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The Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus Association of Canada (SBHAC) is a non-profit support organization dedicated to improving the quality of life of individuals with spina bifida and/or hydrocephalus and their families through awareness, education, and research. Spina bifida is a neural tube defect occurring early during fetal development, in which part of one or more of the bones of the spine (vertebrae) fail to develop completely, leaving a portion of the spinal cord exposed and resulting in damage to exposed nerve tissue. Hydrocephalus is a condition in which there is abnormal accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid in the skull, causing increased pressure on the brain. Established in 1981, the SBHAC currently has approximately 2,400 members in 11 chapters throughout Canada. The association provides a variety of programs and services including an 800 Help Line, support networking, educational workshops and seminars, and annual educational conference, research grants, scholarship programs for students with spina bifida and/or hydrocephalus, and public awareness programs. The association also offers a variety of educational guides and materials for schools, professionals, parents, and the general public including fact sheets; articles; a lending library of materials including books, guides, handbooks, and videos; and a regular newsletter entitled "Podium."
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