Welcome to Accessibility News International (ANI)

This site is part of the Accessibility News Network.

Latest Headlines

I Was Very Ignorant. How Being Paralyzed Changed One Woman’s View of How the World Treats Disabled People

After an accident severed her spinal cord, Kristi Leer has been using a wheelchair CBC News
Posted: Jan 19, 2020

A wheelchair user from Fort Nelson in northeastern B.C. is pushing for better accessibility for all, based on her own experiences struggling with moving around.

Two years ago, Kristi Leer severed her spinal cord in a vehicle crash. Since then, Leer has used a wheelchair to get around.

Leer says the experience has been eye opening.

“You know when I got in this chair, I’m going to be very honest, my attitude toward persons with disabilities and wheelchairs was very ignorant, and when I say ignorant, I mean not knowing,” Leer told host Carolina de Ryk on Daybreak North.

Society Is Missing the True Definition of Inclusion

January 16, 2020
Column by Ralph Yaniz.

My experiences writing this column over the past year have been fabulous. But it was daunting at first to put pen to paper to capture what so many people feel.

My first column talked about starting something new and the excitement this brings. But the reality is that the muscular dystrophy community is diverse. And the broader disability community is as wide and beautiful as the universe. Trying to capture the entirety of these communities has been a learning experience.

Entering 2020, I find myself 24 columns ” with over 10,000 views ” into this experience. I continue to receive more and more responses from readers, both on the website and social media platforms. This has helped me to grow.

MANITOBA SUPPORTS EDUCATION ON EMPLOYMENT ACCESSIBILITY

Renewed Funding Agreement Focuses on Outreach: Stefanson
January 15, 2020

The Manitoba government is investing $120,800 with the Manitoba League of Persons with Disabilities (MLPD) to provide educational and outreach work that will help ensure organizations understand and comply with the accessible employment standard, Families Minister Heather Stefanson announced today.

“Accessibility is important to all Manitobans and a priority for our government,” said Stefanson. “We are pleased to support this work with the MLPD. This funding will help them deliver workshops, share tools and resources, and provide advice and expertise to organizations to promote the development and implementation of accessible employment practices.”

eSSENTIAL Accessibility Secures $16 Million in Growth Funding

Business Wire
January 15, 2020

Lead Edge Capital spearheads the round to accelerate, scale and meet escalating demand for Accessibility-as-a-Service

TORONTO – eSSENTIAL Accessibility, the pioneering provider of Accessibility-as-a-Service, today announced the close of a $16 million USD investment round led by Lead Edge Capital.

Accessibility is a business mandate that has arrived with tremendous force. The consequences of not offering accessible experiences are costly and brand debilitating. This new financing will provide eSSENTIAL Accessibility with resources to expand its software platform and pursue rapid geographic expansion to meet escalating demand. It builds on an exceptional year for eSSENTIAL Accessibility which saw a rapidly growing roster of clients, key executive appointments, and market momentum in the white-hot areas of accessibility and inclusion.

Mayor Promises Disabled Londoners Free Travel for Companion

By Jessie Mathewson
Local Democracy Reporter – City Hall

The Mayor of London has today promised a free travel pass to help disabled people get around.

Carers and companions of disabled people would get free travel on all Transport for London (TfL) services, including the Tube, Overground and buses, under the new plans.

The pledge is Sadiq Khans first policy announcement ahead of the London mayoral election in May this year.

It came as rail fares rose by an average of 2.7 per cent nationally, meaning some commuters faced increases of more than £100 on annual travel cards.

Japan Speeds up Barrier-Free Initiatives Ahead of Paralympics

KYODO NEWS
January 2, 2020

TOKYO – Japan is speeding up its efforts to make accommodation and transport facilities more accessible ahead of the Paralympic Games in Tokyo, but some people with disabilities have questioned whether enough is being done.

While the games are touted as a chance to create a more inclusive society, a Kyodo News survey showed 66 percent of respondents did not see any improvement in accessibility or understanding of disabilities since 2013, when Tokyo was awarded hosting rights. In comparison, 34 percent said they had noticed progress.

Boston Sled Hockey Players Finding Family and Freedom on the Ice

By: Kerry Kavanaugh, Jason Solowski, and Thomas Korsak
Updated: December 31, 2019

WELLESLEY, Mass. For people with physical disabilities simple tasks can be major challenges. They plan ahead for everything. Even sports designed for athletes with disabilities can create obstacles.

We have enough to adapt to in life, said sled hockey player Brian Bardel. We tend not to think about it and just overcome.”

But, theres a new arena where sled hockey players can shed all that worry and just play. Its the only one of its kind in New England.

Boston 25 News Anchor Kerry Kavanaugh visited the fully adaptive ice rink in Wellesley and met the players of the Boston Ice Storm, a Massachusetts sled hockey team.

Toyota Motor Europe Launches the Toyota Startup Awards to Find Most Innovative Solutions to Improve Mobility for All

The Toyota Startup Awards will take place at the 4YFN event in Barcelona, from 24 to 26 February 2020

Eight selected startups will participate in a pitching competition to try to win the main prize a fast track to the Toyota Accelerator Program, powered by ISDI Accelerator

Toyota is looking for the most innovative solutions in the fields of Inclusive Mobility, Accessibility and Disruptive Mobility to contribute to its goal of offering “Mobility for All”

The competition ties in with Toyota’s global call to “Start Your Impossible”, the belief that when people are free to move, anything is possible

Whitehorse Teen can Write eMails Using Her Eyes

‘It gives me a sense of pride to have one bit of independence,’ says Eva von Flowtow Jane Sponagle · CBC News · Posted: Dec 29, 2019

Eva von Flotow won’t take no for an answer.

The 19-year-old Whitehorse woman is fighting for more accessibility.

It’s a cause close to her heart; von Flotow uses a wheelchair. She has quadriplegic cerebral palsy with dystonia, which means she has difficulty controlling how she moves.

Von Flotow is already making change. The Vancouver International Airport is working on an accessible washroom with a lift after she wrote a letter saying none of the washrooms had a lift for people in wheelchairs.

Halifax New Year’s Eve Celebration at Grand Parade Aims to Be Accessible for First Time

By Alexa MacLean -Global News
Posted December 26, 2019

The New Year’s Eve celebration at Grand Parade is coined as the largest in Atlantic Canada. Work is being done to make it fully accessible to everyone looking to attend. .

A well-known accessibility advocate in Nova Scotia has been working alongside the municipality to ensure that one of Atlantic Canada’s largest outdoor New Year’s Eve celebrations, happening at Halifax’s Grand Parade, is fully accessible to anyone wanting to attend.

“This is the first year for it,” said Paul Vienneau.

“We’re going to build on this, but immediately we’ve got a sort of fenced-off area downstage right in the front, for disabled folks of all descriptions to sit.

Americans With Disabilities Have $200 Billion in Spending Power. Comcast Isn’t Leaving Them Behind

by Christian Hetrick, Updated: December 25, 2019

James Baldwin thought he’d never see his granddaughter’s face again.

The 18-year Army veteran started to lose his vision three years ago from an injury he suffered in the Gulf War. He lost his left eye and was left with limited vision in his right, reducing his sight to light and shadows. He can see shapes but not faces.

That was until October, when Baldwin put on a pair of NuEyes electronic glasses, which enhance the vision of visually impaired people. Suddenly, he could clearly see his wife sitting beside him. Leaves on trees. A picture of his granddaughter in her basketball uniform.

CANADA: Transport Agency Asks for Public Input on Air Travel for Disabled People

Dec 5, 2019
By: Canadian Press

TORONTO Two separate federal agencies issued announcements Tuesday on life with a disability in Canada one seeking greater input on hot-button issues and the other urging society at large to challenge its preconceptions.

Statements from the Canadian Transportation Agency and Statistics Canada differed in scope and content, but both touched on issues that disabled Canadians have long said lacked adequate attention.

The CTA announced it was launching the next phase of its consultations on accessibility issues, saying it was looking to remove further barriers to travel across provincial or national borders.

City of Calgary Announces New Dispatch Service for Accessible Taxis

By Kaylen Small -Global News
Posted December 5, 2019

The City of Calgary announced a new service for accessible taxis on Wednesday.

Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle Calgary,a centralized dispatch service for on-demand accessible taxis, aims to reduce wait times for people who use wheelchairs.

WAVC will have one point of contact for customers to request an accessible taxi and dispatch the closest available one while providing approximate wait times.

“Since these customers are paying the same metered rate as non-accessible users, we want to make sure they are getting the same level of service,” said Abdul Rafih, acting manager of compliance services, in a news release.

Broadbent Pushes B.C. Government for Justice-Based Accessibility Law

The left-wing thing tank says historical injustices and ongoing discrimination have made a society that excludes the Deaf and disabled. Nick Eagland
Updated: December 7, 2019

As the B.C. government develops accessibility legislation, a left-wing think-tank is calling on policy-makers to consider how historical injustices and continuing discrimination have led to a society that still excludes deaf and disabled people.

From Sept. 16 to Nov. 29 of this year, the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction collected public feedback to help develop the new legislation it says will “guide government, persons with disabilities and the broader community to work together to identify, remove and prevent barriers.”

Public Bodies in Nova Scotia Get One Year to Develop Accessibility Plans

The Canadian Press Staff
Published Tuesday, December 3, 2019

HALIFAX — Municipalities and universities will have a year to develop plans to remove barriers to accessibility as Nova Scotia continues to move towards its legislated goal of making the province more accessible to people with disabilities by 2030.

Justice Minister Mark Furey announced a step Tuesday that would see municipalities, villages, universities, the Nova Scotia Community College and provincial libraries designated as public sector bodies under the provincial Accessibility Act on April 1.

Furey said those bodies will then have one year to establish accessibility advisory committees and implement plans aimed at making buildings and public spaces accessible to employees under provincial standards that are being developed. Those standards are expected to be in place by 2022.

Campbell: Access to Employment Critical Step for People With Disabilities

Dec. 3 is United Nations International Day of Persons with Disabilities. The theme this year is “The Future is Accessible.” It’s a future all of us in the disability sector envision, especially in terms of employment for people who have a disability.

An idealistic vision? I don’t think so. Here’s the thing, though: the future starts now. We need to do more now about employment accessibility.

This demands asking two essential questions: How do we make the future more accessible? And what does accessibility mean, especially when it comes to employment?

Accessibility, the Future, and Why Domino’s Matters

November 29, 2019

Technology is changing the way we interact with companies like Domino’s, for sure.

The US Supreme Court last week to weigh in on an argument that the Americans with Disabilities Act should not apply to websites and digital storefronts, leaving intact a lower ruling finding that the ADA does, indeed, apply to digital space. Internet and Web users with disabilities, as well as advocates for accessible design, are breathing a sigh of relief.

Stanford and Students with Mental Health Disabilities Reach Landmark Settlement

Settlement is most comprehensive ever to protect college students with mental health disabilities from unnecessary exclusion Palo Alto, CA, October 7, 2019

A coalition of Stanford students and Stanford University have reached a groundbreaking settlement agreement that will result in significant changes to Stanford’s leave of absence policies and practices, all of which will help ensure that students experiencing mental health crises have access to appropriate accommodations and services and are not unnecessarily excluded from campus and housing. Read the settlement agreement below.

Recommendations for Transportation Accessibility Standard AEBC Winnipeg Nov 2019

Alliance for Equality of Blind Canadians
L’Alliance pour l’égalité des personnes aveugles du Canada
Winnipeg Chapter
Janet Hunt, Chapter President
Email: jjvhunt@shaw.ca
November 2019

Response to Discussion Paper on AAC Recommendations for the Transportation Accessibility Standard

The Winnipeg Chapter of the Alliance for Equality of Blind Canadians (AEBC) is pleased to provide feedback and comments on the AAC recommendations for the Transportation Accessibility Standard.

AEBC is a national grassroots, peer support organization that is comprised of Canadians who are blind, deafblind or partially sighted and our supporters from the public at large.

U.S. House Committee Leaders Call for More Action to Prevent Airline Mishandling of Wheelchairs

By Kelly Yamanouchi, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
November 14, 2019

U.S. House committee leaders this week called for airlines to do more to prevent mishandling of wheelchairs and scooters of passengers with disabilities, and sought more information on airlines’ policies and procedures.

In a letter to industry group Airlines for America CEO Nicholas Calio, Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian and National Air Carriers Association president George Novak, the members of Congress wrote that “the U.S. airline industry must do more to prevent mishandling of mobility aids for passengers with disabilities.”

Nearly 57 million Americans have a disability, according to Census data release in 2012, and more than 30 million had difficulty walking or climbing stairs, or used a wheelchair, cane, crutches or walker.