By Jessica Allen - Monday, January 28, 2013 - 0 Comments
Casts of Argo, 30 Rock, Downton Abbey and Modern Family take home trophies
Daniel Day Lewis wins best male actor in a leading role in Lincoln (Jennifer Graylock/Getty)
By Colby Cosh - Friday, October 28, 2011 at 5:14 AM - 7 Comments
It’s the damnedest thing: when I visit the website of discount store Winners, I find nothing in its “In the News” section or in its “In the Community” section about an Edmonton outlet’s clumsy mistreatment of an autistic child. The store’s behaviour certainly counts as interaction with the community, and has certainly made news. International headlines, even!
Young Emily Ainsworth travels with an “autism service dog” named Levi. Emily’s mother points out that service animals are “permitted in public under human rights legislation”, which is a very slight simplification. Alberta law actually specifies [PDF] that retailers cannot discriminate against customers on the basis of “physical reliance on a guide dog [or] service dog”; there is no Alberta Human Rights Commission caselaw on autism service animals.
But the likely reason for this is that Emily would certainly win any such case in a resounding slam-dunk. Most people working in retail jobs are probably vaguely familiar with the functions performed by guide dogs for the blind, and would know better than to challenge one. It may be somewhat natural, however, for a cute, physically well child accompanied by a dog to arouse skepticism—even though certified service dogs like Levi have special identifying vests and papers that can be produced on request.
So it would probably help prevent embarrassments if people realized that autism dogs are not just present for emotional support. Autistic children are impulsive, and can’t always interpret signs and orders; an autism dog is trained to physically protect them. A service dog training facility in Lynden, Ont., explains it this way:
One of the key roles of ADS service dogs is to provide safety outside of the home, in public settings and at school. The service dog acts as a physical anchor for the child with autism. A tether made of nylon webbing joins the service dog and child. The webbing is connected around the child’s waist, like a belt, and links up to a ring on the dog’s service dog jacket. ADS trains the service dogs to respond to commands given by the caregiver or educator. The service dog is specially trained to stop on command. As a result this prevents the child from entering into potentially dangerous situations (i.e. roadways, parking lots, bodies of water, ravines, etc.) and gives the caregiver or educator the much needed time to intervene and direct the child back onto the safer path. The service dog also prevents the child from wandering away from the family while out in public settings.
In short, autism service dogs are not much different in principle from guide dogs for the blind, and provide for personal independence in a closely analogous way. If you’re a retail clerk, host, receptionist, or proprietor, you should be aware of this. If only for your own good.
By Charlie Gillis - Thursday, December 9, 2010 at 11:20 AM - 0 Comments
Winners – Justin Timberlake, The Cast of Glee, and Johanna Skibsrud
Always deeper than his image let on, the 29-year-old has officially completed the loop from tween heartthrob to serious acting talent, wowing critics this fall with his turn in the Facebook movie, The Social Network. Timberlake’s take on Napster inventor Sean Parker combined innocence and calculation, conveying evil beneath a sheen of effeminate whimsy. Not bad for a guy who got his start warbling country tunes on Star Search.
Serena Williams’s outfits might steal the show at most tennis tournaments, but these days Wozniacki supplies the substance. The 20-year-old Dane won an amazing six tour events in 2010, including the Rogers Cup in Montreal, to claim the No. 1 rank in the world. She’s no slouch in the looks department, either, but with her crashing serve and her relentless work ethic, her opponents had best keep their eyes on the ball.
By Andrew Potter - Monday, August 25, 2008 at 1:21 PM - 0 Comments
Officially, the Olympics are a competition between individual athletes, not countries. But given that…
Officially, the Olympics are a competition between individual athletes, not countries. But given that they wear national colours, compete under national banners, and play national anthems for the winners, it is worth asking: Which country won?
Over at the NY Times, their medal tally has the USA on top with 110 medals, followed by China with 100. The anti-Americans at the CBC rank by gold medals, and so have China on top with 51, followed by USA with 36.
So who won? It depends on the value you assign to each medal. The CBC’s ranking by Gold medals alone effectively gives G-S-B a value of 1-0-0. The Times treats each medal equally, thus valuing them at 1-1-1.
Other possibilities are to rank G-S-B at 3-2-1, or 5-3-1. On the former valuation, China wins by a single Gold — 223-220. At 5-3-1, China wins more comfortably, 346 to 330.
So, only if all medals are created equal do the Americans come out on top.