OBI-GEEK – Educational Pathway to Employment Christian Horizons (Toronto)

In 2019, the Educational Pathway to Employment Program, a partnership between Christian Horizons and Humber College, was awarded one of the Ontario Brain Institute’s (OBI) Growing Expertise in Evaluation and Knowledge Transition (GEEK) initiative grants.

The Educational Pathway to Employment program is a post-secondary nine-month culinary certificate program for people with disabilities. The hands-on specific training offered through the program allows those with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities to successfully access an education that can lead to employment, support improved health and well-being and not feel excluded from society.

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Social Distancing Yes, Social Isolation No

 

Caring for Those Living with Dementia, Stroke and Neurodegenerative Diseases

By now you have heard a lot about the COVID-19 virus and its impact in Canada and around the world, including some mandatory self-isolation in parts of Europe and elsewhere.  While trying to maintain a safe distance from others during this time is a good idea, we cannot forget about those who are the most vulnerable, including people living with dementia, stroke or neurodegenerative diseases. Continue reading “Social Distancing Yes, Social Isolation No”

Team Science: the key to unlocking scientific advancement

You know the phrase, “two heads are better than one”? Sometimes, many heads are needed to solve a problem; this is especially true for the problems we face in brain health. For this reason, OBI believes in a collaborative model to solve complex problems by forming sustainable partnerships in research, commercialisation and care. In this case, many brains that think differently are better than one. Continue reading “Team Science: the key to unlocking scientific advancement”

Adapting To New Normals Through Neurotechnology

 

We take brain health for granted. We tend not to think about it until something changes and a once simple task becomes difficult. Remember when you incurred a sports injury and were on bed rest for a few weeks; the time when you were feeling low and struggled to reach out to one of your friends or family members; or imagine you tapping your feet to your favourite song and not being able to stop after. While most of us may recover and return to our former ability, 1 in 3 people affected by a brain disorder live with these challenges.

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After the top 10: bringing the community priorities to life

It’s been over a year since the final workshop of our neurodevelopmental disorder Priority Setting Partnership (PSP). This seminal moment marks the day when patients, family members, and front-line care providers came together and reached consensus on a top 10 list of research priorities for the research community. While all PSP initiatives culminate in a final workshop, we’ve been working hard to spread the word about the top 10 and address the community’s priorities. We have reached tens of thousands of people through media coverage, presentations, and social media promotion which has been greatly amplified by our partners. Continue reading “After the top 10: bringing the community priorities to life”

A Holistic Way to Think About Our Health and Reframe Disability

No one likes to be defined by an illness, disorder or disability – even when we are a patient. Our ‘health’ is not only based on our biology, but also by our relationships with friends and family and our ability to do the things we enjoy. Researchers Drs. Peter Rosenbaum and Jan-Willem Gorter from our cerebral palsy research program (CP-NET) wrote a concept paper[1] explaining how holistic thinking towards health can create a better framework to approach childhood disability. This framework helps to identify the ability and potential in persons with disabilities like cerebral palsy so people can work with them the same way we should with anyone else.

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Connecting Research Back to the Community

Ontario Brain Institute (OBI) believes connecting its research programs with patients and their advocates is critical to having relevant and high impact programs.

OBI has worked with each of its Integrated Discovery Programs (ID) to form five separate Patient Advisory Committees (PACs) that consist of advisors from various neurological health charities (e.g., Alzheimer Society of Ontario or Autism Ontario), researchers, caregivers, and patients. The purpose of these committees is to bring the patient voice to our ID Programs, promote knowledge exchange between patients, advocates, caregivers and researchers, discuss key issues for patients, and connect the research back to their communities faster. Continue reading “Connecting Research Back to the Community”