Work is slowly progressing with manufacturers to secure modifications to insulin pumps to accommodate people who have lost their sight, but a local man says all medical equipment must pass accessibility tests. As is, we are watching for new federal laws to come into force.
Ryan Hooey, 36, of Tecumseh has dealt with diabetes since childhood and lost his sight almost overnight due to the disease due to diabetic retinopathy about 10 years ago.
Canada has one of the highest incidences of retinopathy, accounting for 25.1% of people with diabetes. It is the leading cause of blindness in working-age adults. An estimated 750,000 Canadians live in this state.
Hooey, like many diabetics, relies on an insulin pump to treat his diabetes. However, due to his vision loss, he cannot see the screen. There aren’t enough warning beeps, voice activation, or other accessibility features to allow him to use the pump safely on his own.
“I don’t know how long my pump’s battery life is,” he said. “Every three days he has to put a can of insulin in his pump, and I don’t know how much is left. A sighted person can look at a screen and say, ‘Oh, I’m 50% full.’ I can.”
The pump’s insulin ratio also needs to be adjusted frequently based on the amount of carbs he eats, but Hooey can’t see the screen, so he can do it himself “without the need for many extra steps.” cannot be used.
Employed as a program leader at the Canadian Institute for the Blind, Hooey began playing a key role several years ago in lobbying insulin pump manufacturers for accessibility changes.
Since then, progress has been made through several meetings with the production company, while other organizations across US borders, such as the Canadian Diabetes Association and the National Federation of the Blind, have also joined the effort, he said. Stated.
But Hooey learned that without Health Canada’s blueprints for insulin pumps, many of the desired accessibility changes couldn’t be made.
“So we had to start working with the government,” Huey said.
The first step is to collect a petition with 500 signatures. It’s an initiative he launched earlier this month. This would then allow members of Congress to draft and introduce legislation in the House of Commons. The goal is to require all medical devices, not just insulin pumps, to meet accessibility standards.
“We started with insulin pumps, but there are so many other things (medical devices) that may need to change in terms of accessibility for the disabled community,” Hooey said. “You have a lot of people affected by this.”
Local Councilor Irek Kusmierczyk (L — Windsor-Tecumseh) has been supportive and has already met with Hooey.
“I had the opportunity to host Ryan in Ottawa and hear his story,” he said. I was really surprised, in many cases you have to ask your family and friends to enter the data and check it.
“What should be a nuanced interaction with your pump needs to be coordinated with others. It can lead to bad results.”
Kusmieczyk then contacted Federal Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos to discuss Huey’s story and the all-party government caucus team in the midst of developing a national framework for diabetes in Canada in the next few years. shared another fellow liberal congressman who chaired the .
Beyond that, local lawmakers say they will work to ensure that all medical equipment does not pose accessibility problems.
Local Diabetes Who Lost Sight Want Better Insulin Pumps
Teenagers suffering from diabetes travel to Ottawa to reach out to MPs
“I’m just getting used to this problem,” said Kusmierczyk. “I am waiting for advice and guidance (from the Federal Ministry of Health) regarding the current situation.
“We want to make sure there are no barriers for people with disabilities across Canada. That’s what I raised with the minister, and that’s the important issue that Ryan raised, and hearing directly from people like Ryan highlights challenges that they might not otherwise experience.”
Anyone wishing to add their name to the petition or for more information can contact Hooey by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Blind local diabetic drives accessibility legislation for all medical equipment
Source link Blind local diabetic drives accessibility legislation for all medical equipment