Free/Cheap Stuff

Post Secondary bursaries and scholarships

  

I have found many good leads for funding at this site: disabilityawards.ca

Don’t forget to follow up with the disability organization that supports your child in your province as well. For example, here in BC the Cerebral Palsy Association has bursaries for post-secondary students who have Cerebral Palsy.

Check out STEPS Forward as well, they have some great ideas: steps-forward.org

Finally, dont’ forget to take all the tax breaks you can to help fund your student’s education.

 

Tax Preparation Clinics in Your Community

  

For people with a disability the BC Coalition for People with a Disability is hosting free tax preparation clinics. Please see THE BCCPWD BLOG for more information.

The Canada Revenue Agency also lists all the  Community Volunteer Income Tax Program locations in Canada at:

http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/tx/ndvdls/vlntr/menu-eng.html

CRA – Tax Tips for Everyone

  

Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has a tax tips webpage
with new 2011 tax year hints, tips and contact information.  There is a
list of all the credits, deductions and benefits administered by the
CRA.

The CRA also has a link for all the topics of interest for people with a disability or people who support someone with a disability.

http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/tx/ndvdls/sgmnts/dsblts/menu-eng.html 

What do medication expiry dates mean?

  

This research was done in the US, but we know that most of Canada’s medical regulations follow the US model.  The article is reprinted at Medscape, a reliable US medical website but the original location of the post (redflagsdaily.com) is no longer available.

http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/460159

 

By Richard Altschuler

Does the expiration date on a bottle of a medication mean anything? If a bottle of Tylenol, for example, says something like “Do not use after June 1998,” and it is August 2002, should you take the Tylenol? Should you discard it? Can you get hurt if you take it? Will it simply have lost its potency and do you no good?

In other words, are drug manufacturers being honest with us when they put an expiration date on their medications, or is the practice of dating just another drug industry scam, to get us to buy new medications when the old ones that purportedly have “expired” are still perfectly good?

These are the pressing questions I investigated after my mother-in-law recently said to me, “It doesn’t mean anything,” when I pointed out that the Tylenol she was about to take had “expired” 4 years and a few months ago. I was a bit mocking in my pronouncement — feeling superior that I had noticed the chemical corpse in her cabinet — but she was equally adamant in her reply, and is generally very sage about medical issues.

So I gave her a glass of water with the purportedly “dead” drug, of which she took 2 capsules for a pain in the upper back. About a half hour later she reported the pain seemed to have eased up a bit. I said “You could be having a placebo effect,” not wanting to simply concede she was right about the drug, and also not actually knowing what I was talking about. I was just happy to hear that her pain had eased, even before we had our evening cocktails and hot tub dip (we were in “Leisure World,” near  Laguna Beach ,  California , where the hot tub is bigger than most  Manhattan apartments, and “Heaven,” as generally portrayed, would be raucous by comparison).

Upon my return to NYC and high-speed connection, I immediately scoured the medical databases and general literature for the answer to my question about drug expiration labeling. And voila, no sooner than I could say “Screwed again by the pharmaceutical industry,” I had my answer. Here are the simple facts:

First, the expiration date, required by law in the United States, beginning in 1979, specifies only the date the manufacturer guarantees the full potency and safety of the drug — it does not mean how long the drug is actually “good” or safe to use.
Second, medical authorities uniformly say it is safe to take drugs past their expiration date — no matter how “expired” the drugs purportedly are. Except for possibly the rarest of exceptions, you won’t get hurt and you certainly won’t get killed.
Studies show that expired drugs may lose some of their potency over time, from as little as 5% or less to 50% or more (though usually much less than the latter). Even 10 years after the “expiration date,” most drugs have a good deal of their original potency. So wisdom dictates that if your life does depend on an expired drug, and you must have 100% or so of its original strength, you should probably toss it and get a refill.  If your life does not depend on an expired drug — such as that for headache, hay fever, or menstrual cramps — take it and see what happens.

One of the largest studies ever conducted that supports the above points about “expired drug” labeling was done by the US military 15 years ago, according to a feature story in the Wall Street Journal (March 29, 2000), reported by Laurie P. Cohen. The military was sitting on a $1 billion stockpile of drugs and facing the daunting process of destroying and replacing its supply every 2 to 3 years, so it began a testing program to see if it could extend the life of its inventory. The testing, conducted by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), ultimately covered more than 100 drugs, prescription and over-the-counter. The results showed that about 90% of them were safe and effective as far as 15 years past their original expiration date.
In light of these results, a former director of the testing program, Francis Flaherty, said he concluded that expiration dates put on by manufacturers typically have no bearing on whether a drug is usable for longer. Mr. Flaherty noted that a drug maker is required to prove only that a drug is still good on whatever expiration date the company chooses to set. The expiration date doesn’t mean, or even suggest, that the drug will stop being effective after that, nor that it will become harmful. “Manufacturers put expiration dates on for marketing, rather than scientific, reasons,” said Mr. Flaherty, a pharmacist at the FDA until his retirement in 1999. “It’s not profitable for them to have products on a shelf for 10 years. They want turnover.”

The FDA cautioned there isn’t enough evidence from the program, which is weighted toward drugs used during combat, to conclude most drugs in consumers’ medicine cabinets are potent beyond the expiration date. Joel Davis, however, a former FDA expiration-date compliance chief, said that with a handful of exceptions — notably nitroglycerin, insulin, and some liquid antibiotics — most drugs are probably as durable as those the agency has tested for the military. “Most drugs degrade very slowly,” he said. “In all likelihood, you can take a product you have at home and keep it for many years. ” Consider aspirin. Bayer AG puts 2-year or 3-year dates on aspirin and says that it should be discarded after that. However, Chris Allen, a vice president at the Bayer unit that makes aspirin, said the dating is “pretty conservative” ; when Bayer has tested 4-year-old aspirin, it remained 100% effective, he said. So why doesn’t Bayer set a 4-year expiration date? Because the company often changes packaging, and it undertakes “continuous improvement programs,” Mr. Allen said. Each change triggers a need for more expiration-date testing, and testing each time for a 4-year life would be impractical. Bayer has never tested aspirin beyond 4 years, Mr. Allen said. But Jens Carstensen has. Dr. Carstensen, professor emeritus at the  University of  Wisconsin ‘s pharmacy school, who wrote what is considered the main text on drug stability, said, “I did a study of different aspirins, and after 5 years, Bayer was still excellent. Aspirin, if made correctly, is very stable.

Okay, I concede. My mother-in-law was right, once again. And I was wrong, once again, and with a wiseacre attitude to boot. Sorry mom.

Now I think I’ll take a swig of the 10-year dead package of Alka Seltzer in my medicine chest — to ease the nausea I’m feeling from calculating how many billions of dollars the pharmaceutical industry bilks out of unknowing consumers every year who discard perfectly good drugs and buy new ones because they trust the industry’s “expiration date labeling.”

Need help with shoveling snow? Find a Snow angels program

  

Need help clearing the snow?  Burnaby has a SNOW ANGELS program,  Or would you like to be a snow angel for your neighbors?  You can register at the Burnaby SNOW ANGELS site.


You can also find Snow Angel programs in other municipalities by just Googling Snow Angel and your city name.

Burnaby Village Museum Free in 2012

  

(Updated June 2012)  For 2012, the Burnaby Village Museum & Carousel is celebrating both
the carousel’s and the interurban tram’s 100th year.To celebrate, the
City of Burnaby invites all to enjoy free gate admission. Carousel rides
are only $2.30 per ride for all ages.

Visit the website for hours: http://www.burnabyvillagemuseum.ca/

 

Top Ten Farmer’s Markets

  

Ambleside Farmers’ Market
Bellevue St &13th St
West Vancouver, British Columbia, V7T 2H2
Phone:(604) 628-8226
Website:  www.artisanmarkets.ca
Sundays from May 01, 2011 – Sunday October 30, 2011
Accepted payment methods: Cash
How to Get Here: The parking lot behind the police station on Bellevue St, between 13th & 14th St in Ambleside,
West Vancouver.



Baker’s Market

7646 Prince Albert St
Vancouver, British Columbia, V5X 3Z4
Phone:(604) 899-7993
Website: www.bakersmarket.com
Saturdays frin October 01, 2011 – Saturday December 10, 2011
Accepted payment methods: Cash
How to Get Here: Take Fraser St bus south, get off at E 60th, cross the road, walk 2 blocks east to Moberly Arts


 

Burnaby Farmers’ Market
4949 Canada Way
Burnaby, British Columbia
V5G 1M2
Phone: (604) 628-8226
Website:  www.artisanmarkets.ca
Tuesday June 07, 2011 – Saturday October 29, 2011
Accepted payment methods: Cash

This season we are very excited to be moving to the Carousel Meadow at Burnaby Village Museum at 6501 Deer Lake Avenue.
The Village has free entrance this year and there is so much to see,
and enjoy, at the village once you have finished your shopping at the
market. There is Free Parking opposite Entrance 6 and it is just a
short walk to the market from that Gate.


 

Dundarave Farmers’ Market
Dundarave Village
North Vancouver, British Columbia,V6C 3A8
Phone: (604) 987-4488
Website: www.dundaravevillage.ca
Saturday April 30, 2011 – Saturday September 24, 2011
Accepted payment methods: Cash


 

East Vancouver Farmers’ Market
Trout Lake Community Centre Parking Lot
Vancouver, British Columbia
Phone: 604-879-FARM
Website:  www.bcfarmersmarket.orgV6K 1H9
Sunday May 08, 2011 – Sunday October 23, 2011
Accepted payment methods: Cash
How to Get Here: East 15th and Victoria Dr in the parking lot of the Trout Lake Community Centre.


 

Kitsilano Farmers’ Market
Kitsilano Community Centre Parking Lot
Vancouver, British Columbia
V6K 4K9
Phone:  604-879-FARM
Website:  www.eatlocal.org
Saturday May 22, 2010 – Sunday October 23, 2011
Accepted payment methods: Cash


 

Lonsdale Quay Farmers’ Market
123 Carrie Cates Crt
North Vancouver, British Columbia
V7G 1P8
Phone:  (604) 628-8226
Website:  www.lonsdalequay.com
Saturday May 07, 2011 – Saturday October 29, 2011
Accepted payment methods: Cash
How to Get Here: On the East Plaza at Lonsdale Quay & Shops, 123 Carrie Cates Crt, at the foot of Lonsdale, North Vancouver.


 

Main Street Station Farmers’ Market
Thornton Park (Main & Terminal)
Vancouver, British Columbia, V5T 3J5
Phone:604-879-FARM
Website: www.eatlocal.org
Wednesday June 01, 2011 – Wednesday October 05, 2011
Accepted payment methods: Cash
How to Get Here: Located at Main & Terminal Ave in front of Pacific Central Terminal Station.


 

Trout Lake Farmers Market
Parking Lot Of Trout Lake Community Centre
Vancouver, British Columbia,V5N 4M4
Phone:(604) 879-3276
Website:  www.eatlocal.org
Saturday May 14, 2011 – Saturday October 22, 2011
Accepted payment methods: Cash


Where to find Apps!

  

Need to find a few good sites to help you find the appropriate applications to use with your child with special needs? 

Here are a few highly recommended sites that review and comment on both the best apps and the new apps:

I Education Apps Review: A community effort to grade educational apps.  http://www.iear.org/

SpeechTechie: Simple and interactive technologies you can use in language lessons and intervention. http://www.speechtechie.com/

Speech/Language Pathology Sharing:  How to use modern technologies to facilitate learning of speech-language skills and prepare students with the skills and technologies for their futures. http://slpsharing.com/about/

Moms with Apps:   A group of individual, independent, family-friendly developers who share best practices on making and marketing mobile apps. http://momswithapps.com/

iPodsibilities:  One teacher’s thoughts on using iPods and iPads in the classroom.  http://web.me.com/meg.wilson/iPodsibilities/Home.html  

See in particular special ed apps:

http://web.me.com/meg.wilson/iPodsibilities/SpEd_Apps.html

Geek SLP:  A good source for apps and speech therapy technology. http://www.geekslp.com/

 

General Education Links and Resources:

CAYA:  Communication Assistance for Youth and Adults. Provincial
government agency that provides augmentative communication assistance in
BC.  http://www.cayabc.org/default.shtml  Also check out the SetBC resource list: http://www.setbc.org/lcindexer/

FreeTech4Teachers:  Free Resources and Lesson Plans for
Teaching with Technology.  This is a generic education site with great
FREE ideas and downloads to help you use technology better.  http://www.freetech4teachers.com/

Save even MORE money with your child’s RESP

  

Canada Education Savings Programs (CESP)

If you are saving for a child’s education, the Government of Canada will help you with special saving incentives that are only available if you have an RESP.   See more at:

http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/tx/ndvdls/tpcs/resp-reee/cesp-pcee/menu-eng.html

Get help filing your return

  

Get help filing your tax return:

If you qualify for the Community Volunteer Income Tax Program and have a simple tax situation, a trained volunteer will help you complete your income tax and benefit return.

To maintain an individual’s eligibility for the RDSP they must file a tax return.

To receive your GST rebate, you must file a tax return.

For more information, go to:

www.cra.gc.ca/volunteer

For clinics in BC Click on the LINK to Volunteer Tax Preparation Clinics.