Welcome to Accessibility News International (ANI)

This site is part of the Accessibility News Network.

Latest Headlines

Blind People Can Struggle to Understand Memes, So They Made Their Own

Screen-reading software allows visually impaired people to use the internet, but it hits a wall when it comes to memes.

In January, a photo of a woman holding a probing cane and looking at a phone went viral on Facebook after the poster implied that the subject was faking blindness given that she was clearly able to see her phone screen. Though the image was shared thousands of times by people who believed the joke, commenters were eventually informed of the reality, which is that blind people and people with low vision depend on their phones just as much as anyone else.

eSchool News: 3 Steps to a More Accessible Classroom

By Danise Olague
Originally posted February 22nd, 2018

“Turn on the subtitles, Ms. Olague!”
I clicked on the “CC” button underneath the YouTube video, and the closed-captioning appeared at the bottom of the screen. Suddenly, all my students were looking at the screen with wide eyes, eager to watch the video.

In my first-grade classroom, a third of my students were learning English as a second language. Though my English learners were the initial reason I starting using closed-captioning on videos, I soon realized that students with special needs also benefited. As a public school teacher, I had to constantly evaluate how my teaching practices and materials could better include and empower the vast diversity in my classroom.

eSchool News: 5 Steps to Ensure Accessibility

By Stacey Pusey
April 11th, 2019

Rockville, MD: If we want to help every child reach his or her potential, we need to take the appropriate steps

While the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) was last reauthorized in 2004, with amendments in 2015, and the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) updated back in 2008, the demand for accessibility and equality in education continues to grow. Administrators and teachers, who want to help every child reach their potential, can’t afford to wait for new laws and policies. To ensure accessibility, educators need to constantly evaluate the effectiveness of accessibility initiatives, advocate for resources for their students, and anticipate where they need to go next.

Innovators Challenged to Design Products for Homes to Win Investment Fund and Help Disabled People Live Independently

4th April 2019

Now in its fifth year, Design Council Spark is putting a new focus on driving accessible home innovation; Design Council Spark: The Home Innovation Challenge is aiming to deliver major impact, both financially and socially, for people with reduced mobility or disabilities.

In the UK, there are currently 14 million people living with a disability and 25 percent of the population are due to be over the age of 65 by 2046. Design Council Spark showcases how innovative design is fundamental to futureproofing peoples ability to live independently and enabling bright ideas to transform future homes for everyone.

Legal Battle Over Captioning Continues

A legal dispute over video captions continues after court rejects requests by MIT and Harvard University to dismiss lawsuits accusing them of discriminating against deaf people. By Lindsay McKenzie
April 8, 2019

Two high-profile civil rights lawsuits filed by the National Association of the Deaf against Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are set to continue after requests to dismiss the cases were recently denied for the second time.

The two universities were accused by the NAD in 2015 of failing to make their massive open online courses, guest lectures and other video content accessible to people who are deaf or hard of hearing.

Autonomous Vehicle Design Should Benefit Broader Group of Potential Drivers

April 1, 2019
cstdenis@itsa.org

New ITS America Report Underscores Need for AVs to be Accessible, Inclusive.

Washington At a time when major automakers are planning to deploy greater numbers of autonomous vehicles (AVs), they have a unique opportunity to ensure people with disabilities have access to this transformational technology.
That is one of the conclusions of “Designing the Future of Transportation for People with Disabilities,” released today by the Intelligent Transportation Society of America (ITS America).

The report calls for key players in the transportation, healthcare and consumer electronics fields to work together to encourage manufacturers to produce accessible designs for automated vehicle systems and notes that developing standards and focusing on universal design must happen now.

IKEA Israel Makes Life Simpler for People With Disabilities

ThisAbles collaboration enables people with disabilities to 3D-print add-ons to regular IKEA furniture to make it more easily accessible for all. By Naama Barak | April 3, 2019

Everyone (well, almost) loves a good stroll through IKEA, and the people of Israel are certainly no different. Pronounced eek-eh-ah in Hebrew, the Scandinavian giant’s furniture decorates almost every home in country, making it the perfect place to roll out super-smart accessories that make life simper for all.

At IKEA Israel, 13 accessories designed for people with disabilities can now be scanned at no cost and printed out using 3D printers to add to the store’s furniture. The aim is to increase the products’ usability and raise awareness of inclusion and accessibility.

Province Lays Out New Goals to Get to Full Accessibility by 2030

Advocates say there is still enormous amount of work to be done to keep the province on track Shaina Luck · CBC News · Posted: Apr 01, 2019

Clayton Dauphinee is on a personal mission to document accessibility problems in public washrooms in Nova Scotia. (Shaina Luck/CBC)

As Nova Scotia strikes two committees to develop the first provincial accessibility standards, some advocates say there is still an enormous amount of work to be done to keep the province on track toward its goal of becoming fully accessible by 2030.

On Thursday, the province released the names of 20 people who are tasked with coming up with standards for making education more accessible, and 19 people who will concentrate on making buildings and public spaces more accessible.

Proposed Accessible Transportation for Persons with Disabilities Regulations now published in Part I of the Canada Gazette

March 11, 2019 Gatineau, QC Canadian Transportation Agency

The Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) today announced that its proposed Accessible Transportation for Persons with Disabilities Regulations (ATPDR) are now published in Part I of the Canada Gazette for public review and comment.

The proposed regulations consolidate the CTA’s various accessibility instruments including six voluntary codes and two regulations – to create a single, robust, legally binding set of accessible transportation regulations.

The CTA consulted extensively with persons with disabilities and industry, including members of its Accessibility Advisory Committee, as well as the general public, on which regulatory measures can help make the federal transportation network more accessible for persons with disabilities.

Adaptive Sports Equipment Enables Outdoor Recreation for All

March 18 2019

Stephen was 14 when he lost all use of his legs and the full mobility of his arms in a traffic accident. Three years after the crash, the Braddock youth, who asked that his last name not be used, said he sorely missed getting outside with family and friends.

Gal Pinto, nine years old, pedals her bike with assistance by physical therapist Kirsten Raether around the gym at the western Pa. School for the Deaf , Tuesday, March 12 2019 in Edgewood.

Hanging out in the park, fishing just doing anything outdoors its really hard when you cant get around, he said in 2018 during a fishing program organized by the state Fish and Boat Commission.

Canada: Federal Accessibility Legislation One Step Closer To Law

Last Updated: March 11 2019
Article by Jackie VanDerMeulen and Megan Beal
Fasken

The Accessible Canada Act (Act), first introduced in June 2018 in Bill C-81, is now being considered by the Senate, and could soon be law.

The purpose of the Act is to make Canada’s federal sector barrier-free. If enacted, it will apply to federally-regulated entities like banks, telecommunication companies, transportation companies, and the Government of Canada. It will not apply to certain businesses in Yukon, the Northwest Territories, or Nunavut.

It will apply to the areas of:

  • employment,
  • the built environment,
  • information and communication technologies (e.g. websites),

NS Decision Finds Blatant Discrimination Against Three Persons with Intellectual Disabilities

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 6th, 2019

HALIFAX, NS – Chairman John Walter Thompson, Q.C. found in Monday’s Human Rights Commission Board of Inquiry decision that the Province of Nova Scotia violated the rights of Beth MacLean, Sheila Livingstone, and Joseph Delaney under the Nova Scotia’s Human Rights Act.

The decision is a win for MacLean, Livingstone, and Delaney as individuals, and is an important victory in ensuring full recognition of the right of persons with disabilities to live in the community and access community-based services throughout the province.

This Is How To Create The Biggest Changes for Women With Disabilities In Years

Denise Brodey

Each year when Women’s History Month comes around, there’s an explosion of content online about women. This year, there are plenty of signs that corporate America is poised to create change for women with disabilities the likes of which we haven’t seen in years. Here’s my thinking: The fight for equal pay and the #metoo movement have jumpstarted awareness of the huge challenges women face in the workplace.

For the first time, the topic of inclusion took center stage at the World Economic Forum 2019. And then there’s renewed attention to the issue of web accessibility, which plays a part in general disability awareness. The dismal employment numbers for women with disabilities give also impart a sense of urgency.

Broken Elevator at Portage and Main Suggests Accessibility’s Not A Priority, Advocate Says

Allen Mankewich says the wheelchair lift at 201 Portage Ave. is often out of service
Holly Caruk · CBC News · Posted: Mar 04, 2019 10:16 AM CT | Last Updated: March 4

Allen Mankewich, a consultant with the Independent Living Resource Centre who uses a wheelchair, says the broken lift forces people in wheelchairs to travel blocks out of their way on snowy sidewalks just to cross the street.

A Winnipeg man is frustrated after a broken wheelchair lift has gone unrepaired for weeks at downtown Winnipeg’s busiest intersection.

Court Ruling Further Clarifies ADA Website Accessibility Obligations

Conn Maciel Carey LLP
USA February 21 2019

Over the past several years, we have written extensively about employers’ obligations to make their websites accessible for individuals with visual, hearing and physical impairments. In the past, we have counseled employers who are considered a “place of public accommodation” (such as a hotel, restaurant, place of recreation, doctor’s office, etc.) to at the very least do some due diligence to determine whether their websites are accessible for disabled users, so that those individuals can use and navigate those websites and/or purchase goods sold on

Non-Profits, MPs Lead Disability Mission to Israel

By Jennifer Tzivia MacLeod, Israel Correspondent
February 21, 2019

Canadian Ambassador to Israel Deb Lyons welcomed leaders from three of Canadas largest organizations in the disability field to her official residence in Tel Aviv on Feb. 12, to kick off the first Canada-Israel Inclusion Mission. She spoke about the importance of sharing knowledge and expertise, in order to remove barriers for people with disabilities, an area in which she said both Israel and Canada have made impressive strides.

Lyons pointed out that 15 per cent of the global population experiences some form of disability, a number thats expected to increase to 25 per cent by 2050. That 25 per cent, she said, represents a vast potential for innovation, social contribution and economic opportunity, and both countries are leading the way.

Phones Still Aren’t Quite Right for People With Disabilities

February 18th, 2019
Posted by John Toon-Georgia Tech

Mobile phones are increasingly more accessible for people with disabilities, but there are still some significant gaps in service, according to a new study.

Researchers compared 2017 model year phones capable of receiving Wireless Emergency Alert notifications a category that includes most top-tier phones to 2015 versions and found improved accessibility across 10 of 13 features.

However, phones offered through the federally subsidized Lifeline program for low-income people fell short in nearly every category when compared to phones offered through traditional wireless plans.

What It’s Like to Be Blind in a World of People Distracted By Cellphones

18/02/2019

I was born with optic atrophy, so I have a very narrow field of vision. I basically just see out of one corner of my left eye.
I use a white cane, and when you’re born with this condition, it’s just natural that you learn to walk with a cane and travel quite confidently.

But I’m relying on people to see me. And it doesn’t always happen that way.

We think of distracted drivers, but we don’t think of distracted pedestrians – and they can be just as dangerous.

Paralympic Medalists Check Accessibility of 2020 Tokyo Games Venue Area

February 17, 2019 (Mainichi Japan)

TOKYO — Paralympic medalists have inspected parts of the capital’s Koto Ward, host to two Tokyo 2020 swimming venues, to see if the area meets the growing demand for easier access for people with disabilities.

A Mainichi Shimbun reporter joined the athletes’ first check of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics venue sites on Jan. 20. The aim: to assess the current environment as well as facilities with barrier-free concepts. The meeting point with Paralympians Association of Japan (PAJ) chairman Junichi Kawai, 43, and former Japan national wheelchair basketball player Katsumi Miyake, 48, was outside the Tokyo Metro’s Tatsumi Station ticket gate.

Copy Machines Being Upgraded for Accessibility

The University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Feb. 15, 2019

Copy machines capable of producing documents accessible to those with low vision or other sight impairment will soon be in place at 11 locations across campus. It’s the start of a campaign to ensure these machines are readily available for the campus community.

When scanning a document, most copy machines produce a PDF image that’s undecipherable to screen-reading technologies. The new functionality allows copiers to scan a document to create a PDF file that can be read by these technologies using optical character recognition, or OCR.