Welcome to Accessibility News International (ANI)

This site is part of the Accessibility News Network.

Latest Headlines

What It Means to Be Accessible

BookNet Canada
January 19, 2018

Farrah Little and Sabina Iseli-Otto both work at National Network for Equitable Library Service (NNELS), a national digital library of accessible format
materials that works with public libraries and publishers across Canada to ensure equal access to reading materials for all Canadians. They will be leading a workshop at ebookcraft 2018 called
We Tear Apart Your Ebooks: How, why, and what you can do to stop us.

Is literature sustenance? As librarians, we certainly imagine so, and with access to the written word: we grow.

Every writer (we librarians subsequently imagine) writes to inform or change the life of another. Why else share a story? Why else be human?

Supreme Court Orders Second Look at Complaint About Airline Bumping Obese Passengers

Canadian Transportation Agency had refused to investigate 2014 Gabor Lukacs’s complaint because he isn’t obese CBC News
Posted: Jan 19, 2018

Gabor Lukacs complained to the Canadian Transportation Agency in 2014 that Delta Air Lines was in the habit of bumping larger passengers from full flights.

The Supreme Court of Canada has ordered the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) to take another look at a complaint about how Delta Air Lines deals with obese passengers.

The complaint was filed by Halifax-based passenger rights advocate Gabor Lukacs.

In 2014, Lukacs complained to the agency that Delta was in the habit of bumping larger passengers from full flights in the hopes they would buy a second seat.

Tech Firm’s Powerful Vision Brings Sight to the Legally Blind

A woman uses eSight’s headset to watch Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaking at an event in November. Frank Gunn/THE CANADIAN PRESS

Many small businesses establish vision statements that detail their objectives and strategies. Toronto-based eSight Corp., however, gives the concept new meaning.

The company, which makes and sells sophisticated electronic glasses that restore sight to the legally blind, is committed to making blindness history. That mission permeates its research efforts, sales culture and long-term business strategy.

“We’re able, as an organization, to set a vision to live in a world where everyone can see, and to execute that vision in a nimble and pragmatic way,” says Jeffrey Fenton, the company’s director of communications. This mission guides the affordability, distribution, technology and international strategies that have brought eSight attention from around the world.

Residential Snow Plowing Needed, Disability Advocates Urge

Sammy Hudes
Originally Published on: December 29, 2017

Lori-Ann Ellis, who must rely on a scooter to get around, demonstrates how easily she gets stuck in a couple inches of snow near her Aberdare Rd NE Calgary street on Friday, December 29, 2017. Ellis must use her scooter on the road as there is no sidewalk in front of her house, but unless the roads are plowed or packed flat, she gets stuck and is unable to navigate in her community.

For Lori-Ann Ellis, five centimetres of snow could be the difference between whether or not she goes outside for a week.

President’s Message: Nationwide Class Action Challenges Hulu’s Discrimination Against Blind and Visually Impaired Individuals

by Kim Charlson
The ACB Braille Forum Volume LVI, No. 7, January 2018

ACB is very pleased to be working with Disability Rights Advocates, the Disability Law Center, and our affiliate the Bay State Council of the Blind on this case that will bring even more access to streamed television and film content than ever before.

On Nov. 20th, in Boston, a complaint was filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts on behalf of the larger class of people who are blind or visually impaired. Here are the details.

Cubs Fan Who Uses Wheelchair Sues, Says Wrigley Field Violates Disabilities Act

By Steve SchmadekeContact Reporter
Chicago Tribune
January 1, 2018

A Cubs fan alleges in a lawsuit that the Cubs owners $750 million renovation of Wrigley Field, shown Oct. 28, 2016, removed wheelchair-accessible sections in the right field bleachers and behind home plate and replaced them with seats that are worse. (E. Jason Wambsgans / Chicago Tribune)

A 20-year-old Cubs fan who uses a wheelchair is alleging in a lawsuit that Wrigley Field renovations have eliminated or excluded some handicapped-accessible seating at the stadium in violation of federal law.

Transit Accessibility for All Remains a Dream Unfulfilled Across Canada

Oliver Moore
The Globe and Mail, December 29, 2017

MONTREAL – There’s a pair of elevators to nowhere at one of the busiest subway stations in Montreal.

Get off the train at Place Bonaventure and it’s 36 stairs up to the next level. The elevators are there for riders who can’t do that walk, but they go only from the train platform to the ticket-booth area, one level up. It’s a long walk and many more stairs from there to the street.

The station has been like this for eight years, a jarring reminder of how much of the system is off-limits to those unable to walk.

CTA Foundation Announces Accessibility Award Winners, Exhibitors, Programming at CES 2018

December 21, 2017

ARLINGTON, Va.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The Consumer Technology Association (CTA) Foundation, a national organization with the mission to link seniors and people with disabilities with technologies to enhance their lives, announced today accessibility-related programming and exhibits at CES® 2018.

Owned and produced by CTA, CES is the global stage for innovation and will take place January 9-12 in Las Vegas, Nev.

Whether it is in IoT, smart homes, robotics, health and fitness, vehicle tech, smart cities or any of the other innovative, breakthrough technologies at CES, were excited to see technology enabling independence for people of all ages and abilities across the show.

Wheelchair-Accessible Toboggan Slide Opens in Winnipeg

Four-time Paralympian Billy Bridges discusses the toboggan run and how the project came about. CTVNews.ca Staff
Published Monday, December 25, 2017

The city of Winnipeg has opened a slide and toboggan designed to allow everyone to get in on the fun.

On Friday, the city unveiled a its first wheelchair-accessible slide, which doubles as a toboggan run in the winter, at St. Vital Park in the southern part of Winnipeg.

Four-time Paralympian and two-time Paralympic medalist in sledge hockey Billy Bridges took part in the slide’s inaugural run with his daughter on his lap.

DOJ Nixes All Pending ADA Rulemakings, Including Website Access Rules

Seyfarth Synopsis: The Justice Department withdraws pending rulemakings for accessible websites, furniture and non-fixed equipment.

The current Department of Justice’s (DOJ) regulatory approach to Title III of the ADA is yet another example of what a difference an election can make.

In 2010, the DOJ started the rulemaking process to issue new regulations about the websites of public accommodations and state and local governments, as well as non-fixed equipment and furniture used in public accommodations. In July of this year, the DOJ placed these rulemakings on the “inactive list”. On December 26, 2017, these rulemakings will officially be withdrawn.

All VIA Rail Trains to Allow Two Mobility Aid Scooters on Board

PRESS RELEASE PR Newswire
MONTRÉAL, Dec. 20, 2017 /CNW

Telbec/ – VIA Rail Canada (VIA Rail) announced today that, following an order by the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA), its accessibility policy was revised on December 18, 2017 and will take effect on January 3, 2018. The Corporation will offer space for two passengers travelling together on the same train with qualified 3-wheel scooters either by having two tie-down spaces per train or by securing two unoccupied scooters in one tie-down.

Lyft Is Making The App More Accessible For Visually Impaired Riders & Heres Why Its Important

Source:Courtesy of Lyft
ByJames Loke Hale
December 20, 2017

Lyft has made accessibility a priority in 2017. First, in April, it announced its partnership with the National Association of the Deaf, along with changes to the app that would make it more accessible for Deaf and hard of hearing riders and drivers. Now Lyft is embracing its visually impaired riders by announcing its new partnership with Aira, which will make Lyft more accessible for visually impaired riders.

Aira “develops transformative remote assistive technology that connects the blind with a network of certified agents via wearable smart glasses and an augmented reality dashboard that allows agents to see what the blind person sees in real time.”

The Government of Canada Launches Renewed Program to Support the Social Inclusion of Canadians With Disabilities

GATINEAU, QC, Dec. 15, 2017 /CNW

The Government of Canada is working to ensure greater accessibility and opportunities for Canadians with disabilities in their communities and workplaces.

The Honourable Kent Hehr, Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities, today launched a call for expressions of interest under the renewed 2017 Social Development Partnership Program Disability (SDPP-D). The call is open to not-for-profit organizations with a national reach and whose primary mandate is on the inclusion of people with disabilities.

This is the first step in a two-step process which will result in operating funding for national organizations that support the inclusion of people with disabilities.

Canada’s Aging Population Signals Need for More Inclusive, Accessible Transportation System: New Expert Panel Report

PRESS RELEASE GlobeNewswire
Dec. 14, 2017

As the number of Canadians aged 65 and older continues to grow faster than any other age group, so too does the need for a more inclusive and accessible transportation system, underscores a group of experts in a new report released today by the Council of Canadian Academies.

Older Canadians on the Move addresses key obstacles faced by today’s older travellers and explores innovative and technological solutions for adapting Canada’s transportation system to meet future needs.

Older Canadians on the Move. The Expert Panel report on the transportation needs of an aging population.

Accessible Technology Program

From Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

The new Accessible Technology Program will co-fund innovative projects led by the private sector, not-for-profit organizations and research institutes to develop new assistive and adaptive digital devices and technologies.

It will invest $22.3 million over 5 years, starting in 2017-18 to make it easier for Canadians with disabilities to more fully participate in the digital economy.

Background

The Program is part of the Government of Canada’s Innovation and Skills Plan, and aims to facilitate and encourage the participation of under-represented groups in the digital economy by investing in initiatives that provide them with the necessary tools, access and skills to participate.

Making Digital Technologies More Accessible to Canadians With Disabilities

News provided by
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

$22.3-million program will help Canadians with disabilities fully participate in the digital economy

OTTAWA, Dec. 6, 2017 /CNW/ – As a result of a new $22.3-million program, more Canadians with disabilities will have access to the digital tools they need to fully participate in society and get access to the well-paying jobs of today and tomorrow.

The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, today launched the Accessible Technology Program, a new program that, over the next five years, will co-fund innovative projects to develop new assistive and adaptive digital devices and technologies.

All Branches of Government Must Rally Together for Canadians With Disabilities

Rick Hansen Contributed to The Globe and Mail
Updated December 3, 2017

Rick Hansen is a three-time Paralympic gold medalist and founder and CEO of the Rick Hansen Foundation, an organization committed to creating a world without barriers for people with disabilities.

Dec. 3 is the United Nations-sanctioned International Day of Persons With Disabilities (IDPD), and this also marks the 30th year since I wheeled around the world creating awareness and encouraging barriers to be removed. A lot has been accomplished in that time, including the UN declaring the launch of the Decade of Disabled Persons from 1983-1992, which ended with a global conference on accessibility hosted by Canada that I had the good fortune of leading.

The Government of Canada Tables the Optional Protocol to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

News Release
From Employment and Social Development Canada
November 30, 2017 Ottawa, Ontario Employment and Social Development Canada

The Government of Canada is taking further action to uphold and safeguard the rights of people with disabilities and further enable their inclusion and full participation in Canadian society.

Today, the Honourable Kent Hehr, Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities, on behalf of the Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Foreign Affairs, is proud to announce that the Government of Canada tabled in the House of Commons the Optional Protocol to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (the Optional Protocol). The Optional Protocol would allow individuals in Canada to make a complaint to the United Nations if they believe their rights under the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (the Convention) have been violated.

International Certification of Accessibility Consultants for the Built Environment launched by GAATES

November 27 2017

The Global Alliance on Accessible Technologies and Environments (GAATES), recognized as an international leader in the field of accessibility, is pleased to announce its public launch of the International Certification of Accessibility Consultants Built Environment (ICAC-BE) program.

Significant time and contributions from recognized global industry leaders has resulted in the development of the first ever international-level certification program for built environment accessibility experts.

The lack of a certification program has allowed people with little or no training or expertise to present themselves as accessibility experts. This has led to uneven and sometimes inadequate costly design solutions.

Immigration Minister Vows to Change Law That Bars Immigrants With Disabilities and Illnesses

A parliamentary committee is reviewing the law that refuses applicants who would put “excessive demand” on health or social services. By Nicholas KeungImmigration reporter
Wed., Nov. 22, 2017

Canada’s Immigration Minister says he’s committed to changing the rule that bars many people with disabilities and illnesses from immigrating to Canada.

Rights groups and individuals affected by the so-called “medical inadmissibility” rule say not only is it inhumane, but it also breaches the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, as well as the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.