder. Michael couldn't speak properly until he was a teenager, but it hasn't deterred him from his dream to become a stand-up comedian. Likewise, Paul Decarie suffered traumatic injury to his brain and spine after falling off a second story balcony when he was two years old, but he too is determined to attain a career as a professional actor and stand-up comedian. Eufemia Fantetti has battled clinical depression for most of her life, yet she is striving to find her long lost sense of humour. Sufferer of schizophrenia, Robbie Engelquist uses his creativity and the unusual voices inside his head as inspiration for his jokes. Each of their stories provokes viewers to reevaluate their perceptions and biases towards people with mental illness.

The Art of Advocacy for Parents of Children with Special Needs

Time sensitive

February 2, 2008 Surrey
Early Bird deadline January 11, 2008

March 1, 2008 Nanaimo
Early Bird deadline January 25, 2008

April 5, 2008 Castlegar
Early Bird deadline February 28, 2008

April 26, 2008 Kitimat
Early Bird deadline March 13, 2008

Clair Schuman, E.D., ACT - Autism Community Training

Many parents are confused and frustrated by the complexities of systems they must navigate to find help for their child with special needs. This workshop offers parents an overview of how to develop skills they need to navigate successfully through the hurdles they may sometimes encounter. Using the school system as an example, parents are guided through the components of empowerment necessary to become an effective advocate for their child. Specific guidelines and tips will be provided in this positive, practical, user-friendly and interactive seminar. This workshop is not disability specific but will be especially helpful for parents of children with "invisible" disabilities.

Bursaries: ACT has bursaries available for low-income registrants. View the bursaries page on our website for more information.

Information and Support: ACT offers extensive support and information on autism related topics through our office both by telephone and email. Contact us at or 604-205-5467 or toll-free at 1-866-939-5188. Web:

ACT - Autism Community Training is looking for interested individuals or groups in BC outside Vancouver to help in planning our autism training workshops. Please contact Simon Ladell, ACT's Website/Marketing Officer, at or phone us toll-free at 1-866-939-5188.

Transitioning from High School to Work - Preparing Students with Autism for Adulthood

Time sensitive

January 12, 2008 Nanaimo
Regular rate deadline January 3, 2008

March 8, 2008 Surrey
Early Bird deadline January 25, 2008

Vicki Lundine, M.Ed. & Catherine Smith, M.Ed.

The emphasis on transition from high school to work is a focus in Grades 10-12 but the process should begin much earlier for students with ASD. Attitudes toward work combined with decisions we make for children with autism can significantly influence the path they may choose to follow. The workshop will define the roles and responsibilities for individuals supporting students as they mature, including parents, and will provide participants with information and strategies which help promote meaningful participation for students with ASD in the work world.

Bursaries: ACT has bursaries available for low-income registrants. View the bursaries page on our website for more information.

Information and Support: ACT offers extensive support and information on autism related topics through our office both by telephone and email. Contact us at or 604-205-5467 or toll-free at 1-866-939-5188. Web:

ACT - Autism Community Training is looking for interested individuals or groups in BC outside Vancouver to help in planning our autism training workshops. Please contact Simon Ladell, ACT's Website/Marketing Officer, at or phone us toll-free at 1-866-939-5188.