Accessibility as collaborative practice


Atlantic intersectional disability studies network

Creating Welcoming Communities Event Held at St.F.X.:

Two-day Accessibility Gathering at St.F.X. Looks to Learn from the Past and Plan for the Future:

Arts-Informed Dementia & Mental Health Nursing Home Staff Literacy Project

This 2-year interdisciplinary team-based arts-informed study of Nova Scotia (NS) nursing home staff mental health and dementia care literacy has the overall goal of operationalizing ‘good’ literacy in relation to quality care, from social and relational perspectives.

1. Synthesize

Realities and trends in mental health and dementia care education and training for front line staff within nursing homes.

2. Contextualize

Understanding of nursing home mental health and dementia care literacy in NS, by examining administrator and frontline staff perceptions and experiences from a disability studies perspective.

3. Operationalize

“Good” mental health and dementia care literacy from a social and relational perspective, using a participatory arts-informed approach that involves nursing home residents with lived experience of mental illness and dementia in the research process as knowledge producers.;

4. Mobilize

Knowledge about mental health and dementia care literacy by documenting, exhibiting and disseminating study results within long-term care, university, not-for-profit and community sectors. Knowledge generated from project activities in NS will be situated and interpreted within the broader discourse of mental health and dementia care for older adults, with a focus on older adults who live in residential facility-based settings such as nursing homes.

Seniors – Adding Life to years (SALTY)

 The Monitoring Care Practice team (stream 1) led by Dr. Carole Estabrooks and Dr. Matthias Hoben at the University of Alberta have completed data collection with residents, family and caregivers using an action project methodology and have started analysis of that data. Currently the team is conducting Delphi panels with care staff to prioritize end of life outcomes from those perspectives and are preparing for quantitative analysis of data trajectory work.

Mapping Care Relationships team (stream 2) led by Dr. Tamara Daly, Dr. Ivy Bourgeault and Dr. Katie Aubrecht completed ethnographic fieldwork visiting 2 long term care facilities with promising relational approaches to care in each of the project jurisdictions (NS, ON, AB & BC). Coding and analysis of field notes and interviews is underway with preliminary findings having been shared at various international, national and local conferences and symposia, and plans to present findings at conferences in the new year.

Evaluating Innovative Practice (stream 3) led by Dr. Kelli Stajduhar, Dr. Denise Cloutier and Dr. Leah MacDonald evaluated the implementation of a quality improvement project, the integration of a palliative approach to care in long term care in Island Health. They have presented results at the Canadian Hospice and Palliative Care and the Canadian Association on Gerontology conferences in September and October and will present results of their work as a storyboard at the BC Patient Safety and Quality Council Quality Forum in February. The team continues to work with the Palliative and End of Life Care team at Island Health to roll out the quality improvement project in long term care.

Examining Policy Context (stream 4)  led by Dr. Janice Keefe, Dr. Dee Taylor and Heather Cook completed policy analysis through the lenses of resident, family, care worker and volunteer across the four project jurisdictions (NS, ON, AB & BC). Preliminary findings have been presented at several national and international conferences. The team hosted a workshop on the rewards and pitfalls of authentic inclusion of stakeholders in the analysis of policies at the Canadian Association on Gerontology (CAG) conference in October. Key informant interviews are currently being scheduled and plans are underway for policy forums across jurisdictions to present the analysis of key policy challenges and examples of alternative approaches.

The SALTY Trainee Network
,  to date there have been 23 trainees (postdoctoral fellows, graduate and undergraduate students) across the four themes of the project supporting SALTY work. Currently there are 10 active trainees working on data analysis, and dissemination and mobilization activities. The project offers a rich, integrated training environment for emerging scholars to engage in research across disciplines, understand the complexities of long-term care and develop capacity to undertake a partnered and integrated knowledge exchange approach to produce user informed research. The trainee network meets regularly via video technology to share their work and project updates. Checkout the SALTY Trainee Network featured on CIHR’s Faces of Health Research.

The SALTY Advisory group,has helped shape the SALTY research since inception and development of the project. The group, composed of a long-term care resident, persons with dementia, family care givers, volunteer representatives and care aides, has provided feedback and input to SALTY researchers from the perspectives of those who will be most impacted by SALTY findings. The group has met regularly with researchers and other team members throughout the project and attended in-person and video conference team meetings. Their active engagement and commitment throughout the project has lent a valuable perspective to the design, methodology, and interpretation and dissemination of SALTY findings.

The SALTY KT Advisory Group provides input and advice to researchers regarding knowledge exchange, translation and dissemination activities with the aim to increase the uptake and impact of SALTY outputs. The group, composed of decision makers, clinicians and knowledge users from the long term care sector across project jurisdictions has met regularly with researchers providing input and feedback on methodology, and interpretation of insights and findings. They have been active in the planning and organization of team meetings to maximize knowledge exchange and planning for dissemination and mobilization of project findings and key messages.



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