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Former Lt.-Gov. David Onley to speak at McMaster on what it means to age with a disability


Published: May 10, 2018   

Ontario’s former Lt.-Gov. David Onley will be visiting McMaster University next week to tackle the topic of what it means to age with a disability – both for older adults and their caregivers.

This special speaker session, co-hosted by Hamilton’s Thrive Group and the McMaster Institute for Research on Aging (MIRA), will be held on May 16, 2018 at 1 p.m. at the McMaster Innovation Park (175 Longwood Road South).

The Honourable David Onley, who had polio as a child and is paralyzed from the waist down, is one of Canada’s first newscasters with a visible disability, a respected author and an active advocate for people with disabilities. The focus of his talk will be on ways to enable optimal aging not just for those with disabilities, but also for their caregivers, in order to build a more inclusive society for everyone.

“Decreased mobility and aging do not necessarily go hand in hand, but certain limitations do affect many seniors, whether it be visual, auditory or physicality. For those already with pre-existing conditions, this presents special challenges,” said Onley. ​​

Ada Tang, physical therapist and Assistant Professor in the School of Rehabilitation Science at McMaster University, will be the discussant for this talk.

This topic comes at an important time, as more than 46 per cent of older adults worldwide have some form of disability; a number that will only grow as the population ages. Those who are aging with a disability face societal, environmental and institutional barriers that may prevent active participation in all areas of life.

“We are thrilled to partner with the Thrive Group in order to welcome Mr. Onley to McMaster to share his personal and professional experiences, as well as his ideas about how we can best support people who are aging with disabilities,” said Laura Harrington, Managing Director of MIRA.

“It is our hope that this free event will help caregivers – both family members and health care providers – understand the aging process a little better because it is coming from someone with lived experience,” said April Morganti, Director, Quality and Corporate Communications, of Thrive Group.

The event is free and open to the public. Registration is not required.

More information about this event can be found here.


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