Information Security Awareness Training – E-Commerce And Security

More and more peoples in there daily life use computer to make things that previously they do without computer, for example, buy and sell! Of course, its takes less time and can be done from home, but not so offten peoples thinking about: how safe it is! And from other side seller invent, that he want to start e-commerce, but he not sure what it is and how its works!

This article is for both side…For understanding, how e-commerce mechanism works and how do this cooperation safer!

What is E-commerce?

Electronic commerce or ecommerce is a term for any type of business, or commercial transaction, that involves the transfer of information across the Internet or other network.(monstercommerce.com)

Different types of E-commerce.

*B2B (Business-to-Business) is a from of electronic commerce in which companies doing business with each other such as manufacturers selling to distributors and wholesalers selling to retailers. Pricing is based on quantity of order and is often negotiable.

*B2C (Business-to-Consumer) is a form of electronic commerce in which products or services are sold from a firm or company to a consumer. This selling usually happened through catalogs, e-shops!

*B2E (Business to Employee) is a form of electronic commerce which is more commonly known as an “Intranet”. A basic focus of business is the employee, rather than the consumer! Usually it is some kind of portal for everyone within an organization. This portal is designed to include not only everything that an employee might hope to find on an intranet, but also any personal information and links that the employee might want.

*C2C (Consumer-to-Consumer) is a form of electronic commerce in which involves the electronically-facilitated transactions between consumers through some third party. A common example is the online auctio, in which a consumer posts an item for sale and other consumers bid to purchase it; the third party generally charges a flat fee or commission.

There are also other types of E-commerce, for example, G2G (Goverment-to-Goverment), G2B (Goverment-to-Bussines) and other which are connected to government, but these four are the main.

E-commerce and security

How we already know that to make e-commerce we need computer and of course – systems. Any system which provide any type of e-commerce need to answer four requirements:

*privacy: information must be kept from unauthorized parties.

*integrity: message must not be altered or tampered with.

*authentication: sender and recipient must prove their identities to each other.

*non-repudiation: proof is needed that the message was indeed received.

These requirements is needed to make safe cooperation between service provider and customer, and, of course, prevent third side interference!

How execute these requirements?

To execute these requirements you can choose one or some of the different suggestions:

*PKI – Public Key Infrastructure – to provide privacy and authentication.

*Digital Signature – to provide authentication and integrity.

*SSL – Secure Socket Layer – to provide privacy and authentication.

*Time Stamp and others.

For now, most popular solution in e-commerce security is Secure Socket Layer or SSL. It is so because its merge the best attributes from PKI. SSL uses PKI and Digital Certificates to ensure privacy and authentication.

The procedure is something like this: the client sends a message to the server, which replies with a digital certificate. Using PKI, server and client negotiate to create session keys, which are symmetrical secret keys specially created for that particular transmission. Once the session keys are agreed, communication continues with these session keys and the digital certificates. (ecommerce-digest.com)

To known that this page is secure with SSL, you need just look to the address bar: if the address begins with “https” and there is padlock icon at the bottom of the page, than you can be sure that this page is safer than other! Why safer,but not totally safe? Because totally safe web pages didn’t exist!

Most of e-commerce provider leave the mechanics of security to hosting company or IT staff, but for each who want to start e-commerce, is important known how it works and whats responsibilities are asked from this side!

To find out more information about e-commerce and security the best way is make special information security awareness training information security awareness trainingfor e-commerce providers and users!

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Starting a Quilting Business Requires Planning

Starting a quilting business will be no different that any start up business venture and simply having a good quilting machine and some fabric does not necessarily mean you are ready to go into business. Because running your own shop will mean that your work will contribute to your family’s finances, you need to make sure it has a chance from the outset. Before starting a quilting business, invest quality time to determine if there is even a market for your products. Check with other quilters or notion businesses to conclude how great the popularity of quilts is in your area.

If there is small amount of interest, but perhaps not enough to support the business full time, you could consider giving quilting classes to help pay the bills. Check with the quilt finishing business about how much work they have. Are they caught up or do they consistently run several months behind. If it is the latter, there may be a viable market in your area for starting a quilting business.

The Need for Quality Equipment

Take a good look at the equipment you own. Determine if it is going to last at least a year and try to determine if it will allow you to keep up with your projected demand. If not, what type of new machine will you need to purchase? Keep in mind that it should pay for itself within a year to order for it to be a viable purchase. Having all your equipment in good workable condition before starting a quilting business can make your entry into the market much more profitable.

If you plan on starting a quilting business out of your home, be sure to check the local zoning laws to see if it is allowed. Also check with your country auditor about a tax license and find out if you are required to have one. Most states require that sales of any kind will need to collect sales tax and then send it to the state throughout the year.

Additionally you will want to invest in marketing materials, such as business cards, brochures and a web site. This is how you can advertise your creations as well as keep several quilts to display in your business and at local shows. By joining quilting organizations, as well business organizations, you will be able to get the word out much more quickly, that you are starting a quilting business.

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Online Marketing and Blogging

Online marketing is definitely one particular way in which folks employ its web site to generate earnings. The amount of earnings resulted in by way of website featuring affiliate marketing backlinks can vary significantly according to how much page views the particular blog is provided with as well as the damages available for any online marketing. Online Marketing effectively includes creating a link around the blog to an additional corporate entity’s webpage. One other corporation then makes up that blog seller based on your previously agreed upon contract.

This pay out may perhaps is honoured around a variety of techniques. This site owner could be rewarded every time that advert is usually dished up, whenever a exclusive web page visitor clicks through the advertising and also every time a blog guest works some sort of wanted motion for example making a purchase and also intricate when using the site. This write-up will explore numerous issues with online marketing which bloggers ought to understand such as deciding on options cautiously, making the most of that revenue potential with regard to these kinds of prospects plus understanding the requirements connected to these kinds of affiliate internet marketing options.

Selecting Online Marketing Options

There are numerous types of affiliate internet marketing chances accessible. Several firms and web pages provide online marketing possibilities. Usually that site owner only needs to post the particular webpage correct regarding his or her web site in conjunction with a few other primary information with regard to acceptance. Usually the provider is just not likely to refuse the required forms unless of course that written content on the web site is usually regarded that they are objectionable as well as if not incompatible of interest with the company’s targets.

Even so, however having sanctioned in order to present internet backlinks on your own webpage is really a somewhat simple method, this does not necessarily follow site keepers have to choose these kinds of online marketing opportunities not having discretion. This is an improved concept that will thoroughly select affiliate internet marketing possibilities using corporations who will be intriguing on the market in the web site.

A properly on target blog that may be accomplishing a selected audience will need to get that will screen Online Marketing backlinks pointing web site targeted visitors to organizations which go with the actual web site with out actor’s since special levels of competition into the web site. This allows you guarantee the actual weblog website visitors won’t be thinking about the Online Marketing hyperlinks therefore more likely to select this backlinks nevertheless will easily guarantee your blog website visitors tend not to find the Online Marketing links that they are irritating.

Increasing Internet marketing Options

Once site keepers own selected online marketing prospects it’s the time to think about exactly how they might make best use of that earnings created simply by most of these hyperlinks. You’ll find a couple of crucial elements which web site masters ought to properly think about to aid maximize their exploit affiliate marketing. Takes into account regularly evaluating your usefulness on the internet backlinks plus advertising the blog to maximise site visitors.

Site keepers exactly who add online marketing in blog will need to repeatedly examine the usefulness of the online marketer backlinks. Sometimes it is carried out through assessing that proportion of weblog guests who check out that internet marketer backlinks towards entire weblog targeted traffic. A blog which includes higher page views however your relatively compact number of readers that check out those online hyperlinks must look into generating changes to try to help attract extra blog website visitors that will select the actual backlinks. These types of adjustments might require that good looks, width or site from the ads. Building one simple transform at the same time is suggested given it can make it simpler for any blog operator to gauge which will changes will be most beneficial.

Site keepers may also assistance to increase the actual make the most of their own online marketing prospects by simply accomplishing self marketing to help get additional how do people the blog. This can be helpful for the reason that higher web page page views could typically convert to larger make the most of online marketing. Also, that blog seller should from time to time mention organizations for which there’re a good internet marketer to create desire for the actual advertisings one specific.

Being familiar with Online Marketing Specifications

Last but not least, site keepers have to fork out interest on the online internet marketing deals some people key in. This is important due to the fact loads of businesses may area limitations in the application of the URL to its site. This may consist of rules including avoiding objectionable content material, excluding inbound links as well as advertisements with regard to special rivals or maybe limitations within the visual appeal of the internet back links. Malfunction to comply with all these regulations may provide the actual weblog shedding online rights and the web log seller getting dismissed off damages.

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Web Page Creation Ideas That Actually Work

One from the biggest causes that many new IMers fail is due to the fact they can’t convert drive by site visitors into leads or product sales. What can make this so tough? It’s primarily accurate simply because the internet Marketer does not focus on his touchdown web page as significantly as he focuses on his site visitors sources. Yes it is extremely important to attract targeted visitors but it is also crucial to entice that site visitors to buy from you otherwise you’re just losing your time. Producing an successful lndg web page is incredibly important for your good results of your on the web company. In this article we are going to offer you a few hints that you can use to increase your sales.

1 crucial thing you need to do is make certain that the buttons are successful. Let’s pretend that you are wanting to sell a “dog training” product so you intersperse plenty of order hyperlinks throughout your copy (which is totally fine to do)! The links should not distract from your page’s main message. Should you really want your audience to get called to action, however, you must include a highlighted button that demands they acquire motion to buy your solution. Color and size are important when it comes to these kinds of web site buttons. You must also make certain that your button has a nice border. Your wording around the button is incredibly important. All of this comes together to give you a button that gets response. Landing webpage duplicate is really important in your lndg page conversion rates so write duplicate that is clear, lists rewards and has a robust call to motion. Your backup font is where you need to get probably the most conservative, use 12 pt minimum and be certain that every little thing is consistent; also use dark text on a white background. ALL CAPS will make you lose guests and once again too modest text will make individuals hit the back button. Without having a comprehensible message for guests to study and follow then your page won’t convert. This is a very easy step to implement so will not ignore it. To locate the mixture that your guests like the most you will have to test different variations of the lndg webpages and see which 1 they like the most.

Your website visitors ought to get all of one’s interest, not other small details. Site visitors will want you to discuss to them, not about how great you might be. Make use of “you” and “your” greater than “we” and “us”. Individuals are a lot more probably to get from somebody who contains them in a conversation and can make them feel like they’re part of an essential relationship. Creating a lndg pate is primarily an problem of taking care with the little particulars which you can only grasp by putting some work in. You might already have a landing webpage that needs a bit of tweaking here and there, and you’d be prepared to go. Landing web pages should not be taken for granted.

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Create Your Own Online Bussiness

If your looking to build a profitable business through a website or gain
more customers to your existing business via the internet. Then look no further than
Site build it. SBI has created the perfect opportunity for you to build a solid
internet based business with little or no technical knowledge. Which is
demanded by beginning internet entrepreneurs and website designers. The SBI!
process along with its complete set of tools removes all the technical
barriers, all the tedious work, all the Internet mysteries including daunting search
Engine mastery. It reduces the work and time to build an effective site by
90%. This streamlined system of automated tools makes it so simple… No
HTML, FTP, CGI, graphic or programming skills needed. No Search Engine
expertise or expensive consultants required.

Site-Build-It is a one of a kind product for good reason, because there’s
nothing in the world that exists like. Why? for starters no other web hosting
delivers like it. SBI! handles all the technology and complexity for you.
All the tools, all in one place, all at your convince, and all tied together
straightforward, which allows you to focus on building a profitable
internet based business via your website. They give you a hands on step-by-step experience
that teaches you the valuable process of building a functioning highly
ranked website . No matter what type of business you have or are
Considering. You can rest assured with the confidence that Site Build It owners readily out-perform , the majority of major competitors in building
genuine, profitable businesses.

The company that listens to your need to succeed. Provides you with the
right process, the right tools In turn leaves you with guaranteed successful
results. SBI owners don’t fit the “GET RICH QUICK” thinking. With SBI its
provides you with an opportunity to build a long-term profit generating
business.

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10 Easy Ways For Getting Video On Your Home-Based Bussines Website

Have you ever thought of producing a movie on your website? Actually it’s very easy these days and you can do it in the comfort of your home. The advantages you can practise until you have the right screen-shot and there no need to fear. Important a good sales-man need to present himself and the product in a professional manner,to gain good end results. You can shoot a movie or put a video-clip of your friends on your website.

What tools must you have? You can use your cell phone,video camera,there’s a wide variety of video technology to choose from. Use this valuable tips to your advantages.

Follow this easy steps for best results with video marketing project

Be natural and imagine yourself as a sales-man,you must develop the confidence. Speak clearly and don’t worry about your accent,the importance is to carry the message with marketing professionalism.
People tend to judge,so you must make sure your video-clip is clearly visible. Have the proper video lightening system to promote your product.
The microphone present your tongue and the tool that carry over the message. You can easily get a mini microphone, to attach to your clothes.
Smile and let the viewers feel your joy. Yes! They can feel it and that will make them watch the movie over and over. That’s the best marketing strategy to promote any product in the marketing world.
Don’t go out your way to use big words in the dictionary keep it simple,you will be amaze.
When you finish with your recording please make sure to, proof watch it for any mistakes.
Upload the video to your computer,you will have full detailed instruction with any video software that you use,follow the guidelines clearly. Don’t use bright colours and video-effects.
Attention! Once your video-clip are edited to an output web file,windows will run wmv.file. The Mac users will have mov.file
If you don’t have server space don’t worry video Youtube.com make your video experience easier.
In your video include links that people can always visit your website. This is a unique traffic strategy to get more visitors to your website

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Disparities in US Healthcare System

Healthcare disparities pose a major challenge to the diverse 21st century America. Demographic trends indicate that the number of Americans who are vulnerable to suffering the effects of healthcare disparities will rise over the next half century. These trends pose a daunting challenge for policymakers and the healthcare system. Wide disparities exist among groups on the basis of race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and geography. Healthcare disparities have occurred across different regional populations, economic cohorts, and racial/ethnic groups as well as between men and women. Education and income related disparities have also been seen. Social, cultural and economic factors are responsible for inequalities in the healthcare system.

The issue of racial and ethnic disparities in healthcare have exploded onto the public stage. The causes of these disparities have been divided into health system factors and patient-provider factors. Health system factors include language and cultural barriers, the tendency for racial minorities to have lower-end health plans, and the lack of community resources, such as adequately stocked pharmacies in minority neighborhoods. Patient-provider factors include provider bias against minority patients, greater clinical uncertainty when treating minority patients, stereotypes about minority health behaviors and compliance, and mistrust and refusal of care by minority patients themselves who have had previous negative experiences with the healthcare system.

The explanation for the racial and ethnic disparities is that minorities tend to be poor and less educated, with less access to care and they tend to live in places where doctors and hospitals provide lower quality care than elsewhere. Cultural or biological differences also play a role, and there is a long-running debate on how subtle racism infects the healthcare system. Inadequate transportation or the lack of knowledge among minorities about hospital quality could also be factors of inadequate care. Racial disparities are most likely a shared responsibility of plans, providers and patients. There’s probably not one factor that explains all of the disparity, but health plans do play an important role. Racial and ethnic disparities in healthcare do not occur in isolation. They are a part of the broader social and economic inequality experienced by minorities in many sectors. Many parts of the system including health plans, health care providers and patients may contribute to racial and ethnic disparities in health care.

It is seen that there are significant disparities in the quality of care delivered to racial and ethnic minorities. There is a need to combat the root causes of discrimination within our healthcare system. Racial or ethnic differences in the quality of healthcare needs to be taken care of. This can be done by understanding multilevel determinants of healthcare disparities, including individual belief and preferences, effective patient-provider communication and the organizational culture of the health care system.

To build a healthier America, a much-needed framework for a broad national effort is required to research the reasons behind healthcare disparities and to develop workable solutions. If these inequalities grow in access, they can contribute to and exacerbate existing disparities in health and quality of life, creating barriers to a strong and productive life.

There is a need to form possible strategies and interventions that may be able to lessen and perhaps even eliminate these differences. It is largely determined by assumptions about the etiology of a given disparity. Some disparities may be driven, for example, by gaps in access and insurance coverage, and the appropriate strategy will directly address these shortcomings. The elimination of disparities will help to ensure that all patients receive evidence-based care for their condition. Such an approach will help establish quality improvement in the healthcare industry.

Reducing disparities is increasingly seen as part of improving quality overall. The focus should be to understand their underlying causes and design interventions to reduce or eliminate them. The strategy of tackling disparities as part of quality improvement programs has gained significant attraction nationally. National leadership is needed to push for innovations in quality improvement, and to take actions that reduce disparities in clinical practice, health professional education, and research.

The programs and polices to reduce and potentially eliminate disparities should be informed by research that identifies and targets the underlying causes of lower performance in hospitals. By eliminating disparities, the hospitals will become even more committed to the community. This will help to provide culturally competent care and also improve community connections. It will stimulate substantial progress in the quality of service that hospitals offer to its diverse patient community. Ongoing work to eliminate health disparities will help the healthcare departments to continually evaluate the patient satisfaction with services and achieve equality in healthcare services.

It is important to use some interventions to reduce healthcare disparities. Successful features of interventions include the use of multifaceted, intense approaches, culturally and linguistically appropriate methods, improved access to care, tailoring, the establishment of partnerships with stakeholders, and community involvement. This will help in ensuring community commitment and serve the health needs of the community.

There is the need to address these disparities on six fronts: increasing access to quality health care, patient care, provider issues, systems that deliver health care, societal concerns, and continued research. A well-functioning system would have minimal differences among groups in terms of access to and quality of healthcare services. This will help to bring single standard of care for people of all walks of life.

Elimination of health care disparities will help to build a healthier America. Improving population health and reducing healthcare disparities would go hand in hand. In the health field, organizations exist to meet human needs. It is important to analyze rationally as to what actions would contribute to eliminate the disparities in the healthcare field, so that human needs are fulfilled in a conducive way.

Meenu Arora has contributed her articles for both online and hard copy magazines. Her articles have also been published in international magazines. Presently working in the healthcare industry, she has also written and edited Health Q-A columns for international magazine for 5 years.

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Create Your Own Online Bussiness

If your looking to build a profitable business through a website or gain
more customers to your existing business via the internet. Then look no further than
Site build it. SBI has created the perfect opportunity for you to build a solid
internet based business with little or no technical knowledge. Which is
demanded by beginning internet entrepreneurs and website designers. The SBI!
process along with its complete set of tools removes all the technical
barriers, all the tedious work, all the Internet mysteries including daunting search
Engine mastery. It reduces the work and time to build an effective site by
90%. This streamlined system of automated tools makes it so simple… No
HTML, FTP, CGI, graphic or programming skills needed. No Search Engine
expertise or expensive consultants required.

Site-Build-It is a one of a kind product for good reason, because there’s
nothing in the world that exists like. Why? for starters no other web hosting
delivers like it. SBI! handles all the technology and complexity for you.
All the tools, all in one place, all at your convince, and all tied together
straightforward, which allows you to focus on building a profitable
internet based business via your website. They give you a hands on step-by-step experience
that teaches you the valuable process of building a functioning highly
ranked website . No matter what type of business you have or are
Considering. You can rest assured with the confidence that Site Build It owners readily out-perform , the majority of major competitors in building
genuine, profitable businesses.

The company that listens to your need to succeed. Provides you with the
right process, the right tools In turn leaves you with guaranteed successful
results. SBI owners don’t fit the “GET RICH QUICK” thinking. With SBI its
provides you with an opportunity to build a long-term profit generating
business.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Presenting – Maria Minna – An Italian-Canadian Immigrant Story and a Life-Long Fight for Justice

Every Canadian neighbourhood is officially represented at three different levels: the municipal, provincial and federal levels. As far as the Beach neighbourhood is concerned I had already had a chance to get to know the municipal representative, City Councillor and Deputy Mayor Sandra Bussin, and the Provincial Member of Parliament, Michael Prue. I was really looking forward to meeting the Federal Member of Parliament for the Beaches / East York Riding: Maria Minna.

Maria and I met in a small local Chinese restaurant called the Honeybee. This restaurant, located right across from the Beaches Library, has been around forever, and on this Saturday afternoon we sat down for a nice late lunch. Maria started to tell me about her background and disclosed that she was born in a small town called Pofi not far from Rome. She spent the first nine years of her life in Italy and grew up on a farm. She refers to her childhood as privileged, since she grew up with holistic food, such as home-grown grapes, fruits and cherries. Her parents were also raising chicken, rabbits and pigs for their family’s needs. Maria used to go to school for a half day, and would do chores in the afternoon. Her parents would take wheat to the mill and come back with bags of whole wheat flour. Even after many years in Canada, Maria’s mother would never buy canned or frozen vegetables.

In 1957 Maria arrived at 9 years of age at Pier 21 in Halifax together with her mother and siblings. None of them spoke any English. Her father had already been in Canada. A little anecdote from Maria’s arrival in Canada illustrates the initial culture shock: on the train to Toronto her mother wanted to buy some bread for her children, but was only offered white Wonderbread type of bread. Her mom had a look at the loaf and said “This is not bread.” Until the end of her mother’s days, white bread was only good for toast.

After two days and nights on the train through the snow her mother was wondering where her father had taken them. Maria admitted that the first few years were tough: she did not speak any English, and had to leave her friends in Italy behind. Her dog was also left behind and died of heart break. At the beginning she had difficulty in school because she did not speak any English. She was put a year back in school, had to learn only basic math and had to write in a pencil again. In Italy she had already been writing with a fountain pen. In grade four she finally skipped a grade and recouped one year. Her mother was illiterate and worked in a factory while her father worked in construction. This was a time when there were very few health and safety standards for workers, particularly immigrant workers. Italian children were regularly streamed into vocational schools with lower academic standards. Even as recently as 1987 only 7 % of Italian children went to university.

Maria enlightened me a bit more about the fate of Italian immigrants years ago. During the war many Italian-Canadian men were arrested and detained at the Petawawa military camp. Although they were Canadian citizens their property was often sold for one or two dollars. Italians were declared enemy aliens and fingerprinted. When Maria arrived, some of the earlier Italian immigrants did not want to deal with the new arrivals; they wanted to blend into Canadian society and not get noticed. Italian men and women were often exploited, and their health was put in danger as they often had to work in inhumane conditions.

When the Toronto subway was built there was a major accident at an area called Hogs Hollow, just south of York Mills Road. Maria explained that five Italian men were buried alive under the Don River. The city person in charge had no idea of construction. Many Italian immigrants worked in jobs that required heavy physical labour and were at a high risk of injury. When they experienced an accident, Workers Compensation would treat them like a piece of meat, and compensate them according to the “meat chart” (they would not receive benefits based on the severity of their disability). Many men suffered a broken back and would be diagnosed with “degenerated disk disease”, a diagnosis that would minimize their claim entitlements, and they were simply encouraged to get a light job.

A tough immigrant story unfolded during Maria’s first few years in Canada: she went to a Catholic Elementary school and her brother had a learning disability, and started to work at age 16. Maria on the other hand took a commercial course at age 18, having worked part time through high school, So Maria started to work as a secretary and helped to pay for her sisters’ education and even paid off one of her parent’s mortgages on the family home.

Maria added that she has always had to carry several responsibilities at the same time. Ever since her parents came to Canada Maria had to become their interpreter and the administrator of family affairs once she had command of the English language. She also helped her parents and other immigrant neighbours with their income tax returns and generally managed the family’s affairs. Up until the recent deaths of both her parents, Maria was overseeing their responsibilities, and when she was giving her father’s eulogy in February of 2006 she realized that now her job was actually done. This funeral was going to be the last responsibility that she had to handle on behalf of her parents. From age ten onwards Maria had been shouldering many family responsibilities including starting dinner, making lunch for her dad and brother, stripping floors and doing housework. In retrospect she says that she never really had a childhood; she does not recall ever really having play time as a child in Canada.

To earn more money Maria also did modeling for three years from age 19 to 22. She quit her secretary job since she realized that modeling was more lucrative. This helped her pay her parents’ mortgage off more quickly and allowed her to save money for university. She could achieve these financial goals much faster as a model.

At age 24 she finally started her academic studies: she enrolled in a sociology program at the University of Toronto in 1972, so began her fight for social justice. Early on she got involved in municipal issues. She noticed that the Annex neighbourhood had more infrastructure funding from the municipal government while her neighbourhood in the west end near Ossington and Christie, a mostly immigrant neighbourhood, received very few municipal projects. Maria explained that the people in her neighbourhood never asked for any money to get their streets fixed; they were actually under the impression that their taxes would go up if they asked for more resources from the city, so they never even tried.

Always interested in social justice issues, Maria got involved as a volunteer and community activist. She felt that immigrant communities were being treated differently and action was needed. In 1974 she was offered to work on a special project at a local organization named COSTI Immigrant Services, which today is a community-based multicultural agency providing employment, educational, settlement and social services to all immigrant communities, new Canadians and individuals in need of assistance.

More than 30 years ago Maria was hired as part of a summer program to establish a women’s centre specifically targeted at Italian women in the Jane and Finch area. A federal election was being run right around that time, and Maria got a call from Paul Hellyer, a Conservative politician who was formerly a Liberal, to help him with the federal election. Maria did not want to work with this individual and said “If I do this kind of work I’ll do it for free for a Liberal candidate”. So she called Aideen Nicholson, a Liberal candidate, but did not get a call back. A few days later Aideen showed up at her door and said “we need you”.

Maria was helping former Prime Minister Trudeau with his campaign when he was coming through local Toronto neighbourhoods to canvass door to door. She would go ahead of him and get people’s names and introduce them to the Prime Minister. At the end of the election she accepted a job with the new Member of Parliament, Aideen Nicholson. This was right about the time when she was headed into her third year at U of T.

Her job was to look after people’s problems, help them with immigration issues and Workers Compensation. Maria got involved with the Liberals and turned out to be a good campaign manager. After graduating from her sociology degree Maria started consulting in public policy and management. She continued volunteering for COSTI and in 1981 she was elected as President of the Board of Directors.

From 1974 to 1992 Maria volunteered with COSTI Immigrant Services and was the President of COSTI’s Board of Directors for 11.5 years. Maria’s interest in multicultural issues has always been strong, and Maria lobbied hard for the Canada Multiculturalism Act, a piece of legislation for the preservation and enhancement of multiculturalism in Canada.

With the help of the Women’s Legal Education Fund Maria helped launch a Charter challenge on behalf of immigrant women. They were not given English as a Second Language training simply because they were women, and the expectation was that they were going to take on only menial jobs anyways. Maria added that in effect these policies were shutting women up. As a result she launched a challenge under the Canadian Charter of Rights in 1986 for group discrimination and won. From that point forward immigrant women became eligible for English as a Second Language training programs. Maria fought numerous wars on behalf of immigrants and refers to herself as a “shit disturber”.

In 1992 she was elected as the President of the National Congress of Italian Canadians, a duty which she gladly accepted. A year later, Jean Chretien asked her to run in the Federal Election and Maria agreed. It was weird seeing her name on a brochure. Maria hated asking people for money or to vote for her; this simply felt awkward to her. But then she thought the only way to fight for people would be to get elected, so she accepted a necessary evil.

Once in parliament she pushed hard for a national child care policy, and the Child Tax Credit. She was part of the humorously nicknamed “Tax the Rich Committee” which instituted the National Child Benefit for low-income families. Maria often visits schools and talks to children about governance. One child pointed out that this money helped his mother buy milk and food.

Maria Minna has strong opinions: she supports a public health care system 100% and will never accept a hybrid system. She feels it’s a slippery slope once you start privatizing a certain part of the health care system. Some time ago she was hosting a delegation of Italian politicians who could not believe that wealthy people and regular or even low-income Canadians would go to the same doctors and sit in the same waiting rooms together.

In her Beaches – East York riding, some of the achievements that Maria has provided for the area include the Main Square Community Recreation Centre, which included $5 million of federal funds that were matched by the city. In addition, Maria obtained federal funding for a series of overflow waste water retainer tanks along the Boardwalk which were part of a federal infrastructure investment program. In total Maria has brought about $25 million of federal funding into her riding.

The life of a politician can be surprisingly tough: Maria spends Monday to Thursday or sometimes Monday to Friday in Ottawa, in the House of Commons, attending committee and caucus meetings. For the weekends she returns to Toronto to attend weekend events in her riding and to interact with her constituents. She explained that her job has no downtime – you are on call 24 hours 7 days a week. She continued that there is no point getting into politics if you are not willing to accept this schedule.

As far as Canada’s political system is concerned, most politicians come from a broad variety of professions. Maria clearly expressed that she feels that Canada is a very successful 21st century nation. Canada has one of the most transparent electoral processes. Even geographically close countries such as the United States and Mexico have had persistent issues with election scandals while Canada has not been tainted by such problems at all. Although the population is sometimes cynical about politicians, from Maria’s experience, the vast majority of them, regardless of party affiliation, has good intentions. Naturally she feels very supportive of the Liberal party, and states that in 13 years of Liberal rule, Canada changed from a country on the verge of bankruptcy with more than 11% unemployment into one of the most successful developed nations.

Maria added that she feels that the long-running Liberal government turned the country around, started to systematically lower the deficit and the unemployment rate and created thousands of new jobs based on building a strong infrastructure and making investments in the nation. An Innovation Fund was established for new technologies and to create 1000 chairs of research at universities throughout Canada. Centres for Health Research were created to invest in people and their health. Maria expresses very clearly that you cannot just cut taxes without reinvesting the money into the country and its people.

Unfortunately, Maria says, there was a change in government, and when the Liberals lost the election in 2006 they handed over a very healthy economy. She added that the new Conservative government has proceeded to decimate the National Childcare Program, they have cut the Innovation Fund, and she deplores that they have taken away the mandate from the “Status of Women” in Canada since the Conservatives feel that Canadian women already have equality, even though they still only earn 70 cents to the dollar.

In addition to some of these serious issues we also had a chance to discuss more everyday type of topics. One of Maria’s favourite pastimes is to stroll along Queen Street, buy presents and cap a nice outing off with a coffee, tea or breakfast. On a nice summer day she likes to sit by the lake on a rock, which makes her feel like she is on holidays. The many events that happen on Queen Street East also entice Maria to come out, and there are a whole host of them: School Spring Fairs, community centre festivals, church bazaars, in addition to the big flagship events: the Beaches Jazz Festival, the Easter Parade and the Christmas Tree Lighting. During last year’s Yard Sale for the Cure, Maria came out to meet some of the people who participated and thanked them for supporting this important cause.

Maria was also part of a recent tree planting in the Glen Stewart Ravine that was held in honour of Bob Hunter, Toronto’s most well-known environmentalist who passed away recently. Other initiatives that Maria really appreciates are Movies at the Fox: free outings to movies organized and sponsored by the Beach Rotary Club. At Christmas there is a big party for seniors, and after a free movie all the seniors head to St. Aidan’s Church where Quigley’s Bar and Bistro generously sponsors a lunch for 300 people.

Another important community organization that Maria wholeheartedly supports is Neighbourhood Link/Senior Link, a non-profit social service agency that provides services primarily in east Toronto. Since 1975, with the assistance of over 500 volunteers and 160 staff, this organization helps more than 6500 people annually. Maria was instrumental in getting this organization up and running by connecting Senior Link, which had been focusing exclusively on elderly residents, with COSTI, one of Toronto’s foremost immigrant settlement organizations.

Together these agencies were going to provide employment and job search services. Today Neighbourhood Link has become even more comprehensive and offers a variety of health and caregiver services, housing and employment services as well as social recreation services. Maria mentioned that SeniorLink’s response to the blackout in 2003 was phenomenal: they contacted more than 1000 seniors who were known to be on oxygen, and delivered backup power generators, flashlights and candles to them to make sure that they could stay healthy and safe. Maria added that there are a number of great organizations in the neighbourhood that make this community work.

Our lunch was finished and we headed off on one of Maria’s favourite activities: a stroll along Queen Street to check out some of the eclectic shops that provide a really diverse range of goods and services. On a nice Saturday afternoon with temperatures that had finally come up above Arctic levels, we headed east on Queen Street from the Honeybee. The first store we popped into was Latitude for Living, an eclectic design and home décor retail store. Right next to Latitude is Kids at Home, a store that features blankets, strollers, duvet covers, daybeds and many more items needed by young families, many of whom consider the Beach their favourite neighbourhood to relocate to.

Just a bit further east we headed into Pippins Tea Company Inc., where we met the owner Barbara DeAngelis and her assistant Tamsin Salter. Pippins is an old time tea shop that carries a wide assortment of teas, tea wares, tea cuisine, kitchenware and gifts. It reminded me a bit of an old-style drug store with its wooden counters and canisters full of tea.

Our next stop was a funky boutique called Boa which features colourful dresses and stylish tops. The young owner Ofra Nissani inquired whether there was any way she could get involved in tree planting and other environmental issues in the area, and Maria recommended her to connect with Alex Winch, a big environmentalist in the Beach.

Maria’s time was running out since she had to head back to her constituency office for another meeting, but we had time for one more stop: we popped into the Antik Bazaar where owner Joseph Edwards was a little shy at first, but then opened up and told us that his antiques and collectibles store was recently selected by mystery shoppers and featured in a beautiful colour book called “Treasures of Ontario Mystery Shoppers”. His partner Sharon Iseman came in shortly after and we had a chance to connect with her as well. Many of the items in this store reminded Maria of her mother-in-law’s house, who used to be an avid collector herself. We even briefly talked about the Beach Hebrew Institute, and gave Sharon instructions how to get there since as son is currently looking for a synagogue in Toronto’s East End.

It was time to get going and I gave Maria a quick ride to her constituency office just up the road on Danforth Avenue. We had a good time talking about Italian culture and language, particularly since I am considering doing an international travel assignment to the South of Italy in the near future. The last couple of hours had been great; I had connected with a like-minded individual who for decades has been a strong advocate for social justice, equal rights and protection for society’s most vulnerable, and we had a chance to enjoy some of the lovely window-shopping opportunities that Queen Street East offers on a sunny Saturday afternoon.

Susanne Pacher is the publisher of a website called Travel and Transitions (www.travelandtransitions.com). Travel and Transitions deals with unconventional travel and is chock full of advice, tips, real life travel experiences & interesting life journeys, interviews with travellers and travel experts, cross-cultural issues, and many other features.

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New Careers in Physical Therapy

If you are interested in a profession in the medical industry that is very hands on, but does not involve doing surgery or working in an office all day, a physical therapy degree might be just right.

Especially geared toward individuals who enjoy physical fitness, sports medicine and helping patients one on one, PT jobs are a great in-between that can be very fun, very rewarding, and make a real difference in other people’s lives.

While all doctors and medical personnel help people, a physical therapist is frequently the last specialist to work with patients after surgical procedures or illness, and through sometimes very long treatment processes, so they get to experience not only the hard work and the pain of therapy, but the joys of helping people get well again.

For a real people-person, going to school to become a physical therapist could be a wonderful career choice.

Physical Therapy Requirements

The educational requirements for someone to get a PT degree includes first obtaining a Bachelor’s Degree (which is required for entry into any physical therapy programs), and then completing a graduate program at any one of a number of accredited physical therapy schools.

A few graduate programs offer early guaranteed admissions programs for some students as well, where the students gain guaranteed future acceptance into the PT program while they are still high school students, and as long as they complete a required set of undergraduate college courses first.

In either case, it is of great importance that students make sure to choose only Commission on Accreditation in PT Education (CAPTE) accredited courses so that they fulfill the necessary educational requirements, both as undergraduate and graduate students or they will not be permitted to sit for their licensing examination.

Once enrolled in a program, there are two different degrees that a PT can earn, either a Doctorate in Physical Therapy (DPT), or a Master of Physical Therapy (MPT) or Master of Science in Physical Therapy (MSPT). DPT programs are professional entry-level degrees that all physical therapists must complete.

MPT or MSPT programs are continued education, specialty programs that can be taken after a physical therapist has earned their DPT. The DTP physical therapy degree program typically takes three years to complete. Upon obtaining their degree, physical therapists may then take their board licensure examination so they can become employed in their field.

In the UK, degree qualifications differ slightly in that schooling requirements to become a PT are currently that of a Bachelor’s Degree in Physiotherapy, only, with the DPT degree considered to be post-professional, continued education. However, this is supposed to change within the next few years, to where UK PTs will all be required to earn a DPT degree as well.

Physical Therapy Jobs

In order to hold a job as a physical therapist, professionals must have passed their state licensure exam so they may practice in their state. If they relocate to another area, a PT must take the licensing exam for that state in order to be allowed to get a new job.

In the US alone, there are close to 200,000 physical therapists licensed to practice at many different types of facilities, with many more individuals working as physical therapists in other countries.

PTs are employed by both inpatient and outpatient hospital facilities, physical therapy clinics, fitness centers, skilled nursing centers, extended care facilities, schools, hospices, educational and research facilities, private workplaces and sports medicine practices all over the world.

Main duties include assessing patient initial condition, implementing prescribed physical therapy requests by referring physicians, teaching proper use of physical therapy equipment, tailoring therapy to each patient’s ability and progression, and carefully monitoring that progress and reporting it back to the referring physician.

Physical Therapy Salary

Entry-level salary for a PT in the US is around $80,000 annually as of 2011, according to the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA). In the UK, starting salary according to the National Health Service (NHS) is £21,176 – £27,534 (band 5).

In both cases, PT salary rates rises substantially with experience and years on the job, and can increase up to as much as $100,000 or more in the US and up to band 7 (£40,157) in the UK (or higher in the private sector). Naturally, PTs who specialize will make slightly more than the base salary brackets.

Interested individuals who would like to learn more about physical therapy schools and program accreditation should contact their country’s professional association for physical therapists, which will be able to point prospective students in the right direction.

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