Welcome to Rehab Matters eBook Edition Welcome to Rehab Matters by linzhengnd


     MATTERS                                                                                                                                          eBook Edition                    FALL/WINTER 2009

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       For your convenience, VRA Canada is pleased to present to its members and
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MATTERS                              eBook Edition                              FALL/WINTER 2009

                                                                                          FALL / WINTER 2009

       Studies in online education

Achieving success through education

 A Graduate’s
Success Story
 A Seneca graduate finds her niche in
       vocational rehabilitation

    Dr. Michel Lacerte shares his story

                   …and more
                                              FOCUS ON EDUCATION
                                                & PROFESSIONAL
                                                   Vocational Rehabilitation Association of Canada


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MATTERS  eBook Edition                     FALL/WINTER 2009



MATTERS                            eBook Edition                                                   FALL/WINTER 2009

REHABFall/Winter 2009

                                                       A Message from the
                                                        National President

                                      Welcome to Your Rehab Matters Magazine
  Vocational Rehabilitation
   Association of Canada
                                                                     2009 has been a busy and productive year
          2008/2009                                                  of change for VR A Canada: at the end of
       Board of Directors                                            September we closed the National office,
 Garry Derenoski                                                     bid a fond farewell to our Executive Director
 President                                                           Kathy Regan, and hired Events & Management
                                                                     to help us better improve service to our
 Roselle Piccininni                                                  members. We are certain that the new year
 Past-President                                                      will be a memorable one filled with prosperity,
                                                                     growth, and success for all our members. We
 Sharon Smith                                                        would like to thank you all for your patience
 Director, British Columbia                                          and support as we underwent this transition.
                                                                     2010 also promises to be unforgettable for
 Tricia Moffat                                                       another reason: it is our 40th anniversary!
 Director, Alberta Society          Garry Derenoski, RRP, C.I.P      This upcoming year will mark 40 outstanding
 Kathy Potts                                  President              years of being a leading organization and
 Director, Saskatchewan                                              strong, credible voice for a wide variety of
 Society                           vocational rehabilitation professionals. We are enormously proud that for 40
                                   years we have had outstanding, superior members who provide an unparalleled
 Sue Allardyce                     collective of specialized knowledge and services. We have great hopes that our
 Director, Manitoba                40th anniversary year will be a milestone for VR A Canada, and with your help
 (Board-appointed)                 and support we know we can make it our most memorable and superior year yet.

 Evie Cowitz                       Here at VR A, we are constantly striving to better ourselves and those we serve.
 Director, Ontario Society         This means staying current by attending and completing courses, staying
                                   up-to-date on current best practices, and learning through our peers. This
 Ann Maxwell                       also includes attending conferences such as the one we held in Markham this
 Director, Atlantic Region         past October. The turnout was fantastic, the speakers were educational and
 Society                           insightful, and the round-table discussion was enlightening. Stay tuned for
                                   the next edition of Rehab Matters, where details for next year’s conference
 Phillip W. Boswell
 President, CAVEWAS                (date and location) will be announced.

 Janine Mels-Dyer                  With the importance of professional development and continuing education on
 Commissioner, CRCC                our minds, this fall’s issue of Rehab Matters appropriately shines a spotlight on
                                   education, learning, and the significance of growth within the rehabilitation
                                   field. We have an abundance of interesting and informative articles in store for
                                   you in this issue, and we hope that you not only enjoy this edition but also take
                                   some valuable information away with you.
 National Office
 VRA Canada                        Just a quick reminder: membership renewal time is now upon us!
 4 Cataraqui Street                Membership is open to anyone working in the field of rehabilitation
 Suite 310                         and to those who are interested in furthering the cause of the association.
 Kingston, ON, K7K 1Z7             Fees are $325 for a professional and $275 for an associate. The deadline
                                   is December 31, and more information can be found on our website at
 Tel: 613.507.5530                 www.vracanada.com
 Toll-free: 1.888.876.9992
 Fax: 613.531.0626                 We would like to hear from you! Letters to the editor, comments, questions,
 Email info@vracanada.com          suggestions and ideas for upcoming issues can be emailed to
 Web www.vracanada.com             info@vracanada.com.



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MATTERS                               eBook Edition                                                   FALL/WINTER 2009

                          Society News

                                      News from Across the Country

          British Columbia Society
 BC Society has had a busy fall in terms of professional development. In October we offered a workshop on solution-
 focused interviewing for return to work planning to our members in the Okanogan region of the province. The
 presenter was Nancy McConkey, MSW, a leading Canadian authority on the solution-focused approach. The next
 workshop will be in November in the lower mainland area. Dr. Sue Johnson, an assistant professor at the University
 of Northern BC will be presenting on ethical dilemmas and ethical distress in the workplace. The BC Society’s board
 of directors is pleased to welcome our two new board members: Lorna Goodwin and Geri Smith. The board’s focus
 over the next few months will be on budget preparation and strategic planning to guide the society over the next
 couple of years. We also are putting the final touches on our marketing plan that will include activities aimed at
 membership recruitment and retention and increasing the profile of the association in the province. .
          Ontario Society
 The Ontario Society will soon begin planning for the 2010 National Conference and AGM. 2010 will mark the
 40th anniversary of the Association! A number of potential sites have been considered and a site selection
 will be made soon. Stay tuned for further information.
 Regulation efforts continue as well as extensive lobbying efforts regarding legislative changes in
 the insurance industry.

       177 - 34 Eglinton Avenue E.
         Toronto, ON M4R 2H6

                                                               3                                              Fall/Winter 2009


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 Advance online!
 accessible		•		flexible		•		achievable

 Online Education for
 Health Professionals
 •	 Master	of	Health	Studies
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 Application	Deadline:
 AGD:ANP & MN:ANP - December 1, MHS & MN: GEN - March 1






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                                                                          The Evolution
                                                                           of Learning
                                                                          Studies in online education

                                                                                                                 By Leslie Lewis

 As the saying goes, the year was 1969,       thirteen billion dollars. In addition to      at times convenient for them– not
 and it was the year of the moon landing,     tuition fees, students must worry about       during periods of the day when they
 Woodstock, and the development of            room and board in residence, meals,           are unable to focus. Megan Cornwell,
 ARPANET (Advanced Research Projects          transportation, books and more. The           a second-year student at Toronto’s York
 Agency Network), a little, insignificant     second most common issue is that post-        University, believes that e-learning
 piece of technology first developed          secondary education requires a big time       makes the university experience easier
 to link a small network of computers         commitment on the part of the student.        on students trying to juggle a variety of
 together in the U.S. Department of           Between lectures, tutorials, seminars         commitments. “I felt I had more time
 Defense. Forty years later ARPANET has       and travel time, education is a full time     to complete the assignments because I
 become the World Wide Web, which now         occupation. Classes are only held at          wasn’t in school with other classes. I was
 connects billions of computers sharing       certain times and take away from the          completely focused on one thing and I
 information on a global scale. As the        work schedule that students must keep up      felt I had lots of time to work through
 Internet grew, so did its capacity. Within   with in order to pay for their education.     assignments as thoroughly as I felt
 this growth, the expansion of education      In an attempt to alleviate some of the        necessary.”
 is no exception. Over the last ten years,    pressure on students, e-learning has
 the Internet has created a whole new                                                          “I felt I had more time to
                                              become an increasingly popular method
 degree of learning with the development      of completing a high school, college,
                                                                                               complete the assignments
 of e-learning— credits or entire degrees     university degree, and/or continuing          because I wasn’t in school with
 that are taught and completed entirely       education programs. Online education                    other classes.”
 online.                                      is a new and proactive solution to the
                                                                                            Courses available online at Canadian
  The flexibility of scheduling in            stresses most people face when looking
                                                                                            universities also have a hidden benefit;
                                              into a post-secondary degree as it
  online education is the biggest             requires less of both a financial and time
                                                                                            e-learning opens up new educational
        draw for students.                    commitment on the part of the student.
                                                                                            opportunities for foreign students
                                                                                            looking to take courses not offered in
 In today’s workplace, the level of           Now, students can plan their class
                                                                                            their own countries. Because no school
 education a person has is directly linked    timetables around their work schedule or
                                                                                            offers a full complement of courses
 to the type of job they hope to find.        other commitments.
                                                                                            for every student’s interests, e-learning
 Job seekers must have at least a post-       The flexibility of scheduling in online       appeals to an even broader expanse of
 secondary degree, continuing education       education is the biggest draw for students.   students. Instead of current or prospective
 credits, or doctorate initials after their   E-learning does not disrupt a student’s       students having to leave their country for
 name in order to stay ahead in the           work schedule, taking away some of the        the benefits of some of Canada’s top post-
 ever-changing, competitive workplace.        stress involved in paying for tuition fees.   secondary educational institutions, they
 While a college or university degree         E-learning also cancels out the cost of       can take advantage of the courses these
 is vital in landing your dream job,          transportation, residence fees, and any       schools offer online.
 many prospective students face certain       number of other unforeseen expenses
 challenges that oftentimes bar them from                                                   Many people debate the differences
                                              that can arise between a student’s front
 attaining a post-secondary degree.                                                         between the values of the e-learning
                                              door and the classroom. Many students
                                                                                            environment versus within the classroom
 The most prevalent issue that arises is      find the flexibility of scheduling as the
                                                                                            environment. A concern often voiced
 the cost of tuition: as of January 2009,     most beneficial aspect of e-learning
                                                                                            lies within the credibility of the course
 the National Student Debt reached            because it allows them to do their work

                                                                  5                                                   Fall/Winter 2009


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 continued from page 5
 taken online versus in the classroom.
 Many students find it difficult to motivate
 themselves to do the assigned work when
 not forced into the classroom where there is
 no other option but to participate. Students
 like Megan admit that when completing
 e-learning courses, you have to rely on your
 own responsibility to get the work done.
                                                                                      Benefits of
 E-learning courses have also created live
 chat feeds for students to participate in and
 pose questions to fellow classmates and
 professors, which are also a compulsory
 part of the course itself.
 Many prospective e-learning students            Dr. Roberta Neault, president of Life Strategies— a company that offers
 also wonder about the value of the course       an online certificate in rehabilitation speciality—is a big supporter
 taken online versus at the school itself. It    of e-learning. Dr. Neault notes that there are dozens of benefits to
 is important for students to do the proper      e-learning, some of which include: engaging in learning at times that
 background research before committing           suit your unique schedule, access to specialized courses from anywhere
 time and money to an online course that         in the world with Internet access, and bringing together a diverse group
 will leave them with as much value as           of learners that would be unlikely to connect in a single classroom-
 a bag of sand. Students must be careful         based course. Roberta says that counsellors, career practitioners, and
 in choosing online courses with proper          vocational rehabilitation professionals are finding that facilitated
 accreditation by a governing body.              e-learning offers rich interactive discussions that bring complex
 It should be plainly visible where the          topics to life.
 course material is coming from;                 To learn more, visit: www.lifestrategies.ca
 accreditation should be noted in the
 course schedule or another introductory
 document. There are several governing
 bodies that have been established
 worldwide to govern the accreditation
 of online courses. In North America, the
 association that prospective e-learning
 students should search out when looking to
 apply for courses is the Universal Council
 For Online Education Accreditation.
 Organizations like this will help guard
 students and assist them in finding proper
 accredited courses that provide value to the
 student upon completion.
 Online learning is not just for college
 or university students. It is available for
 high school students, general education
 degree students, post-graduate students
 and continuing education students. Many
 high school students take advantage of
 e-learning by using online courses when
 they either are having trouble keeping
 up with their present material, or if they
 are not feeling challenged enough by the
 classes they are taking. GED students, post-
 grad and continuing education students
 also take online courses so that they can
 further develop their knowledge and
 education without interrupting their daily,
 family, or work lives.



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MATTERS                                      eBook Edition                                                  FALL/WINTER 2009


                                                                on VRA Canada
                                                                 A look back on 2009 and a glance
                                                                         forward into 2010

                                                                                                    By Garry Derenoski, RRP, C.I.P

 VR A Canada has always been dedicated        range of sectors that we are sure will    who utilize the services of vocational
 to supporting and advocating for a wide      help us firmly establish ourselves as a   rehabilitation professionals understand
 variety of vocational rehabilitation         supportive, visible, and outstanding      who we are and the outstanding
 professionals, and this past year has        association. While fostering new          services that we offer. By utilizing
 been no different. We worked diligently      relationships will be VR A Canada’s       our exceptional communication
 to build new foundations to support          main focus in 2010, we most certainly     tools such as our websites, brochures,
 our members for generations to come,         can’t forget about maintaining and        newsletters and more, we are confident
 and made some significant changes that       preserving our current relationships,     that we can better serve our members,
 we believed would help VR A Canada           as they are very much an integral         better educate agencies, and most
 move forward into the upcoming 2010          part of who we are.                       importantly, offer exceptional
 year. While last year our attention was                                                employment opportunities.
 focused on establishing firm policies,                                                 By channelling our time and
 ethics, and guidelines, this year we will                                              enthusiasm on providing and building
 use our energy to generate strong and                                                  new foundations to support our
 sound working relationships that will                                                  members, and by leveraging internal
 help us achieve our strategic initiatives                                              relationships, we will be on the
 well into the upcoming year.                                                           right track to advancing ourselves as
 With these initiatives in mind, VR A                                                   both an association and as working
 Canada has been busy interacting with                                                  professionals. I am certain that
 individuals from associations such as                Anniversary                       2010 will be a year of advancement,
 the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC),                                                  transformation and prosperity, and
 Veterans Affairs, Workplace Safety and                                                 I hope you will join me in helping
 Insurance Board (WSIB), Canadian                                                       VR A Canada flourish into the best
 Life and Health Insurance Association        In addition to our networking plan,       association it can possibly be. I strongly
 (CLHIA), Centre for Addiction and            we also intend to improve our             encourage you to contact us with any
 Mental Health (CAMH), and other              communication skills both internally      questions, suggestions, concerns, or
 human resource groups. In speaking           and externally. A better proficiency in   ideas; your input is both important and
 to these organizations, we have made         communication will allow us to work       invaluable to the advancement of VR A
 invaluable connections across a broad        on behalf of members to let agencies      now and into the future.

                  Rehab Matters E-Book
                 For your convenience, Rehab Matters is now available as an
                                     electronic version.
                 Go to www.vracanada.com and register your email address to
                                  receive the latest edition.

                                                                  7                                               Fall/Winter 2009


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MATTERS                                 eBook Edition                                                        FALL/WINTER 2009

REHAB A Graduate

                                                                York/Seneca graduate Katherine
                                                                 Castillo has found her niche in
                                                                    vocational rehabilitation
                                                                                                              By Dayna Danson

                                             community and the difference she could       from someone their world turns upside
                                             make in someone’s life.                      down. I love being able to help people
                                             When it came time to complete her            reach their fullest capacity.” In addition
                                             first placement, Katherine landed a          to her job with the TTC, Katherine
                                             position as a vocational rehabilitation      also finds the time to give back to the
                                             counsellor assistant at COSTI Training       program from which she graduated; she
                                             and Rehabilitation Centre. There, she        teaches the community resources course
                                             gained invaluable experience facilitating    for York/Seneca’s rehabilitation services
                                             creative job search training classes and     program part-time and is also the field
                                             helping three clients with return-to-work    placement coordinator. “It’s been a great
                                             programs. For her second placement,          way to give back,” she says.
         Katherine Castillo
        York/Seneca Graduate                 Katherine became an assistant parole          While getting to where she is now took
                                             officer with Correctional Services           a lot of hard work and a lot of her own
 After completing half of a four-year        of Canada, men’s supervision unit.           determination, Katherine also says that
 undergraduate psychology degree at York     This was Katherine’s most rewarding          it was the interaction with the great
 University, Katherine Castillo found        placement, as it allowed her to be           instructors at the York/Seneca program
 herself wondering: “What will I do          exposed to environments and people           that really helped her along the way.
 next?” It was only after a representative   she never thought she would experience.      “The York/Seneca rehabilitation services
 from York/Seneca’s rehabilitation           Since her days at the Correctional           program was not just a certificate but a
 services program came into her class        Services of Canada, Katherine has            concurrent degree program that allowed
 and explained how rewarding a career        worked as a disability case manager at       for a co-op placement. To me, that was
 in rehabilitation was that she had her      Great West Life, and as a relief worker at   essential.” Katherine also recognizes
 epiphany moment: this is what she was       Street Haven, amongst other jobs.            that the York/Seneca program really is
 meant to do. Katherine decided to enroll                                                 a one-of-a-kind, specialized program.
 in the program—a graduate certificate in    Katherine is now a disability
                                             management specialist with the Toronto       “My co-op placement offered a lot of
 rehabilitation services —and was more                                                    opportunity and really put things into
 than thrilled to learn that the program     Transit Commission where she manages
                                             employee disability, works with health       action for me and encompassed as much
 offered a hands-on field placement.                                                      as possible,” she says.
                                             care providers to ensure that employees
 Right from the get-go Katherine studied     are receiving appropriate treatment and      When it comes to the success stories of
 hard, taking crucial courses such as        rehabilitation, and ensures the required     Katherine’s fellow graduates, there are
 vocational rehabilitation practices,        support is provided during return-to-        dozens of them. “It is so inspirational
 community resources, interviewing and       work plans. Katherine is thankful for her    to see where all my fellow graduates are
 counselling, and more. The completion       job everyday and loves what she does to      today,” Katherine says, smiling.
 of all of these courses helped her          the fullest: “We define ourselves by what
 understand the role she could play in the   we do, and when you take that away



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MATTERS                                eBook Edition                                                     FALL/WINTER 2009

   Spotlight on Professionals

MATTERS                                Professionals Speaking Out

                                                         Dr. Michel Lacerte:
                                                          Physiatrist, assistant professor, and
                                                           leader in vocational rehabilitation

                                                                                                      By Dayna Danson

                         As an assistant     the University of Washington in the        Dr. Lacerte’s greatest accomplishment,
                         professor with      department of physical medicine            however, has been his involvement with
                         the Schulich        and rehab, where he took courses in        the insurance medicine and medical
                         School of           vocational rehabilitation and was          legal expertise diploma program at the
                         Medicine and        introduced to disability management.       Université de Montréal. Assisting with
                         Dentistry at the    In 1990 Dr. Lacerte returned to            the development of the 6-semester
                         University of       Ontario to be an assistant professor       program, as well as acting as host in
                         Western Ontario,    at the University of Western Ontario,      many presentations, Dr. Lacerte is
                         Dr. Michel          department of physical medicine            most proud of his participation with
                         Lacerte knows the   and rehab— a position that he still        this online program because it is the
 importance of vocational rehabilitation.    holds with great pride to this day.        first of its kind in North America. “I
 Born and raised in Quebec City, Dr.         In that same year he organized the         have always been very close to folks
 Lacerte always knew he wanted to be         development of the Ontario Worker’s        who are coming in from rehabilitation
 involved in medicine. Although he says      Compensation Board’s non-economic          backgrounds,” Dr. Lacerte says. “I don’t
 he is a “surgeon at heart,” he ultimately   loss evaluation training program           see how with such a busy schedule,
 became involved in physiatry because        and was responsible for the training       physicians can further themselves
 he wanted to “help people accomplish        of the Ontario WCB roster of               the way they need to; that is why this
 things in their lives.” Hailing from a      physicians for non-economic loss           program is so important.”
 family of physicians—his father was         medical assessments.                       When it comes to the future of
 a gastroenterologist and he is a 5th                                                   physiatry and vocational rehabilitation,
 generation physician—Dr. Lacerte             “I have always been very close            Dr. Lacerte has some very clear ideas.
 moved to Montréal in 1978 to begin his      to folks who are coming in from            “Physiatrists have lost the notion of
 studies at McGill University. In 1983 he      rehabilitation backgrounds.”             working in teams. They have moved
 graduated with a degree in M.D.C.M.,                                                   towards a more solo practice and
 and then completed a one-year straight      Later, in 1992, he joined forces with
                                                                                        I would like to see a refocus on all
 internship in internal medicine at          the Insurance Bureau of Canada to
                                                                                        physiatrists gaining group leadership
 Montreal General Hospital.                  help with rehabilitation and return-
                                                                                        skills, especially when interacting with
                                             to-work strategies. Dr. Lacerte has also
 Dr. Lacerte then packed his bags and                                                   other health care professionals. We
                                             accomplished a wide-variety of other
 left for Rochester, Minnesota, to study                                                shouldn’t be telling others what to do
                                             achievements: he has been involved
 at the famous Mayo Clinic. “It was                                                     but should instead be ensuring that the
                                             as a disability management policy
 when I was a medical student and did                                                   services are getting integrated and that
                                             consultant with several agencies, is
 my rotation at the Mayo Clinic, that                                                   all of our goals and objectives are being
                                             one of the founding members of the
 I really got exposed to rehabilitation                                                 achieved.” As for the role Dr. Lacerte
                                             Canadian Society of Medical Evaluators,
 for the first time,” Dr. Lacerte says.                                                 is willing to take on in the realm
                                             and for ten years, he has been the
 Dr. Lacerte graduated from the Mayo                                                    of rehabilitation, he says: “Doctors
                                             clinical coordinator of DAC 3013, the
 Clinic in rehabilitation medicine. It was                                              should perform like an orchestra. I see
                                             catastrophic impairment determination
 only once he went to Seattle to do his                                                 myself playing an instrument, but I am
                                             centre for Southwestern Ontario. He
 master’s of science in rehabilitation at                                               perfectly happy to direct when people
                                             also runs a clinical practice, in which
 the University of Washington, however,                                                 are in need of direction. I am happy
                                             he diagnoses and medically manages
 that Dr. Lacerte truly found his niche.                                                and comfortable to follow the leader,
                                             a wide variety of neurologic and
 “I got the bug!” he says, laughing.                                                    but I can also be the one to provide
                                             musculoskeletal problems.
 For two years, Dr. Lacerte studied at                                                  leadership,” he says, matter-of-factly.

                                                               9                                                Fall/Winter 2009


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MATTERS                                eBook Edition                                                       FALL/WINTER 2009


                                                               Canadian schools upgrade
                                                                     their programs
                                                              to better serve their students

                                                                                                                By Dayna Danson

 Each year, hundreds of individuals         importantly, recognized prior learning.     One of the benefits of correspondence
 from all across Canada graduate from       Now, after ten years, Susan is happy        is the f lexibility it provides the learner
 rehabilitation programs that have been     to say that almost all students have        in terms of other life activities.
 specifically designed to create the most   achieved master’s and PhD degrees           Students are given up to 20 weeks to
 educated, knowledgeable, and well-         with the help of tailored programs          complete their course of study, but can
 informed professionals as possible.        that responded to their academic and        fast track their learning to complete
 Schools and learning centers such          professional needs in a variety of          the course in a much shorter time
 as the University of Calgary, Seneca       specialization areas.                       frame. Professionals can take all or
 College, Ryerson University, McMaster                                                  some of the courses in the program;
 University and TAPE (Training              Seneca is currently in the process of       they simply register for the subject
 and Professional Education), work          revisiting its curriculum in the Seneca     they would like to take. Students
 tirelessly to create curriculums that      rehabilitation certificate to ensure that   can complete all nine of Seneca’s
 are current, relevant, and applicable.     students are provided with the most         rehabilitation subjects to gain the
 When educational institutions seek         current information. Serena Crisalli,       certificate, or they can complete
 change and improvement within              the coordinator for the York/Seneca         an individual subject to help them
 their programs, the developments           rehabilitation services program is          qualify to obtain their rehabilitation
 are passed onto their students,            leading the process with direction from     certifications with VR A Canada.
 producing outstanding and up-to-date       the Advisory Committee and other            “Seneca will continue to work with
 professionals. This year, all of these     industry specialists. The program will      VR A Canada and the rehabilitation
 same schools and learning centers          see new subjects such as ethics and         college as it comes into existence,
 are working hard to reinvent their         assessment added, along with other          providing training that meets the
 programs to not only better suit the       curriculum revisions. In addition           professional development needs
 needs of their students, but to better     to providing students with a solid          of VR A Canada members.” Serena
 suit the needs of the individuals whom     foundation of knowledge to build            stresses.
 they will serve.                           upon as they gain experience in the
                                            rehabilitation field, these new subjects    Beatrice Traub-Werner, the president
                                            will ensure that all students have the      and director of education at TAPE
 Susan Cran, the graduate coordinator
                                            necessary background information.           (Training and Professional Education)
 of the University of Calgary’s master’s
                                            Seneca has also taken into account          stresses that at TAPE, change and
 of disability and community studies
                                            the need for learning outside of a          transformation are of utmost
 program recognizes the importance
                                            classroom environment, which is why         importance. Programs are delivered
 of revamping her school’s program
                                            this program is offered across Canada       in both face-to-face and virtual
 every few years. Over time, Susan
                                            through distance learning—perfect for       learning environments, with the
 and her colleagues have changed the
                                            working professionals.                      programs being created to meet the
 curriculum to better suit the ever-
                                                                                        needs of adult learners and working
 changing needs of their students.            “Seneca will continue to work             professionals. Today, TAPE is currently
 The university, for example, began to        with the VRA Canada and the               working hard on integrating five
 explore improved access to education
 throughout the professional’s working
                                             rehabilitation college as it comes         new certificate programs, including
 life, facilitated student mobility                   into existence.”                  one on elder care, and one on case
                                                                                        management. Beatrice stresses that
 through credit transfer, and, most



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MATTERS                                     eBook Edition                                                 FALL/WINTER 2009

 any changes that are made to the
 programs at TAPE come directly from
 the students. “Feedback from our
 students is what propels us forward.

 When they come to us and let us
 know that they really want to get up
 to standard in a certain area, we jump
 at the opportunity to assist them,”
 she says. So, when students started
                                             offers a program that is designed
                                             for individuals already working
                                             within the vocational rehabilitation
                                             profession. The program, which is
                                             unique in Canada, offers a part-time
                                             undergraduate degree geared toward
                                             adult learners who have prior related
                                             academic or professional credentials.
                                             The program requires the equivalent
                                                                                        working experience in the field of
                                                                                        rehabilitation. The program allows for
                                                                                        individuals to gain skills fundamental
                                                                                        to client-centered case management.
                                                                                        The best part of the program, as Nancy
                                                                                        McQuigge, the program manager for
                                                                                        the Centre for Continuing Education
                                                                                        mentions, is that it is available entirely
                                                                                        online for f lexible, convenient study.
 expressing the need for online classes,     of two years of full-time study at the     Over time, the program has been
 TAPE quickly answered. “We have             3rd and 4th year level but is offered      revised to stay current with the changes
 lots of online courses, and we are still    on a part-time basis in recognition        that are occurring in the workplace; in
 growing,” Beatrice comments. “We            of the time constraints facing adult       2000, for example, the program was
 truly believe in skills based learning,     learners. Students engage in core          revised, and in 2001 it went entirely
 and that application to practice moves      courses that familiarize them with the     online. “Our courses change as the
 us closer to best practices. That is why    multidisciplinary field of disability      trends change,” says Nancy. “We are
 we try to teach our students with a         studies, with emphasis on social policy,   continually reviewing our program,
 hands-on approach.”                         leadership, community development,         getting feedback from our students,
                                             arts, culture and more. The best part      instructors, and professionals working
                                             of Ryerson’s program is that is has        in the field. McMaster also offers an
                                             been strategically designed in a range     addiction education program, which
                                             of course formats: some courses            was the recipient of the 2007/08
                                             are structured as on-site two-week         National Award for Continuing
                                             intensives while others are offered in     Education Program Excellence, and
                                             distance formats over the Internet.        was also approved by VR A Canada
                                                                                        for continuing education hours.
                                               ““We are always changing                 This program, like the one in case
                                             our curriculum based on what               management, is geared towards
                                                 students’ needs are. ”                 addiction and mental health workers,
                                                                                        nurses, counsellors, health/social
                                             Melanie Panitch, the director and
                                                                                        service professionals, and anyone
                                             coordinator of Ryerson’s School
                                                                                        aspiring to enter the previously
                                             of Disability Studies, notes that
                                                                                        mentioned fields. “This program is
                                             at Ryerson, they are constantly
                                                                                        one of the largest offered at the Centre
                                             reevaluating their curriculum to
                                                                                        for Continuing Education, and we
                                             make sure it is up-to-date and relevant
                                                                                        offer a f lexible course load, distance
                                             for their students. “We are always
                                                                                        and classroom delivery, and monthly
                                             changing our curriculum based on
                                                                                        start dates for distance courses,” says
                                             what students’ needs are. We undergo
                                                                                        Nancy. McMaster will also customize
                                             a periodic curriculum review, interview
                                                                                        workshops to meet the needs of any
                                             past students, and even speak to
                                                                                        organization that requires training in a
                                             professionals in the field to ensure
                                                                                        particular area of addictions and case
                                             that our programs are educational,
                                             useful, and practical,” she says. And,
                                             because Ryerson’s program is offered
                                             all online (with the exception of 2        Professional development and ongoing
 “Feedback from our students is              weeks in the summer), it is ideal          education are not only necessary but
   what propels us forward.”                 for those who are seeking distance         are crucial in bettering the vocational
                                             learning. “While we offer all of our       rehabilitation profession and those who
                                             courses online, we love to have the        are employed within it. The above-
 TAPE, for example, is working on a
                                             students come to campus for two weeks      mentioned schools plus many others,
 new program that will bring actors in
                                             during the summer. It is a great team      such as Dalhousie University (that is in
 to work with individuals participating
                                             building experience, and I find that       the process of rebuilding its program
 in mental health programs, something
                                             at the end of those two weeks, the         now), are continually reinventing
 that the University of Toronto has been
                                             students don’t want to leave!” she says.   and bettering themselves to ensure
 doing for a long time. “Our students
 will receive practice with actors who                                                  that they are providing students and
 have been standardized to react in          McMaster University’s case                 professionals with the best education
 different ways, to better help them         management program is another              possible. After all, it is the initial and
 assess ailments and disorders.” Beatrice    example of a curriculum that is geared     ongoing education that vocational
 mentions.                                   toward the working professional.           rehabilitation professionals receive
                                             Offered entirely online, individuals       that helps them help others get back
                                             can enter the program if they possess a    on their feet and, most importantly,
 Over at The School of Disability Studies
                                             university degree, college diploma, or     return-to-work.
 at Ryerson University, the faculty
                                             if they have approximately five years

                                                                11                                               Fall/Winter 2009


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 Advertising Information


                           Anne Gauthier
                           VRA Canada
                           4 Cataraqui Street
                           Suite 310
                           Kingston, ON, K7K 1Z7
                           Tel: 613.507.5530
                           Toll-free: 1.888.876.9992
                           Fax: 613.531.0626
                           Email: info@vracanada.
                           Web: www.vracanada.com

                               Ad Sizes & Rates
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                           are for black & white ads.
                             Add 20% for preferred
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                            Graphic design services
                             are available to create
                               your ad. Contact:
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          Advice from
           the Pros

MATTERS                                                                      Reinventing
                                                                                   Achieving success
                                                                                   through education

                                                                                                   By Aaron Wilson, M.A., RRP

 “Going to school is my way off the            the return-to-work process. As ancient      Sometimes information interviews
 street,” declares “Coco,” a resident of       Roman scholar Claudius Galen noted,         can take a surprising turn, and divert
 Canada’s poorest neighborhood–the             “employment is nature’s physician,          an applicant’s attention away from
 downtown eastside of Vancouver. “I’m          and is essential to human happiness.”       an original job target, to one that is
 going to finish my program and then           Education is often the means to the         even more suitable. A professional
 get away from here,” she continues. Her       “healing” or reintegration that regular     musician suffering from the onset
 short-term plan is to complete a skills       employment can provide.                     of arthritis and diabetes once told
 training program and then secure a            In my role as an administrator of federal   me how happily surprised he was to
 health services job in a smaller rural        sponsorship to support people with          realize that he didn’t want to pursue
 community that is closer to her family.       disabilities to return to work, requests    software development as he had
 Coco’s hair – a vibrant neon red – is         for re-training account for about 75%       originally thought, but animation
 not quite able to distract from her           of the applications for funding we          design instead. This occurred to him as
 premature aging, evident in the lines of      receive. It is now common knowledge         he conducted information interviews
 her face, gaunt frame and raspy voice.        that educational requirements continue      of people actually working in these
 Coco has spent many years struggling          to increase in the labour market, and       respective fields. Another client was set
 with addiction and compromised health         that further education is synonymous        on becoming a medical office assistant,
 resulting from prolonged poverty.             with greater earnings potential. Long       until she learned through information
 Fortunately, Coco is resourceful. She         gone are the days when high school          interviews that the pressure of
 has moved into supported housing              education alone could provide entry         multi-tasking and working with the
 with readily-available resources to           into well-paying trades positions. Just     public would be too stressful for her.
 support her out of addiction. She also        as technology today becomes quickly         Alternatively, she learned about health
 knows where to go within the area to          outdated, so too do skill sets in the       records management in the process,
 eat nutritious, free meals, as she is not     workplace.                                  which became a more suitable work
 able to afford groceries on her meager                                                    goal for her.
                                               As sustainable employment is a
 provincial disability income.                 mandate of our Service Canada               Just as we expect applicants to complete
 Education, for Coco, is literally a matter    program, the “employability factor”         labour market research related to a job
 of life and death. She knows that             is the key attribute we look for when       target, we likewise expect applicants to
 completing some work skills training          reviewing applications for retraining       research the various training options.
 and securing a conventional job will          sponsorship. Does the applicant             The following are essential questions to
 afford her the stability she needs to         have realistic expectations of what         consider with clients pursuing further
 rescue herself from the hazards of her        further education can do in securing        education:
 current life. To the best of her ability,     employment? Applicants are obliged            • Is the training provider accredited
 education will enable Coco to reinvent        to provide labour market evidence               or registered with a provincial
 herself.                                      that links the training choice to real          licensing body? What remedy (if
 The significance of education in              work potential. Likewise, applicants            any) would clients have if the
 vocational rehabilitation is not always       are required to conduct information             training provider suddenly closed?
 as dramatic as is the case for Coco. Still,   interviews–both with employees and
                                               employers–to confirm that a favourable        • Is the training program cited in job
 as education relates to the ability clients                                                   postings as training recognized or
 have to rejoin the working population         choice is made regarding training.
                                                                                               preferred by employers?
 with means, it plays an essential role in

                                                                  13                                                Fall/Winter 2009


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MATTERS              eBook Edition                                                     FALL/WINTER 2009

                                continued from page 13

  In The                        • Is completion of education enough, or does it need to be bolstered
                                  through work placement, volunteer work, and/or special certifications
                                  such as CPR/first aid?

                                • What is the range of cost for such training?
                                • Are there full-time versus part-time options?

                                • Are there pre-requisites such as high school courses, criminal
                                  record checks, health testing, CPR/First Aid training?
                                • Is the mode of instruction in class, online, or a combination of both?

                                • Is the mode of instruction compatible with the client’s preferred
                                  learning style?
                                • How many intakes per year are there for the training program?
                                • What disability support services are available should a student

     Best                         need them?
                                • Can the training provider offer post-graduation placement rates?

   Practices                    • Are there employment services available for new graduates?
                                • Does the client have a realistic awareness of hourly wage or salary
                                  that is usual for new graduates with no experience?
     At VRA we are              • For older workers: will the time required to complete training,
                                  combined with the costs involved, equal a tangible career
 intent on providing              advantage in consideration of working years before retirement?

  service using up-               More Information
  to-date practices.              To find out more about Service Canada re-training programs and
                                  services, visit: www.servicecanada.gc.ca/eng/home.shtml
     Our next issue               To find out more about the Service Canada Opportunities Fund
      will focus on               (B.C. Lower mainland area only) visit: www.oppsfund.ca
                                  To find out more about the therapeutic effects of education for the
    the techniques,               mentally ill, go to: http://www.theprovince.com/cars/Riverview+
        methods,                  To find out more about innovative inner-city education programs,
    processes and                 visit the UBC Learning Exchange at: http://www.learningexchange.
   activities that are
  the most effective
   at delivering the
     best possible                   About the Author

       outcomes.                                                    Aaron Wilson is a community
                                                                    coordinator of the Service Canada
                                                                    Opportunities Fund program
                                                                    at the B.C. Centre for Ability.
                                                                    He has worked in vocational
                                                                    rehabilitation for over 20 years
                                                                    and is a certified return-to-work
                                                                    coordinator with clientele who
                                                                    are chronically unemployed
                                                                    and presented with multiple
                                                                    employment barriers.



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MATTERS                                eBook Edition                                                        FALL/WINTER 2009


                                                                     JVS: A Believer
                                                                      in Continuing
                                                                     Karen Goldenberg explains
                                                                      the need for regulation in
                                                                       vocational rehabilitation
                                                                                                                  By Dayna Danson

 All across Canada there are thousands      counsellors, job developers and rehab        In the best of both worlds JVS is
 of individuals who have dedicated their    counsellors) are regulated professions       searching for an external provider who
 lives to helping those with disabilities   and as such there are mixed educational      will help develop, deliver, and regulate
 overcome obstacles and achieve success.    requirements in the field and variable       formal training and curriculum to
 Among these compassionate individuals      standards.”                                  help their—and all other “helping
 is Karen Goldenberg, the President &                                                    profession” employees— become a
                                            Karen notes that in the early years, the
 CEO of JVS Toronto since 1999. At JVS                                                   best practice profession. Karen takes
                                            staff at JVS came from a wide variety
 alone, a dedicated staff of over 225                                                    the stance that JVS, rehabilitation
                                            of backgrounds: some had master’s
 individuals—including employment                                                        professionals, and all other helping
                                            certificates, others were social workers,
 counsellors, job developers and                                                         professions require an association to
                                            some were psychologists and some
 rehabilitation counsellors—work                                                         develop standards, curriculum and
                                            were career counsellors. While the
 tirelessly to serve over 20,000 people                                                  learning programs. The focus of this
                                            psychologists have a “college” which
 annually. For Karen and those at JVS,                                                   body must also be broad enough to
                                            has a quality assurance program that
 education, regulation, and learning are                                                 embrace the many staff who work at
                                            includes setting professional goals,
 the cornerstones of success; without                                                    supporting multi-barriered clients.
                                            monitoring activities and offering
 them the vocational rehabilitation                                                      Karen strongly believes that establishing
                                            continuing education services,
 profession would have no room to grow,                                                  a set of professional standards,
                                            there is no consistent regulation
 prosper, or succeed in the future.                                                      providing ongoing education, and
                                            across the entire board. “Today,
                                                                                         offering opportunities for all vocational
                                            employment and career counsellors
 “Continuing education is really                                                         rehabilitation stakeholders to enhance
                                            are community college trained. Some
    inadequate and there is no                                                           his/her skills is key to the evolution of
                                            have undergraduate degrees and
  requisite, ongoing professional                                                        the profession.
                                            many do not. Workforce specialists
 development in place. Agencies
                                            (job developers) at JVS typically have
      and individuals identify
                                            community college diplomas but no
 learning opportunities but this
                                            formal training in the field,” Karen says.
 approach is makeshift at best.”
                                            While the main goal at JVS Toronto
 As someone who has not only been           is to assist individuals from all
 involved in vocational rehabilitation      backgrounds and walks of life achieve
 but who has also volunteered in many       their educational and/or vocational
 senior leadership roles within the         goals, it is important to them that their
 community, the need for continuing         own staff achieve these same goals.
 education and constant regulation is       That is why Karen takes a firm stance
 continually on Karen’s mind. While         on the idea that continuing education,
 other occupations such as social           at the moment, needs to be overhauled.
 workers, nurses, occupational therapists   “Continuing education is really
 and physiotherapists have their            inadequate and there is no requisite,
 own regulatory colleges, vocational        ongoing professional development
 rehabilitation professionals remain        in place. Agencies and individuals
 lacking in their own accreditation         identify learning opportunities but                    Karen Goldenberg
 process. Karen has recognized this gap     this approach is makeshift at best,”               President & CEO of JVS Toronto
 in regulation, observing that “none        she notes.
 of these designations (employment

                                                                15                                                  Fall/Winter 2009


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MATTERS                                   eBook Edition                                                     FALL/WINTER 2009

           Join VRA                                     Member Profile
                                                 Rehabilitation Counsellor and Consultant
                                                                               Janice Ray B.Sc. Kin, CK, RRP, CCRC, CRTWC
                                                                               It’s no surprise Janice Ray found success as a
                                                                               rehabilitation counsellor—she is friendly,
                                                                               positive and optimistic—essential qualities
                                                                               in the rehabilitation field. A member of VR A
                                                                               since 1990, Janice is the president and director
                                                                               of both ErgonoWorks Unlimited Inc. and Ray

                                                                               Rehabilitation Consultants, Inc. She has served
                                                                               on the Ontario Board of Directors since 1995
                                                                               and from 1998-2000, Janice was the treasurer of

    Has Its                                                                    CARP National.
                                                                                Janice’s endeavors into the world of

                                                                                rehabilitation began in 1971, when she attended
                                                 the School of Human Kinetics and Leisure study, department of kinesiology
                                                 at the University of Waterloo. There, Janice completed a co-op assignment that
                                                 consisted of eight months of therapeutic programs with psychiatric residents,
 Finding the right rehabilitation professional
                                                 12 months with developmentally challenged residents, and four months as
 is easier than you think. The Vocational        a fitness consultant at the Barrie Y.M.C.A. In 1974 Janice’s father had triple
 Rehabilitation Association of Canada            bypass surgery, which prompted her to write her fourth year thesis on post-
 (VRA Canada) is a national organization         cardiac surgery rehab programs. Her thesis was a huge success, and Janice was
 that oversees and sets practice standards       hired to work on the program development and coordination of Canada’s first
 for rehabilitation professionals across         cardiac post-surgical rehabilitation program at Toronto General Hospital. For
 Canada. Its mandate is to support its           Janice, that was her “most memorable experience so far, hands down.”
 members in promoting and providing              Since her days at Toronto General Hospital, Janice has kept busy working
 the delivery of professional rehabilitation     in various areas of rehabilitation. From 1978-1980 she was the area co-
 services while also ensuring ongoing            coordinator for youth experience program for the Ministry of Culture and
 professional development opportunities.         Recreation in Barrie, and from 1981-1989 she worked as a rehabilitation
                                                 caseworker and senior specialist for Rehabilitation Services of Canada.
 Its members represent a variety
                                                 In 2005, she worked as a disability management consultant with GENEX
 of disciplines including:
                                                 services of Canada, and in 2006 she worked as an ergonomist for the
  • Rehabilitation Counsellors                   Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB). She is also a Canadian
  • Vocational Counsellors                       Certified Rehabilitation Counsellor (1992) and was awarded continuance
                                                 of certification in 1997, 2002 and 2007.
  • Disability Managers
                                                 Today, Janice is the president of the Ontario College of Vocational
  • Case Managers
                                                 Rehabilitation Professionals (CVRP) and also manages and offers services
  • Vocational Evaluators                        from her two businesses, ErgonoWorks Unlimited Inc. and Ray Rehabilitation
  • Job Placement Specialists                    Consultants, Inc. For Janice, being a business owner is something she is very
  • Individuals involved in the                  proud of. “I am in my 20 th year of being a business owner and have survived
    entire continuum of                          the changing face of the rehabilitation/employment markets. That feels great!”
    rehabilitation services                      she says.
  • Practitioners in allied health specialties   Despite her love for the rehabilitation field, Janice recognizes that a lot of
 These professionals are trained to work         work still needs to be done in terms of helping rehabilitate and reintegrate
 with one another to achieve the best            individuals back into society. “The government and insurance agencies
                                                 refuse to acknowledge that managed care is utterly necessary for successful
 long-term outcomes possible for their
                                                 return to work. We need to accommodate people for their limitations so
 clients. VRA Canada’s position as a
                                                 that they can ultimately return to work,” Janice stresses. After over 30 years
 national network allows it to create the        working in the vocational rehabilitation field, Janice still “enjoys seeing a
 effective integration of these roles through    solution that works.” As for her future, Janice sees herself working in rehab
 its member programs and services, thus          for quite a bit longer. “I’d love to keep my businesses running, and I would
 ensuring that its members, no matter            also like to work with my son in setting up his first medical practice. Most
 their geographic location, are properly         importantly, I would love to be able to say that I am a part of a regulated,
 prepared to meet the demands of working         professional, rehabilitation college. It is of utmost importance that we
 as a rehabilitation professional.               promote our profession, and an accredited college is the best way to
                                                 do that,” Janice emphasizes.



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MATTERS                                    eBook Edition                                                    FALL/WINTER 2009


                                                                      Therapeutic horseback riding

                                                                                                                By Leslie Lewis

 As professional members of an ever-         balance, coordination, strength,            often find it hard to participate in many
 advancing field like rehabilitation, it     and muscle tone.                            physical activities, riding a horse can
 is important to recognize alternative       There are far more than just physical       allow them to experience a sense of
 therapies that can help alleviate           benefits to horseback riding.               freedom, joy, and passion that only the
 the hardships that individuals with         Therapeutic riding puts individuals         trust of a horse can provide.
 disabilities endure. Broadening             with disabilities into an environment       The groups of people with disabilities
 horizons and trying new therapies           that teaches them emotional, cognitive      commonly associated with taking
 can be an incredibly beneficial and         and social skills. They interact with       advantage of the benefits of therapeutic
 rewarding experience. Therapeutic           the horses and other individuals in         horseback riding include those
 horseback riding, otherwise known           the program, enabling them to form          suffering from: autism, developmental
 as Equine Assisted Activity, is a           relationships, learn companionship,         disabilities, ADD, learning disabilities,
 relatively new method gaining               and gain responsibility and leadership      cerebral palsy, mental retardation,
 popularity for people with a range          skills. Building a relationship with        downs syndrome, emotional or
 of physical, emotional, cognitive,          their horse is emotionally rewarding for    behavioral issues, speech impediments,
 and social disabilities.                    these students, oftentimes drawing out      head trauma, multiple sclerosis, spina
 In a therapeutic riding program,            individuals with emotional disabilities.    bifida, muscular dystrophy, weight
 specially trained riding instructors        Gaining the trust of a horse is a huge      control disorders, visual impairments
 teach people with a wide range of           boost to students’ self-esteem, giving      and spinal cord injuries.
 disabilities how to ride a horse. In        them the confidence to form new
 most cases, the rider will be helped        relationships with people and to try
 into a specially developed saddle and       new things. Horses also help people
 bridle and will have one person leading     with disabilities feel in control of
 the horse while two more stand on           their situation. Because the horses are
                                                                                         To learn more about therapeutic
 either side of the rider to ensure he/she   sensitive and trained in order to react
                                                                                         horseback riding or to get involved,
 stays balanced. The physical benefits to    to slight commands, the rider must
                                                                                         you can visit some of the sites below:
 horseback riding are encompassed in         learn to take a leadership role in this
 the field of hippotherapy— a medically      situation, thus gaining confidence from     http://www.card.ca/
 recognized procedure in which the           guiding his/her horse.                      http://www.narha.org/
 goal is rehabilitation though motion.       Therapeutic riding students quickly
 In this case, the motion is the smooth,                                                 http://www.frdi.net/
                                             learn that their talents are greater than
 rocking movement of the horse. The          they imagined as they experience
 swaying motion of the horse’s steps         the feeling of satisfaction that comes
 provides the rider with sensory input       with learning a difficult skill. The
 through movement, enhancing sensory         real-life environment of working with
 processing and increasing neurological      horses also creates situations where
 and musculoskeletal function.               students must confront fears and make
 The motion of the horse’s walk is also      adjustments to handling situations that
 similar to the human walk, with             are sometimes outside of their control.
 the swinging motion improving               While individuals with disabilities

                                                                17                                                  Fall/Winter 2009


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MATTERS                                eBook Edition                                                      FALL/WINTER 2009


                                                               The Master’s of
                                                                Disability and
                                                              Community Studies
                                                                          A graduate innovation in
                                                                             higher education

                                                                        By Dr. Susan Cran, CCRC. RRP and Dr. Nancy Marlett, CRDS

 In the middle of winter in a hotel room    their program based on local needs,         (VRA Canada), the University of
 in Edmonton, a group of men and            previous work experience, and future        Calgary has been able to get a leg up in
 women took over a class of bachelor’s      aspirations–an option that had been         terms of being a partner and creating
 of community rehabilitation students       desperately needed at the time. A change    a new distributive model. The master’s
 demanding that distance education          in admission was also made: it no longer    in disability and community studies
 not be limited to undergraduates. It       became solely about grade point averages    program, for example, is the most
 was time for a revolution in the world     but became also about educational           unique of its kind in that it allows
 of rehabilitation studies; ideas for       background and professional research        working professionals, who do not have
 new content and a work-study model         experience. This change modified the        an undergraduate degree, to demonstrate
 were desperately needed. Luckily, the      way traditional graduate programs           through a prior learning assessment
 innovation funding that was making the     previously operated.                        portfolio (PLAR) that they have the
 experiment in undergraduate education      The course content has found itself to be   competencies to complete graduate work
 possible provided a fourth year of         an ever-evolving entity: because there      and are exceptional individuals with
 funding to apply what had been learned     are other graduate options available        leadership qualities in the field. This
 to a Canadian graduate perspective. And    in Canada, the University of Calgary        is groundbreaking in that it permits
 so was born the master’s in disability     has now begun to focus more on the          individuals to seek the education and
 and community studies program at the       leadership, the interprofessional,          professional development that are
 University of Calgary; a degree that       and transdisciplinary nature of the         vital to the growth of the vocational
 was created with—and for— working          vocational rehabilitation field and less    rehabilitation profession.
 professionals that provided access         on the clinical aspects, which, in Canada   In the interest of moving forward, the
 to graduate programs without the           are covered more at the undergraduate       University of Calgary is working hard
 traditional mandatory residency.           level. Some of the University of            to revise, create, and reconstruct a
 That was ten years ago. Today, the         Calgary’s new courses, for example,         plethora of courses within the master’s
 University of Calgary is working hard      reflect the program’s new home in           of disability and community studies
 to evaluate the same program that          community health science with a greater     (MDCS). The new and improved courses
 originally rewrote the traditional         opportunity to understand individual,       will include: social construction, health
 rules of graduate programs. When first     community, and health capacity. So,         capacity and disability, foundations and
 establishing the program, information      while earlier students of the program       futures of disability and community
 sessions confirmed the need for            tended to do practice specializations       studies, leadership and innovation in
 a Canadian approach to graduate            (community based head injury options,       disability & community studies, amongst
 education that could respond to a broad-   sexual education with developmentally       others. In introducing these new courses
 based community rehabilitation context,    disabled adults), the new program gives     to the program, individuals will gain a
 while addressing the specific needs of     students an opportunity to tailor their     better understanding of health capacity
 vocational rehabilitation counselling.     focus and conduct a final project.          and disability and current/future
 Individual and regional learning           With the help of the Vocational             trends, which is the ultimate goal of the
 contracts enabled students to tailor       Rehabilitation Association of Canada        program. Revisions are also currently




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MATTERS                                    eBook Edition                               FALL/WINTER 2009

 continued from page 18

 being made to the PhD program (specialization in community
 rehabilitation and disability studies) that will hopefully offer
 students more flexibility. While the program delivery format has

 not changed, the course content is being altered to reflect the
 emerging strength in health promotion of interdisciplinary and
 transdisciplinary care and community based health services.
 After ten years, the master’s of disability and community studies
 has seen a 95% success rate in students achieving a master’s and/or
 thesis based degrees (PhD, MSc) that responded to their academic
 and professional needs in a variety of specialization areas, while
 working full-time.
 The work-study model (a combination of face-to-face sessions
 complemented with online study) has contributed to this high
 completion rate. In addition, students bring a myriad of current
 professional experiences to the learning process and the ability to
 apply theory to actual practice. Furthermore, both students and
 program faculty recognize the value of bringing together prior
 work and life experiences to the graduate process. The University
 of Calgary holds onto the importance of the theoretical and
 research foundations of the academic field of disability study,
 experiences that can be shared with both the Community Health
 Sciences department and many partnerships across Canada.
 Since the commencement of the CRDS-Canadian concept of
 graduate study, other Canadian universities have come aboard to
 deliver alternative graduate programs from the traditional course
 delivery model for vocational rehabilitation professionals. This
 is truly remarkable because it is the University of Calgary’s belief
 that providing student access and choice for adult learning is
 beneficial to all Canadians.

      Dr. Susan Cran, CCRC, RRP           Dr. Nancy Marlett, CRDS

      Dr. Nancy Marlett and Dr. Susan Cran are full time
      faculty with the Community Rehabilitation and
      Disability Studies program. Nancy has been involved
      with the program since its inception and is a past
      program Director. Susan was hired 13 years ago to
      facilitate the development of an innovative distributed
      learning graduate program for working professionals,
      now in its 11th successful year of operation.

                                                                    19                    Fall/Winter 2009


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                                                                    The key to lifelong learning

                                                                                                      By Jennifer Seligman
 The idea of continuing education           to stay ahead of the job curve.            by 2018 – a 13% increase. Projections
 was originally developed to serve          There has been a substantial increase      indicate that the most significant
 the needs of working adults who            over the years in the number of            growth rates will be among older
 wanted to take courses to complete an      Canadian adults attending school           students, minorities, and women.
 interrupted degree, or stay abreast of     full-time. According to the annual         These numbers are drawn from the
 new developments while improving           Labour Force Survey conducted by           most recent report of the U.S. Education
 their chances of upward mobility in        Statistics Canada, in 1976 there were      Department’s National Center for
 their field. Many others nowadays          approximately 107,000 adults between       Education Statistics.
 choose to embark upon continuing           the ages of 25 and 64 attending school     The economic downturn in recent years
 their education simply because they        full-time. Twenty years later in 1996,     has had a hand in increasing the appeal
 enjoy learning, or as a way to further     the number increased to approximately      of continuing education to both older
 their level of education in a more         344,000 adults. Over the same period,      and younger students. According to
 economical way, compared with              there was an increasing trend of women     an article in the Daily News Tribune, “A
 traditional university education.          enrolled in continuing education           new core of courses designed to fit the
 Individuals from a wide variety of         programs. Although in 1976 men were        needs of traditional students shifting to
 professions—from nurses to child           almost twice as likely than women to       part-time status…could prove beneficial
 and youth workers, to vocational           attend school, by the mid 1990s almost     to students adversely affected by the
 rehabilitation professionals—often         the same number of adult women and         economic downturn… It exposes
 attend conferences, seminars, and          men were enrolled as full-time students.   younger people to more serious adult
 interactive discussions to help them                                                  learners who are happy to be back on
 stay abreast in an ever-changing           As might be expected, the majority
                                            of continuing education programs           campus. Lastly, it also creates a new
 workplace environment.                                                                appreciation for education… It’s an
                                            are directly related to jobs and
 “Lifelong learning” is a concept           occupations. In 1994, the Adult            educational choice worth considering.”
 that is fairly recent, and continuing      Education and Training Survey asked        Continuing education in the field
 education is a growing trend in Canada     students to explain why they were          of vocational rehabilitation allows
 and throughout North America.              taking continuing education courses.       professionals to maximize the
 In recent years, there has been a          An overwhelming 83% of students            quality of training and development
 substantial increase in proportions        said it was because of their “present or   opportunities so that they may
 of the population enrolled in              future job.” An additional 15% of the      continue to acquire knowledge, skills,
 continuing education programs, with        respondents answered that “personal        and competencies in order to more
 most students being motivated by a         interest” was the main reason they had     effectively increase quality employment
 desire to improve their job prospects.     enrolled. In other words, older students   and independent living for patients.
 Continuing education is an important       were just as likely as younger students
 means for vocational rehabilitation        to be concerned with improving
 professionals to keep up-to-date with      their skills and abilities within their    For more information on continuing
 the ever-expanding informational and       occupations.                               your education in the field of
 ongoing technological developments                                                    vocational rehabilitation, please visit
 in the field. Many people mistakenly       An increase in older students can be       http://vracanada.com/cutting_edge_
 believe that once they receive their       seen in American colleges as well. In      education.php.
 university degree, they have completed     American schools, the total number
 their educational journey. In today’s      of students enrolling in college or
 economy, however, it is essential for      university is expected to climb from
 professionals to further their education   18.2 million in 2007 to 20.6 million



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MATTERS                                eBook Edition                                       FALL/WINTER 2009

 Why You Need a

                                                    RENEW NOW!
                                                         SAVE $50.00
Professional                                        Professional                             $32500
 The Vocational Rehabilitation Association of       Associate                                $27500
 Canada (VRA Canada) is a national organization
 that oversees and sets practice standards for
                                                    Student                                  $13700
 rehabilitation professionals across Canada.        Retired                                  $13700
 Its mandate is to support its members in
 promoting and providing the delivery of
 professional rehabilitation services while also
 ensuring ongoing professional development
 opportunities. Its members represent a variety
 of disciplines, including:                              *
                                                             Offer valid on existing memberships renewed
     • Rehabilitation Counsellors                                     online before Dec. 31, 2009.

     • Vocational Counsellors
     • Disability Managers
                                                                  Renew at
     • Case Managers                                          www.vracanada.com
     • Vocational Evaluators
     • Job Placement Specialists
     • Individuals involved in the entire
       continuum of rehabilitation services
     • Practitioners in allied health specialties

   Hire the Best!
       visit www.vracanada.com

                                                    21                                        Fall/Winter 2009


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        What’s New

                        Race, Culture and
                        Disability: Rehabilitation
                        Science and Practice
                                                                                               The Wheelchair
                                                                                               Evaluation: A Clinician’s
                                                                                               Guide, Second Edition
                         This novel is a useful guide to                                        This second edition manual
                         understanding the research                                             is an updated, practical, and
                         and practical issues related to                                        concise reference on the
                         race, culture and disability in                                        wheelchair prescription process.
                         rehabilitation services. This                                          Perfect for students, clinicians,
                         unique and groundbreaking text                                         and vocational rehabilitation
                         provides researchers and evidence-                                     professionals who work with
                         based practitioners with scientific                                    individuals in need of a
 resources to answer practical and knowledge-based                     wheelchair, this book will serve as a hands-on manual
 questions. This book covers important topics such as:                 for wheelchair clinical decision-making. This book is a
 how to make disability determinations with people from                valuable manual containing four new chapters dedicated
 diverse cultural backgrounds and non-English language                 to ethical issues, funding, documentation, and fitting.
 populations, and how to address issues of cultural                    It also contains useful information on choice of
 competence and cultural mistrust in service provision.                wheelchair components, and real-world approaches to
 This book is ideal for scientists who conduct research,               patient evaluation.
 people of colour with disabilities, practitioners who                 Available at www.jbpub.com
 work with diverse populations, and students and recent
 graduates who have learned and want to learn more about
 this research area. Due to an increase in ethnically diverse
 individuals with disabilities, this text is an extremely
 timely and relevant contribution for researchers,
 practitioners, and students.
 Available at www.jbpub.com

                           Roll-A-Bout Steerable                                             Inflatable Sitting and
                             The Roll-A-Bout Steerable                                       Standing Vestibular Disc
                             eliminates the need for                                          The Inflatable Vestibular Disc is
                             crutches, walkers and                                            a great rehabilitation tool in that
                             wheelchairs, and is a safe and                                   it mimics both the movement
                             reliable alternative to hard-                                    and shape of an inflatable ball
                             to-maneuver walking aids.                                        when used on any type of seat.
                             Suitable for those individuals                                   The disc acts as a dynamic
                             with leg injuries below                                          cushion, activating the major
                             the knee, the Roll-A-Bout                                        muscle groups, some of which
    Steerable is suitable for both indoor and outdoor                    may need strengthening and rehabilitation. This
    use, contains a steering column that folds down for                  product is ideal for individuals who are in need of
    storage or travel, and adjusts for either left or right              rehabilitation or who suffer from a form of chronic
    leg injuries. The Roll-A-Bout Steerable is easy-to-                  pain. Aside from being used as a seat cushion, this
    use, is safe and durable, and because all the weight                 unique product can also be used on the floor as a
    is carried by the upper leg, no pain occurs in the                   standing disc for balance training, proprioception,
    injured leg. This product is ideal for individuals                   and strengthening of the lower extremities. The
    who have undergone surgery or amputation, or for                     disc is 2” thick and 13.8” diameter, making it easily
    those who are experiencing pain due to an infection,                 transferable.
    fracture, arthritis, or more. The Roll-A-Bout will also
                                                                         Available at www.promedproducts.com
    help maintain body strength, cardiovascular fitness
    and balance that rapidly decrease with wheelchair
    Available at www.wheelsoffitness.com



                               PREVIOUS PAGE                                      NEXT PAGE
MATTERS                 eBook Edition                 FALL/WINTER 2009

      The Vocational
      Association of
   Canada is a national
     association that
 supports its members in
  promoting, providing
  and advocating for the
  delivery of vocational/
  rehabilitation services
     for persons with
       The Vocational
 Association of Canada is
 committed to promoting
  professional excellence
   in our members, who
    are recognized by all
    as the experts in the
 provision of vocational/
  rehabilitation services
      for persons with

                                    23                   Fall/Winter 2009


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MATTERS                          eBook Edition                                                  FALL/WINTER 2009


 Our Latest Members

        Jodi-Lynn Annett
    Ernest Martin Boeswald
     Angie Christine Bricker
     Tamara Dawn Burman
           Dyan Burnel
      Jennifer Lynn Buttar
           Erin Buxton
           Linda Byrnes
    Katherine Melaina Camp
          Raeleen Castle
       Nives Anna Ceronja
           Phyllis Chan
         Travis Chapman
            Sujin Choi
           Mark Coaker
         Lindsay Edwards
   Elisheva Bridgette Gabiscn
 Christine Ann Smith Gonsalves
         Susan Hamilton
     Eric Norman Hemming
        Andrea Katzmier
       Anuja Kumarasamy
         Shirley Labonte
      Diane Gale Lawrence
     Trevor Paul Lesmeister
         Charlotte Logan
                                                  Understanding Disability            Vocational Evaluation
      Joanna Lynn McCoy
                                                  Health Care Ethics                  Counseling Ethics
          Roanna McCoy
                                                  Strategic Case Management           Mental Health Drugs
          Sheila Moyston
                                                  Ethics for Therapists: Update       Skilled Empathy
        Nadia Nashlenas                           More Effective Interviewing         Enhancing Responsibility
      Louissa Ferne Regier                        Rehabilitation Consultant           Different Therapies: One Client
      Carla Dawn Roslinski
                                           The following courses now have text materials available online:
        imrat Kaur Singh
                                                  Substance Abuse and Disabilities    Dual Disorder
                                                  Drug Treatment: I                   Drug Treatment: II
   New RRP Recipients                             Vocational Services and Substance Abuse
         David Bruce
                                                         For Details: CM Home Study
        Winnie Cheng                                                  30423 Canwood Street, Ste. #228
       Paula Desaulniers                                              Agoura Hills, CA 91301 USA
        Niall O’Connor
        Erin Robertson                                   Telephone: 818-706-1671
                                                         Fax: 818-865-9075
                                                         e-mail: mail@cmhomestudy.com
                                                         Web-site: www.cmhomestudy.com



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MATTERS  eBook Edition                                      FALL/WINTER 2009

                    Life can change
                    in an instant!
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