Welcome to Accessibility News International (ANI)

This site is part of the Accessibility News Network.

Latest Headlines

Aylmer Runner Gaston Bedard Competes on World Stage

Julie Murray, Aylmer Bulletin.
Wednesday, April 15, 2015.

As a competitive runner, nothing can stop 62 year-old Gaston Bedard-not even complete blindness and deafness. The Boston Marathon, April 20, will be his 16th full marathon since running his first in 1979.

Mr. Bedard will be competing with “Team With a Vision”, a group of blind and sighted athletes who run the Boston Marathon every year to raise funds and awareness for the Massachusetts Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired.

The group’s mission? To prove that with good support, people with disabilities can do anything.

The “Well” in Welfare

by Alex Lytwyn
April 24, 2015

The words “Employment & income Assistance” they sound very nice but the simple fact of the matter is that two of them are not true.

I’m speaking not for all, who are on this provincial program, just from my own experience. Sure, your income is provided to you (even thought, it is well below the poverty level) however, employment and that nice sounding word assistance, I have yet to see.

The following statement has been quoted from the Government of Manitoba website:

Dieppe Will Remove Roundabout After Human Rights Complaint

Abby Bourque-Coyle filed a human rights complaint after the roundabout was installed in 2010 CBC News Posted: Apr 20, 2015

This Dieppe roundabout became the centre of a human rights complaint. The city will now remove the roundabout.

Abby Bourque-Coyle said she used to walk her son to school until the city installed a roundabout at the intersection of Gould and Notre Dame streets in 2010.

At the time, she said that the Dieppe roundabout made it impossible for her to tell if cars were moving toward her or past her.

She also complained some vehicles were using the traffic circle recklessly, cutting over the raised central section rather than driving around it.

Comcast Unveils Talking TV Guide For Visually Impaired

April 21, 2015

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) Many assume that visually impaired and blind people do not use their televisions much. But, that is hardly the case.
It is also why one company is unveiling a “talking TV guide.”

Beth Sekelik teaches the visually impaired at the Western Pennsylvania School for Blind Children.
“They are able to tell what is on. They can scan through the channels and know how much time is left per show, so I think it’s really great that they can make some choices,” Sekelik said.

Comcast demonstrated a talking guide that reads the selections aloud including program titles, network names and time slots. It also works for DVR items and On-Demand settings.

DRA Achieves Victory in Scribd Case: Internet-Based Companies Must Comply with the ADA

Burlington, Vermont, March 20, 2015

The National Federation of the Blind (NFB), the nation’s leading advocate for access by the blind to information and technology, today applauded a ruling issued by Judge William K. Sessions III of the United States District Court for the District of Vermont in a lawsuit filed by the NFB and Heidi Viens, a blind mother from Colchester, against Scribd, Inc. (case number: 2:14-CV-162).

The court’s ruling denied Scribd’s motion to have the case dismissed. The lawsuit alleges violations of Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Scribd had argued that the ADA did not apply because the company does not offer its services from a public physical location.

When Take It To The Streets Was Born Part 1

April 15, 2015
by VaShaun Jones

I’ll record an audio file and tell you how we got to be at this meeting and how I failed miserably, recovered and how the “Take It To The Streets video was my promise to every member in attendance.


The Deaf-Blind Dilemma

by Cathy Guillory Miller
Braille Monitor April 2015

From the Editor: In the October 2014 issue we ran an article of particular interest to people who are deaf blind about the service iCanConnect. In trying to edit that article, I found that there was much I did not know about the deaf blind. I consulted with Joe Naulty, and he recommended that I speak with Cathy Guillory Miller. I wanted to understand more about the conventions regarding the words deaf blind and the reason or reasons why the words were written differently. Sometimes they were written as two separate words, sometimes they were hyphenated, and sometimes they were written in upper case, lower case, or a mixture. Was it simply a matter of preference, style, or was there something more important for me to know as I edited the article? The letter Cathy wrote to me explained so much that I asked her permission to run it as an article in the Braille Monitor. She gave her permission, and I offer this with the hope that it will be as helpful to our readers as it has been to me.

Service Animal Laws Challenged in Arizona

by Donald Porterfield

From the Editor: Donald Porterfield is the first vice president of the National Federation of the Blind of Arizona and serves as its legislative director. Recently he found out about a proposal to eliminate protections for service dogs, including guide dogs for the blind. Here is an email he distributed in late February, supplemented by an interview I had with him:

Manitoba’s Vulnerable Persons Act: Only a select few protected

It’s time for the province to “act” responsible, extend Manitoba’s Vulnerable Persons Act to all who need it By Alex Lytwyn, for CBC News
Posted: Mar 19, 2015

Depending on someone to get me out of bed in the morning and manage the details of my life until they put me in my room at night only makes me feel one way: Vulnerable, says Alex Lytwyn.

There are employees in Manitoba that arrive at work and find their boss lying in bed. I know it’s true, because they work for me.

Now, if you don’t believe the boss can be in “boss form” when the first interaction with their employee is in the bedroom, you are correct.

Taking The Social Model of Disability Online

Decades have passed and still accessibility remains on the fringes of technical change.
by El Gibbs on March 17th, 2015

As more of our lives move online, is the online world accessible to everyone? Are newer technologies keeping up, or are disabled people getting left out again?

How we are as disabled people in the world has changed over time; we used to be thought of as broken, crippled or handicapped. The social model of disability changed that, and brought with it the right to be in the world, just as we are. Laws were made mandating that public buildings become accessible, and at least in theory, people were no longer locked up in institutions and discriminated against at work.

Life in the Instant World for Those Who Must Wait

My life is like the Big Ben clock: Always precise. If it is thrown off for a split second, things go awry. By Alex Lytwyn, for CBC News
Originally Posted: Jan 24, 2015

The word ‘simple’ is supposed to convey the feeling of carefree and at ease. Very rarely do I experience this feeling.

The word ‘wait,’ however, has major meaning in my life. People out there with no patience, who need everything right now, listen to this:

What would happen if you dropped the TV remote and could not change the channel for hours? You wait, and watch whatever is on that channel, until someone can pick it up for you.

Accessibility at Microsoft: More Challenges than Victories

by Curtis Chong
Braille Monitor April 2015

From the Editor: Curtis Chong is the president of the National Federation of the Blind in Computer Science.

There can be little doubt that Microsoft products are widely used today in almost every aspect of life. The majority of employers in this country require their employees to use programs from Microsoft (especially programs that are part of Microsoft Office) to accomplish the tasks they perform every day such as sending and receiving email, creating and editing documents, administering databases, managing projects, and so on.

Improving Online Accessibility for Students a Major Issue for Schools

By Bridget McCrea
March 27th, 2015

Getting schools onboard with accessible learning is a struggle that Kara Zirkle is all too familiar with. As IT accessibility coordinator at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., she says resistance to change, particularly in the cultural senseis fairly natural and tends to stand in the way of even the best intentions on the assistive learning front. To overcome this obstacle, she says schools should institute solid policies and procedures that address all federal (i.e., ADA) and state accessibility requirements.

On the K-12 front, she says the board of education, principal, and technology directors should be part of an effective “top-down” approach to accessibility. Without these key players on the team, Zirkle says such initiatives can quickly become fragmented and ineffective.

As ADA Turns 25, Places of Public Accommodation Must Consider Accessible Technology

These two developing areas have implications for almost any entity covered by Title III By Joshua A. Stein
March 25, 2015

July 26, 2015, is the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). This event will likely be celebrated with significant developments impacting the scope of coverage of Title III of the ADA.

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), charged with regulating Title III, is expected to advance and finalize some regulations affecting most industries, and others focused on movie theaters, cruise lines, and possibly, healthcare facilities. Additionally, advocacy groups and plaintiffsbuoyed by these looming developments and emboldened by the 25th anniversary may continue aggressively pursuing an expansive interpretation of Title III in structured negotiations/”cooperative” agreements and litigation.

Government Reinstates Disabled Worker’ Paper-Shredding Jobs

Chris Cobb Ottawa Citizen, March 23, 2015

In the face of a public and political backlash, the Conservative government has reinstated a program that will allow 50 developmentally disabled Ottawa workers to continue sorting and disposing of waste federal documents.

The new contract between the Public Works and Government Services Canada and the Ottawa-Carleton Association for Persons with Developmental Disabilities (OCAPDD) will last for three years and be renewable.

Pierre Poilievre, minister of employment and social development and regional minister for the National Capital Region, told the Citizen on Sunday that despite the digital age, government still generates plenty of sensitive documents that need disposing of.

Fake ‘Service Dog’ ID Brought to Heel by Proposed B.C. Law

BC and Alberta Guide Dogs says more people are getting fake IDs for untrained dogs to benefit from the perks By Daybreak South, CBC News Posted: Mar 20, 2015

Fake ‘service dog’ IDs prompt new law 2:39

Fake ID is going to the dogs rather too much, as it turns out. But a proposed B.C. law aims to stop people labelling dogs without proper training as service dogs, by creating government issued dog ID and a provincial registry.

“It’ll be a bit like a service dog driving licence if you like,” Bill Thornton, the CEO of BC and Alberta Guide Dogs, an organization that trains service dogs, told Daybreak South’s Chris Walker.

The evils of captcha explained by a blind person

by Stefania Leone

Whoever forgets their online banking password or any other account with sensitive data must pass the dreaded CAPTCHA test(Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart). This is an image containing letters and numbers that, for security reasons, the user must be able to recognise and type in to continue the authentication procedure.

Apparently it’s a doddle one that, however, can really try one’s patience. Because captcha is particularly difficult to read which of course ensures that only humans, rather than an automated system such as a virus, can decipher the code.

Government of Canada Invests to Improve Workplace Diversity in the Canadian Logistics, Transportation and Supply Chain Sectors

CALGARY, March 18, 2015 /CNW

Joan Crockatt, Member of Parliament for Calgary Centre, on behalf of the Honourable Dr. K. Kellie Leitch, Minister of Labour and Minister of Status of Women, today announced a new grant to improve workplace diversity and inclusion in the logistics, transportation and supply chain industry. Ms. Crockatt made the announcement at the Women in Supply Chain Distinguished Speaker Dinner Series in Calgary.

Under the Workplace Opportunities: Removing Barriers to Equity (WORBE) program, the Van Horne Institute will receive $125,000 for a project that will allow them to identify barriers, solutions and best practices of inclusive workplaces by engaging its academic and industry partners. Findings will enable the creation of a corporate change model for industry and academia, and a video promoting the value of inclusive workplaces.

Working Wisdom: How Workers With Disabilities Give Companies an Edge

The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Feb. 27 2015, 7:13 PM EST

It’s tough enough to finish a degree in mathematics only to find the jobs available are temporary work packing boxes at Costco. It’s even harder when you are also trying to hide the fact that you have autism.

Just ask Mackenzie Whitney.

Despite a math degree from the University of Alberta, Mr. Whitney has felt an unspoken stigma from some employers because of his autism. For years he was stuck toiling at marginal jobs with irregular shifts, low pay and little chance of building a career.

U.S. Aims To Speed Up The Internet For The Disabled

Originally published on Sat March 7, 2015

Transcript from video at the link below.


The Americans with Disabilities Act was passed in 1990. That is a long time ago in computer years. The Department of Justice is expected to release formal regulations this month that for the first time would apply ADA accessibility requirements to the web. From member station WHYY, Todd Bookman reports.

TODD BOOKMAN, BYLINE: If you’re blind, the Web probably has a familiar sound.


ANGEL AYALA: We’re on the Department of Justice website under accessibility under Internet accessibility.