How Learning Disabled Can Make College a Reality

By Kim Clark, U.S. News & World Report
1:10 p.m. CST, December 28, 2010

Most of the 3 percent or so of teens who have been diagnosed with learning disabilities struggle so much in high school that they give up on hopes of college, setting back their job and career prospects, according to statistics compiled by the National Center for Learning Disabilities.

But there are reasons for hope for anyone with attention deficit disorder, dyslexia or other common learning challenges. College admissions officers and
learning disability counselors recommend these steps:

Car Sound Bill Approved

House OKs deadline for hybrid, electric levels to warn blind

David Shepardson
Detroit News, Dec. 17, 2010

Washington— The House voted 379-30 Thursday to give federal safety regulators 18 months to set minimum sound levels from quiet electric and hybrid vehicles to warn blind pedestrians.

The legislation cleared the Senate last week on a unanimous vote. It’s the first piece of auto safety legislation expected to become law since President Barack Obama took office in 2009. Several other safety bills proposed in the wake of Toyota Motor Corp.’s sudden acceleration recalls have been stalled.

Workshops for Disabled ‘Antiquated,’ Says Advocate

By David Hutton, Postmedia News December 23, 2010

A national advocate for the disabled on Thursday called for an end to sheltered workshops after it was revealed that a Saskatchewan non-profit group pays a stipend of $150 a month for work on a recycling sorting line.

SASKATOON — A national advocacy organization is calling on Saskatchewan to move away from sheltered workshops for people with disabilities, saying the practice has “outlived its usefulness.”

But local organizations defend the workshops — sometimes grouped alongside activity centres or rehabilitation centres — saying despite the lofty goals of
integration, the developmentally disabled would be left behind and would struggle to find meaningful work in a competitive workforce if the non-profits
ever closed.

BSI Accessibility Documentary Endorsed on United Nations Website

Posted to site December 23, 2010

The UN has long been a proponent of human rights worldwide. This includes the rights of disabled persons, as integral members of society often overlooked in public service sectors. In an article recognising the International Day of Persons with Disabilities on 3 December, the UN endorsed BSI’s documentary “Overview: Way to Accessibility in Buildings and on the Web” as a way to encourage companies to make their services indiscriminately applicable to all consumers.

The need for organisations to make services more accessible is an international priority. From web development, to modes of transportation and general building facilities, companies and designers are responsible to ensure that their services answer the needs of consumers – regardless of circumstance or capability.

Chirping Crosswalk Changes Its Tune; Safety Matters

Jeanne Armstrong
National Post , Dec. 23, 2010

Canadian municipalities are finding themselves on opposite sides of an odd debate: whether to change the sound used to help the visually impaired
safely cross the street.

The reason for the proposed change? The chirping sound that has become commonplace at crosswalks from coast to coast sounds too much like the
northern cardinal.

A report by the Transportation Association of Canada recommends that cities replace the high-pitched bird chirp signal because it was causing visually
impaired pedestrians to stray from the crosswalk path.

BMO Survey: Canadians With Disabilities Not Taking Advantage of RDSPs

  • Only five per cent of Canadians with disabilities hold RDSP accounts
  • A mere one in 10 of those impacted claim to be knowledgeable about the program
  • Almost half have never heard of RDSPs

TORONTO, ONTARIO–(Marketwire – Dec. 21, 2010) – BMO Financial Group today announced the results of a survey revealing that only one in ten (10 per cent) Canadians with a disability, or those with a family member with a disability, are knowledgeable about the Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP) and its benefits, with 44 per cent having never heard of it. BMO, on the second anniversary of becoming the first bank to offer the RDSP account, reiterated its commitment as the market leader to continue to educate and raise awareness of this product.

Disabled Nortel Employees Face a Bleak Future

Published On Sun Dec 19 2010
Richard J. Brennan Ottawa Bureau

OTTAWA—Earlier this month, forty-seven Conservative Senators killed proposed legislation designed to protect employees on long-term disability — then promptly headed off for an evening of Christmas cheer.

The irony was not lost on the roughly 400 employees of bankrupt Nortel Networks Corp., who have very little to celebrate this holiday season.

That’s because their disability benefits run out on Dec. 31, leaving them scraping to get by on a $12,000 annual federal disability pension — or just about
their average drug costs.

The Process of Civic Engagement

By John Rae
December 18, 2010

John Rae is 1st Vice President of the Alliance for Equality of Blind Canadians, and a member of CCD’s National Council. The following are notes
for a presentation at ARCH Disability Law Centre’s 30th Anniversary Symposium, Toronto, December 13, 2010.

Pursuing civic engagement in a democracy can take many forms, from organizing our own groups, writing letters to the appropriate officials or
the editor of one’s local newspaper, monitoring and making presentations to
Parliamentary committees, filing legal challenges, pickets and demonstrations, to today’s increasing emphasis on participating in the electoral process by voting, as campaign workers or even as candidates hoping to get elected to office.

CI Recognized for Web Site Accessibility for the Blind

Written By: Vardaan

CAMARILLO, Calif., Dec. 16, 2010 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — In a recent review of 183 university Web sites published in The Chronicle of Higher Education, CSU Channel Islands (CI) placed sixth overall in Web site accessibility for the blind and placed first for accessibility of online applications, with 98.2%
of applications usable by the blind. Four of the top ten Web sites were from the CSU system.

New Coalition Calls for Completely Accessible Broadcasting System

Dec 16, 2010 7:34 AM

Access 2020, a newly formed coalition of Canada’s largest accessibility organizations, will be asking the CRTC to adopt a new approach to accessibility
in its May 2011 policy hearing on vertical integration.  

“While current regulatory trends mean that sight- and hearing-impaired Canadians will only obtain complete access to television in thirty years, Access
2020’s goal is to achieve fully captioned and described television content within the next decade,” said Beverley Milligan, on behalf of Media Access Canada which is leading the Coalition. 

“We will be inviting the CRTC to empower Canada’s accessibility organizations to research, test, develop and monitor the implementation of modern, multi-platform digital accessibility standards.”  

Human Rights Success: Disabling a System of Discrimination

December 12, 2010
By Chris Bowerman, Writer
Troy Media

Dec. 12, 2010/ Troy Media/ – Canada’s success in rooting out discrimination is often lost in a national debate that focuses on the failings of human rights

The country’s system of meting out justice in cases of inequality is not without its many bright spots, however.

In one particular case concluded earlier this year, a complaint concluded in a triple-whammy success for the federal human rights agencies, disabled Canadians and Elections Canada.

In relatively swift succession, an informed citizen’s complaint was investigated by the Canadian Human Rights Commission, referred to the tribunal, and
resolved with co-operation from the respondent – Elections Canada – which is implementing comprehensive orders to reform its electoral procedures and training.

My Proposed Dec. 16 ADA Regulatory Hearing Testimony

By Blind Access Journal

I will be testifying on Dec. 16 in Washington D.C. at a Department of Justice hearing on proposed new ADA regulations to expand accessibility requirements for websites, closed captioning, video description, electronic equipment (ATMs, kiosks, payment terminals) and emergency-notification technology.

I will have five minutes to speak. The following is a written copy of my proposed testimony. I welcome all constructive feedback.

Ontario Lawyers to Represent Injured Vets for Free

Published On Tue Dec 14 2010

Tracy and Bill Kerr watch as wreaths are laid on Remembrance Day. Ontario lawyers moved by the stories of Canada’s wounded soldiers like Bill Kerr, say they’ll represent injured veterans for free.

Tanya Talaga Queen’s Park Bureau
Allan Woods Ottawa Bureau

Moved by the stories of Canada’s wounded soldiers who’ve come home only to be forced to fight the federal government for benefits, Ontario’s trial lawyers say they’ll represent injured veterans for free.

And in Ottawa, sources tell the Star that the Liberals will present legislation Tuesday that, if passed, would elevate the Office of the Veterans’ Ombudsman so that it reports to Parliament, and not the minister of national defence, as is currently the case.

Phone for the Hard of Hearing

06 Dec 2010 by Editor

Vodacom has launched the Bellen A100 handset in South Africa, as an innovative solution for ‘hard of hearing’ mobile users. It is not only useful for people with hearing difficulties, but also makes clear communication possible for people who work in noisy environments.

Vodacom on Friday launched the Bellen A100 handset which is aimed at improving hearing ability for mobile users who cannot hear clearly.
This device is designed for people who are ‘hard of hearing,’ which means people who have hearing difficulties.  The A100 also makes clear communication possible for people who work in noisy environments.

DOJ Posts Online Editions of its 2010 ADA Standards

Posted to site December 10, 2010

The Department of Justice (DOJ) has posted official editions of its new 2010 ADA standards and companion guidance on its
ADA website.

Disabled Need Access, Not More Promises

By HARRY WOLBERT, For the Winnipeg Sun
Last Updated: December 8, 2010 10:59pm

The Manitoba Human Rights Commission’s 2009 report once again confirmed that discrimination based on disability is the foremost human rights issue facing this province.

Complaints based on disability accounted for 46.6% of all the human rights complaints filed with the MHRC in 2009.

A growing concern among disability advocates centres around having access to all of the supports and services they need.

I continue to hear from those who’ve had access to a service either denied or cut back. I’m of the opinion no person should be denied access to the supports and services they need.

Quebec Short On English Sign-Language Translators

CBC news, Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Advocates for Quebec’s deaf Anglophone community say there is a huge gap in visual interpreting services in the province — and more professionals need to be trained.

JoAnne Stump has been deaf all her life and relies on sign language to communicate. (CBC)
Thousands of deaf Anglophones in Quebec use American sign language to communicate in their day-to-day lives. But only a handful of qualified
interpreters are trained to translate the sign language into spoken English.

JoAnne Stump has been unable to hear her whole life, and has difficulty communicating through speech.

Meeting the Needs of Special Needs Students Virtually

Students who interact with their peers during lessons are more motivated, more engaged with material, and more capable at learning language, communications, and listening skills. How do you retain that interaction for special needs students who might not have regular access–or any access–to a traditional classroom?

By Denise Harrison

A student at A.J. West Elementary School in Aberdeen, WA did not speak. Ever. She was a selective mute, and no one in the area, located more than 100 miles from Seattle, knew how to treat a child who simply refused to talk. The school’s technology coordinator suggested a video conference with professionals who had experience with selective mutes in order to collaborate on an individualized education plan (IEP).

Disabled and Reduced Mobility Airport Guide

Traveling with a disability or even a mobility problem can be a daunting experience if the proper assistance and help is not available at the Airport. We
have created a small guide with information and tips to hopefully make your trip flow more smoothly and without problems.


Dummies’ Guide to Web Accessibility for Disabled People

There isn’t a need for individual websites to install technologies to assist people with disability. What’s needed is to ensure the website is compatible
with tools that people with disabilities use.

For instance, if a blind person is visiting a website means he or she is switching on the browser, and typing the web address in the address bar. This means the person already has a tool that helps logging onto the website. Moreover, disabled persons use several websites like everybody, hence they don’t need any special software to access the website. In fact, by doing so, one would be making the process tedious for them.