H-CARDD Connects - Holiday Issue - December 2016
News about research findings, resources and tools to improve the health care of people with developmental disabilities.
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Five Ways to Make a Difference in 2017


This past year was an exciting year at H-CARDD. Our program celebrated 6 years of research, published several articles, and launched some solutions for improving the health of people with developmental disabilities (DD). Visit our website at www.hcardd.ca for many resources and tools. In looking forward to 2017, here are some things you can do to make a difference for people with DD:
1. Learn about the issues and share some information: What do you know about the health of individuals with DD? H-CARDD has a handful of research snapshots and videos for a quick summary on a range of topics. More recently, some sobering findings related to health were shared in Ontario through the Ombudsman’s Report, Nowhere to turn, highlighting heartbreaking stories of families in crisis and some very serious challenges within social services but also in health care. It is important to be aware of the challenges that families and people with DD face so we can act accordingly and create solutions.

2. Watch a video from the H-CARDD Best Practice Series: Good communication is essential to good health care. Some people with DD have difficulty expressing themselves or understanding information and communicating with a patient with a DD can be challenging. As a health care provider, the best practice videos series teaches you strategies to adapt your communication approach and provide the best care possible for people with DD. See how Dr. Lee de-escalates Victor’s agitation after he was brought to the ED by the police when he was found screaming on a streetcar.
3. Download and share an H-CARDD toolkit: There are small things you can change in your practice that will help improve care for people with DD. We have heard many exciting stories of how research findings and tools from H-CARDD have helped to change practice in different areas. This year we launched our two toolkits for primary and emergency care. Download a copy today and share it with your colleagues.

4. Enroll in the ABLE X Series: At one of the conferences H-CARDD presented at, we asked what people think is needed to improve the health care for people with DD. Teaching doctors about health issues in DD early in their training was one of the solutions mentioned. Our colleagues in Queensland, Australia are offering a re-run of their successful ABLE X Series on intellectual disability and health care. The XSeries Program is a free massive open online course, designed to influence, empower, and educate a wider population to improve the health and healthcare of people with intellectual disability and includes experts from around the world (including some from the H-CARDD program!). This is an excellent opportunity to hear the voices of people with intellectual disability from around the world, their families and healthcare practitioners. This course is free and registration is open!

5. Tell your story: You can get involved with advocacy with H-CARDD. Our “I Am” poster campaign features the voices of individuals with developmental disabilities and their health care experiences.  Feature one of these posters in your practice or agency, or make your own - As it says in the posters, they remind people to, "get to know me. I am more than my disability."
Teaching doctors and residents about health and DD is an important goal for 2017
While for many of us the holidays are a time to relax and have fun, holidays can also be stressful. Our partners at Vita Community Services and the HANDS Family Support Network provide some great ideas  for caregivers that might be useful in making this holiday season the best it can be for individuals with developmental disabilities.

As we say goodbye to 2016, we want to thank our partners; our continued partnerships are what drive this work forward. Wishing everyone a happy and healthy holiday season and a great new year!
Team members at our H-CARDD Provincial Meeting, Februrary 2016
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Email: hcardd@camh.ca