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Widespread Economic Benefits To Be Gained From Making Workplaces More Accessible For People With Disabilities

Making work spaces and facilities more accessible would allow people with physical disabilities to participate more fully in the workforce, lifting overall economic activity by $16.8 billion by 2030, according to a new report by The Conference Board of Canada.

Read more at
http://www.aoda.ca/widespread-economic-benefits-to-be-gained-from-making-workplaces-more-accessible-for-people-with-disabilities/

Members of New Advisory Board Want Nova Scotia to Rethink Accessibility

Bruce said advocates have been consulted many times in the past, but the provincial government doesn’t have a good track record of listening.

She hopes it’s different this time around.

Read more at
http://www.aoda.ca/members-of-new-advisory-board-want-nova-scotia-to-rethink-accessibility/

It’s OK To Look At Your Phone At A Broadway Show, If Your Hearing Is Impaired

February 11, 2018·4:55 PM ET
Jeff Lunden

Seventeen Broadway theaters are now using technology that allows deaf and hearing-impaired patrons to see closed captions on their smartphones. Unlike the white smartphone background seen here, the GalaPro app screen is dark.

Jerry Bergman is sitting in the audience at a Broadway matinée performance of The Band’s Visit. Despite the fact that a huge sign above the stage tells the audience in English, Hebrew and Arabic to turn off cellphones, Bergman is keeping his on so he can read closed captions while watching the show.

UK Government Website Offline After Hack Infects Thousands More Worldwide

Thousands of websites globally have been hijacked by code which made computers run cryptocurrency mining software. Sunday 11 February 2018
By Nick Stylianou, Defence & Technology Producer

“The Coinhive script was inserted into a popular third-party accessibility plugin “BrowseAloud” which is used to help blind or partially-sighted people access the web.”

More than 5,000 websites have been hacked to force visitors’ computers to run software that mines a cryptocurrency similar to Bitcoin.

Users loading the websites of the Information Commissioner’s Office, the Student Loans Company, as well as the council websites for Manchester City, Camden, and Croydon – and even the homepage of the United States Courts – had their computers’ processing power hijacked by hackers.

A Delicate Approach to Restoring Control

08-02-2018
by Industry Update

An Australian startup programme is aiming to tackle lifestyle problems caused by fine motor control issues, an ever-pervasive ailment that dramatically impacts quality-of-life.

Their solution is a hand controller designed to help people with dexterity issues perform daily household functions: the i-boll.

The i-boll, roughly the size of a junior soccer ball, links to a smartphone app to connect with other devices and uses the smartphone’s built-in accelerometer to track movement.

The wireless device is operated with two hands and aims to help people living with cerebral palsy, arthritis, those recovering from a stroke and the elderly to operate smart devices and household appliances.

Transport Boards Must Include People With ‘Experience of Disability’

Updated / Wednesday, 7 Feb 2018 18:31

Last week Iarnród Éireann launched a pilot scheme on DART services to improve accessibility for wheelchair users

Minister for Transport Shane Ross has announced that the boards of public transport bodies must include at least one person with “raw, personal, experience of disability.”

Mr Ross’ spokeswoman said his announcement means that individuals with experiences of disability will be appointed directors of organisations such as the National Transport Authority, Dublin Bus, Bus Éireann, Iarnród Éireann and CIÉ.

In an address to the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Transport, the Independent Alliance minister said that in recent years, access to public transport had been improved but that progress had been unacceptably slow.

Does the Government Make It too Hard for People With Disabilities to Work?

By Monique Scotti National Online Journalist, Politics Global News

The federal Conservatives have tabled a bill in the House of Commons that they say will help get more Canadians with disabilities into the workforce, arguing that right now, it can be more affordable for them to stay out of it.

The private members bill, tabled this afternoon by Conservative finance critic Pierre Poilievre, is unlikely to pass unless the Conservatives get the Liberals on-side.

I have had some informal conversations with some members of the other parties, and the reaction has been very favourable, Poilievre told reporters outside the House of Commons on Monday afternoon.

Blackboard and ReadSpeaker Partner to Enhance Accessibility of Digital Course Content

ReadSpeakers leading text-to-speech technology integrated into Blackboard Ally, helping instructors worldwide create more accessible content for learners

WASHINGTON, D.C., January 23, 2018 Blackboard and ReadSpeaker are furthering their partnership to help instructors worldwide improve the accessibility of course content for their students.

Currently, ReadSpeaker is Blackboards exclusive text-to-speech provider that is fully integrated within Blackboards learning management systems, supporting Universal Design for Learning (UDL). Now, as part of this extended collaboration, ReadSpeakers text-to-speech technology will also be integrated within Blackboard Ally as an offline audio alternative for course content. This allows students to automatically access an MP3 version of content added by the instructor into the LMS.

The 2018 AEBC/T-Base Scholarship Program is Accepting Applications

Each year, the AEBC offers scholarships to recognize outstanding blind, deafblind, and partially sighted post-secondary students. This year, we are pleased to offer six awards in total.

Read more at
http://www.blindcanadians.ca/programs/scholarship

CNIB Calls for Senate of Canada to Include Strengthened Requirements to Accommodate Canadians With Sight Loss

OTTAWA, Jan. 30, 2018 /CNW

CNIB is calling on the Senate of Canada to make amendments to strengthen requirements to accommodate Canadians with sight loss. As the Senate resumes sitting at the end of January, they will continue their study of Bill C-49, the Transportation Modernization Act. CNIB supports the passage of this important piece of legislation, specifically the creation of an airline Passenger Bill of Rights.

Canadians with sight loss have difficulties travelling in Canada independently, especially when travelling on an airplane. Problems exists in all facets of airline travel: from booking tickets, to navigating airports, and providing sufficient space for passengers with sight loss and their guide dogs.

This Self-Driving Shuttle Puts Accessibility First

Accessible Olli was designed from the ground up to help people with disabilities get where they need to go. by Ben Fox Rubin
January 26, 2018

Jay Rogers stood a few feet from his company’s futuristic-looking shuttle bus, called the Accessible Olli.

The all-electric, partially 3D-printed, autonomous vehicle, sitting in the middle of the bustling Las Vegas Convention Center during the CES tech show, packs features to help people with disabilities and the elderly get around.

There’s a retractable wheelchair ramp, software that can process sign language, and displays inside offering simplified information and reminders for people with cognitive disabilities like memory loss.

Government of Canada Accepting Project Proposals to Support Canadians With Disabilities

GATINEAU, QC, Jan. 23, 2018
CNW

The Honourable Kent Hehr, Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities, today announced that the Government of Canada is now accepting project proposals from organizations interested in receiving funding through the Opportunities Fund for Persons with Disabilities.

People with disabilities have much to offer employers, but they remain under-represented in the workforce. Through programs such as the Opportunities Fund, the Government of Canada provides support to help people with disabilities enter the labour market, thereby contributing to the growth of the middle class.

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.