Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Redford government told home care users not to talk



Sometimes, you can be so close to a news story you need someone to show you a very important part: something you overlooked. That’s what Edmonton Journal reporter Sheila Pratt did for me Tuesday when she wrote a story about Creekside Support Services in the building where I live. CSS has been providing home care since 1997 to persons with disabilities. (I have cerebral palsy and use a wheelchair.)

We were informed Friday the provincial government will not be renewing the CSS contract, which is administered by us — the service users. In the past few days I have been blogging about what the change will mean. But after talking to Sheila — my former city editor at The Journal — she asked me to confirm something she had from two other sources in the story.

Did the provincial government enforced a gag order on us? And they did.

CSS was asked to submit a proposal for funding to the government in February. We were told by staff soliciting the proposal that if we went to our MLA or the media our proposal would be automatically disqualified. Sounds life a gag order to me, doesn’t it?

And, it also tells me the government already had their mind made up and was unwilling to listen.  When I think about it now I am angry.  And feel it is not a sign of democracy.

PLEASE CLICK HERE TO SIGN A PETITION AGAINST HOME CARE!


Tuesday, 4 June 2013

A very interesting point of view from Joy Gossel on premier Redford's home care status


Joy Gossel works as co-ordinator for Creekside Support Services and does not have a disability.

These are her thoughts on premier Allison Redford telling people with disabilities to trust her on home care changes.


Trust someone who has ripped away the fundamental rights of human beings?  Is she kidding?  

Redford (and her regime) need to take a good look in the mirror and thank their lucky stars that they are still able to make their own decisions - about their personal lives, about how they want their day to go, about who is going to be in their lives that day, while those they 'govern' are no longer able to do that.


Even though those individuals believed they still lived in a free society that cherished basic human rights.

A Good point of view for Alison Redford: Nic Good

Premier Alison Redforrd spoke Tuesday and encouraged people with disabilities to trust her with home care changes. (Here's the story)

Nic good gets home care. This is his response.
Nic Good // PHOTO: GREG SOUTHAM, EDMONTON JOURNAL


Alison Redford wants me to trust her. 


My response? 


What have you done to earn my trust? Alison Redford, your government is taking away my caregiver support agency. I wish I could ask you face-to-face, what is your plan to replace my caregivers?


 What is the transition period going to involve? What are we transitioning to? Of course you have the answers to all my questions. You know the intimate details about my disability, don't you? You know exactly what I need from my caregivers on a day-to-day basis. You know exactly how Creekside Support Services operates. You also know how much less it's going to cost to replace my on-site caregivers. 


After all that's the only reason you're making any changes. You must know something about business that I don't. The way I see it, businesses exist to make a profit. They don't provide a service just for fun. 


You will be bringing in an off-site agency to manage my caregivers. That offsite agency is a business. Maybe in your world, the one where I'm supposed to trust you, businesses get paid with rainbows and lollipops. It would be pretty easy to save money if that were the case. 


I don't believe you know anything about Creekside Support Services. I don't believe you have any type of plan to transition caregivers Creekside Support Services. I don't trust you as far as I could throw you!


CLICK HERE TO READ THE EDMONTON JOURNAL STORY FOR NIC GOOD'S COMPLETE STORY

Trust Redford Alison Redford on home care??? Heidi Janz says forget it but thanks for the laugh


Premier Alison Redford asked Albertans to trust her with home care issues Tuesday.

CLICK HERE FOR STORY.

But Dr. Heidi Janz doesn't buy it. At all.


Premier Redford asks people with disabilities to “trust” her government to meet their needs?

Heidi Janz


Dr. Janz writes ...

Well, I’m sorry, Ms. Redford, but, first of all, MY trust needs to be EARNED. And secondly, your government has already broken my trust.

Your government broke my trust when it allowed AHS to arbitrarily terminate the contracts of user-operated  homecare services like Creekside Support Services, which has provided me with high quality homecare for the past seven years. Because our program is innovative and flexible, my aides were able to provide me with personal care outside my home. This meant I could do things like work as a professor at the University of Alberta and travel to conferences. In retrospect, I can now see that I  should have trusted your government that the termination of my position due to cutbacks was actually for my good. After all, now that I will no longer be able to receive homecare services outside my actual apartment, I would likely have had to quit my job now anyway—if I still had one.

Likewise, you want me to trust that the big-box, for-profit  homecare providers whom you’ve now contracted to provide my care, will provide me with the same quality of care as our current healthcare aides, many of whom  I’ve worked with for six years or more. And I suppose you also want me to trust you that it’s actually a GOOD THING that I will have absolutely no control  over where, when, or by whom, my homecare will be provided.

The sad fact is, Premier Redford, I don’t trust you. AT ALL.

But thanks for the laugh – I really needed it!!



A great start to my day - CAM 'n Eggs - June 4


(All this week I am sharing how home care makes me independent as a husband, father, grandfather, employee, taxpayer and so much more. The provincial government is making drastic changes to home care without any consultation with consumers of the service.)

Weekdays starts in the Tait household a little before 7 a.m. when I get out of bed myself using a pole at the side of our bed to get in my wheelchair. I wheel to my den to work on my computer for 45 minutes before my 10-year-old grandson Nicholas arrives. Nic always gives me a good morning hug and we visit and have breakfast together until my wife Joan drives him to school.

By then it is 8:30 a.m. A personal care assistant comes to help me get ready for work. They wheel me into the washroom off our bedroom and help me undress before getting me into a wheel-in shower. I am helped from my wheelchair to transfer onto a bath seat. My assistant adjusts the water temperature and showers me. When I am done, I get help drying off before getting assistance getting dressed — underwear, pants, shirts, socks, shoes — for the day. I am shaved and get brush my teeth after my assistant puts toothpaste on my toothbrush.

I wheel back into my den and my assistant packs my laptop into my computer bag with my lunch. My assistant helps me takes my vitamins and then wheels me out the front door. I leave for work at 9:30 a.m. I don’t have an assistant at the office, but my co-workers are very good about helping me when I need it.

COMING WEDNESDAY: The evening shift









Sunday, 2 June 2013

A very personal look at personal care


  
I respect and appreciate giving you details about my personal care may be a bit over the top, but it's  something I’ve decided to do. Because I am fearful of  my future independence. I have cerebral palsy, use a wheelchair and rely on personal care attendants for my basic daily needs. My wife Joan and I have lived in a condo for the past 17 years with hour home care.

Now, with provincial government cutbacks, that program is ending. A group of us with physical disabilities formed a corporation in 1996 to provide 24-hour home care in a newly-constructed condo building. We each own our units and pooled our home care funding to hire staff to assist us in our homes. We hire staff, administer the program and stress the importance of being in control of our own services. Essentially, we provide our own services to ourselves. It is one of a kind.

We received written notice from the provincial government Friday our program's contract will not be renewed.   Instead, an outside agency will be brought in to give us personal care, an agency who will have very little information — if any — of our consumer-based service which promotes independence. I am scared. I am unhappy. And I do not believe this is right. So over the next few days on my blog I am going to write about the wonderful staff I have been working with for years who let me be a husband, a father, a grandfather, an employee and so many other things.

So I am welcoming you intto our home — a home I hope to maintain with independence for many more years.

Friday, 31 May 2013

Friday's protest - UPDATED WITH NEWS STORY and YOUR COMMENTS!



(NEWS STORY FROM THE EDMONTON JOURNAL - 2:30 P.M.) 




The easy thing to do is grab placards,megaphones and wear T-shirts to express outrage.  And no doubt those things are going to surface today around the noonhour at the legislative grounds. A rally is planned to protest the government’s cut banks for people with developmental disabilities in Edmonton. I understand there’s fear and anger. I understand why people with disabilities and their families are going to express their emotions.

But is it time to take this to the next level? We’re entering unchartered water on several levels: a growing population with the number of people with disabilities increasing accordingly and a provincial government with — for whatever reason  — decreasing financial resources. Things have to change. Absolutely. 


And those changes are going to be across the board from assessments of service, to how programs how will run, to staffing, to many other things. On the other hand, people with disabilities have increasing needs that need to be addressed. To move forward, perhaps, we have to respect one another. We have to work with one another.
We have to have meaningful conversations. People with disabilities have gained the attention of the provincial government in the past few weeks. The government has heard, loud and clear, the unhappiness.
We need to move to the next stage of this.
We need both sides to talk; to come up with creative caring ways to move forward. 

From where I sit, today’s demonstration needs to be as peaceful as possible and a willingness of to listen to each other and work together. If not, I fear this story will only continue and frustrations, anger and fear will only rise.

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Sutter's stare


  ot just about hockey.
Most National Hockey League coaches are stoic.
When their emotions are free falling on a rollercoaster, they look calm, cool and collected.
Sutter walks behind the Los Angeles King bench, rarely ever smiling. He sighs, twirls his tongue in the side of his mouth, raises his eyebrows, and generally looks like he could care less about the spirited mayhem in front of him. When the Kings score, he might smirk. But that’s it.When someone screws up, it’s the Sutter scowl, which could easily be sold as a Halloween mask and scare anyone.



Come to think about it, do farmers ever smile?
Perhaps it’s something we all can learn — to be on an even keel, not getting too high and not getting too low.
Just zone in on work to be done. And so we come to today when Sutter wakes up after a 2-1 Game  7 win over the San Jose Sharks to advance to the third round of the Stanley Cup final.He may crack a smile, but only for a second. Then, it’s back to work. And that could very well be a trait of success.


What is LA coach Darryl Sutter doing?



1. Running a powerplay drill
2. Running a passing drill
3. Practicing his shovelling technique for the farm in Viking


L.A. and the Sharks.
Game 7.
Tonight.
Enough said.

Today's thoughtful tune (May 28)

(We love news. We love music. We love putting them together.)


NEWS: A Salvation Army milestone (PLEASE CLICK FOR THE STORY)



TUNE:


Do you have a selection you would tike to suggest? Twitter @camtait of Email camtait@telus.net

Monday, 27 May 2013

Body checking in minor hockey needs to be curbed



  To body check. Or not.
Hockey Canada voted Saturday to eliminate body checking until players reach bantam, at aged 13, and it has sparked much debate.
Don Cherry threw his two cents in recently on Coach’s Corner and, not surprisingly, he isn’t a fan. Cherry thinks Hockey Canada is heading down the wrong path. His partner in crime, Ron MacLean, asked an interesting question: should there be two leagues — one for body checking and the other without.
Cherry’s response: “House league is perfect.”

I think Hockey Canada has made the right decision and has a vision for the future of the sport in Canada. Our country and our world isn’t getting any smaller. Unless the National Hockey League expands — and, I certainly don’t see that — the number of kids making the NHL will remain the same: a very small per centage. And that very small number needs to learn the mechanics of body checking. Absolutely.

But for the mass majority — an increasing number— they could very well be interested in playing non-contact recreation hockey — without hitting. And we should be able to have programs in place for hockey in a safe environment. So is learning to hit really that important?

The game has changed. And we need to move with those changes.
Because the most important question on the way home from the rink shouldn’t be whether you won or lost. Rather, are you OK?

Talk to Tait  @camtait on Twitter   Email camtait@telus.net
Please give your feedback by clicking a box on the bottom

Talk to Tait  @camtait on Twitter   Email camtait@telus.net
Please give your feedback by clicking a box on the bottom

Coming to the Tait Talk blog Monday afternoon ....

The body checking debate in minor hockey

May 27 - Cam 'n Eggs — Tait@nait



  

The doors to the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology will open countless times today just off Kingsway Avenue in Edmonton at the main campus. Students in pursuit of careers will be going through those doors. They may not realize now, but, later, they could very well reflect on their time at NAIT as some of the best times of their lives.
I make these comments, celebrating 50 years ago today since NAIT's doors first opened. Personally, NAIT was one of the best years of my life.


I was a student of the Radio and Television Arts program in 1977. My dream: to write for radio first perhaps, writing commercials, and then, maybe, documentaries. Yet, NAIT gave me an education I never thought of — how to build and maintain relationships with people. The Glenrose School Hospital was my junior high and high school because I have cerebral palsy and use a wheelchair. I found myself in a culture shock my first few months of NAIT. Clearly, I was a minority. Yet, my fellow classmates slowly helped me become one of the gang.
They showed me the value of humor to bridge gaps and so many things not on the curriculum. NAIT gave me lifetime friendships with people I still am in contact with today: Gary Chomyn, Lance Brown and Pat Petersen, to name a few. I would not be the person I am without going through the doors of NAIT.

May they swing mightily for the next 50 years.

Happy Birthday!



Tait Text   Twitter @camtait  Email camtait@telus.net

Sunday, 26 May 2013

Friday, 24 May 2013

Cam ''n Eggs — May 25 — Memo to Dave Rutherford: What do you mean by "these people?"


  Perhaps the most practical thing to do is send Dave Rutherford an email. Sometimes, though, practicality goes out the door. This is one of those times.
Rutherford is a talk show host on the Corus Radio network, weekdays from 9 a.m.  to 12 p.m.. On Wednesday, he interviewed Frank Oberle,  associate minister of Services for Persons with Disabilities about the provincial government’s cutbacks to Persons with Developmental Disabilities. Rutherford is to be congratulated for bringing the issue to the air waves. But only to an extent.

Before I go any further I must preface my comments: I have cerebral palsy, use a wheelchair and began in the news business as a reporter with the Edmonton Journal in 1979. In covering issues and great human interest stories about disabilities, I tried to choose my words carefully to promote inclusion. That’s why I found it hard to hear Rutherford calling people with developmental disabilities as “these people.”

More concerning is the story itself: the provincial government is moving towards moving people with developmental disabilities into living in the community. They are going to go shopping, to movies, to work, to church and many other activites They are sons, daughters, husbands, wives, aunts and uncles. Not “these people.” 
They have hopes and dreams. They fail, too. But they a chance to try again.

Just like everyone else.

The media has a fundamental right to treat citizens equally. Rutherford missed the point: instead of welcoming new community members, he built barriers by calling them “these people.” They are, most certainly, Albertans first. And disability second. I could have emailed him. But, given his previous comment, he might consider me as “these people.”

And I refuse to accept that.


Thursday, 23 May 2013

Today's timely tune - May 23

(We love music. We love news. We hope, put together.)

Embattled Toronto mayor Rob Ford fired his chief of staff Thursday.

THE NEWS

Now, the tune ...


Or ... your suggestions! Please email camtait@telus.net

Cam 'n Eggs: May 22 — Chair Leaders Friday: I am hoping for snow!


  
 I don’t get it.

In fact, I haven’t got it for 25 years. And as a person with a disability, it offends me. Let me tell you what “it” is: the Canadian Paraplegic Association is having Chair Leaders Friday in Edmonton. Taking a page from the 1970’s — timely, eh? — CPA is asking able-bodied people to spend a day in a wheelchair. The event is to raise awareness about accessibility and people with disabilities.
I think it’s nothing more than a circus.
And I have questions:
*why does CPA hold this event in May, rather than January, when there’s 15 feet of snow, a 87-km wind, a wind chill of minus 38, when wheeling a wheelchair — trust me — is damn hard. If they want to make it a challenge…
*what kind of a message does this send to the people CPA serves — people with spinal cord injuries? Does it signal people with disabilities are not really listened to?
•why can’t CPA promote people with disabilities, doing their own thing, living their daily lives with ease, dignity and creativity — not to mention blood, sweat and tears? Why are they silenced for the day, when their story could be so powerful?
•What tangible legislation for accessibility has been created because of previous years?
•Why not have someone without a disability shadow a CPA client for a day and learn how to help someone in a wheelchair up curbs, down steps, in and out of vehicles, threw crowds? Wouldn’t that be a better method of working together?
•Why is CPA digging into the past for an event rather than having one to reflect 2013?

I could go on and on. I don’t want to rain on the CPA Chair Leaders parade. I just hope it snows in Edmonton Friday.
Facebook comment from Braden Hirsch


Very good comments Cam! It is a big leap to think that awareness and understanding is enhanced by having able bodied persons ride wheelchairs for a period of time during one day. In my opinion it was marginally useful 40 years ago-- so why would it work today? I am also disappointed that CPA is involved with this.

---------- 

Another comment from Renee Laporte ...

  Hear hear! They held this same sort of "event" at MacEwan a few months ago. As an able-bodied person supporting a student who uses a wheelchair there, it made me frustrated to see the participants laughing and having fun wheeling around the campus (though with the best intentions of getting a glimpse of life in a wheelchair) while my student and I struggle to reach the automatic door button placed behind garbage cans and having to walk to the next building to find a washroom we can both enter. Consulting those who are "living it" would be more meaningful and productive.




Rene Laporte

A Facebook comment from Mel Tauber 

  here"s my thought: if they really have to put "able bodied people in wheelchairs, why make it so easy for them??? tie one of their hands on their back and make them sit on one of their lower legs (of course opposite one of the tied hand) AND THEN let them wheel down an ice covered ramp ... give them at least ONE of the challenges "disabled" people have to go through every day ... let them set up a DATS pickup, let them ride the ETS all by themselves, let them roam through the streets without a companion who will nicely open every door for them ... to just put someone in a wheelchair for a day in a building with people who will assist them because they know about the event ain't gonna bring change ... try to walk blind for a day or be deaf, or try to come around only with one leg orm arm functioning ... for heavens be creative and give us "able bodied" a challenge and don't cater to us so that we maybe maybe one day would understand, because the majority never will, because most people in our days lack one major thing: COMPASSION AND IMAGINATION!





What do you think about this? Please let me know! camtait@telus.net