Survey: Role of Service/Pet Dogs: People With Disabilities (PWD)

Posted November 14, 2012

The research group at the School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis needs help from service/pet
dog partners and their family members.

North Vancouver School District Discriminated Against Dyslexic Boy, Supreme Court Rules

THE CANADIAN PRESS November 9, 2012

The Supreme Court of Canada has ruled the North Vancouver school district discriminated against Jeffrey when he was in elementary school by failing to accommodate his learning disability.
Photograph by: ExternalVANCOUVER —

By the time he finished Grade 3, Jeffrey Moore still didn’t know the alphabet and could not read his own birthday cards.

His parents sought help for the eight-year-old boy’s dyslexia from his public school, but funding cuts gutted the program. So they instead remortgaged their home to put him into a private school catering to learning disabilities.

Disabled From Abroad Share Their Stories

Posted on : Nov.1,2012

Visitors to Korea from all over describe how the advantages of their countries’ systems

By Kim Kyu-nam, staff reporter

“There was no reason for her to die like that. I’m very sad that she died in vain,” said a foreign visitor to Korea who suffers from a disability and recently participated in a ceremony for the deceased Kim Ju-young.

Tanya Black, 39, from New Zealand voiced her sorrow many times, unable to hide her mournful expression at a ceremony held in Gwanghwamun Square, Seoul on Oct. 30. Black uses a wheelchair after the lower half of her body was paralyzed due to myelopathy, a severe spinal cord dysfunction.

Shocking Ashley Smith Video Revealed; Inquest Sees Footage of Inmate Shackled, Injected Against Her Will

diana zlomislic 

“How can it get worse?”
Ashley Smith asks the question in a childlike moan.

Aboard a small government plane, 33,000 feet in the air somewhere between Saskatoon and Montreal, the teen inmate can’t fathom a fate worse than what has just befallen her in a period of six minutes.

Her forearms are shackled to the seat’s armrests, a hood of black netting and canvas is pulled over her head of long, wavy brown hair and tied around her neck. The plane’s co-pilot, a member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, has just bound her wrists
together with duct tape, restricting her as though in a straitjacket. And she is sitting in her own feces.

Accredited Online Colleges and Disability Education

Posted October 30, 2012

Finding a sustainable, accommodating job can be difficult for someone with a disability; while the unemployment rate for those without disabilities is about 8%, for individuals with a disability, it is a whopping 15%.

Guelph Woman Helps Deaf in the Philippines

Starla Watson of Guelph plans to establish a centre for the deaf in the Philippines in the coming months.
Rob O’Flanagan/Mercury staff GUELP

On her first foray into humanitarian service in the Philippines, Starla Watson was naturally attuned to the needs of the deaf.

Raised by a deaf mother, and communicating effortlessly over the years in sign language and through lip reading, the Guelph woman had an instant empathy for the hearing impaired people she met in the city of Solano, in the province of Nueva Vizcaya, while doing a two-year stint of service at Noah’s Ark Home for Children.

Special Olympian Responds to Ann Coulter’s “Retard” Remark with Heartfelt Letter

October 24, 2012

After Ann Coulter called President Obama a “retard” on Twitter, the Internet exploded in retaliation against her choice of words. Today, one voice has become the loudest.

That voice belongs to John Franklin Stephens, a 30-year-old blogger and Special Olympian with Down Syndrome from Fairfax, Virginia.

In an open letter to Coulter posted on the Special Olympics blog, Stephens questions Coulter’s remark. Unlike a majority of those upset, however, he does not address her with hateful vocabulary or death threats.

“Come on Ms. Coulter, you aren’t dumb and you aren’t shallow. So why are you continually using a word like the R-word as an insult?,” the letter begins.

Netflix to Caption All Videos by 2014

Adam Grant
Published: 10/12/2012

After being faced with a lawsuit by the National Association for the Deaf (NAD) back in 2010, Netflix has now agreed that it will work toward captioning all of its streaming videos by 2014.

Currently, Netflix captions 82% of its videos. As part of a settlement with NAD, Netflix will ensure that 90% of its videos are captioned by the end of 2013 and that every video it offers will be captioned by the end of 2014.

Court Hands Huge Victory to Universities’ Digitization Efforts

Judge Baer noted that the plaintiff (The Authors Guild) repeatedly pointed out that “only 32” blind or otherwise “print-disabled” students had signed up for the program. That’s exactly the point, Judge Baer argued. This isn’t about stealing away your book sales, this is about protecting “minorities such as this that Congress sought to protect through enactments like the ADA [Americans With Disabilities Act].”

Advocates Have Sought Bumpy Tiles for About 20 Years

Kytja Weir, Staff writer – Transportation
The Washington Examiner, October 5, 2012

The battle over installing bumpy tiles at Metro’s stations has been going on for about 20 years, long after the Americans with
Disabilities Act called for adding “detectable warnings” known as truncated
domes to platform edges in train stations by 1993.

Metro board member Mortimer Downey recalled the agency’s resistance when he served as U.S. Department of Transportation deputy secretary from 1993 to 2001.

“Metro wasted two years of my time telling me they did not want to put in the tiles and did not think it was feasible to do it,” he
said during a recent board meeting.

Blind Activist Offers Vision of Hope for Victims of Bullying

VANCOUVER — The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Oct. 12 2012

They had been her best friends – but when Molly Burke lost her vision at age 14, it was that same group of girls who committed an act of bullying so vicious she began cutting herself and contemplating suicide.

“They started walking me down this huge hill and into a forest near our school,” Ms. Burke recalled. The walk was made that much more difficult by the fact the Oakville, Ont., teen had recently fallen down a flight of steps and broken her ankle.

BMO Study: Canadians Believe People with Disabilities Are Victims of Hiring Bias

“With findings like these, there is an onus on all individuals in any given workplace – business owners, leaders, managers and employees – to check their biases at the door and pave the way for more inclusive and accessible workplaces. Businesses can start by reviewing and reworking recruitment practices, partnering with organizations that connect people with disabilities to job opportunities, and educating and training managers to feel confident discussing what their employees with visible or non-visible disabilities may need to enable their success,” said Ms. Kunkel.

Impact of Mental Illness Greater Than Cancer, Infectious Diseases: Report

Heather Loney, Global News : Wednesday, October 10, 2012

TORONTO – A groundbreaking new report sheds light on the immense burden of mental illnesses and addictions, conditions which are often misunderstood, misdiagnosed or ignored.

The overall impact of mental illnesses and addictions is greater than cancer and all infectious diseases, according to a report from the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES) and Public Health Ontario (PHO).

Opening Eyes, Opening Minds: The Ontario Burden of Mental Illness and Addictions Report states decision-makers and members of the health care system can no longer afford to bear the burden of mental illness.

National Federation of the Blind Takes On E-Text Pilots

First, it was course management systems and then e-reader devices. Is the shift to digital textbooks going to be just the latest area where accessibility turns out to be an afterthought?

By Dian Schaffhauser10/02/12

The National Federation of the Blind (NFB) has accused Educause, a higher education IT association, and technology community Internet2 of ignoring the “accessibility barriers” that are preventing blind and print-disabled students from fully participating in a major e-text pilot initiative being coordinated by both. In a letter to those organizations and others involved in the Internet2 eTextbook program, NFB President Marc Maurer cited problems identified by the University of Minnesota in an earlier pilot as the reason for NFB’s concerns.

More Than Half of Small Businesses Never Hired Disabled Employee: Poll

The Globe and Mail
Published Tuesday, Oct. 02 2012

More than half – 56 per cent – of Canadian small businesses have never hired someone with a disability, a new survey from Bank of Montreal finds.

The main reason: They say they don’t know how to recruit people with disabilities, according to 20 per cent, followed by 13 per cent who said no candidates with disabilities had applied, according to the 500 business owners polled.

Among other reasons: 11 per cent said they believed such workers would not have the education or experience required, 9 per cent said it was because of physical or dangerous work, and 8 per cent said they didn’t feel they had the skills to manage an employee with disabilities.

Mom Says School Officials Discouraged Son’s Use of Sign Language

Jarod Blake.
Published on September 29, 2012

Problem rectified late Friday after the issue was brought to the media

The mother of a Beachy Cove Elementary student who uses American sign language says education officials pushed her son to instead use an electronic device she feels won’t help him improve his speech skills.

“Why would you take away from a child with special needs, like Jarod, something that is so important and would enrich his education? By taking away (sign language) from my son it seems (Eastern?School District) is going backwards instead of forwards with my child,” Fawn Hedderson said in an impassioned email to school board officials and a number of politicians.

Doctors Fight Scope of Inquest Into Prison Death of Teenager Ashley Smith

By Colin Perkel, The Canadian Press
September 27, 2012

TORONTO – Doctors who treated a deeply troubled teenager are fighting the scope of a coroner’s inquest into her death in an Ontario prison cell five years ago, The Canadian Press has learned.

Documents show the three doctors — two psychiatrists and a general practitioner — argue the presiding coroner’s plans are unconstitutional because they include events that occurred outside Ontario.

The challenge threatens to further delay the already much-delayed proceedings and has infuriated the family of Ashley Smith, which argues medical professionals are trying to escape scrutiny of their role in the tragedy.

Regal Entertainment Group Makes Moviegoing Accessible to All with Advanced Technology from Sony

By BusinessWirevia The Motley Fool
Posted 4:50PM 09/24/12

KNOXVILLE, Tenn.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Regal Entertainment Group (NYS: RGC) , a leading motion picture exhibitor owning and operating the largest theatre circuit in the United States, announced a milestone with 200 theatres nationwide now offering the Sony Entertainment Access System at theatres across the country. Regal Entertainment Group is working exclusively with Sony for this cutting-edge technology to assist moviegoers who are deaf, hard of hearing, have low vision or are blind.

Tech Accessibility Makes Strides for Deaf, Blind Students

“Thumbs up image” via Shutterstock September 19, 2012 By Tanya Roscorla

Until three years ago, the Mississippi School for the Deaf had no way of spreading emergency alerts or announcements to everyone at once. At least, not a way that deaf students and staff could understand.

Situations like these require IT leaders in state deaf and blind schools to think differently about the technology they purchase. And while challenges still exist, technology is becoming more accessible for these populations.

Making Video Gaming Accessible to All: guidelines to Help Game Developers Meet the Needs of the 20% of Gamers Who Have Disabilities

Posted 09/03/2012

[This unedited press release is made available courtesy of Gamasutra and its partnership with notable game PR-related resource GamesPress.]

London, 3rd September 2012: today sees the launch of a comprehensive developer guide to addressing the accessibility issues faced by over 20% of video gamers. has been created by a group of developers and experts, coordinated by Ian Hamilton, an accessibility and usability specialist with a background in game development.

The website offers all developers guidelines on how to better serve the needs of gamers with a range of visual, hearing, speech, learning and motor conditions. The hope is that by highlighting the relatively simple changes needed, the games industry as a whole will be able to ensure that they quickly become part of its normal working practices.