SAC in Action
Is this email not displaying correctly?
View it in your browser
SAC in Action: Advocacy news from SAC
IN THIS ISSUE
 
Advocating for a National Seniors Strategy at Meetings With MPs
This year's Speech and Hearing Month advocacy campaign focused on one of the key issues from our 2015 Vote Communication Health Campaign: the need for a national seniors strategy. We met with four MPs who are also members of the Standing Committee on Health (HESA) and spoke with them in detail about the importance of having a national seniors strategy — one that includes timely, publicly-funded communication health services for seniors with communication, hearing, balance and swallowing disorders.
 
SAC Meeting with Colin Carrie
Joanne Charlebois, SAC CEO; the Hon. Colin Carrie, Conservative Critic for Health, HESA Member and MP for Oshawa; Carla Di Gironimo, SAC Director of Speech-Language Pathology and Standards; Chantal Kealey, Director of Audiology and Communication Health Assistants
SAC Meeting With Bill Casey
Carla Di Gironimo, SAC Director of Speech-Language Pathology and Standards; the Hon. Bill Casey, HESA Chair and Liberal MP for Cumberland—Colchester; Joanne Charlebois, SAC CEO; Chantal Kealey, Director of Audiology and Communication Health Assistants
The Hon. Colin Carrie

During our meeting with the Hon. Colin Carrie, Conservative Critic for Health, HESA Member and MP for Oshawa, we discussed the high incidence of communication disorders among the elderly. We emphasized key statistics, such as: almost 95% of dementia patients also have communication and/or swallowing difficulties and almost half of Canadians aged 60-79 have a hearing loss. We also spoke with Dr. Carrie about the need for the federal government to take a leadership role in establishing a national seniors strategy.


The Hon. Bill Casey

The Hon. Bill Casey, HESA Chair and Liberal MP for Cumberland—Colchester, was particularly interested in learning about communication health services for seniors as he himself wears hearing aids. We discussed the fact that individuals with hearing loss are 2-5 times more likely to develop dementia. Given both his personal experience and the high prevalence of communication disorders among the elderly, Mr. Casey recognized the importance of a national seniors strategy that includes speech-language pathology and audiology services.
 
SAC meeting with Don Davies
Joanne Charlebois, SAC CEO;  the Hon. Don Davies, HESA Vice-Chair, NDP Critic for Health and MP for Vancouver—Kingsway; Carla Di Gironimo, SAC Director of Speech-Language Pathology and Standards; Chantal Kealey, Director of Audiology and Communication Health Assistants
SAC Meeting with John Oliver
Chantal Kealey, Director of Audiology and Communication Health Assistants; Carla Di Gironimo, SAC Director of Speech-Language Pathology and Standards; the Hon. John Oliver, Liberal MP for Oakville and HESA member; Joanne Charlebois, SAC CEO
The Hon. Don Davies

The Hon. Don Davies, HESA Vice-Chair, NDP Critic for Health and MP for Vancouver—Kingsway, also has a personal connection to Speech and Hearing Month as his wife is a speech-language pathologist. Mr. Davies was interested in a national seniors strategy and believes that more coverage for speech-language pathology and audiology services should be included in provincial and territorial health-care plans.

The Hon. John Oliver

The Hon. John Oliver, Liberal MP for Oakville and HESA member, has first-hand experience in the health-care sector as he previously served as President and CEO of Halton Healthcare Services. In his meeting with SAC, Mr. Oliver also voiced his support for a national seniors strategy.

Our successful advocacy outreach during Speech and Hearing Month helped build awareness about communication health and aging and fostered new relationships with key decision-makers.
 Register Now! 33rd World Congress of Audiology: September 18-21, 2016
Discussing the Federal Budget With the Minister of Finance
SAC CEO Meeting with Bill Morneau
SAC CEO Joanne Charlebois and Minister of Finance the Hon. Bill Morneau, Liberal MP
for Toronto Centre

 
Following the release of the federal budget in March, SAC CEO Joanne Charlebois attended a Conference Board of Canada breakfast meeting, which featured the Minister of Finance, the Hon. Bill Morneau, Liberal MP for Toronto Centre, as a guest speaker. After his presentation, Mr. Morneau took part in a question and answer session with attendees. Following the Q&A, Ms. Charlebois was introduced to Mr. Morneau and they spoke briefly about the budget.

SAC is pleased to see that the new budget includes a commitment to renew the provincial/territorial/federal health accord and also invest $270 million in First Nations health infrastructure. We will continue to advocate for communication health services to be included in federal investments in
health care.
The Health Action Lobby Parliamentary Breakfast
HEAL breakfast meeting
Bruce Anderson, pollster, public affairs consultant and columnist for the Globe and Mail; the Hon. Julie Dabrusin, Liberal MP for Toronto-Danforth and member of the Special Joint Committee on Physician-Assisted Dying; Chantal Kealey, SAC Director of Audiology and Communication Health Assistants; the Hon. James Cowan, Senator

Dr. Chantal Kealey, SAC Director of Audiology and Communication Health Assistants, attended the Health Action Lobby (HEAL) Parliamentary Breakfast on April 18. SAC is one of 40 member organizations that compose HEAL. At the breakfast, HEAL members met with the Hon. Julie Dabrusin, Liberal MP for Toronto-Danforth and member of the Special Joint Committee on Physician-Assisted Dying, the Hon. James Cowan, Senator, and Bruce Anderson, pollster, public affairs consultant and columnist for the Globe and Mail. The group discussed how HEAL members can work with the new government on health-care issues.
New Position Statements as Advocacy Tools
SAC has released two new position statements, both of which are designed to influence decision-makers and become advocacy tools for our members and associates.

In light of public discussions about the right to die and the importance of quality end-of-life care, SAC developed a position statement, entitled the Role of Speech-Language Pathologists, Audiologists and Communication Health Assistants in End-of-Life Care. We sent our new position statement to the members of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Health as well as the Office of the Minister of Health to contribute to this discussion and ensure that influential politicians were informed about the importance of communication health services in end-of-life care.

As the direct-to-consumer sale of hearing aids becomes more and more popular around the world, our members and associates have been asking SAC to publicly address the risks of purchasing hearing aids without seeing an audiologist. To that end, we worked with the Canadian Academy of Audiology to develop a new position statement. SAC shared this position statement with all provincial and territorial audiology and speech-language pathology associations and regulatory bodies, all Canadian audiology university programs, Health Canada, the Canadian Hard of Hearing Association and the Federal Healthcare Partnership. We encourage our members and associates to use this position statement to help educate the public about the risks associated with the direct-to-consumer sale of hearing aids.

Please share our new position statements with your colleagues, friends, patients and clients, send them to decision-makers, post them on your clinic's website and help raise awareness about these important issues.
Distinguished Guests at the SAC Conference
Speaker of the House of Commons Geoff Regan at the SAC Banquet
The Hon. Geoff Regan, Speaker of the House of Commons and MP for Halifax West, gives a speech at the SAC Banquet
Senator Terry Mercer at the SAC AMM
The Hon. Terry Mercer, Senator, speaks at the AMM
We were honoured to be joined by three esteemed politicians at our conference in Halifax on April 27-30. The Hon. Geoff Regan, MP for Halifax West, and his wife, the Hon. Kelly Regan, joined SAC conference delegates at our banquet. Mr. Regan told the remarkable story of his work with a speech-language pathologist — SAC member and fluency expert Joy Armson, S-LP(C) — to overcome a speech disorder as a child and young adult. Mr. Regan holds the prestigious position of Speaker of the House of Commons, an accomplishment made all the more impressive given his previous speech difficulties. You can read the full text of Mr. Regan's speech on our website.

The Hon. Terry Mercer, Senator, attended our Annual Meeting of Members, where he spoke about his own experience with hearing loss. Senator Mercer gave similar remarks a couple of weeks later when he gave a statement in the Senate on May 11 to recognize and promote Speech and Hearing Month. You can read Senator Mercer's Senate Statement here.
Canadian Geriatric Society Journal Article
To raise awareness among geriatricians and other medical professionals who work with seniors about the role communication health professionals play in assessing and treating communication disorders, SAC wrote an article for the Canadian Geriatric Society's peer-reviewed journal. The article discusses the impact, signs and symptoms of communication disorders, with a particular focus on the connection between hearing loss and dementia as well as a focus on dysphagia. It emphasizes the importance of referring patients who show signs of communications disorders to speech-language pathologists or audiologists. Read the article online.
Proposed Bill to Enhance Access to the Disability Tax Credit for People Who Are Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing
This past April, the Hon. Peter Julian, NDP MP for New Westminster-Burnaby, tabled a bill, Bill C-263, that he says would enhance access to the Disability Tax Credit for people who are deaf and hard-of-hearing. The bill would change Disability Tax Credit regulations to make the legislation more realistic in terms of everyday settings and situations. SAC has supported Mr. Julian in promoting this bill. Read more on Mr. Julian’s website.
Copyright © 2016 SAC | OAC, All rights reserved.


unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences