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Disability Group TO Call for Repeal of Discriminatory Provision in Canada’s Immigration Act

For Immediate Release November 17, 2017

When: Monday, November 20, 2017
Place: Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration
Room 415, 197 Sparks Street
Time: 6:30 pm

The Council of Canadians With Disabilities (CCD), a national, human rights organization of persons with various disabilities that is working for a more inclusive and accessible Canada, will call for repeal of the “Excessive Demands” provisions in Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Protection Act when it appears before the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration on Monday evening, November 20, 2017.

Airbnb buys ‘Airbnb for Disabled People’ Startup Accomable in Accessibility Upgrade

Posted November 16, 2017
by Ingrid Lunden (@ingridlunden)

Airbnb, the accommodation and travel startup that is now valued at $31 billion, is today announcing an acquisition that points to how it wants to address the travel needs of more kinds of customers. It has bought Accomable, a startup based out of London that focuses on travel listings that are disabled-friendly.

Along with the announcement Airbnb is refreshing its own accessibility features as the first stage in how it hopes to develop them.

Senators Markey and Capito Introduce Legislation to Improve Educational Opportunities for Visual and Hearing-Impaired Students

Washington, November 7, 2017

Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.V.) today introduced bipartisan legislation that would strengthen the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) to ensure that visual and hearing-impaired students receive the best possible education.

The Alice Cogswell and Anne Sullivan Macy Act will improve the effectiveness and personalization of education and services for students who are deaf, hard of hearing, blind, visually impaired, and deaf-blind.

The legislation would improve reporting and evaluation measures of special education in each state, increase training for teachers and other special education professionals, and reaffirm the Department of Education’s mission and responsibility to ensure an accessible and quality education for all students.

West Virginia Nonprofit and its Partnership with the RightCycle Program Help People with Disabilities Find Work that Sustains Them and the Environment

PARKERSBURG, W.Va., Nov. 1, 2017 /PRNewswire

A West Virginia nonprofit organization is making a difference in the lives of people with disabilities while benefitting the environment at the same time.

The Jackson County Developmental Center (JCDC) of Millwood has embarked on a partnership with RightCycle by Kimberly-Clark Professional to provide employment for people who have survived traumatic brain injuries or have been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders, learning disabilities and other conditions.

The JCDC employees remove zippers and other metal parts from protective garments so that the apparel can be recycled through the RightCycle Program, the first large-scale recycling program for non-hazardous lab, cleanroom and industrial waste.

Job Numbers Reflect Increasing Inclusion of Americans with Disabilities in the Workforce

nTIDE October 2017 Jobs Report
EAST HANOVER, N.J. (PRWEB) November 03, 2017

“For the 19th consecutive month, the proportion of people with disabilities working has continued to grow, and once again, their gains are outpacing those of people without disabilities,” according to John O’Neill, PhD, director of employment and disability research at Kessler Foundation.

The major economic indicators continue to reflect increasing inclusion of Americans with disabilities in the workforce, according to today’s National Trends in Disability Employment Monthly Update (nTIDE), issued by Kessler Foundation and the University of New Hampshire’s Institute on Disability (UNH-IOD).

Manitoba: Progress on Accessibility Standard in Employment

Following public consultations and a thorough review of all public comments received, the Accessibility Advisory Council (council) submitted Recommendations for an Accessibility Employment Standard for the Minister of Families on April 5, 2017. The Honourable Scott Fielding, Minister of Families has reviewed and considered the recommendations of the council.

The Government of Manitoba is pleased to make its Proposed Accessible Employment Standards Regulation available for public comment as of November 1, 2017. (PDF) (Word, find the links at the Url below)

In acknowledgement of the holiday period in December, the deadline for your feedback is extended beyond the 60-day period required by The Accessibility for Manitobans Act to Friday, January 12, 2018. Please forward all electronic comments, submissions and briefs to http://www.access@gov.mb.ca.

New Accessibility Regulations for N.L. Buildings, Parking Lots

New regulations for parking lots, washrooms, wheelchair ramps and more included in amendments CBC News Posted: Oct 23, 2017

Service NL is bringing in new regulations which will bring Newfoundland and Labrador up to national standards for having accessible buildings and facilities.

The Newfoundland and Labrador government says changes are coming to accessibility regulations for buildings, parking lots and other facilities in the province.

Service NL announced Monday its intentions to amend the Buildings Accessibility Regulations and Mobility Impaired Parking Regulations.

The new rules will apply to new construction and to buildings being extensively renovated.

Canadian Universities Sign Off on Pledge to Greater Diversity, Accessibility

Data on diversity on Canadian campuses is limited
The Canadian Press/
Oct. 26, 2017 9:35 a.m./

Canadian universities have done a great job making their campuses more accessible for students with disabilities, but now have to turn more attention to helping those students get jobs, one of Canada’s leading disability advocates told a room full of university presidents Wednesday.

Rick Hansen, a former paralympian whose foundation is devoted to making the world a more accessible place, spoke to the presidents in Ottawa on Wednesday, just before they voted to make a public commitment to seven principles of diversity.

People With Disabilities Around B.C. to Benefit From New Accessibility Programs

News Release
Victoria
Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Accessible, inclusive communities for people with disabilities are the main goals behind two provincially funded programs designed to improve universal access in British Columbia.

Through $9 million in provincial funding, the Rick Hansen Foundation (RHF) has launched two new programs to improve accessibility for British Columbians.

“When we remove the physical barriers, we create communities where everyone feels welcome. We are pleased to support the Rick Hansen Foundation with this initiative where together we can build a better B.C. for people of all abilities to be able to live, work and play,” said Shane Simpson, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction.

FDNY Violates ADA by Pre-judging Veteran Applicants as Unfit

New York, New YorkDisability Rights Advocates (DRA), a national nonprofit legal center, filed a Charge of Discrimination for Julio Andrade, a former Marine, after the Fire Department of the City of New York (FDNY) denied him a job as a Fire Fighter because of a diagnosis of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) he received at the time of his honorable discharge from service in the Iraq war, approximately 8 years earlier.

The Charge, filed with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, alleges that the FDNY illegally discriminated against Andrade because of the disability diagnosis. It also says that veterans’ groups report that the FDNY is disqualifying veterans from FDNY Fire Fighter jobs without individual evaluation of whether they are qualified for the job.

Are Self-Driving Cars the Future of Mobility for Disabled People?

Srikanth Saripalli, Texas A&M University
SFGate, October 5, 2017

Self-driving cars could revolutionize how disabled people get around their communities and even travel far from home. People who can’t see well or with physical or mental difficulties that prevent them from driving safely often rely on others or local government or nonprofit agencies to help them get around.

Autonomous vehicle technology on its own is not enough to help these people become more independent, but simultaneous advances in machine learning and artificial intelligence can enable these vehicles to understand spoken instructions, observe nearby surroundings and communicate with people. Together, these technologies can provide independent mobility with practical assistance that is specialized for each user’s abilities and needs.

EU One Step Closer to Accessibility Act as MEP Mizzi welcomes EP vote

Act would facilitate access to products and services

A European Accessibility Act that would make it easier for senior citizens and people with disability to use ATMs, check-in and other ticketing machines has been hailed as a “huge opportunity” by MEP Marlene Mizzi.

The European Accessibility Act, which seeks to bolster existing accessibility requirements for products and services, was voted through the European Parliament yesterday. The Act must be approved by the EU Council before becoming law.

“This was a real victory for the Socialists & Democrats group in the European Parliament. We have managed to push through our priorities and to ensure that the European Parliament adopts a strong and ambitious position,” Mrs Mizzi said.

DOJ Halts Plan to Create Website Accessibility Regulations

Careers sites, applications must still be accessible to candidates with disabilities, advocates say By Roy Maurer
Sep 25, 2017

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) had planned to write regulations for employers to follow to make sure their websites are accessible and readable by people with disabilities, but no more.

The DOJ has moved the regulations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to its “inactive list,” leaving private employers with an unclear standard for compliance at a time when ADA lawsuits focused on websitesincluding careers sitesare proliferating.

ADA website accessibility regulations under Title II (for state and local governments) and Title III (for businesses open to the public) had been planned for 2017 and 2018, respectively, before the DOJ marked them as inactive.

Canada and Manitoba Invest in Rural Transit Projects Across the Province

WINNIPEG, Sept. 25, 2017 /CNW

The governments of Canada and Manitoba recognize that strategic investments in public transit and active transportation infrastructure play a key role in developing dynamic communities, encouraging healthy lifestyles and ensuring everyone can get around their communities easily and efficiently.

Today, the Honourable Jim Carr, Minister of Natural Resources and Member of Parliament for Winnipeg South Centre, on behalf of the Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, and the Honourable Jeff Wharton, Minister of Municipal Relations, announced the details of five transportation projects in rural communities. The work is being funded through the province’s Small Communities Transportation Fund, which is supported federally using a portion of Manitoba’s annual federal Gas Tax Fund allocation.

Leaving No One Behind: Achieving Disability-Inclusive Disaster Risk Management

Report from World Bank
Published on 14 Sep 2017
BY CHARLOTTE MCCLAIN-NHLAPO

Natural hazard events can occur in any country, at any time. At present, India, Bangladesh, and Nepal are dealing with the aftermath of some of the worst monsoon flooding in years, which has left more than 1,200 people dead and millions homeless. At the same time, North America and the Caribbean region are responding to some of the strongest hurricanes on record.

At such times of peril, individual and community resilience is at a premium, and we cannot afford to miss opportunities to bolster that resilience wherever possible. This is especially true with respect to certain groups such as persons with disabilities who have historically been disproportionately affected by natural hazards.

Another Court Finds That Accessibility Rules Apply to Retail Websites

Last month we told you that a court in Florida had ordered the Winn-Dixie supermarket chain to make its websites accessible to persons with vision impairments by following the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 standards (WCAG 2.0). This month, another court has weighed in.

In an opinion published on September 6, 2017 (but issued earlier on July 31, 2017), Judge Jack B. Weinstein of the Southern District of New York ruled that a retail website was a place of public accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (as well as under state and local law) and therefore the owner the website had to take the steps necessary to ensure that the blind have full and equal enjoyment of its website provided that taking such steps would not impose an undue burden on Blick or fundamentally alter the website. Andrews v. Blick Art Materials, LLC, 17-CV-767, NYLJ 1202797331595, at *15 (EDNY, Decided July 31, 2017).

U.S. Department of Transportation Announces Accessible Transportation Technologies Research Initiative Application Development Awards

Sept 12, 2017

The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) has awarded six application development research contracts, totaling $6.185 million* for a period of performance through FY 2019, under its Accessible Transportation Technologies Research Initiative (ATTRI) to improve mobility options for all travelers, particularly those with disabilities.

ATTRI is a multimodal departmental effort that has been at the leading edge of identifying and developing transformative transportation applications for all disabilities. “ATTRI’s success depends on working cooperatively with other agencies as well as the private sector,” said Michael F. Trentacoste, Associate Administrator for Research, Development and Technology; Director, Turner Fairbank Highway Research Center. “We recognize the interdisciplinary nature of accessible transportation research and actively seek opportunities to leverage resources, accomplishments, and knowledge advances both within the USDOT and across federal agencies. We can’t do this alone.”

Metro to Launch Abilities-Ride Program to Encourage Accessible Taxi Use as Alternative to MetroAccess in Maryland

Originally posted Sept. 6, 2017

MetroAccess customers will have a new, more flexible option for travel within Maryland with the launch of the Abilities-Ride program on Monday, September 18.

The new program offers an alternative to MetroAccess service by allowing eligible customers to use on-demand taxi services–without sharing a ride–at a discounted rate.

The Abilities-Ride program offers subsidized rides in partnership with Regency Taxi and Silver Cab. Eligible MetroAccess customers can request transportation through these providers for any trip that begins and ends within the MetroAccess service area in Maryland. Riders can request their trip in advance by calling the taxi company directly, or through their respective websites or smartphone apps.

Disabled Accessibility Law Gathering Support

By John Gibb
Tuesday Sept. 12, 2017

Canadian disability advocate David Lepofsky believes there is growing political backing to pass “accessibility” legislation in this country.

“Accessibility legislation can only help, if it’s done right,” Mr Lepofsky said in Dunedin recently.

Read more at
http://www.aoda.ca/disabled-accessibility-law-gathering-support/

UAE Students Invent Photo-to-Braille Translator; To Make Reading Easier for Visually Impaired

Portable reading device developed by students at UAE University in Al Ain can translate written material into Braille Sami Zaatari,
Gulf News, Sept. 8, 2017

Abu Dhabi: An innovative student-led project at the UAE University in Al Ain is hoping to make reading easier for visually impaired people by developing a pocket-sized portable device that can translate reading materials into Braille.

The device, which is still in its prototype stage, has a built-in camera that can be used to take photos of any type of reading material, which is then converted into Braille, allowing a visually impaired person to read at any time they want.