Category Archives: Environmental Sensitivities

Review Finds Ontario Far From Accessible but Report Includes People With Environmental Sensitivities

The Honourable David C. Onley, the 28th Lieutenant Governor of Ontario (2007-2014) was appointed to lead the Third Review of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA).

The report has now been released.

LISTENING TO ONTARIANS WITH DISABILITIES
REPORT OF THE THIRD REVIEW OF THE ACCESSIBILITY FOR ONTARIANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT, 2005

For most disabled persons, Ontario is not a place of opportunity but one of countless, dispiriting, soul-crushing barriers

Thanks to everyone who wrote in, those of us with environmental sensitivities have been recognized, and thanks to David C. Onley, we’ve been included in the report and the final recommendations:


In the SUMMARY OF RECOMMENDATIONS (on pg 80):

7. Ensure that accessibility standards respond to the needs of people with environmental sensitivities.

 

Other mentions of environmental sensitivities and details:

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CBC News Hi-lights Accessibility Barriers to Housing for People With MCS/ES

Severe sensitivity to household chemicals leaves GTA man
homeless for the holidays

Environmental sensitivities have forced Oliver Zhang to move 70 times in 3 years


I hope that someone can offer or help create a safe place for Oliver Zhang to live.

I also hope that something is done soon to ensure safe, affordable, accessible,  non-toxic, mold-free, housing is available for all  the other people who have  MCS/ES (a condition, not disorder) who need safe and accessible housing.

Since finding a safe place to rest one’s head and body is so challenging, even in the best of current circumstances, Oliver Zhang should not be forced to leave the shelter where he is currently residing if it is physically safe enough for him to be there.  He is in crisis.

Forcing people onto the streets creates preventable trauma and mental health problems in addition to the serious challenges that already exist when trying to survive with MCS/ES in a society full of systemic accessibility barriers.

I know of many people who have had to move numerous (even countless) times  in their quest to find housing that doesn’t hurt and disable them. I hear from too many who are in crisis,  seeking accessible housing. I know people who no longer have the energy to keep looking for a needle in a haystack, because each toxic haystack leaves them more and more incapacitated. I know people with MCS/ES who are sleeping in cars and tents, and I have also known more than a few people who weren’t able to find safe housing and are no longer with us.

This is a preventable crisis.

Oliver Zhang and all the other people who are homeless due to the lack of accessible housing for people with MCS/ES, have been put into this position due to systemic neglect (if not deliberate discrimination) and bad policies, not through any fault of their own.

The City of Toronto has known about the critical need for accessible housing for people with MCS/ES since at least 2007, and most likely long before.

In 2008:

“The City of Toronto has launched a consultation process on the development of the City’s ten-year affordable housing plan, known as Housing Opportunities Toronto (“HOT”); and

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Environmental Sensitivities (Chemical, Electrical, and Beyond) in Ecopsychology

Special Issue on Ecopsychology and Environmental Sensitivities:
Chemical, Electrical, and Beyond

The articles in the special edition of Ecopsychology are sometimes available for free (like right now), so  if you haven’t read them yet, this is a good opportunity to check them out!

This is a real gift from the publisher! The usual cost is about $50 per article!

Please read and share with others who aren’t familiar with what is going on!

http://online.liebertpub.com/toc/eco/9/2

The articles and authors are listed here:

Introduction Continue reading

How NOT to Do a Scent (or fragrance) Policy

This is why so many people with MCS/ES, MCAD/MCAS, asthma, migraines,  and fragrance allergies and sensitivities lose their jobs and end up  housebound.

When policies are mere wallpaper, they become dangerous.
Real people’s lives and well-being are threatened.

Please, do not put up a sign if you are not going to respect or enforce it.

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Sharing My Truth

Jacqueline originally shared her public speaking experience at a noncompetitive StorySlam with the theme ‘Misunderstood’ in a fb group, and very graciously accepted my invitation to share her story here with you.

 

Guest Post by Jacqueline Rice

Photo of me sharing my truth @ Ex Fabula (from stories), the MKE storytelling organization.   Photo from Ex Fabula

 

Here’s the excerpt from the blog entry from their website:

Invisible Stories

“Not all stories have a resolve, but instead bring a call to action. Like Teller Jacqueline, who shared her invisible disability with the crowd. Due to carbon monoxide poisoning Jacqueline was forced to alter her lifestyle in dramatic ways. Her exposure to carbon monoxide caused her to be intolerant to chemicals such as perfumes and sprays. Because of this, Jacqueline can’t be in many public spaces. Thank you, Jacqueline, for using your voice and story to advocate for many others with invisible disabilities.”

How it felt for me at the mic in front of 200+ people: Continue reading

There Is No Right to Wear Fragranced Products

“there is no right to wear fragranced products”

Accommodation for Environmental Sensitivities: Legal Perspective
2007 Canadian Human Rights Commission

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Acts of Festive Kindness

Christmas, Birthdays, and Other Holidays with MCS/ES

For most people, these special occasions are times of joy and celebration in the company of friends and loved ones, but for people with invisible disabilities and chronic illnesses like MCS/ES, they can be sad reminders of the lives that we no longer have  access to.

We are still seldom  included in the festivities and are usually left alone to fend for ourselves. Unfortunately, since human beings are social beings, not everyone is well equipped to self occupy, and  some people become seriously depressed and even suicidal because of this.

To realize it’s because some friends, family, neighbours, and co-workers prefer to keep using certain products instead of using other products so we can safely be around them and enjoy their company,  makes it even harder for us, knowing they care more about the products they buy than they care about us. It’s a heart breaking thing to have to live with.

 

  Thankfully, not everyone chooses products over people 

 

Before I became too chemically injured to socialize in crowds, I had a wonderful friend who happily made the effort to make her place and parties safe for me!

In 2005  her invites were all sent out with these words:

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