Awareness & Education

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June is Spina Bifida & Hydrocephalus Awareness Month

Each year in the month of June the Association reaches out across Ontario to encourage all Ontarians to learn more about these serious disabling conditions and to appreciate the challenges faced by people living with them.

June is our month to highlight the importance of our cause through awareness and fundraising activities. Throughout this year we will be promoting SB&H's programs and services. We hope to inform all those we can in communities across Ontario. Education of professionals is also an important activity of SB&H. Look for our SB&H "What is it?" bookmarks in your local library.

Physical and social barriers, medical complications, learning disabilities and financial burdens are some of the challenges that individuals with spina bifida and hydrocephalus, and their families must face each and every day.

Help Ontario families meet these challenges... Raise awareness in your community.

To help you in your efforts to promote awareness in your community, please feel free to download resources from our Media Resources Page

For more information call 1-800-387-1575 or email


Municipal Proclamations

The following municipalities are honouring SB&H with official proclamations designating June Spina Bifida & Hydrocephalus Awareness Month:

  • Atikokan
  • Aurora 
  • Billings
  • Bruce Mines
  • Clarington
  • Cornwall
  • Fort Frances
  • Goderich
  • North Bay
  • Oshawa
  • Ottawa
  • Pickering
  • Prince Edward County
  • Rideau Lakes
  • Sault Ste. Marie
  • St. Thomas
  • Timmins
  • Welland

SB&H extends our warmest thanks to the Council & Mayor of each municipality for recognizing our cause.

Ontario Health Minister Message About SB&H Awareness Month

June is National Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus Awareness Month. It is an opportunity to learn more about these two medical conditions and the ways they can be prevented.

Spina bifida is a neural tube birth defect which occurs when the neural tube fails to close properly during the early weeks of pregnancy. Hydrocephalus, sometimes referred to as "water on the brain", is an accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid that is caused by a blockage in the drainage pathways which are in and around the brain and spinal cord.  Although most babies born with these conditions survive, they may experience life-long health problems and may require extensive medical and surgical treatments.

There is no single known cause for spina bifida or hydrocephalus, but proper nutrition and vitamin supplements before conception and in the first weeks of pregnancy can help reduce the risk of neural tube defects.

All women of child-bearing age who think they could become pregnant should take a daily multivitamin containing 0.4 mg of folic acid in the months before conception.  In addition, women should follow Canada's Food Guide and include natural sources of folic acid, such as whole grains, fortified breakfast cereals, dried beans, leaf vegetables and fruits in their diet.  Women who become pregnant should continue taking a daily multivitamin containing 0.4 mg of folic acid or talk to their prenatal care provider about a vitamin supplement that meets their specific needs.

A healthy pregnancy will give a child the best possible start in life.  Information about Next link will take you to another Web site healthy pregnancies is found on the Public Health Agency of Canada website.  The government has also invested in the study of neurological diseases and, in the past 10 years, has provided close to $11 million to grant and research awards relating to spina bifida and hydrocephalus.

I encourage Canadians to learn more about healthy pregnancy during Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus Awareness Month, and to be fully aware of the steps that can be taken to decrease the risk of neural tube birth defects.

Leona Aglukkaq
Minister of Health


Presentations & Displays

Raising public awareness of spina bifida and hydrocephalus is of primary importance to our membership. The Association welcomes opportunities to provide exhibits or speakers at conferences, seminars, workshops, schools, workplaces, etc. This form of education facilitates the acceptance of people with disabilities in communities across Ontario. We work to increase knowledge and understanding through presentations, displays and other promotional efforts.

If you would like SB&H to make a presentation or provide a display, please contact us at 1-800-387-1575 or email