Letter from the Editors

Dear Readers,

We started working on this rehabINK issue six months ago. The world was different then. COVID-19 had not shut down North America. Anti-Black racism remained hidden in plain sight.

Since that time, we as a society have been told to stay home; stop the spread of COVID. Fact check; stop the spread of misinformation. But also: Get out; stop the spread of injustice.

It makes you re-think what ideas ARE worth spreading. Embedded in the rhetoric are value judgements… What makes something worthy? Who determines worth? Whose voices should be heard?

In this 9th issue of rehabINK, we don’t have the answers, but we share some answers from some voices.

The authors voice how research and rehabilitation can contribute to change for persons with disabilities, those stigmatized for their health conditions, and for many groups who are overlooked and underhelped. So it matters that we say something, because we do have something to say.

However, as recent global events have convincingly shown, we are responsible for what we voice and what we believe. In rehabilitation, we have not been immune to racialization and anti-Black racism. Science is done by scientists and scientists are people and people live in societies. If our society is racist, then our science is too. This is a bitter pill to swallow. But until we counter the inequity, injustice, and racism in our science, our science will suffer. Our science will contribute to the suffering of others.

I hope we choose together to be humble, recognizing our common humanity; listening to those who are different from us; and learning from and with the very groups of human beings whom science has ignored or exploited.

Since rehabINK has aspirations of being a platform for interdisciplinary dialogue on disability and rights, we want to be in conversation with you: 1) Engage with us on social media, 2) Fill out the reader survey, 3) Leave a comment on the website, and 4) Write a Letter to the Editor (coming soon).

Here is my parting thought on why we do what we do at rehabINK. As graduate students, we are recipients of an education. And I believe that education is for the formation of the individual… for the re-formation of the world.

  • Formation for the individual in that we are beings-in-progress, being shaped by what we learn and by what we choose to believe; and
  • Re-formation of the world in that we must use our education to address the broken systems, broken environments, and broken ways of thinking and relating which prevent an equitable and just society for all.

Let’s listen and learn together so we can act for a better tomorrow.

Adora Chui, Editor-in-Chief

Dear Readers,

We are very excited to share Issue 9 of rehabINK! For many reasons, this issue has evolved from our previous ones. A lot has happened in the past months and since we began as co-managing editors.

Starting with the rehabINK podcast, our team has produced two podcasts in collaboration with the RSI Speaker Series, Episode 1: Women & Brain Health: Why Sex and Gender Matters, and Episode 2: 3D Printed Face Shields. Episode 3 is next as we chat with authors from Issue 8: Technology: Adapting the Future of Rehabilitation and discuss their articles and experiences as rehabINK authors. Continuing the excitement, the podcast team has a COVID mini-series in the works for which they just received a grant to produce! It is truly amazing to witness the various platforms in which technology unites us and allows us to continue our work, even during the current pandemic.

Our rehabINK team has also expanded for Issue 9 with the addition of new editors! As rehabINK’s first co-managing editors, we were proud to oversee the production of such a well-rounded, diverse issue. We also managed to shift our team seamlessly to a virtual format to maintain our team-oriented communications. We are so grateful for and proud of every author, editor, illustrator, and individual who has worked incredibly hard to bring this issue to life.

Below is a quick glance at the variety of articles published for Issue 9, including many that touch on very real and relatable topics:

  • For our readers who like to keep busy by doing something useful, this article will resonate with you as Zara Szigeti discusses productivity guilt and keeping up in a culture of excellence in What’s the verdict on academic guilt? Separating “doing” from productivity.
  • Stephanie R. Cimino, Alexandra Thompson, Stephanie Posa, Nivetha Chandran, and Sally Abudiab provide us with five perspectives on “doing” during the coronavirus pandemic. In this timely article, the authors share rehabilitation and occupational perspectives on channeling “the five occupational gifts” to promote mental health.
  • It is always exciting to publish an original research piece! It is well-known that regular physical activity is beneficial for our health, yet people with dementia often have trouble accessing exercise programs. Erica Dove and Arlene Astell share their research which explored the use of Xbox Kinect in a community-based adult day program where adults with dementia could enjoy a range of exercise-related activities.
  • Umair Majid and Adedoja Akande share a remarkable case vignette about Dr. James’s experience of loss and prolonged grief disorder. Through Dr. James’s journey, we learn about the health implications of prolonged grief as well as strategies to manage this potentially devastating disorder.

Issue 9 is also filled with ideas for advocacy and calls for action:

  • Josh Shore takes us through the mostly unregulated world of concussion care services. In his commentary “Concussion in Canada: Exploring the Wild West”, we learn about how concussion care is currently delivered in Canada, and how services must improve.
  • Many of us commute to work or school using the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC). But how does something so closely integrated into some lives exclude others from full participation in society? In “Wheelchair Accessibility and the TTC: Lessons from Bangkok, Thailand”, Michelle Fedorowich shows us what Thai people with disabilities can teach us about accessibility on the TTC.
  • During these unforeseen times, the word ‘resiliency’ may be used quite a bit. But where does this word come from, and what does it mean in the sphere of rehabilitation? Rona M. Macdonald and Emily Nalder explore the world of resiliency, what it means in rehabilitation, and common assumptions in “Resiliency: More than a buzzword?”
  • Nivetha Chandran shares with us a call to action for diminishing barriers for people with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders. She sheds light on a recent paradigm shift that will hopefully bring us closer to reducing stigma experienced by those affected.
  • Kristina Kokorelias advocates for better integration of family caregivers of individuals into the rehabilitation system. In her piece “Who is caring for the caregiver?”, she presents different recommendations for interventions, practice change, and future research.

rehabINK Issue 9 explores the diversity of rehabilitation sciences: from wheelchair accessibility, to resiliency, concussion guidelines, productivity guilt, and mental health. May we continue to use scientific knowledge to advocate, communicate, learn, and share our stories.

Happy reading!

Jacqueline Nestico & Analyssa Cardenas
Summer Issue 9 Co-Managing Editors

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To refer to this article, it can be cited as:

Chui A, Nestico J, Cardenas, A. Letter from the editors. rehabINK. 2020;9. Available from: https://rehabinkmag.com