Our Federation Partners across the country develop important and useful resources. Here is a listing of some of their best examples. Feel free to visit Federation Partners' websites for more resources.
Pressure injuries can develop in just a few hours, are difficult to heal and can lead to dangerous infections. Pressure sores are almost always preventable. Prevention is key.
Spinal Cord Injury Ontario has revised its resource on preventing and treating pressure sores. This guide is a plain language version focusing on Canadian best practice guidelines for Preventing and Treating Pressure Sores.
A team of sexual health clinicians and specialists in Vancouver, BC provide sexual health services, education and research. Some of the topics addressed on this website include: female fertility, contraception, parenting, relationships and sexual self image.
The Spinal Cord Injury Newfoundland and Labrador Accessibility Roadmap is a tool designed to assist individuals with a spinal cord injury, or significant mobility disability, identify accessible locations while travelling across the island of Newfoundland and Labrador.
SCI Alberta has several videos that provide information and examples of how individuals have made their homes more wheelchair accessible. These modifications allow the owners to adapt to their living space in order to better meet the needs of their disability.
SCI Saskatchewan has various peer support groups including ones geared to people who are Aboriginal. According to the National Aboriginal Network on Disability, the rate of physical disabilities among Canada’s Aboriginal population is twice that of non-Aboriginal individuals. Saskatchewan's Aboriginal Services and Network seeks to create relationships with Aboriginal groups, and provide support to individuals who want to live independently in the community.
APPLY FOR SCHOLARSHIPS FOR THE 2021/2022 SCHOOL YEAR, AND DECISIONS WILL BE MADE MAY 31, 2022.
SCI Canada provides scholarships annually to support students with spinal cord injuries, or related disabilities, to cover expenses for post-secondary education.
Two scholarships of $1,500 each and one scholarship of $1,000 will be awarded annually. Applicants are invited to fill in and submit the application available at: https://sci-can.ca/application-scholarship no later than May 31 each year.
SCI Canada thanks the Estate of Kirby Rowe, Sun Life Financial and the Chopnick/Hilliard Fund for supporting this scholarship program.
People living with a spinal cord injury often have a harder time with breathing and lung function. This information sheet has been put together to help you know what to do during this phase of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Prevention of the Coronavirus
- Practice social distancing (staying 6 feet away from others), avoid large groups, and stay home when possible. If you do stay home, it is important to know you are not alone and can access services or connect with your local SCI organization via phone, online or by other means.
- Call your doctor before you visit to let them know if you are unwell and have other health concerns.
- Wash your hands regularly with warm soap and water for 20-30 seconds.
- Clean all surfaces regularly that you touch every day including your phone, joystick and wheelchair armrests, tray, push rims…
- Prepare your Emergency Kit (see https://www.getprepared.gc.ca/cnt/rsrcs/pblctns/pplwthdsblts/index-en.aspx)
- Keep 30 days of medical supplies (catheters and dressing supplies) and medication on hand
Attendant Services Issues
- Ensure attendants have not travelled to an affected area or outside of Canada in the last 14 days.
- Send attendants home who are not well.
- Ask attendants to wash their hands when they arrive and before they provide any assistance.
- Be sure your attendants and you wash your hands after all assistance.
- Have a back-up plan if your attendant does not come to work or is sick.
- Read this article from public health Ontario regarding people providing assistance: https://www.publichealthontario.ca/-/media/documents/ncov/factsheet-covid-19-guide-isolation-caregivers.pdf?la=en
If You Are Sick, or Think You Might Have COVID-19
- Isolate yourself at home if you develop respiratory symptoms
- Call your local public health authority for advice
- Read this article from the Globe and Mail for information on symptoms: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/canada/article-i-think-i-may-have-the-new-coronavirus-what-should-i-do/
- If you have a spinal cord injury and use a ventilator, c-pap, or cough assist device, check this resource www.canventottawa.ca
- Speak to your health care provider or respiratory therapist regarding what precautions you, your family and attendants should take in your home
- Clean your equipment and replace filters regularly as per your device manual
- Ensure you have an adequate supply of filters and tubing
- Check the advice from your local provincial health authority every 24-48 hours.
- Contact your provincial SCI organization
Note and Disclaimer
This guidance was created by experts in the SCI Community on March 12, 2020 in consultation with infectious disease specialists. This document is based on the best available evidence at the time of release. We can’t guarantee that the guidance is up to date or current as the pandemic is changing daily.
This advice is meant to address the COVID-19 pandemic. Certain supplies may be limited but you can still protect yourself and prevent infection using the cleaning products you have; soap and water is always better than nothing.
1) Hand washing basics
- Soap and warm water: 20 seconds, all parts of hand (front & back, under nails, between fingers, wrists), or
- Sanitizer (60% alcohol): cover all parts of hand (front & back, under nails, between fingers, wrists).
- Take care when you dry your hands; use single-use paper towels in a public place or a clean towel at home.
- Avoid touching your face; keep track of where you put your hands and clean those items/surfaces regularly.
The coronavirus (that causes COVID-19) can live for hours or even days on a variety of materials; be especially careful of surfaces in public areas that are touched by many people (elevator/door buttons, handrails, keypads, touchscreens, etc.).
2a) Manual wheelchair users
- Wash your hands frequently and whenever you enter your living space.
- Remove gloves first and clean them with a non-damaging product.
- After you wash your hands, be careful about touching your tires; if you need to transfer, you may want to use paper towels or clean cloths to cover your tires.
- Clean your pushrims as well, since you’re constantly touching them…anything that gets on your pushrims is very likely to get on your hands.
- Clean your brake handles, push handles and any other parts of your wheelchair that anyone touches with their hands.
- Clean your tires regularly, and try to avoid making contact between your hands and your tires when you’re pushing.
2b) Power wheelchair users
- Wash your hands frequently and whenever you enter your living space.
- If you’re not able to wash your hands, get someone to help you clean them with soap and water or sanitizer.
- Clean your joystick and any other controls (while taking care not to damage the electronics).
- Clean your armrests, tray, and any other parts of the wheelchair that your hands touch.
- Clean your cell phone or other mobile device, and any parts of a bag or backpack that you touch.
- Clean your keys, wallet, and any cards you use in public places.
4) Other assistive devices
- Clean all parts of any splints, cuffs, braces, or reachers, or any other assistive device you touch with your hands.
- Clean the handles of your cane or crutches.
- Clean the handgrips and brakes of your walker or rollator, and any other part that you touch (such as a storage compartment).
5) Using your mouth
- If you have limited hand function, you may typically use your mouth to grasp and hold all kinds of things. Although it may be more difficult, it’s a good idea to find other strategies (including asking for help if necessary) so you can avoid using your mouth, ESPECIALLY with any object that someone else may have touched.
These measures may seem difficult and time-consuming, but it is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT for people living with SCI to prevent infection by the coronavirus. During the current emergency, taking every possible measure to protect yourself will help you stay healthy.
In March 2020, national disability organizations came together to express their concern about the lack of consideration for people with disabilities during the coronavirus pandemic.
"It is imperative that the Government of Canada urgently address the unique vulnerabilities of people with disabilities and their families during the COVID-19 crisis. People with disabilities represent 22% of the Canadian population. Many are at extreme risk and require additional support to ensure their health and safety at this time.
Some people with disabilities are vulnerable to COVID-19 because of the nature of their disability and related health challenges. Many others are at risk because of the measures put in place in response to COVID-19, which require people with disabilities and their families to distance themselves from their communities and support systems and to invest funds upfront for supplies needed to maintain wellbeing during an extended period of isolation.
If Canada’s healthcare system becomes overburdened by COVID-19, most triaging guidelines will result in people with disabilities being denied care, triaged out of care solely based on having a disability. This was the case during the SARS and H1N1 pandemics, and we have no reason to believe that guidelines have changed. Canadians with disabilities may be refused ventilators or life support in a moment of crisis because they have a disability. This discriminatory policy is of great concern..."
On this Government of Canada public health webpage you will find information on:
- the current COVID-19 situation in Canada
- the most recent cases by province and country
- a global perspective
- symptoms and treatment
- health care professional information
- awareness resources
- a COVID-19 virtual assistant
These are tough times.
If you are feeling overwhelmed, isolated or even a little out of sorts, we suggest reaching out to a peer.
Set up a virtual get-together to connect. Chatting with someone who understands what you are going through is really important right now.
If you don't have a peer connection, talk to your provincial organization to set one up and/or participate in other virtual activities that may be already planned.
If you are really worried about your mental health and feeling anxious, the Canadian Mental Health Association has online resources.
SCI BC regularly has online peer meet-ups through their Reach Out program.
They have taken their latest session and created a youtube video so we can all hear about SCI and Coronavirus from a clinical resource nurse, an SCI peer and researcher, as well as from other local resource people.
Patients with COVID-19 (coronavirus) who need communication tools and supports due to speech-related disabilities face greater risks of discrimination and isolation during this pandemic. For example, for safety reasons, your family members and others who help you communicate may not be allowed to join you in the hospital. You also may face other barriers to communicating your needs and desires while you are being treated.
It is important for you to know that your legal and civil rights to access your communication supports do not go away during an emergency, in quarantine, or in the hospital.
Get the ToolKit from Communication Disabilities Access Canada:
From the See Change article: The current COVID-19 quarantine measures have presented additional challenges to receiving care; advanced safety protocols having a disproportionate effect on many people living with disabilities. Nearly 6 million Canadians identify as living with a disability be it related to seeing, hearing, mobility, learning, or mental illness. Of these, an estimated 1.4 million require daily assistance. During a time of social and physical distancing; this can make for a difficult dilemma between a healthcare provider and the person they care for.
This is the first video, in a series of upcoming videos, relating to spinal cord injury. This video discusses respiratory care for people with spinal cord injury during the current COVID-19 pandemic. There is also a podcast version available on Spotify at: https://open.spotify.com/show/66U2EP9rlymRNhsFpumavn if you choose to have a listen.
In light of recent developments related to the spread of the COVID-19 virus, SCI BC has suspended all services that take place in public spaces. But the good news is that they have jacked up their online meet-ups. Join in on everything from coffee morning to movie nights to arts and crafts sessions. Check out their monthly calendar to see what's up and when you can take part.
SCI BC, in partnership with the Vancouver Foundation, is offering bursaries for people with spinal cord injuries studying in British Columbia. This fund was created by anonymous donors to assist people with spinal cord injuries attending post-secondary schools in BC with their tuition, books and/or other learning aids, and other expenses related to their disability that will support education such as housing, transportation, in class assistance including note taking, etc.
The BC Paraplegic Foundation provides the following bursaries in the Fall to individuals with a spinal cord injury to support them with their post-secondary education at universities and colleges in British Columbia:
- Scott Stanley Scholarship
- James H.G. Roche Memorial Scholarship
- C.W. Deans Memorial Scholarship and the Joseph David Hall Memorial Scholarship
The scholarships are for varying amounts. These bursaries are funded through the Foundation as well as from individual donors.
The Kinsmen Foundation is pleased to be the administrator of the Effie Close and Andrew Jamault Bursaries. Both Ms. Close and Mr. Jamault bequeathed estate funds to the Kinsmen Foundation to establish these bursaries. As the donors directed, the bursaries are to be awarded to a full-time student who has graduated grade 12 in Saskatchewan and who uses a wheelchair. Each bursary is valued at $2,000.
This award is provided by Cheshire Homes of Saskatoon. Individuals from Saskatchewan with a physical disabilities are welcome to apply.The award is to be given to a person demonstrating significant achievement in a particular field or activity or to a person showing potential in working on personal and community goals. The scholarship amount is $500.
Provided by SCI Nova Scotia, this scholarship is in memory of Donald E Curran, the founder and first Executive Director of the Atlantic Division of CPA and SCI Nova Scotia. Applications are accepted from any person with a mobility disability. Preference will be given to people with spinal cord injuries. Applicants must be attending a post-secondary school (university, college, technical school) in the Atlantic Provinces. The scholarships will be awarded on merit, academic standing and on such other criteria as the Selection Committee may determine. Recipients must be Canadian citizens or landed immigrants, and residents of the Atlantic Provinces. There are up to eight scholarships available for $1,500.
CPA Nova Scotia oversees this funding for students with a spinal cord injury who are involved in some aspect of sport. Applicants must have a spinal cord injury (quadriplegia or paraplegia) and reside in Atlantic Canada. They must be involved in organized sport either as a participant, official. coach, manager or trainer. Applicants must currently be attending or planning to attend a post-secondary institution in the Atlantic Provinces, and have at least a "C" average. This scholarship is only available to Canadian Citizens or Landed Immigrants. There are three scholarships at $600 each.
A University of Saskatchewan scholarship that is open to students who have completed at least one year of study in the undergraduate or graduate degree program. Preference will be given to students with a physical or learning disability who have registered with the Office of Access and Equity Services. The amount of the scholarship is $1,100 and how many are distributed varies.
Open to students enrolled in an undergraduate advertising or marketing program at a Canadian university or college. One scholarship is open to students attending a primarily English post-secondary institution and one is open to students attending a primarily French post-secondary institution. Successful applicants display a commitment to volunteerism, a record of academic excellence, and an interest in pursuing a career in advertising or marketing. Focus is on volunteer work recognizing all personal and academic volunteerism; any volunteer work can be included in the application. Think peer support! Two $1,500 scholarships are available.
The Chopnick Hilliard Scholarship is for $1,500 and open to any post-secondary student who has a spinal cord injury and who is living in Canada.
The Sun Life Financial Scholarship is open to any post-secondary student with a spinal cord injury who is living in Canada, and who is also a peer support volunteer with one of SCI/CPA corporate members. To be eligible, the applicant will need a letter of support from his/her corporate member stating that he/she is a peer support volunteer. There is one scholarship worth $1,500.
The Kirby Rowe Scholarship is established in memory of William Kirby Rowe who provided outstanding and valued leadership throughout his career to advance access and inclusion for people with disabilities in Canada. One Kirby Rowe Scholarship of $1,000 is available annually to a student with a spinal cord injury to pursue post-secondary education in fields related to management and leadership. Prior to submitting an application, candidates are asked to learn more about the illustrious career of Kirby Rowe by reading his short biography at: https://sci-can.ca/about-kirby-rowe. Applicants are required to submit a letter addressing the following items: Applicant personal history and leadership experience to date; career aspirations as a leader; identification of an inspirational leader, and as well, highlight the qualities of that leader the applicant aspires to develop.
Phyllis Davidson Easter Seals Scholarship offers post-secondary academic scholarships to students living with physical disabilities that require a mobility aid (wheelchair, scooter, crutches, etc). To qualify you must be a current student or candidate for admission into a post-secondary institution in Alberta, with the intent to pursue an academic or professional program leading to a degree, or diploma. The student should be attending on a full-time basis with a minimum of three courses per semester. Amounts range from $2,500 to $5,000 and the number of scholarships awarded varies.
Awarded annually to students with mobility disabilities who are pursuing studies in any direct-entry undergraduate degree program in any college at the University of Saskatchewan and who have graduated from a Saskatchewan high school. Recipients are eligible to have the bursary renewed to the completion of an undergraduate degree provided they maintain an acceptable academic average and continue to demonstrate financial need.
The Lisa Huus Memorial Fund provides bursaries to assist people with disabilities to undertake or continue their post-secondary education for academic credit at the University of Victoria or other accredited post-secondary institutions in British Columbia. Bursaries may be used for items such as tuition fees, textbooks, equipment, transportation, residence, and support worker costs. Amounts range up to $5,000 and the number of scholarships awarded varies.
[An English message follows.]
Je tenais à prendre le temps de vous fournir de plus amples renseignements sur le paiement unique aux personnes en situation de handicap dans l’espoir que vous les diffuserez sur vos réseaux afin que tous les Canadiens en situation de handicap admissibles puissent recevoir ce paiement.
Notre gouvernement comprend que les personnes en situation de handicap ont été fortement touchées par la pandémie de COVID-19, et il continue de prendre des mesures pour s’assurer que leurs besoins sont pris en charge pendant la pandémie.
Le 17 juillet 2020, le gouvernement du Canada a annoncé un paiement unique de 600 $ reconnaissant les dépenses extraordinaires auxquelles font face les personnes en situation de handicap pendant la pandémie de COVID-19.
Ce paiement pouvant atteindre 600 $ sera automatiquement versé aux personnes en situation de handicap. Nous anticipons émettre les paiements à compter de cet automne.
Les renseignements concernant les paiements seront affichés sur la page web Paiement unique aux personnes en situation de handicap une fois disponibles :
Les personnes concernées sont celles qui :
- possèdent un certificat valide au titre du crédit d’impôt pour personnes handicapées fourni par l’Agence du revenu du Canada;
- reçoivent, au 1er juillet 2020, des prestations d’invalidité du Régime de pensions du Canada ou du Régime de rentes du Québec;
- bénéficient, au 1er juillet 2020, des mesures de soutien offertes par Anciens Combattants Canada aux personnes handicapées :
o Pension d’invalidité;
o Indemnité d’invalidité;
o Indemnité pour douleur et souffrance;
o Indemnité pour blessure grave;
o Programme de services de réadaptation et d’assistance professionnelle;
o Prestation de remplacement du revenu;
o Soutien du revenu des Forces canadiennes.
Les aînés en situation de handicap qui étaient admissibles au paiement unique pour les personnes âgées annoncé le 12 mai 2020 et qui sont également admissibles au paiement unique pour les personnes en situation de handicap recevront un montant total de 600 $ réparti en deux paiements :
S’ils ont reçu le paiement unique de 300 $ au titre de la pension de la Sécurité de la vieillesse (SV), ils recevront un montant supplémentaire de 300 $.
S’ils ont reçu le paiement unique de 500 $ pour les aînés au titre de la pension de la SV et du Supplément de revenu garanti (SRG) ou de l’Allocation, ils recevront un montant supplémentaire de 100 $.
Les personnes qui bénéficient déjà de l’un ou l’autre des programmes ou prestations ci-dessus n’ont pas besoin de présenter une demande pour recevoir un paiement unique pour les personnes handicapées. Elles recevront le paiement automatiquement. Ce paiement unique sera non imposable et non déclarable, ce qui signifie qu’il ne sera pas nécessaire de le déclarer dans votre déclaration de revenus et qu’il n’y aura pas d’impôt à payer sur ce paiement.
Le gouvernement comprend que de nombreuses personnes en situation de handicap qui pourraient être admissibles au CIPH n’ont jamais présenté de demande pour l’obtenir, surtout des personnes à faible revenu qui n’ont pas eu besoin du CIPH pour réduire leur impôt sur le revenu.
Les personnes en situation de handicap qui satisfont aux critères d’admissibilité au CIPH et qui n’ont pas encore présenté de demande à l’Agence du revenu du Canada peuvent présenter une demande jusqu’au 25 septembre 2020. Les personnes en situation de handicap dont le certificat a expiré en 2019 et qui n’ont pas encore présenté de nouvelle demande à l’ARC devront le faire d’ici le 25 septembre 2020.
Il convient de noter qu’un médecin qualifié doit remplir une partie du formulaire de demande de CIPH. Un médecin en titre ou une infirmière praticienne ou un infirmier praticien peuvent remplir toutes les sections du formulaire. D’autres professionnels de la santé peuvent remplir certaines parties du formulaire, notamment :
o Optométristes – vision;
o Audiologistes – audition;
o Ergothérapeutes – marcher, se nourrir, s’habiller et les effets cumulatifs de ces activités;
o Physiothérapeutes – marcher;
o Orthophonistes – parler;
o Psychologues – exécuter les fonctions mentales nécessaires au quotidien.
Les nouveaux demandeurs de CIPH doivent effectuer immédiatement le processus de demande afin de soumettre un formulaire dûment rempli avant le 25 septembre 2020.
Le gouvernement continue de travailler sans relâche pendant la pandémie pour traiter rapidement les demandes de prestations d’invalidité. Toutefois, les demandes relatives aux programmes de prestations d’invalidité doivent faire l’objet d’un examen et d’une analyse détaillés pour confirmer l’admissibilité des demandeurs. Bien que nous ne connaissions pas le nombre de demandes de CIPH que l’ARC recevra d’ici le 25 septembre 2020 à l’heure actuelle, l’ARC s’efforcera de traiter rapidement l’inventaire de demandes afin de continuer à respecter les délais d’exécution prévus de huit semaines, 95 % du temps.
Nous encourageons les bénéficiaires du paiement à s’assurer que leur adresse et leurs renseignements bancaires sont à jour afin de recevoir un paiement rapidement. Les appelants qui ont besoin d’aide pour changer leur adresse, mettre à jour les renseignements relatifs au dépôt direct, accéder à Mon dossier ou poser des questions sur leur demande de CIPH peuvent appeler la ligne des demandes de renseignements sur l’impôt des particuliers de l’ARC au 1-800-959-7383 (en français) et au au 1-800-959-8281 (en anglais) entre 9 h et 17 h (heure locale) du lundi au vendredi.
Vous trouverez de plus amples renseignements sur la présentation d’une demande de CIPH sur le site Web de l’Agence du revenu du Canada (ARC) :
L’ARC offre également des services de visibilité aux organismes qui soutiennent les personnes en situation de handicap.
Pour en savoir davantage, veuillez consulter le site suivant :
N’hésitez pas à transmettre ces renseignements à vos contacts dans la collectivité des personnes en situation de handicap.
Je me réjouis à la perspective de continuer à travailler avec vous tous au nom des Canadiens en situation de handicap.
Veuillez agréer mes sincères salutations.
Ministre de l’Emploi, du Développement de la main‑d’œuvre et de l’Inclusion des personnes handicapées
I wanted to take the time to provide you with more information on the one-time payment to persons with disabilities in hopes that you will share it with your networks so that all Canadians with disabilities who are eligible can receive this payment.
Our government understands that persons with disabilities have been significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and is continuing to take steps to ensure that their needs are supported during the COVID-19 pandemic.
On July 17, 2020, the Government of Canada announced a one-time $600 payment in recognition of the extraordinary expenses faced by persons with disabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic.
This payment of up to $600 will be automatically issued to persons with disabilities. Payments are expected to be issued beginning this Fall.
The payment information will be provided on the One-time payment to persons with disabilities web page once available:
These individuals include those who:
- Have a valid Disability Tax Credit certificate provided by the Canada Revenue Agency; or
- Are beneficiaries as at July 1, 2020, of Canada Pension Plan Disability or Quebec Pension Plan Disability; and/or
- Are beneficiaries, as at July 1, 2020, of disability supports provided by Veterans Affairs Canada:
o Disability Pension;
o Disability Award;
o Pain and Suffering Compensation;
o Critical Injury Benefit;
o Rehabilitation Services and Vocational Assistance Program;
o Income Replacement Benefit; and/or
o Canadian Forces Income Support.
Seniors with disabilities, who were eligible for the one-time seniors payment announced on May 12, 2020, and are also eligible for the one-time disability payment, will receive a total amount of $600 broken into 2 payments:
If they received the $300 one-time seniors payment for the Old Age Security (OAS) pension, they will receive an additional $300
If they received the $500 one-time seniors payment for both the OAS pension and the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) or the Allowance, they will receive an additional $100
Persons already receiving any of the above programs or benefits do not need to apply for the one‑time disability payment. They will receive the payment automatically. This one-time payment will be non-taxable and non-reportable, meaning that it is not necessary to report it on your income tax return and no tax will need to be paid on it.
The Government understands that many persons with disabilities who might qualify for the DTC have never applied for it, especially persons living in low-income who have not needed the DTC to reduce their income taxes.
Persons with disabilities, who meet the eligibility criteria for the DTC and have yet to apply to the Canada Revenue Agency, can apply until September 25, 2020. Persons with disabilities who have a certificate that expired in 2019, and have yet to re-apply to the CRA, should do so by September 25, 2020.
To note, a qualified medical practitioner must fill out part of the DTC application form. A medical doctor or nurse practitioner can fill out all sections of the form. Other health professionals can fill out certain parts of the form as follows:
o Optometrists – vision;
o Audiologists – hearing;
o Occupational Therapists – walking, feeding, dressing and the cumulative effects for these activities;
o Physiotherapists – walking;
o Speech-language pathologists – speaking; and
o Psychologists – performing the mental functions necessary for everyday life.
New DTC applicants should complete their application process right away so that they have a completed form submitted before September 25, 2020.
The government continues to work tirelessly during the pandemic to process applications for disability programs in a timely manner. However, applications for disability programs require detailed review and analysis to confirm eligibility. While the number of DTC applications the CRA will receive by September 25, 2020 is unknown at this time, the CRA will aim to process the inventory of applications in an expeditious manner in order to continue to meet its expected turnaround times of 8 weeks, 95% of the time.
Recipients of the payment are encouraged to make sure their address and banking information is up to date in order to receive prompt payment. Recipients who need help with changing their address, updating direct deposit, accessing My Account, or questions related to their DTC application, they can call CRA’s Individual Enquiries Line at 1-800-959-8281 (English) and 1-800-959-7383 (French) between 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (local time) Monday to Friday.
More information on applying for the DTC can be found on the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) website:
CRA also offers Outreach services to organizations who support persons with disabilities.
For more information, please visit:
Please feel free to forward this information to your contacts in the disability community.
I look forward to continue working with all of you on behalf of Canadians with disabilities.
Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion
The Canadian Pain Society is a society of scientists, health professionals, educators and pain advocates who have a vested interest in pain research and management. As a chapter of the International Association of the Study of Pain, they support the treatment of pain as a basic human right and are currently advocating for a Canadian National Pain Strategy.
Their mission is to foster and encourage research on pain mechanisms and pain syndromes and to help improve the management of people with acute and chronic pain by bringing together the basic scientists and health professionals of various disciplines and backgrounds who have an interest in pain research and management.
The Chronic Pain Association of Canada is Canada's largest independent, not-for-profit charitable organization serving people affected by pain, through education, information, support advocacy.
The organization's mission is to prevent and relieve unnecessary pain and to improve the quality of life and daily function of people who suffer from pain through education and awareness.
They believe that all Canadians have the right to:
- have our pain treated
- be believed
- be treated with respect
- the best possible technology in pain management
- know about all the pain management options so we can make best decisions for our own pain
- live with the least amount of pain possible
The majority of people who have a spinal cord injury (SCI) often experience pain, especially chronic pain. If you have pain after SCI, you are not alone. Pain can be complex and is a very individual experience, and it’s important to understand your pain and what influences it in order to better manage it.
Accessibility Standards Canada creates and reviews accessibility standards for federally regulated organizations. It also supports and promotes innovative research that aims to identify and eliminate barriers, and to prevent new ones.
As standards are being developed, Accessibility Standards Canada will put our calls to form technical committees. These committees identify where persons with disabilities may face barriers related to the area of focus. Then they develop a national standard, or a suite of standards, to work towards eliminating these barriers. Watch the website to know when Accessibility Standards Canada is searching for committee members.
SCI Alberta, SCI BC, SCI Ontario, University of British Columbia, SCI Action Canada, Centre de recherche interdisciplinaire en réadaptation, Ability New Brunswick and the Rick Hansen Institute have partnered with McGill University researchers to enable a diverse understanding of SCI peer mentorship outcomes and develop a sustainable SCI peer mentorship evaluation tool for uptake by the SCI community. The knowledge derived from the research activities aims to be novel, methodologically sound, and practically relevant. This partnership will co-create knowledge that is academically, organizationally, and socially meaningful. Through this, those involved will establish a foundation for continued community-university collaboration leading to future partnership activities to evaluate and optimize SCI peer mentorship.
This partnership will generate new knowledge about:
- The impact of SCI peer mentorship on outcomes for mentees
- The mechanisms by which community-based programs support people with SCI;
- The needs of community partners for evaluating peer mentorship programs;
- The SCI community's needs in a peer mentorship evaluation tool; and
- The community partners' barriers and facilitators to implementing the evaluation tool.
Peer Mentor Training Online has been designed for individuals who have been pre-screened by one of the SCI Canada Federation member organizations. It is a training program for people who will be volunteering as Peer Mentors within their communities.
Peer Support programs across the Spinal Cord Injury Canada Federation are at the heart of what we do. Peer Support mentors are people who have "been there; done that" and who can share their lived experiences. Peer mentors are people with spinal cord injuries and family members, too.
Through completion of this course, participants will learn about their role and responsibilities as Peer Mentors, the procedures they must follow as volunteers, and strategies they can use to establish positive, productive relationships with their peers.
SCI & U is a one-on-one coaching program to help Canadians with spinal cord injuries lead healthy lives. You don’t need to leave home to participate and you don’t need to pay. It’s a research-based program and all of the health coaches are Canadians who are themselves people with a spinal cord injury. As peers, they know first-hand the experience of the condition. They are selected for their positive communication skills and non-judgmental, open-minded attitude. Each coach is trained in active listening, action planning, and mental health.
This resource, created by a team of rehabilitation clinicians and people living with spinal cord injuries from Vancouver Coastal Health, G.F. Strong Rehab Centre and SCI BC provides the information needed to manage your life after spinal cord injury. They provide the basic information you need to be informed and to understand what you will learn in rehab about how your body works after spinal cord injury. Being informed about your specific type and level of spinal cord injury, as well as some of the details of how it affects your bowel, bladder and other systems, will help you learn to understand when something goes wrong and when to seek help, and will allow you to develop an understanding of what “normal” looks like for you after injury. These resources have been reviewed by rehabilitation clinicians to be a credible source for people living with spinal cord injuries and their families, and useful for those who care for them.
Spinal Cord Injury Ontario has always been about making life with SCI easier and increasing knowledge around disability and accessibility. Which is why they’re proud of their new social venture, Cortree Disability Education Centre. It’s where people with SCI and other physical disabilities and their families can go for info on relevant topics such as Choosing a Wheelchair, Pain Management, Sexual Health and Vehicle Modification. It’s also where business and medical pros can go for important expert training.
Physical activity guidelines for adults with spinal cord injury (SCI) have been developed by an international group of SCI scientists, people living with SCI, clinicians, and representatives from SCI organizations. These physical activity guidelines are based on the best scientific evidence available. The guidelines have two levels: a starting level and an advanced level. Which level you choose depends on your goals, abilities and current fitness level.
SCI Alberta covers this sometimes awkward topic via video. Two guest speakers dive right into the conversation about bowel health. They talk about the importance of having a regular bowel schedule and what foods to eat in order to keep things regular.
Video length = 45+ mins
Spinal Cord Injury Alberta offers a course on basic anatomy. The course educates participants about the systems and vital organs that make up the human body, the components and functions of each, and how the parts of the body interact. Upon completion of the course, students will be able to:
- know the components of each body system;
- identify the functions performed by each system, and
- recognize how each system interacts with the other body systems.
SCI Alberta offers a course on personal care activities relating to spinal cord injury, with a focus on helping individuals maintain personal hygiene and grooming routines. After completing the course, participants will be able to define personal care and describe personal hygiene activities including those related to bladder care, peri-care and catheterization. Participants will have a better understanding of the general guidelines to follow when assisting in personal grooming routines, including hair care, nail care, and shaving. Participants will be able to explain the step-by-step processes related to handwashing, bed baths, peri-care, bowel routines, catheterization, dental care, and ROM exercises.
SCI Alberta offers a course on respiratory care. This course educates participants about illnesses and conditions that can affect breathing, and describes practical ways to assist someone who is experiencing breathing difficulty. Upon completion of the course, participants will understand the purpose and mechanics of breathing. Participants will be able to identify a variety of disabling conditions that affect respiration, including: spinal cord injuries, viruses, pneumonia, obstructive disorders, and neuromuscular disorders. Participants will be able to recognize how disability can affect breathing issues. Participants will learn strategies to ease and improve breathing. Cost: $59.95
In March 2019, Spinal Cord Injury Ontario hosted a certified webcast on neuropathic pain for primary care providers in partnership with Ontario Telemedicine Network Professional Learning Series. This self-learning program has been certified by the College of Family Physicians of Canada.
The Accessible Canada Act creates a framework, which allows for the proactive identification, removal, and prevention barriers wherever Canadians interact with areas under federal jurisdiction. It puts in place mechanisms that would systematically address accessibility.
Spinal Cord Injury Manitoba has a booklet entitled A Guide to Pressure Ulcer Prevention. You can request a copy by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone 204-786-4753 / 1-800-720-4933 (within Manitoba only)
Spinal Cord Injury Research Evidence (SCIRE) Community was developed by a team in the Rehabilitation Research Program at GF Strong Rehab Centre in Vancouver, BC with contributions from a wide network of scientists, health professionals, and community members.
SCIRE Community provides research-based information in everyday language, and gives more background information, while explaining the science behind the research.
SCIRE Community’s goal is to help ensure you have access to information based on the latest science to help you understand spinal cord injury, manage your health, and live a healthy and fulfilling life. This website is constantly being updated as new content is added – check back often for new updates!
The Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation (ONF) considers itself a catalyst for change – through research, knowledge mobilization and implementation initiatives. They make lasting impacts in the spinal cord and brain injury community and continue to prevent neurotrauma injuries from occurring.
The ONF Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) program focuses on support to projects and research that improve the treatment, care and quality of life for people living with SCI. Through national and provincial partnerships, ONF is strategically positioned to drive change and remove systemic barriers for the SCI community. Through research, knowledge mobilization and implementation activities, ONF supports initiatives that improve clinical practice and inform policy to enhance the lives of people living with spinal cord injury.
The Canadian Council on Rehabilitation and Work (CCRW) is a national organization working both with people with disabilities to get jobs, and with employers to help address issues of accommodation. The organization stands firm in the belief that people with disabilities have the right to equal treatment and access to employment. Whether you are currently working or looking for your next great opportunity, CCRW has a program to help. CCRW is currently leading the development of a national employment strategy. You can work on your next career by visiting their website.
Spinal Cord Injury Ontario’s Community Magazine features a section entitled: Home and Away. In this section, you will find articles on accessible living and travel. Home and housing articles include:
- The Accessible Home Office – a look at the benefits of working from home, especially as someone with a spinal cord injury
- A Visitable Home – what do you need to consider to make your home welcoming and inclusive
- Home Smart Home – smart home technology is constantly evolving and improving to adapt to our changing needs
- Cultivating the Gardening Habit – a glimpse into the benefits of gardening and how to prepare raised beds
Travel articles cover:
- Accessible Yellowstone Park
- Travel to Spain and Portugal
- My Trip to South Africa and Why I Needed to Go
You can find these articles and many more on SCI Ontario's website.
We can’t get enough of Kevin Rempel. Kevin has an incredible story about overcoming a tremendous amount of adversity.
Paralyzed after a motocross crash in 2006, Kevin had to face unsurmountable odds while learning to walk again at the age of 23. At home, his dad was also living with a spinal cord injury, as he had fallen from a tree while deer hunting years earlier. Unfortunately, his dad couldn’t deal with living with his circumstances and took his own life in July, 2007.
Kevin turned to sport – specifically sledge hockey – and set his sights on making Team Canada and playing in the Paralympics. In 2013, he became a World Champion and in 2014 a Sochi Paralympic bronze medalist in sledge hockey. Since then Kevin has travelled the world, inspired thousands of people, and has been featured around the world in media such as CBC, TSN, and BBC Sport.
Today, Kevin is focused on helping grow the sport of sledge hockey through his teambuilding program, The Sledge Hockey Experience, and passionately taking the stage either live or virtual inspiring audiences with The Hero Mindset Keynote and The Resilience Toolbox.
Kevin has done some deep soul searching to identify what steps he can take to continue to be resilient each and every day. And lucky for us, he shares his insights through his blog.
The Centre for Independent Living in Toronto (CILT) manages the Parenting with a Disability Network (PDN). It is a cross-disability network for parents and prospective parents with disabilities in Toronto and the GTA. It provides opportunities for networking, peer support, information-sharing and education both in-person and online.
The PDN understands that parents with disabilities are experts on their own needs and the needs of their children. Parenting with a disability may look different for everyone and that’s ok! The PDN Coordinator acts as a resource and referral connection to support parents and prospective parents with disabilities to find and access programs, services and equipment in Toronto to meet their families’ needs and/or their own needs as prospective parents.
The PDN strives to create safe, affirming, and equitable spaces through an inclusive and anti-oppressive framework. They recognize the barriers faced by parents with disabilities and the multiple and layered ways in which intersections of oppression can impact the experiences of parents and prospective parents with disabilities.
The vision of the Active Living Alliance for Canadians with a Disability is a society where every person in Canada, regardless of background or ability, has the opportunity to be active and healthy across their lifespan.
The Active Living Alliance for Canadians with a Disability has collected several stories about how Canadians with disabilities participate in physical activity, sport and recreation. Their passion will inspire you and give you ideas on embracing physical activity in your own lives.
Active living provides several physical and mental health benefits, including increased energy levels, improved heart and lung function, strong bones and muscles, a healthy weight, healthy blood pressure and cholesterol levels, improved mood and feelings of happiness, and the ability to manage stress with improved mental health.
So, read on to learn how fellow Canadians have embraced active living and all its benefits. You can do it, too! Then, consider sharing your stories with the Active Living Alliance.
SCI PEI's community has developed a list of rated, accessible places and spaces across the island. On a scale of 1-5 people with spinal cord injuries have rated restaurants, spas, entertainment venues, outdoor recreation and fitness areas. Locations continue to be added to this popular resource.
A Register Disability Savings Plan (RDSP) is a long-term savings plan to help Canadians with disabilities, and their families save for the future. With an RDSP, you may be eligible for up to $90,000 in government grants and bonds to help with your savings.
If you have a Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP), you can apply for a Canada Disability Savings Grant or Bond. The Canada Disability Savings Grant is a matching grant. That means that the Government also pays into your RDSP to help you save. The Canada Disability Savings Bond is money the Government contributes to the RDSP of low and modest-income Canadians.
Find out more at the Government of Canada website.
The CDPP is an alliance of university, public, private and government sector partners working together to enhance community participation among Canadians with physical disabilities. Their focus is on employment, mobility and sport and exercise.
For employment, their goal is to design, test, and implement evidence-based practices that will increase both the number of people with disabilities who participate in the labour market, as well as the quality of participation.
For mobility, their goal is to develop a better understanding of how people with mobility impairments move about their communities, and to then use that information to design, test and implement strategies to improve both the extent and quality of participation in community mobility.
For sport and exercise, their goal is to develop, test and implement evidence-based, best-practices to increase the number of people with disabilities who participate in sport and exercise, and to improve the quality of their participation experiences.
For more information, check out their website.
Moelle épinière et motricité Québec (MEMO-Que) is a non-profit organization that has been operating since 1946. Its mission is to promote self-sufficiency, independence and quality of life for people living with disabilities.
The organization intervenes to facilitate the social integration of people with spinal cord injury, to promote their rights and support research. It also aims at developing the employment of people with physical and neurological limitations.
MEMO-Que supports people with spinal cord injuries from the time of their diagnosis, through their physical readaptation process, to their reintegration into society. Subsequently, the support continues, as needed, throughout their lives.
Ability New Brunswick - Capacité Nouveau Brunswick's mission is to empower the independence and full community participation of persons throughout New Brunswick who have a mobility disability. They achieve this by:
- Being the primary voice for New Brunswickers of all ages living with a mobility disability.
- Being a leader in service delivery and an influential voice in Federal, Provincial and local public policy development for persons with a mobility disability.
- Providing professional, responsive, and caring innovative programs and services.
- Knowledge, expertise and lived experience.
- Being key partners in the rehabilitation, disability and research fields.
The Rick Hansen Foundation School Program offers free educational resources for youth in kindergarten to grade twelve, developed by educators for educators. In both English and French, the ready-made lesson plans incorporate Universal Design principles and are connected to provincial curriculums and educational priorities across Canada.
Explore their toolkits to empower your students to become leaders in access and inclusion today!
Experts who get it!
In 1995 at the age of 16 Mike Johnson sustained a spinal cord injury during a high school football practice. This injury left Mike with quadriplegia. Paralysis not only affects your arms and legs. Your bowel and bladder function is also disrupted. And so began Mike’s early introduction to among other things the many methods and products used to maintain a healthy bowel and bladder.
The lack of support
When shopping for products or services it is a reasonable expectation that the store staff would have a certain level of knowledge for the products or services they sell. Right? Mike really had a difficult time finding answers to his questions regarding urology supplies. He happened to come across a product by chance that better addressed his needs. It was then that he thought to himself that we – the users of niche medical supplies – deserve better!
Enter SCI Supply Inc.! The business was designed in an effort to enhance user’s knowledge about the many product options available to them. Equally important was improving the shopping experience itself. The online model fits with this user population perfectly. We can reach users in the far corners of this great country and eliminate the need for you to come to us.
Easy to use site
The website has features built-in that greatly improve the user experience. The product catalogue is divided into sub-categories. The checkout process is quick and clean. It is even faster for repeat customers!
Putting customers first
Mike understands first-hand how vital these products are to your everyday life and this enabled him to design the business with the customer as the focal point!
There’s no question that nutrition profoundly impacts our physical and mental health, especially for someone living with a chronic illness or medical condition. Life with a disability is a delicate balance of staying healthy and avoiding any associated secondary health issues. It is often the secondary health problems that prevent us from living independently. That’s why proper nutrition and healthy living are essential.
Fruitful Elements, owned by peer Joanne Smith, applies this philosophy in its preventative health approach – providing individuals with wise nutritional and lifestyle choices.
Contact Joanne on the website for a nutritional consultation. You can also go to the site and sign up for the Fruitful Elements blog to get healthy recipes delivered right into your inbox.
After spinal cord injury, not only is your body forced to cope with the direct impact of paralysis, but it must also deal with the psychological stress, physical pain, biochemical changes and hormonal changes that take place. Together, these factors can contribute to the development
of many common, recurring and potentially life-threatening secondary health complications, such as pressure sores, pain, fatigue, bladder infections, constipation and weight gain.
Nutrition has the power to help rebalance your body, prevent the development of many common and recurring secondary health issues, and achieve overall well-being. Practicing good nutrition also enables you to enhance your bodily functions, leading to greater independence and quality of life.
Review chapter listings and see sample chapters on the website, and you can also place your order for the book!
A boutique law firm protecting the rights of persons living with disabilities, the elderly and those confronting challenges such as child protection, mental health or medical concerns. The law firm is located in Thunder Bay, ON.
Do you have an SCI and own a business? We'd be happy to promote your company in our Peer Business section. Send us your logo/image and a brief description of what you do to email@example.com. It's a free service.
Autonomic Dysreflexia (AD) is a potentially life-threatening complication of spinal cord injury at T6 or above. It is caused by various painful or irritating stimuli below the level of the spinal cord injury. The stimuli, in turn, triggers blood pressure, which may rise dangerously. Learn how to identify symptoms, and know what to do. Download your own wallet card so you can let others know what to do, too.
The National Film Board posted this short film by Andrea Dorfman entitled Lean into loneliness - and know you’re not alone in it. Dorfman reunites with poet Tanya Davis to craft a tender and profound animation on the theme of isolation, providing a wise and soaringly lyrical sequel to their viral hit How to Be Alone.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the SCI community this past year. In order to keep the SCI community informed, the North American Spinal Cord Injury Consortium (NASCIC) has taken the initiative to put together a whitepaper of all current evidence-based information and knowledge about COVID-19 related to people living with SCI.
Depression is not just "feeling bummed out". It is a serious medical condition and it is pretty common among people with spinal cord injuries. This American website provides a number of resources, including:
- a fact sheet
- a look at pain and depression
- a look at different treatment options
- the impact of physical activity and depression
- insight into what you can do
- a look at the relationship between spiritual wellbeing, depression and quality of life
If you need support right now, here is a link to Canadian mental health resources.
Cup of Té is a company started by Taylor Lyndsey-Noel. It offers quality organic teas and teaware. Cup of Té products are so good that the company Made Oprah's Favourite Things List in 2020!
Cup of Té is "proud to be your one-stop destination for extraordinary teas, crafted to stimulate all of your senses while promoting health and wellness."
Cup of Té spun out of Taylor's popular podcast Teatime with Tay. She moved into the tea business to share, as she puts it, "her obsession with tea".
Taylor gives back to the community by donating $1 to mental health awareness from the sales of her starter kits.
What a great gift for Mother's Day!
The folks at SCI BC have put together this great resource featuring peer-reviewed winter gloves. Wheeling through snow and slush can be so unpleasant. The article aims to find the best pair of gloves that will keep your hands warm, dry and provide grip. Have a read, and hopefully, you'll find a pair that could work for you, and you will grow to love. Links are included in this article by Jocelyn Maffin. Thanks, Jocelyn!