“Definitions of Disability in Multiple Settings: Implications for Psychologists"


Friday, May 27, 2011


Knowledge of key definitions of disability is essential for effective psychological practice across settings. This workshop offers access to experts in defining disability with opportunities for questions and discussion.

Dr. Ronald Kaplan, Ph.D.
How did we get here? The Proposed New Definitions for Catastrophic Impairment.

This presentation will explore the history of the SABS leading to the 2011 CAT Medical Panel proposal for new/revised SABS tests for catastrophic impairment. The proposed new definitions will be reviewed, as well as proposals for qualifications and training of CAT assessors.

Steven Muller, Share Lawyers
This presentation will touch generally on the following topics related to the assessment of psychological and psychiatric disability claims:

  • Partial versus total disability.
  • Exclusions for psychiatric claims - pre-existing condition exclusions, subjective claims, psychiatric claims.
  • The duty to mitigate generally, and specifically, the requirement of appropriate treatment.

Allen Wynperle, Wynperle Personal Injury & Law Firm
Complete Inability Test (Post-104 weeks) Under the SABS

This presentation will focus on the definition of the complete inability test for both Income Replacement and Non-Earner Benefits. We will also discuss the proper causation test and how the courts have dealt with chronic pain syndrome over the last decade.

Meredith Jackson Donohue and Bevin Shores, Daniel & Partners
What Happens After You Release Your Report into the Wild:  How Assessments are interpreted at Arbitration

Practical tips for improving the reliability of disability assessments based on the case law at arbitration.

Richard Morrison, Director, WSIB
Understanding how the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board assesses disabilities and permanent impairments due to mental and behavioural disorders related to workplace injuries. 

The discussion will include how entitlement for psychological conditions are determined, dealing with temporary and/or permanent impairment, determining functional capacity for return to work.

Dr. Lynne Lightfoot, Ph.D.
This presentation will provide an overview of the concept of "capacity" as defined within the legal framework provided by the Substitute Decisions Act, 1992

When the NDP government of Ontario introduced new laws about advocacy, consent to treatment and substitute decision-making in 1992, there was considerable attention from the media and strong, anxious, public reaction. Although the original law as came into effect in march 1995, significant revisions were made in 1996, but very little public or professional education followed. This presentation will, therefore, review the types of capacity that are assessed by Designated Capacity assessors and will describe the legal tests associated with each of these types of capacity. The process of conducting capacity assessments will be compared and contrasted to the processes typically employed in psychological assessments.


Dr. Ronald Kaplan, Ph.D.
Steven Muller, Share Lawyers
Allen Wynperle, Wynperle Personal Injury & Law Firm
Meredith Jackson Donohue and Bevin Shores, Daniel & Partners
Richard Morrison, Director, WSIB
Dr. Lynne Lightfoot, Ph.D.

Canadian Academy of Psychologists in Disability Assessment

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