Accessibility News International

Accessibility News International will strive to bring you as much information as possible from around the Globe regarding issues of accessibility for the Disability Community. Partners with eSSENTIAL Accessibility to Offer Politicians an Easy Solution for Better Reaching, Serving and Empowering People with Disabilities

Montgomery, NY (PRWEB) April 15, 2014

Online Candidate, the political website design service, has partnered with eSSENTIAL Accessibility to offer its clients the option of adding an assistive technology app to their homepage when using to build their campaign websites. The eSSENTIAL Accessibility app gives people who have trouble typing, moving a mouse or reading, the tools they need to better access the Web. Politicians who use Online Candidate to build their website and feature the app are able to better connect with and serve their constituents with disabilities by creating a more inclusive online environment.

National Federation of the Blind and Four Blind People File Suit Against RideCharge, Inc. and Three Taxicab Companies in California

Los Angeles, California (April 2, 2014):

The National Federation of the Blind (NFB), the oldest and largest organization of blind people in the United States, and four blind people residing in CaliforniaRick Boggs, Geraldine Croom, Rochelle Houston, and Tina Thomas filed suit today in the United States District Court for the Central District of California against RideCharge, Inc. and three entities that manage taxicab fleets in Southern California: Administrative Services Cooperative, Inc. LA Taxi Cooperative, Inc., and South Bay Yellow Cab Cooperative, Inc.

The taxicab cooperatives have deployed RideCharge’s self-service, touchscreen payment terminals, which are inaccessible to blind taxicab riders, in taxicabs throughout Southern California.

Banking on Website Accessibility Lawsuits

By Marketwired .
April 11, 2014 11:35 AM EDT

PROVIDENCE, RI–(Marketwired – April 11, 2014) -
People with visual, auditory, cognitive recognition, speech or physical special needs have difficulties accessing many popular banking websites due to the startling lack of support for assistive technology.

Recognizing this to be a barrier to consumer banking growth, the Bureau of Internet Accessibility (BoIA) has compiled a list of the banks most vulnerable to litigation risk based on the proposed update to Americans with Disabilities Act Title III. This update defines all consumer commercial websites as being places that must provide for “public accommodation” including those with special needs. Failure to comply can bring significant liability under the law.

Canadians’ Mental-Health Info Routinely Shared With FBI, U.S. Customs

CBC News Posted: Apr 14, 2014 8:49 AM ET

Privacy commissioner Ann Cavoukian found attempted suicide calls uploaded to international database

Ontario’s privacy commissioner has discovered that the mental-health information of some Canadians is accessible to the FBI and U.S. Customs and Border Patrol.

Ann Cavoukian said Monday that some Ontario police services routinely uploaded attempted suicide calls to the Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC), to which U.S. border guards and the FBI have access.

Cavoukian began investigating how U.S. law enforcement had access to such personal information after last fall’s news that some Canadian travellers with a history of mental-health issues had been denied entry into the U.S.

Disability Community ‘Has Lost a True Champion’ in Jim Flaherty

The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Apr. 11 2014, 6:00 AM EDT

Outside of financial circles, Jim Flaherty is best remembered as a relentless champion of Canadians with disabilities.

The former finance minister, who died Thursday at age 64, created, most notably, the registered disability savings plan, a program designed to meet the needs of people with physical, developmental and psychiatric disabilities, that is unique in the world.

He was also an active supporter of Special Olympics. But, above all, Mr. Flaherty will be remembered as someone who used his political clout and considerable charm to promote the inclusion of people with disabilities in the workplace and in other aspects of everyday life.

Families Sue Disney; Claim Park Violates Americans with Disabilities Act(ADA)

Published: 4/09 6:47 pm
ORLANDO, Fla. (WFTV) — Sixteen families are suing the Walt Disney Corporation, claiming it does not provide adequate access to rides for theme park visitors with autism.

Three of the families included in the lawsuit are from central Florida.

In October, Disney stopped offering autistic visitors a guest assistance card, which allows them to bypass lines.

Disney officials claim they were trying to stop tourists from cheating the system by paying disabled guests for access to the front of the line.

Instead, they are offered a disability access service card, which gives them a scheduled return time.

Universities Breaking Distance Barriers with Fuze Video Collaboration

SAN FRANCISCO and DENVER, April 8, 2014 /PRNewswire/

Leading universities standardizing on Fuze, giving students access to new resources and curriculum; allowing faculty to connect in new ways, regardless of location

Hearing impaired students in disparate locations learning together through a rich visual experience. Nursing school students interning at hospitals able to remotely attend classes. Fuze video collaboration technology is enabling leading universities across the U.S. to eliminate distance and other barriers to make these types of enriched learning environments a reality.

New Communications Technology Reconnecting People who are Deaf-Blind

Apr 9, 2014

Gayle Aamold, a 72-year-old grandmother from Hartford, South Dakota, is computer savvy. Shes a whiz on email, surfing the internet, posting on Facebook and calling with Skype. But her low vision and hearing combined with a failing computer eventually made communicating with her family more and more difficult.

Deaf-Blind Communicator

Last year, Aamold received a new laptop computer with a 17-inch screen through The National Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Program, which is promoted as iCanConnect in South Dakota.

It gives me the independence that I need so that I dont have to call on someone, Aamold says.

Bill C-23: Its Impact on Electors with Disabilities

27 March 2014


The Council of Canadians with Disabilities (CCD), a national self-help organization working for an accessible and inclusive Canada, recommends the removal of provisions in Bill C-23 (Fair Elections) that will have the effect of disenfranchising some persons with disabilities and/or slowing barrier removal.

CCD acknowledges that these effects were unintended but stresses that consultation with organizations of people with disabilities is necessary to prevent harmful unintended effects that further marginalize Canadians with disabilities.

Online College Learning for Students with Disabilities Database

Online programs today benefit from advances in technology and offer rigorous curricula that rival those of in-classroom programs. The freedom to learn from anywhere at any time, and often at a student’s own pace, is attractive to many. But for students with disabilities, online learning can offer additional advantages. The College Database gathered input from more than 20 college and university disability services and online learning experts to compile the latest information on:


Three Simple Ways to Make Your Hiring Accessible to Persons with Disabilities

By Luz Iglesias, Published March 28, 2014

In Canada, approximately 14% of the population 4.4 million Canadians report having a disability. With an aging population, that number is on the rise.

A disability can affect someone’s body or mind, be mild or severe, happen at any stage of life, be long or short term but even taking into account employment barriers, the majority of persons with disabilities are skilled and able to actively work.

The human and economic benefits of hiring persons with disabilities have been well documented. Some highlights:

Participants Wanted for Study: Disability and Mobile Technology

March 26, 2014

Natasha Saltes, a PhD student in the Sociology Department at Queen’s University is looking for individuals to participate in a study on disability and mobile technology.

The study examines how people with disabilities use mobile computing devices (such as smartphone and tablets) and the benefits and barriers that they may encounter using the device. The study aims to shed light on how mobile technology can be used to facilitate access, inclusion and equality.

National Federation of the Blind and H&R Block Announce Agreement Assuring Accessibility

H&R Block Will Make Online Tax Prep and Mobile Apps Accessible March 25, 2014

The National Federation of the Blind (NFB) , the oldest and largest nationwide organization of blind Americans, and H&R Block, which prepares approximately one in seven tax returns in America, announced today that they have reached an agreement to make H&R Block’s Web site, online tax preparation products, and mobile applications fully accessible to blind taxpayers.

Blind people access computers, Web sites, and mobile applications through screen access software that converts what is on the screen into spoken words or Braille, but improperly coded Web sites and applications can prevent this software from working properly, denying the blind user equal access.

Landmark Settlement Agreement Substantially Improves Accessibility to Golden Gate National Recreational Area

Berkeley, CA March 17, 2014

Disability Rights Advocates (DRA) and the National Park Service (NPS) have entered into a landmark settlement agreement that will significantly improve access to Golden Gate National Recreational Area (GGNRA) for the thousands of people with mobility and vision disabilities who visit GGNRA each year.

This agreement is the first comprehensive settlement in the country that will increase the accessibility of a federal park system.

Read the settlement agreement at the link below.

GGNRA attracts more than 13 million diverse visitors every year. Set on more than 75,000 acres of land and water from San Mateo to Marin County, GGNRA is the country’s largest national park in an urban area.

The Case Against Assistive Technology

Posted March 24, 2014
by Ben Johnston

It’s hard to imagine not using technology every day in the real world.

I can’t think of many jobs that don’t require it.

In the real world, using technology is seen as being “tech-savvy.” And yet in our schools, technology is often seen as giving an unfair advantage.
Only a few percent of students with disabilities ever use technology beyond word processors, web browsers, and SMART boards.

It’s disheartening to see non-verbal students struggling to communicate despite the advances in augmentative communication devices. Likewise, it’s difficult to see students with dysgraphia struggling to write simple sentences with pencil and paper despite the advances in word prediction software.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) & Web Accessibility

Article By: Cynthia L. Effinger
McBrayer, McGinnis, Leslie and Kirkland, PLLC
posted on: Wednesday, March 19, 2014

On March 6, the U.S. Department of Justice announced that a consent decree with H&R Block had been entered requiring the company to establish accessibility of its websites and mobile apps under the Americans with Disabilities Act. The decree resolves the department’s allegations that individuals with disabilities are denied full and equal enjoyment of the company’s tax-preparation focused goods and services provided online.

Field of Play: Awakening to the Truth of the Paralympics

By Scott Russell, CBC Sports Posted: Mar 11, 2014

Sit-skier Josh Dueck , of Vernon, B.C., pushes the limit every time he competes, helping to break down traditional barriers in Paralympic sport.

Brian McKeever wins Canada’s first gold 5:57

Canada’s Lauren Woolstencroft, who won five gold medals at the 2010 Paralympics, says more people are seeing the Games as a high-performance sporting event. (Jonathan Hayward/Canadian Press)
Following my return from Russia and the Olympic spectacle, I honestly thought the subsequent broadcast of the Paralympic Winter Games from Sochi was going to be a grind.

I was never more wrong.

Gartner Says New U.S. Government Rules Will Require IT Leaders to Consider How IT Infrastructure Can Help Promote Employment Opportunities for People with Disabilities

STAMFORD, Conn., March 12, 2014
By 2015, 50 Percent of Organizations Will Have Technology Projects Underway That Support Enablement of Disabled People in the Workplace

New U.S. government rules requiring employers to take more affirmative action to hire people with disabilities will mean that by 2015, 50 percent of organizations will have technology projects underway to support the enablement of disabled employees, according to Gartner, Inc.

On March 24, 2014, new guidelines under Section 503 of the amended Rehabilitation Act of 1973 go into effect in the United States. Section 503 requires Federal contractors and subcontractors to take more ambitious affirmative action to hire people with disabilities. There are similar global regulations impacting companies to boost the hiring of people with special needs or disabilities and a total of 158 countries or regional integration organizations have signed the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and its Optional Protocol.

Petition: Incorporate Voice Technology, Audio Cues, and/or Tactile Buttons Into Your Flat Panel Appliances to Make Them Accessible to the Blind and Those With Low Vision

by Gene Fleeman
March 9, 2014

I started this petition on, because of the perceived lack of demand, appliance manufacturers have been reluctant to build inexpensive voice/touch technology into their products, thereby making them inaccessible to the blind.

There are approximately seven million blind or low-vision people living in the United States today, and that number is growing every day, due to causes ranging from birth defects, diabetes, to combat injuries, etc.

We clean, do laundry, iron, sew, and travel independently. We are foodservice managers, attorneys, scientists and more. And yet, when it comes to operating our touch panel home appliances we are practically helpless. Why?, because appliance manufacturers refuse to incorporate inexpensive technology that already exists such as those used in smartphones and iPads that make their flat panel appliances accessible to the blind.

Reinterpreting and Expanding “The Right to Live in the World”

By Adrienne Asch

From the Editor: Dr. Adrienne Asch is the director of the Center for Ethics at Yeshiva University and the Edward and Robin Milstein Professor of Bioethics. These are her titles and the positions she holds, but much more demands to be said about her. She has been a member of the National Federation of the Blind since the early 70s, and she has lived our message and spread it to audiences who can be reached only by someone with her accomplishments and credentials. We strive for integration and seek to take our message to places where it is seldom heard and to places where it can be discussed with those who don’t agree with it. Adrienne has tirelessly done this, and the result is that Federation ideas and beliefs are topics for discussion throughout the world.

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