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Accessibility News International
Accessibility News International will strive to bring you as much information as possible from around the Globe regarding issues of accessibility for the Disability Community.
Disability Tourism Needs a Boost
Sunday, 29 January 2012
D Francis, Antigua Tourism – Tourism News .
Antigua St John’s – Head of the Centre for Disabilities Emelda Wade wants to see the government do more to boost “disability tourism” in Antigua & Barbuda.
She made the remarks while addressing a 16-member Canadian group with disabilities being hosted for the day. They arrived aboard the Serenade of the Seas this week and explored the beauty and cuisine of Antigua & Barbuda while discussing ways of developing closer ties with each other.
UK Sight-Loss Charity Sues BMI
Excuses over inaccessible website don’t fly with us
By Phil Muncaster
Posted in Law, 27th January 2012 10:47 GMT
The Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) has taken the unusual step of suing BMI after the airline failed to make changes to its website to make it accessible to blind and partially sighted people.
The RNIB was first alerted to a problem back in 2010 when one of its members complained that they could not use the site to make bookings.
An RNIB spokeswoman told The Register that the organisation subsequently give the airline specific expert guidance and even provided a full audit report to help it in its compliance efforts.
Canada Still Has a Way to Go in Ending Barriers for Disabled People: Advocates
TORONTO — Advocates say Canadians and their governments must take action to tear down barriers that hurt people with
The plea came Friday with the Toronto launch of a report by the World Health Organization and the World Bank.
The World Report on Disability suggests that more than one billion people in the world today experience disability and their barriers are many.
Tom Shakespeare of the WHO — one of the report’s authors — says that number represents about 15 per cent of the population and is growing due to aging, chronic disease and injuries.
George Pearson Centre Is a Zombie
By Paul Caune and Victor Schwartzman
Posted Jan 27, 2012
For sixty years, like a zombie from George Romero’s film Night of the Living Dead, the George Pearson Centre, a 126 bed nursing home for adults with disabilities in Vancouver, B.C., has eaten the freedom and dignity of British Columbians with disabilities. Despite years of promises of reform it is a prison rather than a home.
Originally founded in 1952 as a sanatorium for people infected with TB, Pearson quickly became an institution also housing people who needed iron lungs because of complications related to Polio. Thankfully, within eight years, cures were discovered for both TB and Polio. But the undead institution continued to shamble on.
Mental Illness Rampant, Untreated in Jails Says Union
Published on January 26, 2012
The national correctional workers union voiced strong opposition to the federal Conservatives’ omnibus crime bill Thursday, raising concern about the growing number of Canadians with mental illnesses in jail.
James Clancy, president of the National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE), said the union believes Bill C-10 is backward and will not help reduce crime in Canada.
“The bill itself is fatally flawed and is simply bad public policy,” Clancy said.
“The evidence demonstrates it doesn’t result in a reduction of crime rates and it doesn’t make our communities any safer.”
Is the Government Complying With Its New Standard on Web Accessibility?
HELP the Alliance for Equality of Blind Canadians (AEBC) FIND OUT!
Posted January 25, 2012
On November 29, 2010 the Federal Court of Canada released a landmark decision concerning the rights of Canadians with disabilities to access government websites.
Justice Kelen declared that Donna Jodhan’s inability to access certain government websites is representative of a system wide failure by government departments and agencies to make their websites accessible, and that the
government’s failure to monitor and ensure compliance with its own accessibility standards violates the equality guarantee in the Charter.
Plan to Change Autism Definition Has Some Worried
Updated: Fri Jan. 20 2012 20:55:34
Angela Mulholland, CTVNews.ca Staff
Autism advocates are worrying that proposed changes to the way that autism is defined could affect the way that children and adults with the condition access treatment and services.
An expert panel appointed by the American Psychiatric Association is considering narrowing the definition of autism as it completes its fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, or DSM V, as it’s known.
The DSM is the standard reference book for mental health disorders and hasn’t been revised in 17 years. Most expect the new edition will narrow the criteria for autism to make it more stringent.
Disabilities Report Author is Concerned that Many Kids Have 1 or No Friends
By: Anne-Marie Tobin, The Canadian Press
Dr Anne Snowdon holds a copy of the national report, Strengthening Communities for Canadian Children with Disabilities, before presenting her key findings and recommendations, in Toronto on Thursday January 19, 2012. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young.
TORONTO – Social interaction and meaningful relationships are hard to come by for children and young adults with certain disabilities, says the author of a study of families in three Canadian cities.
Anne Snowdon released her report on Strengthening Communities for Canadian Children with Disabilities at a conference Thursday after a one-year study funded by Human Resources and Skills Development Canada.
Redbox Discriminates Against the Blind By Failing to Provide Accessible Self-Service Kiosks
Oakland, CA – January 12, 2012
Recent technological advances are sweeping the nation, changing the way people buy products and services. Self-service kiosks with automated, touch-screen interfaces now allow people to bank, shop, and conduct a wide range of transactions independently, without the assistance of a clerk. This technology is fast becoming an integral part of our every day lives.
Although these technologies can make our lives easier, Redbox, a video rental giant, has chosen to use self-service kiosks with touch-screen controls that exclude the blind from using its services.
South African Chain Reaches Out to Visually Impaired With ‘Braille Burgers’
Globe and Mail, Jan. 14, 2012
Advertising is such a visual medium – whether it’s 30-second spots on TV or the image
onslaught of outdoor billboards and street furniture – that blind and visually-impaired
consumers are, for marketers, often invisible.
But South African fast food chain Wimpy is bucking the trend with an unusual marketing
campaign: a Braille Burger.
Youtube video shows how it was done: a chef uses tweezers to gingerly arrange sesame seeds, one
by one, on balls of dough to mimic the bumps of the Braille code. What resulted was
a message baked right into the burger bun, customized for the diner who can read Braille: “100 per cent pure beef burger made for you.”
New Research Report on Tourism, Travel, and Hospitality for People With Hearing Loss
Jan 9, 2012
In 2011, the New Zealand National Foundation for the Deaf (NFD) commissioned the New Zealand Tourism Research Institute (NZTRI) to conduct research into the tourism, travel, and hospitality experiences and needs of people with hearing impairments. Hearing impairment ranges from slight hearing loss to total loss. The research was led by Dr. Sandra Rhodda, Research Programme Leader in Access Tourism. The research included two surveys, one for residents of New Zealand (NZ) and one for residents of countries other than NZ (Internationals, Int) who are deaf or have hearing loss.
The aim of the research was to find out what it is like to travel with hearing loss, how the travel experiences of hearing impaired people can be improved, to establish what people with hearing loss want in terms of tourism products and services, and to offer a better understanding of Access Tourism as a legitimate tourism market. It also evaluated the case for the development of a ‘Hearing Tick’ for tourism businesses that cater for people with hearing loss.
Advocating for InvisAbilities
Published on January 12, 2012
Whoever created the idiom “never judge a book by its cover” probably didn’t realize the truth it carries for those suffering from what are known as “Invisible Disabilities”. The illnesses classified under this umbrella are of enormous range, and include cancer, chronic fatigue syndrome, migraines, fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome, arthritis, Crohn’s disease, connective tissue disorder, and diabetes – among others.
Now known as Invisible Chronic Illnesses (ICI) and informally as “InvisAbilities,” these illnesses share the following characteristics: invisible, chronic, and not yet curable. Most include pain and fatigue that are both clinically hard to define and to diagnose, and can be misconstrued as normal pain. To make things more complicated, many who have ICI have multiple disorders that are difficult to treat.
Is Our Society Prejudiced Against Children?
Posted by Claudia M Gold January 10, 2012 10:49 AM
Tears ran down Elena’s cheeks as she described being so overwhelmed and full of rage that she forcefully held her fully clothed 4-year-old son, James, under the shower when he wouldn’t go to bed. Later in the same 50-minute visit she revealed that she had suffered years of physical and emotional abuse as a child. As is typical of visits to my behavioral pediatrics practice, she had brought James because he was “defiant.” “Something must be wrong with him,” was followed by, “Tell me what to do to make him listen.” James’ preschool teachers, who were having trouble managing his behavior, had suggested that he might have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD.) They recommended to Elena that medication be considered. They knew nothing of this history. My wish in listening to this story is not to judge, but rather to understand the experience of both mother and child.
Deaf Groups Outraged Over End to Videophone Trial
By Kent Spencer, Postmedia News January 8, 2012
Video-calling has brought many couples closer.Photograph by: Melissa Leong, National PostDeaf people across the country are pleading with Canadian regulators to retain a videophone service that they say has changed their lives.
“It feels like they’re taking away our accessibility just like it would be taking away somebody’s wheelchair,” said Julie Lampitt of Surrey, B.C., who lost her hearing at birth due to a case of German measles.
“Taking this service away does not leave me with a good feeling,” said Lampitt, 53.
The service uses sign-language operators who relay messages to deaf people via video phones.
The Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act
Highlights of a New Landmark Communications Law
If you would have told me a decade ago that one day there would be a law requiring virtually all text communication, mobile phone Web browsers, TVs, and broadcast emergency alerts to be fully accessible to people who are blind or visually impaired, I would likely have told you to keep dreaming. But if you also told me that this same legislation would be stronger than any communications law for people with disabilities previously enacted, that it would result in more than 60 hours a week of described video programming, and, amazingly, that it would permanently make up to $10 million per year available to put expensive communications equipment in the hands of people who are deaf-blind, I might have told you that you have a rich, albeit nerdy, fantasy life.
Proving They Can Do the Job
BMO program lets disabled workers showcase their abilities
By DARAH HANSEN, Postmedia News; Vancouver Sun December 31, 2011
Sophia Deer – who has rheumatoid arthritis – and Ken Hall – ex-wheelchair basketball champ and Paralympic gold medallist – both took a program at the Bank of Montreal that recruits professionals with physical disabilities.
Ken Hall Vhad only been working at the Bank of Montreal a few days when he found himself face-to-face with a particularly tactless customer.
“Oh, wow. They’re hiring people like you here?” a woman asked him as she stared with surprise at his wheelchair.
Hall wasn’t fazed.