Making Waves in Toronto
Making Waves Toronto is a not-for-profit volunteer program that provides inexpensive and accessible one-on-one swimming lessons for children with disabilities. The need is evident: A 2002 study conducted by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that drowning is still the second-leading cause of unintentional injury-related death in children age one to 14; another study found that children with disabilities are “a further 10 times likelier to suffer from a submersion injury than the general population.”
To lessen the risk of water-related injury, the Making Waves program offers lessons that are built on existing water safety rules and regulations, but are also “specially targeted and adapted tothose children at highest risk of drowning.”
Volunteers are qualified swimming instructors who are properly trained and prepared to work with kids with disabilities. For more information, visit mwss.ca.
Welcome to Martigny Boutique-Hotel
Jean-Marc Dupont, director of the Valais Foundation for Mental Disability (FOVAHM), is proud to announce, in partnership with Gianadda Foundation, the opening of Martigny Boutique-Hotel in Martigny, Switzerland. After two years of planning and an investment of 15 million Swiss Francs, the hotel is expected to employ 44 people, including 30 people with any of a range of disabilities. Employees will have the opportunity to apply acquired skills by working as servers, room attendants and bell staff, among other jobs. The hotel has 52 spacious and modern rooms.
The hotel is primarily targeted to a business clientele having a well-equipped conference room. Only 3 minutes from Martigny train station, the hotel offers a very popular Peruvian cuisine. For more information, visit martigny-hotel.ch.
Mallory Ryan and her sister Jade are very good friends of mine. The sisters, both occupational therapists and dance instructors, are founders of The Dance Ability Movement, which brings inclusive and accessible dance programming to kids and young adults in studios across southern Ontario. “One of the biggest limitations I saw as an occupational therapist was that children with disabilities did not have opportunities to participate in a lot of the same extracurricular and recreational activities that other kids get to participate in,” says Mallory. “If I could, I’d spend every hour of every day working on Dance Ability.”
Dance Ability, now five years old, has developed a strong following. The program is offered in four studios (in Toronto, Milton, Mississauga and Alliston) and has taught more than 150 students. The program and the Ryan sisters were also featured on Global TV’s Walk the Walk television series last year.
I tell you because I’m so proud to call them my friends. For more information, visit danceabilitymovement.com.
Submitted by Jennifer Foden
Health Canada approves PlegridyTM for RRMS treatment
Health Canada has approved PlegridyTM for the management of relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS), to lower the incidence of relapses and moderate the development of disability, after Health Canada data showed that when taken once every two weeks, it “significantly reduced annualized relapse rate (ARR) by 36 per cent compared to placebo.”
Treatment with PlegridyTM, which is similar to the MS drug Avonex, has also been shown to decrease by 38 per cent the risk that further disability will develop from relapses, as measured by the Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS).
The approval of PlegridyTM offers individuals with MS another option for relief, allowing them to select a treatment program that better suits their needs and regimens. For information, visit beta.mssociety.ca.