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A New Research Project In Partnership With Women With Disabilities: "Women with Disabilities, Their Health Care Experiences and Issues"

Dr. Karen Yoshida, (Univ. Of Toronto, Department of Physical Therapy) is conducting research in partnership with the Centre for Research in Women's Health and the DisAbled Women's Network Ontario and DAWN Canada. The other co-investigators from the U of T are: Dr. Angela Colantonio, Dr. David Locker and Dr. Heather McLean. Pat Israel is the DAWN Ontario representative on the project. This is a three-year project which has received federal funding from the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

The major goals of the project are to identify the health experiences and issues important to women with physical disabilities. In doing so, we believe this information will form the basis for better health service policies and practices for women with disabilities.

Six discussion groups (49 women in total) have been held in Ontario and reflect a diverse range of women's experiences, including issues for the deaf and hard of hearing women and ethno-racial women with disabilities. The discussion groups provided an opportunity to hear about women's experiences with the health care system, the barriers they have faced in getting their health care needs met, i.e. different access issues and other health related concerns. Some of the issues identified by the women dealt with interactions with health care professionals, lack of accessibility to a wide range of health services, increased need for information on treatment options, health and well-being and reproductive health. Issues raised by women during the discussion groups will be followed up in further detail during the progression of the project.

If you have any question about the research, please phone either Karen Yoshida at 416-978-6589 or Fran Odette at 416-946-3307.

[From the DAWN Ontario 1998 newsletter at Submitted to OHPE by Alison Stirling]