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.
Check out this resource on preventing and treating pressure sores! This guide is a plain language version of the 2013 Canadian Best Practice Guidelines for the Prevention and Management of Pressure Ulcers in People with Spinal Cord Injury. You can download your free copy!
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.
These videos provide information and examples of how individuals have made their homes more wheelchair accessible. These modifications allow the owners to adapt to their living quarters in order to better meet the needs of their disability.
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.
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.
COVID-19 Guidance for Our Spinal Cord Injury Community
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.
Preventing COVID-19: Hand Hygiene for People with Spinal Cord Injury
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.
National disability organizations have come together to express their concern about the lack of consideration for people with disabilities during the corona-19 virus 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 up front 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 on the basis of 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 webpage you will find the 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 at: https://www.camh.ca/en/health-info/mental-health-and-covid-19
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: https://www.cdacanada.com/resources/covid-19-communication-rights-toolkit/
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.