A new iPhone app uses machine learning to identify objects for people with poor eyesight, and it doesn’t need an Internet connection. by Rachel Metz
Originally posted March 25, 2016
As I walked around my office on a recent morning, a female voice on my iPhone narrated the objects I passed. “Brick,” “wall,” “telephone,” she said matter-of-factly. The voice paused when I came upon a bike hung on a wall-mounted rack, then intoned, “bicycle.”
App Spots Objects for the Visually Impaired full article
By Ile, April 24, 2017
Discovery and recollection.
Discovery and recollection are two necessary elements for travel for our friends who are blind. This presents a difficult task in a city the size of Boston, with its nearly 8,000 bus stops.
It is necessary for all to move from point A to point B, whether home to work, work to play or home to “the necessaries” such as groceries, doctors’ offices, visiting friends or journeys to study. Public transit is a wonderful and beneficial asset. The physical movement of vehicles, coupled with information to support choices for travel, is an important service to the community at large. Still, for a person who is blind, partially-sighted or deafblind the “last few feet” can be a great void.
BlindSquare and BlindWays, Connecting the Dots for Travelers in Boston, Then and Now. full article
Please circulate widely.
April 13, 2017
Dear legislators and librarians interested in services to blind Canadians:
Canada currently has two library services for blind people and others with print disabilities. The publicly owned system is called National Network for Equitable Library Service (NNELS). The privately owned system is the old CNIB library, now called Centre for Equitable Library Access (CELA).
Having two library systems is an unreasonable duplication of effort and a tragic waste of resources. The Canadian Federation of the Blind urges governments and libraries to put an end to this nonsense and once and for all make our library service truly public. We believe NNELS is fully
capable of managing distribution of books in alternate formats and should become Canada’s resource for libraries as they integrate service to people with print disabilities.
Canadian Federation of the Blind Letter and Background Information Mailed to Librarians and Legislators full article
by Ashlee Clark Thompson
April 11, 2017 5:00 AM PDT
This is part of CNET’s “Tech Enabled” series about the role technology plays in helping the disability community.
First, Sophie Godek tried to read books with a magnifying glass. Then, she turned to a tablet to make the words on her e-books larger. Eventually, she couldn’t even see that. The 95-year-old was losing her sight, and with it, one of her favorite hobbies.
“She wasn’t able to read anymore, and that was a big loss,” said her son Jim Godek.
Persuading your older parents to take the smart home leap full article
Lyft and the National Federation of the Blind today announced a collaborative effort to ensure reliable and equal service to individuals who are blind and use service animals.
Lyft’s affirmative and proactive efforts will help ensure its convenient and affordable transportation services are available to riders who are blind and use service animals across the United States.
As part of that effort, Lyft today kicked off the company’s first Service Animal Month, which is part of a multi-pronged initiative to ensure that all individuals with disabilities who travel with service animals on the Lyft platform can fully enjoy the benefits of connecting with drivers through the Lyft app.
Lyft and the National Federation of the Blind Announce Comprehensive Accessibility Improvements for Lyft Riders Who Travel with Service Animals full article
Anna Domanska , April 13, 2017
On Wednesday, Toyota launched a new robotic leg brace called the WelWalk WW-1000. The robotic exoframe is designed to help patients with partial paralysis walk again. The device is worn on the affected leg, with a large motor component at the knee joint that helps with functions such as supporting body weights and assisting with movements such as swinging the leg forward.
The WelWalk WW-1000 system will be made available to medical institutions in Japan later this year, with a rental model that charges a one-time fee of $9,000 and later $3,200 after that on a monthly basis.
Toyota Develops WelWalk Robotic Brace to Aid in Rehabilitation of Stroke Patients full article
Our Windsor, Apr. 11, 2017
The MP for Windsor-Tecumseh’s first private members bill seeks to provide a “one-stop shop” for federal programs available to persons with disabilities.
NDP member Cheryl Hardcastle introduced Bill C-348An Act to Amend the Department of Employment and Social Development Act in the House of Commons Monday.
She said the issue is the federal government has several programs for which persons with disabilities can apply, but they have to prove their condition separately for every application.
“They have to respond to questions about diagnosis and their limitations and are required to provide the supporting documentation for each one of these,” she said “National groups have said this is not only burdensome, but it also can seem very punitive.”
MP Hardcastle Introduces Bill to Help Persons With Disabilities Access Programs full article
The guidelines aim to provide an enhanced environment that will secure more opportunities for access to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games. By IPC
“The new Guidelines very much compliment the IPC’s own standards and hopefully can act as a blueprint for other Japanese organisations to further their accessibility too.”
The Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee has published its Accessibility Guidelines which aim to ensure the Olympic and Paralympic Games in three years’ time are fully inclusive and accessible to everyone.
Developed by working closely with the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), relevant government organisations, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, relevant municipal authorities and several disability groups, the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee has formulated its Tokyo 2020 Accessibility Guidelines.
Tokyo 2020 Publish Accessibility Guidelines full article
Windsor – CBC News
April 03, 2017
Rebecca Blaevoet, holds up ‘tactile vision’ labels for seeds being borrowed from Windsor Public Library. The Windsor woman said a recent experience at the passport office shows the need for better government accessibility in Canada.
An Ontario woman says the federal government is letting down residents with disabilities by forbidding staff at Passport Canada from helping applicants fill out their forms.
Rebecca Blaevoet of Windsor, Ont., says she learned of the policy last month when she went to have her passport renewed.
Blaevoet, who is completely blind, asked Passport Canada staff to fill out her form according to the responses she provided, but they refused, saying that would violate official guidelines.
Blind Windsor Woman Denied Help Filling Out Passport Docs full article
31 March 2017
Ahead of World Autism Awareness Day, the United Nations today called for recognizing the rights of people with the spectrum neurological condition, which is believed to affect 70 million people around the world.
Let us ensure that we make available the necessary accommodations and support to persons with autism, Secretary-General António Guterres said in his message for the Day.
With access to the support they need and choose, they will be empowered to face the key milestones in every person’s life, he added, making decisions such as where and with whom to live, what type of work to pursue and how to manage their personal finances.
UN Calls for Recognizing the Rights of People with Autism to Make Their Own Decisions full article
Published: 2017-03-29 – Contact: United States Access Board at access-board.gov
Synopsis: Guidance addresses questions on use of alternative disability accessibility symbols, and explains how use of symbols other than ISA impacts compliance with ADA.
Definition: International Organization for Standardization
The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is an international standard-setting body composed of representatives from various national standards organizations. Founded on 23 February 1947, the organization promotes worldwide proprietary, industrial and commercial standards. It is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, and as of March 2017 works in 162 countries.
Access Board Issues Guidance on the International Symbol of Accessibility full article
Jean-Pierre Kingsley says hes disappointed the government has yet to name new chief electoral officer, despite knowing since June that they would need one. By LAURA RYCKEWAERT
Hill Times March 23, 2017
Canadas former chief electoral officers Marc Mayrand and Jean-Pierre Kingsley are lauding changes proposed in new legislation, including moving the elections commissioner back under the authority of Elections Canada and removing restrictions on who can apply for the job of commissioner.
But they also say there are other issues to be addressed, and with only an acting chief electoral officer in place since Mr. Mayrand stepped down at the end of December, both say theyre eager to see a new permanent chief electoral officer of Canada named.
Canada’s former chief electoral officers eager for successor, laud proposed electoral legislative changes full article
CBC News, Mar. 23, 2017
For many in the Toronto’s Deaf community, workers with the Canadian Hearing Society provide essential support, from fixing hearing aids to interpreting at medical appointments, even helping to find employment. Since March, hundreds of CHS workers across the province have been on strike, and the effects are causing many clients to join staff on picket lines.
To understand the reason for the strike, and the toll it’s taking both clients and staff, Metro Morning’s Matt Galloway spoke with Stacey Connor. She is deaf and works as an employment consultant with CHS. She’s also the president of the union, CUPE Local 2073. Galloway also spoke with Gary Malkowski, the vice-president of stakeholder and employer relations at CHS. He is also deaf. Both guests spoke with Galloway through an interpreter. This is a transcript of their conversation.
Deaf Community Under Stress as Canadian Hearing Society Strike Continues full article
March 21, 2017
MISSOULA University of Montana researchers with the Research and Training Center on Disability in Rural Communities, or RTC:Rural, show that the standardized disability questions used by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services identify two distinct groups of people with disabilities: those with permanent disability and those with temporary disability.
Their findings were published today in the American Journal of Public Health and can be accessed online at http://ajph.aphapublications.org/doi/abs/10.2105/AJPH.2017.303666.
The findings contradict the long-standing assumption by researchers and policymakers who use HHS disability data that it represents only people with long-term disabilities. The RTC:Rural study clarifies the survey collects information from two important subgroups: those with permanent disability, and those experiencing a temporary disability at the time of the survey.
UM Study Finds Longstanding Interpretation of Disability Data Incomplete full article
Mar 23, 2017
STRASBOURG: There are 80 million persons in Europe who live with a disability and many of them continue to be victims of discrimination or abuse. In response, the Council of Europe will be launching its new Disability Strategy 2017-2023 at a conference in Nicosia (Cyprus) on 27 and 28 March.
Our focus must be on ability, not disability. Lawmakers should devise laws and policies which offer persons with disabilities a maximum of autonomy, access to information, education and employment. Our new strategy shows the way forward, said Thorbjørn Jagland, Secretary General of the Council of Europe, ahead of the conference.
Rights of People With Disabilities in Europe: A New Strategy Based on Ability Rather Than Disability full article
‘I got shafted and I’m being made to look bad…. I didn’t do anything,” says Mike Perry By Yvonne Colbert, CBC News Posted: Mar 14, 2017
Mike and Jane Perry say their lives have been turned upside down by CNIB, which claims Mike is responsible for $9,000 in missing funds.
CNIB, the national registered charity for the visually impaired, is again facing a legal fight with a former lottery kiosk operator who says he’s been wrongly terminated and accused of mismanaging funds.
Mike Perry is one of at least seven former kiosk operators to be targeted in connection with funds that have allegedly gone missing, but he said he’s been told the non-profit organization is writing off the shortfall.
CNIB Faces Legal Challenge by Ex-Kiosk Operator Accused of Mishandling Money full article
by Maggie Hammond
The thought of driving with a disability can be daunting, but with support and technological advancements, driving can be worthwhile and attainable for everyone. You could find a new lease of independence, as you no longer have to rely on other people to take you to the places that you need to go to.
How the process works can vary depending on your personal circumstances. If you are returning to driving after a disability or illness then you must notify the driving agency, so they can assess whether your current licence can be continued. They may require you to attend an assessment. If you are not sure whether you need to notify the driving agency, you can check on their website for a list of medical conditions that you must inform them of. Failure to do so can result in a fine, so make sure you don’t neglect to inform the authorities.
Learning to Drive With a Disability full article
Posted on 16 March 2017
LACA, the Libraries and Archives Copyright Alliance, has contacted the Minister responsible for intellectual property, Jo Johnson MP, with concerns that proposed changes to the implementation of the Marrakesh Treaty in Europe will hamper the ability of libraries to serve print disabled people and provide access to works.
LACA has identified that proposed changes will mean that libraries face increased costs and bureaucracy when seeking to provide accessible format copies of books and other printed materials to people who are blind or partially sighted.
Concern Over Access to Library Material for Visually Impaired People Raised With Minister full article
Technology continues to improve the way people who are blind interact with technology and make use of the Internet. In any major screen reader release, improvements to the way the product works on the Web are front and center in all “What’s New” documentation. Furthermore, modern software applications make use of, and behave like, webpages to such an extent that it can often be difficult to know where a desktop application ends and the Internet begins.
CAPTCHA Be Gone from Accessible Apps Removes Another Barrier to Accessibility full article
‘I really need the services,’ says Kimberley Blomquist, ‘and I needed it this week’ Elyse Skura
CBC News, Mar. 11, 2017
As hundreds of Canadian Hearing Society workers strike across the province, people who are deaf or hard of hearing are left without some of the counselling and audiology services they rely on.
Negotiations between management and the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) broke down last Sunday and workers in Ottawa have been walking the picket line since early Monday.
“I feel kind of angry about it, kind of depressed about it,” said Kimberley Blomquist, through an American Sign Language interpreter. “I really need the services. And I needed it this week.”
Ottawa’s Deaf Community ‘At a Loss’ Amid Canadian Hearing Society Strike full article