Assistive Technology Benefits Autistic Children

By John M. Williams

I start this column by stating that out of the more than 100 one-on-one interviews that I have done as a journalist the toughest interview was with an 11-year-old autistic boy. He would not respond to my questions until I condensed my questions to four words and he heard my tape recorder ask the questions. His answers were then concise and clear.

U.S Chamber Releases Study on the Importance of Broadband to People with Disabilities Offers Guidance to Policymakers on National Policy

December 4, 2009        
Contact: Eric Wohlschlegel 202-463-5682       

WASHINGTON, D.C.-The U.S. Chamber of Commerce today released a paper on The Impact of Broadband on People with Disabilities, as part of
its series of studies detailing the benefits of broadband technology.

Compliance with EU web accessibility guidelines still low

Monday 07 December 2009 | 09:57 AM CET

The levels of full compliance with existing web accessibility guidelines (generally WCAG 1.0 based) remain very low in European countries, accordign to
an EC report.

Revolt of the HandyDart Riders

By Todd Brayer,
December 4, 2009

People are mad at strikers for stranding the disabled. Here’s another side you haven’t heard.

More than 50 HandyDart riders from all over the Lower Mainland flooded TransLink’s Metrotown head office yesterday to protest in support of striking drivers.

So many came that while protesters met with TransLink communications director Ken Hardie in a board room, more than 20 waited outside in the small waiting area on the 16th floor of the Metrotower II building. Office workers looked on as elevator after elevator unloaded people in wheelchairs, on walkers and on foot.

Accessibility: How Many Disabled Web Users Are There?

December 02, 2009

by Joseph C. Dolson

Ecommerce merchants spend a lot of time thinking about statistics. They try to gauge who is visiting their website, what products consumers are most interested in, and how consumers are finding those products. Without knowing about their audience, merchants have a difficult time marketing their site and products.

The physical disabilities of a merchant’s visitors are a factor that he or she should consider.

Canada fails to meet commitment to UN Convention on Disabilities

December 3rd, 2009

Despite signing the UN Convention on Disabilities, Canada does not meet international standards for the human rights of people living with disabilities.

“Canadians with disabilities make up the poorest people in our country, are excluded from Canadian society and have limited recourse to redress human rights abuse,” said Stephen Pate, Director of PEI Disability Alert Inc.

Close Institutions for Mentally Challenged, advocacy group says

Laura Stone, Canwest News Service
Published: 2:31 am, Dec 4, 2009

The three remaining large-scale institutions for Canadians with intellectual disabilities should be shut down, says an association that helps mentally challenged people in Canada.

The Canadian Association for Community Living said Thursday it wants institutions housing some 900 people in Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan to be closed down. In their place, the association asked for community-based options, such as public housing and more government-funded care workers to assist those with intellectual disabilities to live on their own.

Mentally disabled people need better access to jobs: Report

Nicholas Keung

Canada must end institutionalization of mentally disabled people and invest in their quality of life by improving access to jobs and social supports, says a new report to be released Thursday.

4 Blind Speedskating Records for Ottawa-area Man

Monday, November 30, 2009
CBC news

An athlete from Orleans, Ont., has become a world record holder in blind speedskating.

Kevin Frost returned to Canada Thursday after winning four gold medals at the Russian Paralympic Open Blind Cup last week.

Disability Savings Plan a Godsend for Parents

By Garry Marr, Family Man,
Financial PostNovember 30, 2009

The registered disability savings plan, first introduced in the March 2007 federal budget, can be used by parents as a key planning tool for the future, writes Family Man columnist Garry Marr.

Former National Hockey League player Jim Kyte knows a little something about living with a disability: He was the first deaf NHL hockey player.

During his pro career from 1983-1997, which included stops in Calgary, Ottawa and Winnipeg, Mr. Kyte made his share of money but this week he confessed much of his wealth has been directed to one of his own children born with a disability — autism.

For Students with Disabilities, it’s All in the Plan

November 28th, 2009
By Sarah Palermo | Sentinel Source

Derrick Pendilla is 12 years old, loves sports, cartoons, his dog and his little sister. All of his classes — he’s in 6th-grade at Keene Middle School — are his favorite.

He wants to be a zookeeper when he grows up, and if asked about his favorite animals, he questions if you mean his favorite mammal or reptile, because he has one of each.

Banking Services for Older And Disabled People Improved

Monday, 30 November, 2009 – 13:31

The Human Rights Commission has helped the New Zealand Bankers’ Association develop a set of voluntary guidelines to help improve access to banking services by older and disabled people.

A Continuing Horror in the World!!!

 Thousands of African albinos displaced after rash of killings, report says

Tom Odula
Globe and Mail, Nov. 29, 2009

Nairobi – (AP) – The mistaken belief that albino body parts have magical
powers has driven thousands of Africa’s albinos into hiding, fearful of losing their lives and limbs to unscrupulous dealers who can make up to $75,000 selling a complete dismembered set.

AEBC Seeks Increased Rights for Blind Canadians

The International Day of Persons With Disabilities, December 3, brings a call for all Canadians to demand increased rights and opportunities for those who are blind, deaf-blind and partially sighted.

Robin East, President of the Alliance for Equality of Blind Canadians says “All Canadians benefit from increasing the involvement of persons with disabilities in every aspect of the political, social, economic and cultural life of our communities.” The AEBC President adds, “This Day reminds all of us to consider persons with disabilities in our country, and urges us to develop new ways to advance the opportunities of persons with disabilities.”

There’s Something Special (and Loud) About Wheelchair Rugby

Monday, November 30th, 2009 | 1:20 am
Canwest News Service

Some call it murderball, but to 15-year-old Nathan Bragg, it’s a chance to showcase his athleticism while playing a full-contact sport in his wheelchair.

“For me, one of the things I absolutely love about [wheelchair] rugby is the contact,” Bragg said. “I’ve never had the opportunity to do that before I started playing.”

HandyDart Strike Leaves Disabled Passengers Out in the Cold

By Matthew Burrows

How would you assess TransLink’s handling of the HandyDart strike?

Tim Louis
Lawyer and one of the creators of HandyDart

“If I had to give it a grade, I’d give it an F. When you put a contract out to tender…surely one of the elements…that you assess the vendors on is the ability to deliver the service. If you are so poor at labour relations that you are unable to deliver the service, because you cannot work with the people that deliver the service for you—the employees—surely that’s the deal breaker.”

Mental Illness Costs Canada $33B Annually: TD

‘A Major Economic Cost’

Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Cbc news

Mental illness drags down Canada’s economic output by more than two per cent every year, according to the chief economist of the TD Bank.

In a speech to be delivered Wednesday afternoon in Toronto, Don Drummond pegs the loss to Canada’s economy from non-physical injuries at $33 billion annually.

MS Society Offers Hope

Wednesday, November 25th, 2009 | 2:50 am

Canwest News Service

For the estimated 55,000 to 75,000 Canadians who have multiple sclerosis, recent years have brought bright hope mixed with enormous continuing challenges, says the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada.

Making Your Home Accessible

By Anna Taylor
November 24, 2009

Part 1, The Bathroom  

Let me begin by saying, I am not an expert on all disabilities. I talk about what has worked for me because I live in a wheelchair. Depending on your unique situation some of these ideas will not work for you. Consider your situation and use these ideas to fit your needs. 

No Seat for Disabled Students on AMS Council

By Kalyeena Makortoff

Monday, November 23rd, 2009

A motion to create a non-voting seat for students with disabilities was voted down by AMS Council last week following a heated 90-minute debate.