Commentary

UAlberta disability ethics expert says ‘ableism’ contributes to the isolation of children with disabilities and a misunderstanding of a natural part of human experience.

28
August
2017

You pick your child up at school and see her hanging out with a child with autism. Your reaction is: A) pride, B) confusion, C) concern, or D) pity. If you said yes to any of the above you could have ableism.

In schools, disability prejudice impacts opportunities for connection and learning for all children. Another word for it is “ableism”—a form of discrimination that favours able-bodied people. It has long permeated our culture through stereotypes—from hunchback movie villains to the idea of the “supercrip” that defies all odds.

Ableism contributes to the isolation of children with disabilities. It encourages students without disabilities to see relationships with their disabled peers as helper-helpee relationships, rather than reciprocal friendships. Worst of all, ableism teaches children early on that some lives are more wor...

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25
September
2017

COMMENTARY || 7 ways to soothe your child’s pain in the hospital

UAlberta ER physician reveals straightforward tips that parents can use to help with the tears.

Imagine this: You are having a lovely day at the park, when your sweet boy, only seven years old, falls from the monkey bars and screams loudly. His wrist is swelling quickly and looks deformed. You
18
September
2017

COMMENTARY || Fierce debate roars to life over grizzly bear hunt

Management of grizzlies requires those on either side of the issue to find some common ground.

There’s no shortage of controversy surrounding the British Columbia government’s decision to stop the grizzly bear trophy hunt. The province announced in late August that it’s
14
September
2017

COMMENTARY: Legal weed: How to talk to your teenagers and kids about it

Cannabis is the most widely available and most used illegal substance in the world, and Canadian youth are among the top users. Parents and their kids need to prepare for the day it becomes legal in Canada in 2018.

Weed, pot, grass, marijuana—or cannabis to use the proper terminology—will be legal in Canada from July 1, 2018. Anyone over the age of 18 will be able to walk into a store and buy up to
08
September
2017

COMMENTARY || Our dangerous national trail is nothing to celebrate

What we have is a dangerous motorway, not a national trail. Parliament should adopt a Trans Canada Trail Act that establishes minimum standards for safety and quality.

Last weekend, the Trans Canada Trail organization triumphantly threw “a huge party” to celebrate a “momentous collective achievement” and the realization of a “major Cana
07
September
2017

COMMENTARY || We must make our schools inclusive spaces

Here are 10 proven strategies to help make it happen.

This past summer saw record attendance at pride festivals across Canada, yet this was juxtaposed with more visible and vocal attacks against the LGBTQ community with rainbow crosswalks vandalized and
31
August
2017

COMMENTARY || Oklahoma isn’t working. Can anyone fix this failing American state?

Poverty, police abuse, record prison rates and education cuts that mean a four-day school week, Oklahoma is a cautionary tale of the downside of having low taxes and a lot of oil.

A teacher panhandles on a roadside to buy supplies for her third-grade classroom. Entire school districts resort to four-day school weeks. Nearly one in four children struggle with hunger. A city
28
August
2017

COMMENTARY || Our role is to support students when they are ready to be students

We do them no favours if we help them stay in university when they are not functioning as students because of a mental health crisis.

Demand for mental health support is rapidly growing on Canadian campuses. In response, we have poured more and more resources into clinical support services. Despite the additional investment, both
21
August
2017

COMMENTARY || How modern technology is inspired by the natural world

In using nature’s own time-tested strategies to create sustainable solutions to human challenges, we can't lose sight of the natural world's interconnectedness.

What do a kingfisher, cocklebur pods and a Namibian beetle have in common? Besides being living organisms, they have all served as inspiration for creative human technologies to solve challenging
18
August
2017

COMMENTARY || Cold War kids: This time it’s youth, not ideology, igniting unrest

A closer look at Latin American tension reveals a generational divide as opposed to a political one.

Just when you thought the Cold War could be consigned to museums and thrillers like The Hunt for Red October, along came Donald Trump’s threats of “fire and fury” in North
18
August
2017

COMMENTARY || Look beyond Trump to explain the rise of right wing extremism

In the wake of 9/11, a new generation of extremists have found an online community and an echo chamber that incites calls for action, violence.

Our response to the events in Charlottesville should be unequivocal. The vehicular attack sought to project a political message and sow fear beyond the immediate target of the violence. In other
15
August
2017

COMMENTARY || How Canada can save the whales

UAlberta law professor argues sustained political will is crucial for the protection of whales.

Our complex relationship with cetaceans (whales, dolphins and porpoises) is centuries old. The first documented whale population overexploitation occurred in the early 16th century in the Bay of