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Accessible Tourism – Brazil Focuses on Visually Impaired Visitors

Central & South America – Brazil – Travel & Tourism Industry News Date 28.09.2015

Brazil has launched a set of unique projects based on sensory experiences aimed at visually impaired tourists.

What is known as sensory tourism allows people with visual impairments to enjoy attractions through other senses such as touch or smell. This is the type of concept Brazils Tourism Ministry has been working on in several of its most iconic cities.

The Botanical Garden of Rio de Janeiro, for example, invites visitors to come into contact with orchids as well as basil, rosemary, sage and mint seedlings with all their different textures and smells, especially arranged to stimulate the senses.

Is There a Place for a Crowd Funding Website Just for Accessibility?

For those who aren’t familiar Crowd Funding sites help people raise money through the generosity of friends, family and strangers alike, they have varying types of Projects they want funded, 2 such sites are GoFundMe and Kick Starter.

I’m trying to determine if there might be a similar need for a site to Crowd Fund for your Accessibility needs, from websites to wheelchair ramps to medical needs and beyond.


Blind Parent Wins Battle for Access to Online Seattle School Resources

Seattle Public Schools will hire an accessibility coordinator as part of a consent decree between the district and a blind parent of a Seattle student.

By Paige Cornwell
Seattle Times, September 23, 2015

Seattle Public Schools will make its website and other online resources more accessible to blind students, faculty members and parents as part of an agreement tied to a lawsuit filed by a blind parent last year.

The Seattle School Board voted Wednesday to enter into a consent decree to settle the lawsuit, which alleges the districts websites and an online math program werent accessible to those who are blind.

Councils Set to Leave a Bad Taste in the Mouth of Disabled Event-Goers Across Australia

Posted on September 27, 2015 by Ted McCoskey
by James Newton

Hobart City Council is on the verge of signing up to use the Commonwealth Bank’s inaccessible EFTPOS tablet, Albert as the key payment device for their 2015/16 Taste of Tasmania food festival.

The Digital Gap Initiative wrote about this device on 18 September, after its Founder and President met with CommBank to express their concerns.

Digital Gap Initiative Tasmanian member, James Newton, met with Hobart City Council representatives last Friday, 25 September.


Join the Call for Passage of a Canadians with Disabilities Act!

Barrier-Free Canada/Canada Sans Barrière http://www.barrierfreecanada.org info@barrierfreecanada.org

Do you think Canadians with disabilities should be able to travel on airplanes or trains? Do you think they should have equal access to services provided by the Government of Canada? Should they be able to enjoy whatever CBC posts on its public websites? Should they be able to enter their neighbourhood polling station and independently mark their own ballot?

The parties plan to spend billions of dollars on new infrastructure. Do you think they should ensure that public money is never used to create new barriers against people with disabilities?

VCH Must Stop Putting Vulnerable People Into George Pearson Centre

George Pearson Centre designed to run like a hospital, not a home By Paul Caune
September 22, 2015

Paul Caune says the George Pearson Centre does not meet the need of its patients.

Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) should stop putting vulnerable medically fragile people into George Pearson Centre (GPC), the 63 year old 114-bed Vancouver institution for disabled adults.


Re: Discriminatory Practices at Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador (MUN)

Monday, September 21, 2015

Official Statement from the Canadian Hard of Hearing Association (CHHA)

The Canadian Hard of Hearing Association (CHHA) strongly believes that equal access to education is a basic
human right. The 2012 decision of the Supreme Court of Canada in Moore v. British Columbia affirmed the
fundamental rights of students with special needs to access the supports they need to ensure full inclusion.

With alarm, CHHA learned last week of MUN professor Dr. Ranee Panjabi’s refusal to wear an FM microphone to
accommodate a student with a hearing loss enrolled in her class. Equally disturbing is the fact that MUN has
allowed this practice to persist throughout Dr. Panjabi’s lengthy tenure, dating as far back as 1985.

To the People Who React to My Disability With ‘I’m Sorry’

Karin Hitselberger
Sep 18, 2015

Often people approach me and ask the about my chair. Sometimes it’s a little awkward, but when they approach it the right way, and I decide to answer, the conversation usually goes a something like this:

Person: “So if you don’t mind, may I ask why you’re in a wheelchair?”

Me: “I have cerebral palsy. I was born this way, it’s just how I am, I have always been in a wheelchair.”

Person: “Oh! I’m so sorry! That must suck. I didn’t know.”

Me: “That’s OK, don’t be sorry, I’m not. It’s just part of who I am.”

MUN Prof Refuses to Wear Device for Hearing Disabled Student, Cites Religious Reasons

Ranee Panjabi was involved in a similar situation about 20 years ago

By Todd O’Brien and Geoff Bartlett
CBC News
Posted: September 16, 2015

History major William Sears of Memorial University in St. John’s depends on an FM transmitter to hear instructors in the classroom. (Todd O’Brien/CBC)

A Memorial University student with a hearing disability is upset that one of his professors refused to wear a sound-transmitting device last week during a lecture, and he said she told him it was because of religious reasons.

William Sears, 20, says Ranee Panjabi would not wear an FM transmitter system that he needs to hear lectures at the school in St. John’s.

Commbank’s new EFTPOS “Albert”: Accessibility Short-Changed

Friday, September 18, 2015
by Gisele Mesnage and Ted McCoskey

Our first editorial is not published with the intent of naming and shaming the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) or any other business. Our message is that the story of Albert highlights the need for national, compliance-based standards on digital accessibility.

Albert is a new touch-screen tablet EFTPOS payment device developed and promoted by CBA in partnership with global hardware and software specialist Wincor Nixdorf and design firm IDEO.


Disabled Voters Still Face Accessibility Challenges at the Polls, Advocates Say

Elections Canada’s history with the country’s disabled community could charitably be called checkered By Michelle McQuigge
The Canadian Press, Sep 12, 2015

Elections Canada’s recent efforts to make the voting process more accessible across the country have addressed but not eliminated the challenges that disabled voters often encounter at the polls, observers say.

The national electoral body has poured resources into improving accessibility protocols and procedures in the five years since it was taken to task by the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal.

But advocacy groups and observers say disabled voters will likely still encounter some inaccessible polling stations, ballots that cannot be marked independently and a shortfall of election day supports on Oct. 19.

Federal Legislation to Implement UN Disability Rights Convention: Nothing About Us Without Us

September 9, 2015 For Immediate Release

Building on the ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), supported by all political parties and jurisdictions, and given that Canadians with disabilities continue to experience barriers and discrimination, the Government of Canada must take new and concrete action to implement the CRPD.
“For this to occur, legislation at the federal level and federal leadership at the inter-jurisdictional level are necessary,” states Tony Dolan, Chairperson of the Council of Canadians with Disabilities (CCD), a national organization that sent representatives to the UN to help develop the CRPD, which articulates how to ensure human rights are realized in the context of disability. “Consequently, CCD is seeking a commitment from all federal parties on legislation for fulfilling Canada’s CRPD obligations.”

UT Arlington Libraries Become First in Texas to Digitize Disability History

Monday, August 31, 2015
Media Contact: Bridget Lewis, Office:817-272-3317, Cell:214-577-9094, blewis@uta.edu

In the early 1970s, University of Texas at Arlington students who used wheelchairs had their choice of majors: history or accounting. Those two degrees were the only ones whose classes were held in wheelchair-accessible buildings.

Since then, the University has steadily improved access and opportunities for students with disabilities and become a model campus for adaptive sports.

UT Arlington Libraries are set to continue this legacy with a $25,000 TexTreasures grant from the Texas State Library and Archives Commission to digitize and publish disability history relating to UTA and Texas.

New Affordable Tablet-Based Intelligent Game Helps Children With Learning Disabilities

Those who work with children and adults with developmental and language disorders are constantly looking for tools to help boost performance through training.

GeoBee! from new tech start-up VisionMechanic, Inc., is a new intelligent, accessible, and affordable tablet game for training basic skills needed for success in the classroom.

OKOTOKS, Alberta, Sept. 1, 2015

Reggie and Anita live in a small community. Like many other families today, they are affected by obstacles to learning and reading: Their son T. is a very smart very capable boy in Gr 3, but he struggles with making sense of words on a page. While they appreciate the support they get from local sources, they are always looking for additional tools to help their son move forward.

New Talking Scientific Calculator Breaks Down Barriers for Blind Students

The Orion TI-30XS MultiView levels the educational playing field for students who are visually impaired

The new Orion TI-30XS MultiView Talking Scientific Calculator is the world’s first fully accessible multi-line scientific calculator, created for students who are visually impaired. DALLAS, Sept. 1, 2015 /PRNewswire/

Texas Instruments (TI) (NASDAQ: TXN), Orbit Research and the American Printing House for the Blind (APH) today unveiled the Orion TI-30XS MultiView Talking Scientific Calculator, the world’s first fully accessible multi-line scientific calculator, created for students who are visually impaired, and available for the upcoming school year.

Based on the popular TI-30XS Multiview scientific calculator from Texas Instruments, the Orion TI-30XS represents a breakthrough in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education for students with vision impairment.

EEOC Sues Neenah Paper for Disability Discrimination

Company Required Employee to Take Meds at Job Site as a Condition of Employment, Federal Agency Charged

DETROIT – Neenah Paper, Inc., a manufacturer of various types of premium paper with a paper mill in Munsing, Mich., violated federal law by discriminating against a production worker because of his disability, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit filed today.

Bronx Medical Facility Sued for Excluding Patients with Disabilities and Jeopardizing Their Health

New York, NY
Wednesday, July 29th, 2015

Today, on the heels of the 25th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Disability Rights Advocates (DRA), a national nonprofit leader in civil rights litigation on behalf of persons with disabilities, filed a federal class-action lawsuit in the Southern District of New York alleging that Union Community Health Center (UCHC) discriminates against patients with disabilities at its medical facility located at 2021 Grand Concourse in the Bronx.

The suit, brought on behalf of Bronx Independent Living Services (BILS) and several individuals with disabilities, alleges that any patients with disabilities who do make it through the facility’s front door encounter widespread architectural barriers, ineffective policies and procedures, and inaccessible medical equipment that cumulatively degrades the quality of care received by patients with disabilities, and ultimately jeopardizes their health.

The Business Case for Hiring People With Disabilities(PWD’s)

Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation, Government of B.C. Victoria
Tuesday, September 1, 2015 8:00 AM

Inclusive hiring can help businesses attract and retain skilled employees, and expand their range of customers and clients.

To increase awareness and promote the hiring, inclusion and advancement of people with disabilities in B.C., the Province has proclaimed September 2015 as the second annual Disability Employment Month.

The Province has set a goal to have the highest labour-market participation rate for people with disabilities in B.C. of any province in Canada by 2024.

This is one of the goals of Accessibility 2024, government’s 10-year action plan to make B.C. the most progressive place for people with disabilities in Canada.

Advocates Want Websites Accessible to Those With Impaired, No Eyesight

By Brian Bowling
Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2015, 11:03 p.m.

For most people, surfing the Web consists of a quick glance to find a link, followed by a mouse click.

For Phil Glotfelty and other people with impaired or no eyesight, Web browsing requires listening to screen-reading software describing each element on the page until it reaches the right link. The process can take several minutes.

“You bored yet?” he asks while demonstrating the software at his Ross business, Game Masters.

As tedious as it is, it gets worse when a website’s design doesn’t allow the reading software to work.

Parapan Am Games remind us of what is possible when barriers are removed

By Sara Arenson,
CBC News, Aug. 17, 2015

In July, Canadians were glued to television screens as Toronto hosted the 2015 Pan Am Games. But how many of us were aware of the sister event in August, the fifth ever Parapan Am Games?

An elite competition for athletes with disabilities, the Parapan Am Games challenges stereotypes. During the Toronto Games, the media showcased athletic excellence without glossing over athletes’ impairments or the difference between traditional and adapted sports.

‘Becoming disabled can be as easy as injuring your back at work, being involved in a car accident, or developing a chronic illness. No one is immune.’ – Sara Arenson