Category Archives: Human Rights

Canadian Petition for People with Chemical and Environmental Sensitivities

 

Dear everyone, if you are Canadian, please sign this petition, and no matter where you are, please share this with all the Canadians you know!

e-2729  Petition to the Government of Canada

Whereas:

We, the undersigned, citizens of Canada, call upon the Government of Canada to:

1. Create an international classification of disease designation code in Canada for environmental sensitivities so that those affected may have access to medical care;

2. Include environmental sensitivities as a disability that must be accommodated on all relevant documents and forms in governmental departments and organizations that minister social assistance, housing, medical, and other public services; and

3. Ensure all indoor public spaces are declared scent and fragrance-free.

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Proclamation, Video, and Other News for May 12th Awareness Day

Toronto’s Mayor John Tory has lent (not given) his support with a Proclamation for  for Awareness Day:

“Proud to proclaim today as Myalgia Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia and Multiple Chemical Sensitivities Awareness Day. It is important that we lend our support and understanding to those living with chronic illness, especially as we deal with #COVID19.

 

(I’m sorry there’s no written transcript for the image)
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The Power of This Pause

Guest post by Judy Freed

The Power of This Pause

For just a moment, there is a pause.

A pause from the years of well-intended, ill-informed inquiries:

“So, what have you been up to lately?  What do you do for fun? See any good movies?  Go anywhere exciting? Get together with any friends?”

For this moment, nobody is asking me these questions.  Instead, there is an awareness that “normal” day to day life has been interrupted.  The questions now are almost always something like: “How are you doing?”  “How are you holding up?” “Are you ok?”

Finally – questions that make sense to me; questions I can answer without Continue reading

Homeless Canaries Need Access to Fragrance-Free Showers

 

I saw an announcement on fb from a city agency that was opening up an arena to allow homeless people a place to shower, and they were also providing soap, shampoo, and other necessities.

“People who are homeless or precariously housed in (the city) relied upon bathrooms and showers in public facilities. But, they have closed their doors during the pandemic. There are now free showers and washrooms open daily at (the)  Arena.”

Homelessness is something far too many human canaries are intimately  familiar with, since there are so few accessible, medically safe housing options available when our ‘sensitivities’ become disabling.  Many  human canaries are  precariously housed too.


Graphic image text description:

Everyone welcome.
Toothbrushes, shampoo, soap, and more provided.
Free showers & washrooms
———————————————————————-
ACCESSIBILITY QUESTION:
Is the soap and shampoo fragrance-free so that people with environmental ‘sensitivities’ could also access the space?
MAY is MCS/ES Awareness Month

I was (due to MCS/ES related accessibility barriers) homeless myself for a year, and the need to shower did not go away. I know several homeless canaries now, one who just a few days ago was discussing her attempts to create a shower outside the van she is living in, so I asked the fb page a question about accessibility for homeless canaries.

Here’s what happened:

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MCS Awareness Month fb Page

May is MCS Awareness Month, and there’s a new fb page just for this!

If you are on fb, please go “like” the new page, and then click on ‘following’ to choose “see first” so that you can see all the curated material that will get shared over the course of the month, making it easy for you to ‘like’ and share the posts with your fb (and other social media) circles.

As many have noted,  much of the world has had to adopt a ‘lifestyle’ much like we human canaries and other people with disabilities have been living for years, albeit without so many of the additional challenges that disabilities and chronic illnesses bring to surviving daily life.

It would be nice to think that this small taste of what we have been living for a long time will bring about more compassion, empathy, and changes of heart that will inspire people to remove accessibility barriers and welcome us in the world when everyone else is released from isolation.

To that end, we need people to know we exist, as more often than not, there is little to no understanding, or it is trivialized. Sharing info on social media is known to create change, so let’s all be a part of making a better, healthier, and accessible world for everyone.

p.s.

Please leave a comment here if you know of any other groups or people who have organized events or material for MCS (and related) Awareness Month 2020, so that we can all support each other.

New Photography Exhibit in May with a Special Video on May 12th

“Air on the Side of Caution”

From Arts AccessAbility Network Manitoba:

On May 1st, 2020 Marie LeBlanc’s Exhibition, “Air on the Side of Caution” will be available to view in full on AANM’s website (aanm.ca) and we will be posting one image from the show everyday on this event page.

 

Guest Post from Marie LeBlanc:

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Dear Quarantined and Socially Distanced

I’m sorry you have to experience this, but am glad that it is just a temporary experience for you and your family. I personally know how difficult it is (times  1000 or more).

Hopefully if you actually do become ill, it will pass quickly and there will be no lasting effects.

It is more than likely that most of you will have all the medical assistance, food, toilet paper, and everything else that you will need to have available to deal with basic creature comforts and needs, so it will be just the habitual and a few social comforts that are temporarily disrupted for you.

Did you know that more than a few people are not as fortunate, and experience this kind of segregation full time, with no vacations, with few, if any of the relatively easily accessible (to most) basic amenities? And they aren’t criminals!

Say what?

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Accessibility Recommendations from ARCH and CELA

Accepting the leadership offered by the Task Force on Environmental Health to address the health care system, proactive change can begin immediately at all levels of society including federal, provincial, and municipal governments and public departments and agencies.

These would include, but are not limited to, public transportation providers, school boards, and the private sector.”


screenshots
of  the report recommendations
with source added

 

The Legal Rights and Challenges Faced by Persons with Chronic Disability Triggered by Environmental Factors

From ARCH Disability Law Centre and the Canadian Environmental Law Association (CELA),  September 2019

“3. Conclusion While there has been significant research and study into barriers to include persons with EH disabilities, critical obstacles remain.

Seeking help in the health system, trying to find and/or retain adequate housing or employment, entering public spaces, shopping, or using public transportation, limit the inclusion of persons with EH disabilities in our communities.

Much more needs to be done to acknowledge the significant hurdles faced by persons with EH disabilities.

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Attitudinal barriers, fragranced products, and invisible disabilities

Having been housebound for far too many years due to having to avoid exposure  to common, everyday products and materials that disable me, has given me time to observe the world (and sometimes even make a little sense of it).

Still, there are some things that make no sense. With over 404,207 Ontario citizens diagnosed with MCS, and 740,370 with one or more diagnoses of MCS, FM, and/or CFS (ME) (in 2016), why hasn’t the Ontario government done anything about the Task Force recommendation to raise

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You Don’t Look … Invisibly Ableist?

 

Having an invisible disability isn’t easy.

How many of us have experienced this?

“You don’t look like you’re sick or disabled”

Says here that every human has a heart
even when we can’t see any evidence of that

Does anyone ever say:

You don’t look hungry“?

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