Coroner’s jury calls for medical resources in Ontario schools for disabled children

A jury at an inquest into the death of a disabled teen who died at a school for blind students has recommended the province review the availability of overnight medical resources provided to schools that cater to disabled children.

Jurors at the inquest into the death of Samuel Brown have also suggested the provincial government draft and implement policies to ensure and improve round-the-clock on-call availability of medical staff for students who stay at those schools.

The suggestions are among 21 recommendations from jurors who heard the case of 18-year-old Brown, who died five years ago while attending the W. Ross Macdonald School for the Blind in Brantford, Ont.

Brown's family has said the teen, who was born with a genetic condition that left him blind, deaf and non-verbal, was in good health the weekend before he died at the school.

The inquest jury found that Brown died by natural causes, of acute bronchopneumonia.

Jurors are recommending medical training for staff be provided at schools for disabled children on how to identify potential early symptoms of aspiration pneumonia, as well as mandatory training on ableism with a focus on the dangers it poses for those with disabilities.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 7, 2023.

The Canadian Press