Government of Canada Supports Research to Create a Brighter Future for Children with Disabilities

    TORONTO, April 24 /CNW Telbec/ - The Government of Canada is supporting
research initiatives that will help children with disabilities and their
families, the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health, announced today.
    "This research will further enable children with disabilities to lead
full, meaningful lives, "said Minister Aglukkaq. "Our government is committed
to helping improve the lives of children with disabilities and their families
and to create a brighter future for these Canadians."
    The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Government of
Canada's agency for health research, and the Bloorview Children's Hospital
Foundation have committed $3.9 million over three years, provided through
Bright Futures for Kids with Disabilities, to support five outstanding teams
of researchers who will carry out the following innovative research projects:

    - Dr. Gillian King of the Bloorview Research Institute and her team will
      help create optimal environments for severely disabled children.

    - Dr. Patricia Minnes of Queen's University and her team will help
      preschoolers with developmental disorders start school successfully.

    - Dr. Adrienne Perry of York University and her team will produce a
      national report card on the health and well-being of children with
      severe developmental disabilities and their families.

    - Dr. Peter Rosenbaum of McMaster University and his team will improve
      our understanding of the challenges facing the parents of children with
      neurodevelopmental disorders.

    - Dr. Roberta Woodgate of University of Manitoba and her team will help
      us better understand the experience of First Nations families of
      children with disabilities.

    Canada is internationally-recognized for its contributions to the field
of rehabilitating children with disabilities. Canadian researchers have
pioneered the development of artificial limbs, specialized braces and mobility
systems. While excellent work has been accomplished, there is a need for
research into restoring physical function as well as research aimed at
enhancing quality of life and social inclusion.
    Today's announcement represents a major step forward for research on
child disabilities. The Bright Futures initiative was made possible by the
CIHR Institutes of Human Development, Child and Youth Health, Musculoskeletal
Health and Arthritis, and Aboriginal Peoples' Health, and the Bloorview
Children's Hospital Foundation.
    "Bloorview Children's Hospital Foundation is delighted to invest in
research that will bring scientists from many disciplines across the country
together to work on solutions that remove physical and social barriers to
children with disabilities, and ensure they can participate fully in life,"
said Dr. Ben Alman, Chair of Bloorview Children's Hospital Foundation.
    Dr. Michael Kramer, Scientific Director at the Canadian Institutes of
Health Research, said, "We are proud to be funding this research in
partnership with Bloorview Children's Hospital Foundation. This collaborative
effort will help us to link many different research areas, enhance the depth
and scope of research on children and youth with disabilities, and improve
their quality of life and the social inclusion."

    Bright Futures for Kids with Disabilities is a partnership between the
Canadian Institutes of Health Research and Bloorview Children's Hospital

    The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) is the Government of
Canada's agency for health research. CIHR's mission is to create new
scientific knowledge and to enable its translation into improved health, more
effective health services and products, and a strengthened Canadian
health-care system. Composed of 13 Institutes, CIHR provides leadership and
support to nearly 12,000 health researchers and trainees across Canada.

    Bloorview Children's Hospital Foundation (BCHF) is committed to making a
difference in the lives of children with physical disabilities and special
needs. BCHF supports exemplary research programs and clinical care at
Bloorview Kids Rehab, Canada's largest children's rehabilitation hospital. The
foundation contributed a $1.2 million grant to support the Bright Futures for
Kids with Disabilities program.

    Ce document est également disponible en français.

    /NOTE TO PHOTO EDITORS: A photo accompanying this release is available on
    the CNW Photo Network and archived at
    Additional archived images are also available on the CNW Photo Archive
    website at Images are free to accredited
    members of the media/

For further information:

For further information: Josée Bellemare, Press Secretary, Office of the
Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, (613) 957-0200; David Coulombe, Media Relations,
CIHR, (613) 941-4563; Louise Kinross, Communications Manager, Bloorview Kids
Rehab, (416) 424-3866

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