"There is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things."

~ Niccolo Machiavelli, historian and writer

Friday, January 27, 2012

So Much To Post ...

... so little time!

I do have many, many things I want to share with you, dear readers.

From a question to see how interested some might be in a new little project I have up my sleeve to a post chock-full of highly "educatable" links, to information on a NBACL financial website, to more on the issue of obesity as a disability to ... well, you get the point.

Actually, that's part of the reason why I've mused about the possibility of using Twitter in the past - just to have the ability to post quick little notes on things that come across my desk, without having  to take the time to do a full blawg post.

At some later point,  a few of those things may get a more in-depth look in the form of a blawg post. But at least there would be less likelihood of things getting lost altogether. Because, yes, I must sadly admit, that  by the time I have a chance to get back and look at some items with an eye to a blawg post, I realize they're really too dated to bother with.

So, having said that, now seems a good enough time as any to ask yet again ... would anyone be interested in following me on Twitter for that purpose?

I can pretty much guarantee you that you would find a much more consistent (to say nothing of greater) flow of interesting things coming your way. Because the vast majority of the time, it's time and not material that I lack; blawg posts taking a fair bit more time to compose than they do to read. So tell me what you think.

And now, in penance for having not yet gotten to any of those things I still intend to share with you, I point you to the Places To Be List in the sidebar, which I did manage to update this evening with some new current happening events.

And with that, I will bid you a fond adieu. Until we meet again.
Which, you know, shouldn't be too long from now...

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Good News

Shannon Appointed New CEO Human Rights Commission January 12, 2012 1:25 PM
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A Dartmouth native and the first quadriplegic to reach the North Pole is the new director and CEO of the Human Rights Commission.

David Shannon, Dalhousie University graduate, lawyer, author and human rights advocate, will take over the role effective immediately. Mr. Shannon has received the Order of Canada and Order of Ontario in recognition of his contribution to human rights.

"I'm very pleased that someone of Mr. Shannon's impressive background, experience and dedication will be leading Nova Scotia's Human Rights Commission," said Ross Landry, Minister responsible for the Human Rights Commission. "He will be a strong asset for the commission, and a strong advocate for human rights in this province."

Mr. Shannon is the author of Six Degrees of Dignity: Disability in an Age of Freedom. He was a member of the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal, special advisor to the Canadian Paraplegic Association of Ontario, and has a private law practice. Before Mr. Shannon's historic North Pole excursion in 2009, he made a 9,000-kilometre, 197-day trek in 1997, to promote social inclusion for all Canadians.

"Nova Scotia has a deep and rich history of diversity," said Mr. Shannon. "I look forward to joining the many people across this province who, on a daily basis, contribute to creating a discrimination-free community."

Other recent appointments to the Human Rights Commission include Eunice Harker (Sydney), chair, and Donald Fraser (Kentville), Duncan Gould (Sydney), Colleen Prentice (Chezzetcook) and Joseph Tharamangalam (Halifax) as commissioners. The Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission is an independent government commission that administers the province's Human Rights Act.
I went to Law School with Dave Shannon. Yeah, we must be getting old ...

I didn't know Dave real well but certainly knew him to see him and have been following his adventures with interest over the years. Actually there were several times that I came across things concerning Dave that I meant to post about but, unfortunately, it never happened. Alas, 'tis the story of my life ...

At any rate, I do hold out some hope that things might take a turn for the better at the Human Rights Commission with Dave at the helm. Hope does spring eternal, doesn't it?

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Bully For Him

The main reason why I don't list a blog roll on this site is because I have yet too find very many (read any) good Canadian blogs dealing with special needs and the law. Let alone any such Nova Scotia blogs (good or otherwise).  And that matters, of course, because laws can very drastically between provinces, let alone countries.

But I came across a blog post today I would really like to share.

Gregory R. Branch is an attorney in California who specializes in education law, be it special education, school suspension, bullying ... you get the picture. And while his legal services won't be of much any good to you here in Nova Scotia, some of his expertise might just be useful.

In particular, this blog post I came across today entitled "What To Do If Your Special Needs Child Is Being Bullied". Although much of the content appears to be the usual suggestions offered parents in such situations, I particularly like like his comments about involving the child's Program Planning Team ("Schedule An Emergency IEP").

So check out the post and the rest of the blog.

Just be careful to remember that we most definitely don't have access to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act ("IDEA") in Nova Scotia, with all the built-in due process and student and parent safeguards. Still, no doubt there's some good useful information buried there.

As an aside, I hope to get up some more education-related information in the next few days, particularly a list of links to some interesting Dept of Education documents.

Monday, January 2, 2012

UN Gives Nod To World Down Syndrome Day

UPDATE: Down Syndrome International is delighted to announce that a resolution to designate 21 March as “World Down Syndrome Day”, to be observed every year beginning in 2012, was adopted by consensus during the plenary meeting of the Third Committee of the United Nations General Assembly on Thursday 10 November 2011.
The United Nations is on track to officially recognize an annual World Down Syndrome Day starting in 2012.
A resolution to establish the awareness day on March 21 of each year cleared a U.N. committee by consensus last week. Officials say it will be adopted by the international body’s General Assembly in December.
The United States is one of 78 countries supporting the effort, which is spearheaded by Brazil.
Supporters said the date — March 21, or 3/21 — is significant because Down syndrome occurs when a person has three copies of the 21st chromosome.
Advocates from around the world have honored Down syndrome awareness on March 21 for the last six years. Earlier this fall, more than 12,000 people signed a petition to request U.N. recognition in an effort to bring extra meaning to the day. Per the resolution, member nations and private groups would be asked to promote Down syndrome awareness on the special day.
A similar U.N.-sanctioned day already exists to honor autism. In 2007, the international body named April 2 World Autism Awareness Day. Correction: This article has been modified to reflect that 78 countries sponsored the U.N. resolution to establish World Down Syndrome Day.
Visit www.worlddownsyndromeday.org for more information
By Shaun Heasley