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.

Groundbreaking Report: The Cost of Exclusion

July 11th, 2014

A new report commissioned by CBM in partnership with the International Centre for Evidence in Disability shows for the first time the economic cost of excluding people with disability not only to the individual, but also to their family, carers and society at large.

Focused on low and middle-income countries, this groundbreaking report shows the economic potential of people with disability, and how efforts to include people with disability can be hugely beneficial not only to individuals but to entire nations. Some of the findings show:

Using Technology To Mitigate Cognitive Disabilities

7/30/2014

A 2013 ruling by the Department of Labor established a baseline for federal contractors to have 7% of their workforce be individuals with disabilities. Additionally, passage by the U.S. House and Senate of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA)demonstrates a growing emphasis on hiring more individuals with disabilities. However, for this trend to be successful for businesses, they must improve their recruitment and retention of these individuals.

Within the disabled community, one of the largest sectors is made up of individuals with a cognitive challenge of some type. Although people may think that a cognitive disability indicates an inability to perform complex work, most cognitive disabilities are related to processing issues such as difficulty tracking rapid speech or cognitive fatigue.

Scientists Link Environment, Inclusion in Adults with Disabilities

August 11, 2014
Kessler Foundation

Summary:

An association between the built environment and disability-related outcomes for adults with physical impairments has been made by researchers. These findings focus attention on the environment as an important factor in disability-related outcomes.

Kessler Foundation researchers have identified an association between the built environment and disability-related outcomes for adults with physical impairments. The article, Disability and the built environment: an investigation of community and neighborhood land uses and participation for physically impaired adults, was published in the July issue of Annals of Epidemiology. The authors are Amanda Botticello, PhD, MPH, and Nicole Cobbold, BS, of Kessler Foundation, and Tanya Rohrbach, MS, of Raritan Valley Community College, Branchburg, NJ.

Redbox and Lighthouse for the Blind, DRA Announces Settlement Agreement

BERKELEY, CA August 4, 2014

San Francisco-based Lighthouse for the Blind and Visually-Impaired, Disability Rights Advocates, and the Law Offices of Jay Koslofsky entered into a settlement agreement with Redbox Automated Retail, LLC (Redbox) that is expected to significantly improve access for blind individuals to Redboxs® self-service, touchscreen video-rental kiosks in California.

Redbox has agreed to modify all its interactive, touchscreen video-rental kiosks in California by adding nonvisual accessibility features

Redbox offers the nations most popular video-rental service for DVDs, Blu-ray® discs, and video games and operates thousands of video rental kiosks in California.

National Federation of the Blind Endorses Online Ballot Marking

Accessible Online Ballot Marking Provided by Everyone Counts Gives Visually Impaired Voters Ability to Cast Secure, Secret Ballot San Diego, CA (PRWEB) August 05, 2014

The National Federation of the Blind (NFB) issued a resolution urging states that have UOCAVA online ballot-marking systems to make those systems accessible and to extend their use to voters with disabilities, and for all remaining states and territories to implement these same systems.

Government Supports Accessible Transportation

August 1, 2014 10:18 AM

Nova Scotians in rural communities will have more accessible transportation after a government investment announced today, Aug. 1.

Education and Early Childhood Development Minister Karen Casey, on behalf of Municipal Affairs Minister Mark Furey, announced the funding for new accessible vehicles for eight community transportation organizations.

“The province is committed to helping Nova Scotians in rural communities to get where they need to go,” said Ms. Casey. “We want to ensure that safe and affordable, accessible transportation is available to Nova Scotians.”

Government is investing $412,990 under the Accessible Transportation Assistance Program.

Deaf-Blind woman Tests Canada’s Equality Guarantee: Goar

Jasmin Simpson, who is deaf and blind, says it’s unfair that she had to pay 60 per cent more than non-disabled university students for the same education.

Jasmin Simpson, 39, overcame her deafness, her blindness and her lupus, to earn a master’s degree in social work. By: Carol Goar Star Columnist, Published on Tue Jul 29 2014

The government of Canada can outmuscle, outspend and outlast Jasmin Simpson. But it can’t deflect her from her goal.

Governor Cuomo Signs Legislation Updating New York’s Accessibility Signage and Logos

Enacted alongside 24th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act Albany, NY (July 25, 2014)

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today signed legislation that will further advance New York State as an advocate of rights for people with disabilities. It amends existing law to require the removal of the word handicapped from new or replaced state signage, as well as update and destigmatize the accessibility logo. Just enacted, this legislation comes during the 24th anniversary of the national Americans with Disabilities Act, which was the first major step to prohibit discrimination on the basis of a disability.

Presidential Proclamation — Anniversary of the Americans With Disabilities Act

ANNIVERSARY OF THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT, 2014
July 25, 2014
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

Over two decades ago, Americans — some in wheelchairs, some using sign language, and all with an abiding belief in our Nation’s promise — came together to strengthen our commitment to equality for all.

At a time when people with disabilities were turned away at movie theaters, rejected for employment, and measured by what so many thought they could not do, leaders and activists refused to accept the world as it was. In small towns and big cities, they spoke out. They staged sit-ins, authored discrimination diaries, and scaled the Capitol steps. Finally, they realized their call for simple justice in one of the most comprehensive civil rights bills in our country’s history.

Open Doors Organization will reveal the findings on international travel of its 2014 national survey of American travelers with disabilities at the World Summit Destinations for All

2 Press Releases
Original, Montreal, July 21th, 2014.

Open Doors Organization (ODO) is conducting its third nationwide survey of American adult travelers with disabilities. The findings on international travel will be revealed at the World Summit Destinations for All to be held in Montreal, October 19-22 2014.

The aim of this study is to provide statistically reliable information on the large, but still understudied disability travel market and to explore the changes that have taken place since the first pioneering studies by ODO in 2002 and 2005.

Harper Government Supports Innovative Pilot Program Assisting Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder Obtain Employment in the IT Industry

July 23, 2014 Calgary, Alberta Western Economic Diversification Canada

Today, the Honourable Michelle Rempel, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification, together with the Honourable Mike Lake, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Industry and Member of Parliament for EdmontonMill WoodsBeaumont, announced an investment of $150,000 in support of a pilot program that is providing Information Technology (IT) skills training and career opportunities for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

PRESS RELEASE : DUCERE TECHNOLOGIES LAUNCHES LECHAL Worlds first interactive haptic footwear

A Wearable Technology Innovation From India
Posted July 25, 2014

Ducere Technologies announced the launch of the worlds first interactive haptic footwear under their wearable technology brand LECHAL (pronounced lay-ch-al, meaning take me there in Hindi).

Founded in 2011 by two tinkerers Krispian Lawrence and Anirudh Sharma, the Hyderabad, India based company initially designed the footwear to help visually impaired with mobility through unobtrusive means. The duo soon realized that this innovation can be useful for EVERYONE. This thought was further developed to launch stylish interactive haptic footwear.

LECHAL Footwear are uniquely intuitive and non-obtrusive thus offering easy mobility and convenience to the user. The user is guided through vibrations in the footwear that are simple and intuitive. The footwear that vibrates is the way to go.

Seven Reasons why disabled Canadians are Losing CPP Benefits

Michael Prince
Contributed to The Globe and Mail
Published Wednesday, Jul. 16 2014, 9:21 AM EDT

Michael J. Prince is the Lansdowne Professor of Social Policy at the University of Victoria, and has written extensively on disability policy.

There are serious problems at the Social Security Tribunal and the Canada Pension Plan Disability Program, especially for people trying to appeal decisions on their ineligibility for this disability pension benefit.

The purpose of CPP Disability, the country’s largest public disability insurance program, is to replace a portion of the earnings of contributors who cannot work because of a severe and prolonged disability.

Press Release: IBM Names Chief Accessibility Officer

July, 22nd 2014

Armonk, N.Y. – 22 Jul 2014:

IBM (NYSE: IBM) today appointed Frances West as the company’s first Chief Accessibility Officer. In this new role, West will guide IBM accessibility policies and practices. Additionally, she will lead IBM’s collaboration with business, government and academia to advance accessibility standards and policy

Read the full Press Release at http://www-03.ibm.com/press/us/en/pressrelease/44426.wss

How Accessibility is Redefining Personalization

By Frances West

Accessibility that is grounded in a company’s values can bridge individual differences, better connect with customers, enable a diverse pool of talent in the workplace, and improve the standard of living for all members of society.

Survey Suggests Federal Network Complexity is Limiting Data Center Consolidation

Anti-social: Feds wonder why social media companies drag feet on accessibility issues By Greg Otto · Thursday, July 17, 2014 · 5:57 pm

A panel held at the FCC Thursday to discuss how to open up social networks to the disabled was missing a key contingent: the social media companies themselves. (cc-licensed Jason A. Howie | https://flic.kr/p/d41HES)

The Federal Communications Commission hosted a panel of experts Thursday to talk about the challenges and ongoing need to make social media platforms more accessible to those with disabilities. But there was one group of representatives notably absent from the proceedings: the social media companies themselves.

Federal Plan to Help Mentally Ill Female Inmates on Hold

Program to move federal inmates was spawned from inquest into Ashley Smith’s disturbing death By Maureen Brosnahan, CBC News Posted: Jul 18, 2014 7:02 AM ET|

Minister of Public Safety Steven Blaney announced a pilot project to house female mentally ill federal inmates in Brockville, Ont., last year, but the effort has since stalled due to funding disagreements.

A plan by Correctional Service Canada to move female inmates who are mentally ill from prisons across the country into a new, specially equipped unit in Ontario’s Brockville Mental Health Centre is on hold because governments have yet to finalize a funding agreement.

First ADA ATM Accessibility Class Action Lawsuit Is Filed In Atlanta

Originally Posted: March 14 2013
Article by J. Colin Knisely, William D. Barwick and Amy H. Huskins Duane Morris LLP

The first of what is likely to be many Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) ATM accessibility class action lawsuits against Atlanta-area banks was filed in federal district court in Atlanta last week.
The lawsuit was filed by the same Pittsburgh-based law firm, Carlson Lynch, responsible for the filing of over 100 nearly identical ADA ATM class action lawsuits in federal district courts in Pennsylvania and Texas since March 2012.

EOC Sues Toys ‘R’ Us for Disability Discrimination

By U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
Originally posted on: Sunday, March 24, 2013

Retailer Refused to Provide Accommodation or Hire Deaf Applicant, Federal Agency Says

Toys “R” Us, Inc., one of the world’s largest retailers of toys and juvenile products, violated federal law when it first refused to provide an interpreter for a deaf applicant and then failed to hire her, the U.S Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit it announced today.

Doctors Turning Away Patients With Disabilities

By Michelle Diament
Originally posted March 19, 2013

More than two decades after the Americans with Disabilities Act became law, a new survey indicates that more than 20 percent of doctors’ offices remain inaccessible to those with special needs.

The finding comes from a “secret shopper” style poll of 256 randomly selected medical practices in Boston, Dallas, Houston and Portland, Ore.

Researchers called to schedule an appointment for a fictitious patient, indicating that the individual used a wheelchair and was unable to transfer independently from the chair to an exam table.

App Will Help Blind Users Navigate Minneapolis

Tuesday Jul 15, 2014 | The Associated Press

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) Researchers and students at the University of Minnesota are developing a smartphone app to help blind and visually impaired people navigate streets in Minneapolis.

The Minnesota Daily reports (http://bit.ly/VXAnm9 ) the app will guide visually impaired and blind people safely through intersections. It will provide the description of a crosswalk as the app user approaches it and allow him or her to request walk signals.

Ken Rodgers, who is blind and works as a disability program coordinator for the Minnesota Department of Transportation, said the app will significantly help the blind community in the Twin Cities.

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