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USBLN Technology HUB to Connect Certified Disability-Owned Businesses to Corporate Buyers

Tool Will Help Promote Job Creation and Competitive Contracts September 13, 2016

The US Business Leadership Network (USBLN) is launching its new Disability Supplier Diversity Program (DSDP) technology tool, which will provide certified disability-owned and service-disabled veteran disability-owned businesses the opportunity to promote their cost-competitive businesses to corporate buyers and decision makers.

The USBLNs certification process is a critical tool to assist disability-owned business enterprises (DOBEs) and service-disabled veteran disability-owned business enterprises (SDV-DOBEs) access to supply chain contracting opportunities. The new USBLN Certification and Sourcing HUB will allow the organization to certify more DOBEs and SDV-DOBEs by improving the efficiency of the overall certification and administrative processes. This expanded pool of disability suppliers will bring increased innovation and competitiveness to the marketplace, promote job creation and provide people with disabilities greater self-employment and economic opportunities.

Uber Canada and Canadian Hearing Society Partner to Promote Accessibility

Jessica Vomiero
September 24, 2016

Uber Canada and the Canadian Hearing Society (CHS) announced a partnership Friday that promotes employment access for the deaf and hard of hearing.

This partnership was announced during the Canadian Hearing Society’s International Week of the Deaf event “Creating an Accessible World.” The partnership will bring about several initiatives including promoting driver-partner opportunities at Uber for those who are hard of hearing and developing new features that improve communication between driver and client.

Furthermore, CHS and Uber will be introducing a “First ride for free” program, which gives deaf and hard of hearing customers a discount on their first ride as well as launching a promotion between September 26th and 29th that will donate $1 from every uberWAV and uberASSIST ride taken in Canada to CHS.

Barrier-Free Canada Update

Please Use and Widely Circulate Two New Helpful Resources We Here Give You, Helpful for Anyone Taking Part in the Government of Canada’s Current Public Consultation on the Promised Canadians with Disabilities Act Our Short Leaflet and Our Longer, More Detailed Tip Sheet

Barrier-Free Canada/Canada Sans Barrière
http://www.barrierfreecanada.org info@barrierfreecanada.org
A Non-Partisan Campaign for a Barrier-Free Canada for All Persons with Disabilities

September 23, 2016

The Federal Government is asking the public to give it input on what should be included in the promised Canadians with Disabilities Act, a new federal disability accessibility law. Are you thinking of taking part in that public consultation and giving the Government feedback? You can do so by attending one of the Federal Government’s public forums taking place across Canada, or by filling out the Government’s online questionnaire, or taking part in other activities and events that will be coming up over the next months.

Tutty: Teaching Children the History of Society’s Treatment on the Disabled

Independent Free Press
By Andrew Tutty

Recently, one of my Facebook friends had a very upsetting incident in a B.C. restaurant.

She was refused service because she had her guide dog with her. The staff refused to recognize the official documents identifying her dog as a guide dog.

It is difficult to believe that in 2016 there are still people who do not know what a guide dog is and the rights of the blind under Canadian law.

Government of Canada Launches Call for Proposals to Support the Social Inclusion of Canadians With Disabilities

GATINEAU, QC, Sept. 22, 2016

The Government of Canada is working to ensure greater accessibility and opportunities for Canadians with disabilities in their communities and workplaces. To this end, the Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities today invited national not-for-profit organizations with a focus on disability to apply for funding through the 2016 Social Development Partnership Program Disability Component (SDPP-D) call for proposals.

Under this competitive process, eligible national disability organizations are invited to submit funding proposals over a six week period until November 3, 2016 for innovative projects that identify, develop and test promising practices and tools that promote the social inclusion of people with disabilities. The practices and tools may be new or build on existing programs and services.

UN Releases General Comment on the Right to Inclusive Education

By Kerri Joffe, Staff Lawyer

The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) is the first legally binding international law to discuss the right to quality inclusive education. Article 24 of the CRPD provides that all persons with disabilities have a right to education. In order to realize the right to education without discrimination and on the basis of equal opportunities, States Parties have an obligation to ensure an inclusive education system at all levels.

This is significant since millions of persons with disabilities around the world are denied an education, and many others receive inferior education or segregated education in spaces where they are isolated from their peers.

How can P.E.I. Be More Accessible for People With Disabilities?

Public consultation in December to discuss how to make Island better for people with disabilities By Shane Ross, CBC News Posted: Sep 19, 2016 1:49 PM AT| Last

Islanders will have a chance to weigh in on how to make P.E.I. including its ferry and other transportation services more accessible to people with disabilities.

The federal government will be hosting public consultations around the country, including Dec. 8 in Charlottetown, to seek input on how to make Canada more accessible.

The consultation process will help inform the development of planned accessibility legislation, said Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities in a news release.

Top UN Officials Highlight How Paralympic Games Show That Ability, Not Disability, Defines a Person’s Accomplishments

Adriana Almeida Santos, 15, carries the Olympic Flame in the city of Belém in state of Pará, Brazil. Photo: UNICEF/Fred Borba 8 September 2016

Welcoming the start of the 2016 summer Paralympic Games, which got underway in Brazils Rio de Janeiro yesterday, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has said that the Games not only showcase the extraordinary abilities of athletes living with a disability, they also promote the rights of all persons with disabilities.

The Secretary-General believes that Paralympic athletes are change makers and role models, and are symbols of courage and aspiration for us all, the Secretary-Generals spokesperson, Stéphane Dujarric, told a news briefing at UN Headquarters in New York today.

Accessibility Awards: Nominate Someone Who Improves the Quality of Life for People With Disabilities

Do you know an individual, group or organization whose work or services improves access for Calgarians with disabilities? If so, we want to celebrate them and their accomplishments.

Accessibility Awards

Since 2009, we have been handing out the annual accessibility awards to recognize people who create an accessible and barrier-free city. Leanne Squair is the Issue Strategist that supports the Advisory Committee on Accessibility which sponsors the awards.

“Improving accessibility benefits everyone, especially as our population ages,” says Squair. “There are many people including businesses and organizations who are breaking down barriers for people with disabilities by raising awareness, using universal design, or applying innovative technology in our community. These awards recognize and celebrate Calgarians who are doing this important work.”

Improving Pathways to Transit for Persons with Disabilities

Sep 6, 2016

SAN JOSE, CALIF.: The Mineta Transportation Institute of San Jose State University just released a study in which researchers from universities in California, New Jersey, Florida and Australia looked for ways to make the infrastructure surrounding public transit more accessible to people with disabilities.

The investigators recognized that it wasn’t enough to make buses and trains accessible; the pathways to those stations and stops must also be accessible, or people with disabilities wouldn’t be able to get there to use them. The research team explored strategies to increase access to the built environment surrounding transit facilities in five United States transportation systems. From those five case studies, they developed a list of policy recommendations for future improvements to pathways to transit. They also addressed the challenges of making changes beyond transit agency property that allow people with disabilities fuller access to public transportation, in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.

New Research Finds Demand for More Disability Sport News

31 August 2016

With a week to go before the Rio Paralympics, new research from the English Federation of Disability Sport (EFDS) has shown the public’s desire to see more disability sport in the media.

With many media channels set to cover elite disability sport at the Rio Paralympics, the report flags the importance of coverage beyond the Games and on a par with non-disabled people in sport.

To support journalists and those who provide news content on disabled people in sport, EFDS is also releasing a better practice Guide to accompany the research.

Finding Refuge With the Skin I’m In

Anne Kaier

The checkout lady’s panic surged as she held the coins six inches above my hand and dropped them into my palm. They clanged until I made a fist. She ran her fingernails through her hair.

“What’s wrong with you?” she asked, her voice rising to a higher pitch. I slid the money into a jeans pocket and stroked my thigh to calm down.

These Are The Hidden Costs Of Living With A Disability

Jacki Andre
Huffington Post, Aug. 22, 2016

Do you know how much a manual wheelchair costs? Not the kind you buy from the Sears catalogue when you break your leg and need someone to push you around for six weeks. I’m talking about the kind that a paraplegic might need, that offers the correct ergonomic support and fits the lifestyle of the person who will rely on it for years.

Blind MP to Draft Canada’s First National Accessibility Law

Carla Qualthrough, Ottawa’s minister responsible for Canadians with disabilities, announced a series of national discussions on the first national accessibility legislation. By Laurie MonsebraatenSocial justice reporter
Sat., Aug. 27, 2016

Carla Qualtrough, who is legally blind, grew up learning alternative ways of doing almost everything.

“When I was growing up, it was called accommodation. But today it’s called innovation,” said Qualtrough, 44, Canada’s federal minister of sport and first-ever minister responsible for people with disabilities.

The human rights lawyer, former Paralympian and world championship swimming medalist is helping Canadians think about disability in a new way as she crafts the country’s first national accessibility legislation.

How Accessibility is Driving Innovation in Canada

In-person consultations to inform the development of planned accessibility legislation announced
August 23, 2016 Whitby, Ontario Employment and Social Development Canada

Today, the Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities, visited the Abilities Centre in Whitby, Ontario, and hosted a panel with three young Canadian innovators to discuss how accessibility drives innovation. The Minister toured the centre, noting the accessibility measures in place there, which serve as an example for other communities across Canada. Minister Qualtrough also announced the schedule of the in-person consultations organized to inform planned accessibility legislation.

Minister Qualtrough participated in a dynamic discussion with the three young Canadian innovators:

Australia Adopts New Standard for ICT Accessibility in Procurement

Australia will adopt a new standard for ICT accessibility in procurement, federal Finance Minister Mathias Cormann announced today. In time, this should make it easier for people with disabilities to deal with government, and to work for it.

The Department of Finance has already committed to add the new standard to the Commonwealth Procurement Rules, according to the report from former disability discrimination commissioner Susan Ryans last inquiry.

Ryan recommended all Australian governments mandate that when their agencies buy any new IT equipment, including software and peripherals, it must made according to universal design principles so it is available to and usable by all people, whatever their abilities.

Paralyzed Edmonton Toddler a Whiz in Homemade Wheelchair

Just like other children learn how to crawl, Evelyn slowly figured out how to wheel By Chris Purdy, The Canadian Press, CBC News
Posted: Aug 18, 2016

Evelyn Moore isn’t the fastest kid on the racetrack, but she’s by far the tiniest.

At 13-months old, the paralyzed toddler skilfully wheels her homemade wheelchair around the simulated track at Treehouse, an indoor playground in northeast Edmonton that she often visits with her mom.

Several school-age children whiz by on souped-up tricycles and she stops to stare and clap.

“She really gets around now,” says Kim Moore, who first put her daughter in the makeshift chair basically a purple, foam Bumbo seat on wheels at seven months.

Becoming Disabled

Roughly one in five Americans lives with a disability. So where is our pride movement? Rosemarie Garland-Thomson

Not long ago, a good friend of mine said something revealing to me: “I don’t think of you as disabled,” she confessed.

I knew exactly what she meant; I didn’t think of myself as disabled until a few decades ago, either, even though my two arms have been pretty significantly asymmetrical and different from most everybody else’s my whole life.

UMMS Works to Improve Web Text for People With Cognitive Disabilities

By Ellen Moran
UMass Medical School Communications
August 19, 2016

WPI graduate student Prateek Jain and Soussan Djamasbi, PhD, assistant professor of IT and director of WPI’s User Experience & Decision Making Research Lab, demonstrate the university’s eye-tracking technology, which measures text comprehension.

UMass Medical School’s Eunice Kennedy Shriver Center is conducting research to determine if simplifying text for people with cognitive disabilities improves their understanding of what they read online.

“We want to prove that their comprehension increases after they read simplified text,” said John Rochford, MS, director of the Shriver Center’s INDEX program and instructor of family medicine & community health. INDEX provides free information for people with disabilities living in Massachusetts.

New Book Released: Tapping Into Hidden Human Capital: How Leading Global Companies Improve their Bottom Line by Employing Persons with Disabilities

Aug 15, 2016

G3ict, the Global Initiative for Inclusive Information and Communication Technologies announced the publication of a new book authored by Debra Ruh, G3ict’s EmployAbility Program Chair.

In this book, Tapping into Hidden Human Capital: How Leading Global Companies Improve their Bottom Line by Employing Persons with Disabilities,” Debra Ruh presents a new, game-changing perspective about the employment of persons with disabilities. By documenting existing practices of some of the largest companies in the world, the author shows that employees with disabilities are proactively recruited for their positive contributions to the competitiveness and financial performance of major businesses.