Survey – Exploring Attitudes Towards and Impacts of Working in the Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery (OHNS) Setting During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Credit: Department of Surgery, University of Calgary & O’Brien Institute for Public Health

We are currently experiencing a global pneumonia pandemic lacking any recent precedent, caused by SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19). To date, it has infected over 167,600,000 persons worldwide. Drastic measures have been taken by governments and public health officials in an attempt to decrease the spread of this infection. These measures have included restrictions on border crossing, airline travel, work, and gathering of people for any reason. Further, medical and surgical care pathways during the pandemic have been variably. Otolaryngology-head and neck surgery (OHNS) is considered a high-risk setting for the possible transmission of SARS-CoV-2 infection and safer surgical pathways are imperative while maintaining services for those at need. The impact of both the infection and the responses taken may be affecting persons working in high-risk settings as OHNS.

As the impact of the infection and the responses to it may be significant in high-risk surgical settings as OHNS and be far-reaching, we aim to explore these measures on the health of individuals working in these settings.

We are inviting any English-speaking health care provider working in the OHNS setting to complete this survey on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on their lives. If you volunteer to participate in this study, you will be asked to complete an online, anonymous survey. The survey takes approximately 15-20 minutes to complete, depending on certain responses which may have follow-up questions. An email address can be left optionally if you are interested in being contacted for a follow-up interview and this data will be stored separate to your survey responses to ensure that there is no identifying information linked and all data will be analyzed in aggregate. 


To learn more and to complete the survey, click here


The Western Norway University of Applied Sciences is Now Accepting Applications for the Master in Healthy Ageing and Rehabilitation Program

Credit: Western Norway University of Applied Sciences

This innovative, online learning programme focuses on interprofessional issues related to healthy ageing and rehabilitation.

You will get the knowledge and skills necessary for healthy ageing and rehabilitation practice, research and policy development from a global and interprofessional perspective. Upon completion you will be a competent scholar capable of leadership and interprofessional practice in the field.

You will learn about:

  • Globally relevant theories, practices and research in the field of healthy ageing and rehabilitation
  • Critical approaches to challenges of healthy ageing and rehabilitation locally, nationally and globally with reference to socio-cultural, economic and political contexts
  • How to collaborate in interprofessional and intersectoral teams and with various stakeholders in the field of healthy ageing and rehabilitation
  • How to use innovation, technology, and leadership in rehabilitation for shaping services and policies to address capabilities and well-being in everyday life for ageing populations globally
  • How to conduct research and use of evidence in policy and service development
  • How to direct focus to health promoting and reabling measures, ranging from older adults’ functioning and their living conditions, to the environmental contexts

Click here to learn more


NIHB Update: Unit Price Change for Cochlear Implant Rechargeable Batteries and COVID-19 Changes Extended to March 31, 2022

Credit: NIHB

As published in the Fall 2021 NIHB Newsletter, effective May 5, 2021, the unit price for rechargeable batteries for cochlear implant processors (codes 99401250 [RT] and 99401251 [LT]) has been revised. Providers are required to bill according to the manufacturer price indicated in the price file for each battery type. This information can be found on the NIHB Provider and Client Website at > provider > medical supplies and equipment > forms. These batteries continue to be covered as an open benefit i.e. no PA is required.

NIHB has also announced that temporary COVID-19 changes have been extended until March 31st, 2022. This includes coverage of delivery charges where delivery of an item is not usually a benefit (prior approval required), coverage for some services provided through tele-audiology as well as laryngectomy and tracheostomy supplies.


Study: Assessing Cognitive-Communication Skills in the Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) Return to Work Population

Credit: Metro South Health

You are invited to take part in a study that aims to understand how to assess cognitive-communication skills in the return to work (RTW) population after Acquired Brain Injury (ABI). Change in the ability to communicate is a common consequence of Acquired Brain Injury (ABI). These changes can have an impact on a person’s employability. A body of evidence points to assessment and treatment processes that may better support people with cognitive-communication disability RTW. Despite this, there has been limited translation of this evidence into clinical practice. While assessing cognitive-communication earlier and developing a personalised goal driven approach is considered best practice in ABI rehabilitation, therapists do not have specific clinical tools to do this for vocational rehabilitation clients. 


This project aims to systematically understand the current knowledge base around changes in cognitive communication following ABI and the impact on vocational outcomes.  It aims to develop a clinically driven assessment resource and / or a client and employer self-assessment resource for gathering information about workplace communication needs. Once developed future areas of enquiry will look at validation and clinical use.


The research is being conducted as part of the requirements of a Clinical Fellowship, which is funded by The Hopkins Centre.  

For more information, please click here

Alternate Formats for the 2021 Census

Credit: Statistics Canada

Statistics Canada has asked SAC to highlight alternate formats and supports available for people who have difficulty completing the 2021 Census in English or French.

Read more about alternate formats and other forms of assistance here.

Statistics Canada has also confirmed that individuals may seek help to complete their questionnaire from a family member, friend or other trusted individual, which may include their speech-language pathologist or audiologist.

New, National, Non-Profit Organization: Communication Access to Justice (CAJust)

Credit: Communication Disability Access Canada

Communication Disabilities Access Canada (CDAC) has announced a new, national, non-profit organization that will be taking over CDAC’s communication access to justice program.

Communication Access to Justice (CAJust) will build on CDAC’s past work to train communication intermediaries (CIs) and to promote communication access to police, legal and justice services for victims, witnesses and accused persons who have disabilities that affect speech, language and communication. This initiative aligns with CDAC’s mission to facilitate organizations to provide communication accessibility supports for people with communication disabilities. CDAC is currently supporting CAJust with start-up funding as well as providing input and access to online trainings, database and resources.

Caitlin Buchel, an SAC member, has been selected to serve as the Executive Director of CAJust. Please direct inquiries to Caitlin at   

Click here for quotes and more information about CAJust.

COVID-19 Vaccines Webinar: Recommendations of the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) on Extended Dose Intervals and Effectiveness of COVID-19 Vaccines

Credit: The National Collaborating Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCCID) and the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC)

This moderated and live webinar includes a presentation and discussion on the Recommendations of the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) on Extended Dose Intervals and Effectiveness of  COVID-19 Vaccines, with live Q&A to inform health care and vaccine providers. This webinar is hosted by the National Collaborating Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCCID), in collaboration with the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC).


Presentation highlights:

  • To provide a brief overview of NACI guidance in the context of public health decision making
  • To describe the efficacy and effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines in the context of one or two doses
  • To discuss the impacts of extended dose intervals of COVID-19 vaccines
  • To present the NACI recommendations on extended dose intervals


English Session:

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

1:00 pm – 2:00 pm EDT

Moderator: April Killikelly, PhD, PHAC

Participants: Dr. Robyn Harrison, NACI; Dr. Jesse Papenburg, NACI; Dr. Bryna Warshawsky, PHAC; Austin Nam, PhD, PHAC; and Beate Sander, PhD, NACI

Register: Click here


French Session:

Friday, May 7, 2021

1:00pm – 2:00 pm EDT

Moderator:  Lindsay Colas, PHAC

Participants: Dr. Jesse Papenburg, NACI; Dr. Robyn Harrison, NACI; Dr. Philippe De Wals, NACI

Register : Click here


Please note, due to time limitations, not all questions can be answered.

The same presentation will be delivered in English and in French.


The webinars will be recorded and available on the NCCID website immediately following each event.

For any registration difficulties, please contact NCCID:


Government of Ontario Directive on Province-Wide Shutdown – Health Care and Social Services

Businesses Permitted to Open and Sector Specific Public Health and Workplace Safety Measures

Health Care and Social Services

Organizations and providers that deliver home care services or personal support services to seniors and persons with disabilities

Regulated health professionals

Professionals or organizations that provide in-person counselling services

Organizations that provide health care including retirement homes, hospitals, clinics, long-term care facilities, independent health facilities and

mental health and addictions counselling supports

Laboratories and specimen collection centres

Manufacturers, wholesalers, distributors and retailers of pharmaceutical products and medical supplies, including medications, medical isotopes,

vaccines and antivirals, medical devices and medical supplies

Manufacturers, distributors and businesses that provide logistical support of or for products and/or services that support the delivery of health care

in all locations

Organizations that provide critical personal support services in home or residential services for individuals with physical disabilities

Organizations that support the provision of food, shelter, safety or protection, and/or social services and other necessities of life to economically

disadvantaged and other vulnerable individuals

Businesses that are primarily engaged in the provision of health and safety training with conditions


Communication Supports in Exercising Capacity, Choice and Autonomy

I n 2010, Canada ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). Recognition that people with disabilities enjoy legal capacity on an equal basis is at the core of Article 12 of the CRPD.  Article 12 clarifies that this requires that people have access to the supports they may need to communicate and/or make decisions. Canada is now obligated to implement Article 12.

With funding from Employment Social Development Canada, CDAC has developed an online resource that describes implications of Article 12 for people who have disabilities that affect communication when revealing and exercising their capacity to communicate and/or make decisions that matter to them. The resource provides recommendations for practices, policies and procedures to guide healthcare, legal, justice, financial, and social services in identifying and providing the supports people may require to communicate and/or make decisions.

CDAC believes that communication is the foundation for implementing Article 12, regardless of whether an individual makes decisions independently, with assistance from trusted people or relies on a substitute decision-maker to make decisions on their behalf, based on their known will and preferences. 

We encourage our colleagues in the communication disability sector to play an active role in promoting how this legislation can be used to protect the rights of people to exercise choice, decisions and autonomy in their lives by:


Supporting CDAC Webinars and Resources

  1. Communication and Capacity: Context and Guiding Principles (Barbara Collier)
  2. Communication Disabilities: Barriers and Impact on Choice and Control (Barbara Collier)
  3. Legal Context for Exercising Capacity and Provision of Communication Supports (Lana Kerzner)
  4. Communication Supports: Formal, Symbolic Communicators (Barbara Collier)
  5. Communication Supports: Informal, Non-Symbolic Communicators (Jo Watson)


Moving Forward:


Barbara Collier Reg. CASLPO, F. ISAAC

Executive Director


Resources are also avilable on the CDAC website in French.


CIHR funds COVID-19 Brain Study

A research team led by Dr. Teresa Liu-Ambrose, professor in the Department of Physical Therapy at the University of British Columbia and a researcher at the Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute, has received funding from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research for a CLSA COVID-19 study to investigate the possible impact of COVID-19 on cognitive function, brain structure and brain function in adults aged 55 to 70 years who participate in the CLSA. Read more.