Epilepsy Ontario stories to open discussions

April 5, 2012

News program an exciting avenue for people to share stories: EO executive director
Deron Hamel

If you ask Epilepsy Ontario executive director Rozalyn Werner-Arcé what the most exciting aspect of the organization’s new online news program is, her answer is straightforward: “We’re providing a way for people with epilepsy to tell their stories.”

Through the news program, which went live March 13, Werner-Arcé says she wants to see conversations open up within Ontario’s epilepsy community about some of the main issues that need to be addressed for people affected by the neurological disorder.

These include the need for improved access to health care and disability and employment supports.

“I want to tell the good-news stories, I want to (see discussions) about the struggles that people face, and have it done in a way that can help move solutions forward,” she says.

With more stories available in the public domain about the issues people who have epilepsy face, as well as people’s accomplishments and possible solutions to challenges, Werner-Arcé says the best thing that could happen would be increased awareness and education about seizure disorders, coupled with new opportunities for people who have epilepsy.

Considering about one per cent of Canadians have epilepsy, this is an important focus.

To date, four stories have been published on the Epilepsy Ontario website. Coupled with the once per week publication of stories will be an e-newsletter that will be sent to stakeholders monthly. The e-news will help spread the stories and prompt others to share the articles within their networks.

Asked how success of the news program will be gauged, Werner-Arcé says the organization would like to see increased traffic on the website and more referrals to agencies as a result of people visiting the site and taking action.

“People will see the stories and want more information,” she says.

Since the news site’s launch, people connected to the epilepsy community have communicated their input, including the mother of a woman with a seizure disorder whose story will be shared in an upcoming article.

This is the type of response Werner-Arcé says she’s hoping to see gain momentum on the site.

“We’re really excited about (the news program) and we’re looking forward to story ideas and comments, and that kind of feedback will help strengthen our stories and the direction of the news,” she says.

The Epilepsy Ontario news program is provided by Axiom News.

If you have any feedback on this story, please contact the newsroom at 800-294-0051, ext. 23, or e-mail deron(at)axiomnews.ca.

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