World Cancer Day takes place every year on the 4th February to unite the world’s population in the fight against cancer.
In addition to our annual Breast Cancer Awareness campaign we continue to advocate for affordable and fully equitable health care for women and girls with disabilities, including sexual and reproductive health services.
Women with disabilities are three times more likely to be denied health care and four times more likely to be treated poorly in the health care system
DAWN Canada’s community development initiative OUR HEALTH MATTERS, affirms that in addition to the physical and attitudinal barriers that women with disabilities experience in trying to access health services, they ALSO experience physical and verbal abuse, bullying and neglect !
For example, there are issues with the mammography procedure that are specific to women with disabilities – such as pain associated with a disability or chronic illness which may make the process beyond “uncomfortable”. Given the intimacy of the procedure coupled with not knowing what to expect – these procedures can trigger aggressive or other behaviour for some women with mental health disabilities, intellectual, brain injury or other cognitive disabilities.
In order for health care services to be accessible to women with disabilities and Deaf women, there must be a commitment to addressing systemic change, adapting the physical environment(s), buildings and equipment and most importantly creating a welcoming environment with policies and procedures that are patient friendly
Ensuring a better health service for women with disabilities is a collective responsibility. So, let’s create a welcoming environment for women with disabilities.