Blind Girl, Seven, Banned From Using White Stick at School as it is ‘Health and Safety Risk’

Bristol primary school says seven-year-old pupil can no longer use her walking cane because it could trip up teachers and other children By Agency
17 Nov 2015

A blind girl has been banned from bringing her white walking stick to school because of “health and safety” reasons.

Lily-Grace Hooper, seven, suffered a stroke when she was just four days old, leaving her with virtually no sight.

But her school, Hambrook Primary School in Bristol, has told the youngster she can no longer use her cane because it could trip up teachers and other pupils.

U.S. Department of Justice Further Delays ADA Title III Rulemaking on Website Accessibility

posted on: Friday, November 20, 2015

On Nov. 19, the federal government released its Fall Semiannual Regulatory Agenda. The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has moved its anticipated rulemaking regarding website accessibility under Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which pertains to places of public accommodation, to the “long-term action” list.

Meanwhile, DOJ also announced that it expects to issue its title II Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on website accessibility in January 2016. In the accompanying Statements of Agency Priorities, DOJ states that it “believes that the title II web site accessibility rule will facilitate the creation of an important infrastructure for web accessibility that will be very important in [DOJ’s] preparation of the title III web site accessibility NPRM.”

Head-Mounted Virtual Reality Could Help People With Autism Learn Social Skills and Develop Employment Opportunities

Issue date: 16 November 2015

Virtual reality technologies (VRTs) using head-mounted displays (HMDs) could help people with autism develop social skills and confidence according to a researcher from the University of the West of England (UWE Bristol).

Dr Nigel Newbutt, Associate Head of Media and Digital Cultures at UWE Bristol, said, With as many as 1 in 68 reported as being diagnosed with an autism spectrum condition, there is the potential for technologies to be used and applied to many affected people. The National Autistic Society, for example, report that around 700,000 people in the UK are affected by an autism condition – a lifelong development disability affecting how a person communicates and relates to other people.

Inclusion More Common At Charter Schools, Report Finds

By Shaun Heasley
November 12, 2015

Kindergarten students line up for lunch at a charter school in Los Angeles. Findings from a new report suggest that special education enrollment is on the rise at charters.

Long derided for welcoming too few kids with disabilities, a new report finds that a growing percentage of charter school students qualify for special education.

About 10.4 percent of students at charter schools have disabilities compared to 12.5 percent of those attending public schools. Children with disabilities at charters, however, are far more likely to attend classes alongside their typically-developing peers.

Discrimination Neither Inconvenient Nor Frivolous

November 11, 2015
Re: “Rights complaint was frivolous,” letter, Nov. 4.

As the guide dog user at the centre of a case of discrimination, I am a further victim of B.C. Human Rights Tribunal member Jacqueline Beltgens classifying an unjustified taxi refusal as just an inconvenience. Her distorted perception is misleading some people into thinking discrimination is just fine.

Imagine that the discrimination was in being refused entry into a restaurant and being told that the one next door will take me. Is the tribunal condoning the refusal because it’s just a few further steps?

Talking Buses to Help Those With Disabilities

Jonathan Charlton
Saskatoon Star-Phoenix , Nov. 5, (2015

Saskatoon Transit showed off its new automatic announcement system to reporters on Wednesday. The service provides a verbal announcement and visual cue for upcoming bus stops.

“As an organization, we’re excited about the changes,” said Andy Livingston of the Human Rights Commission.

The cues will help people with disabilities such as visual impairment or deafness who face many challenges trying to use Saskatoon’s bus service, he said.

“There’s security challenges as well as orientation, for someone who’s visually impaired to be able to tell where they’re going,” he said.

Helping people navigate the city, get groceries and participate in the community is “huge,” he said.

CNIB Seeks Government Money, But Won’t Comment on Missing Funds

National charity has withdrawn all lawsuits and settled with kiosk operators By Yvonne Colbert
CBC News, Nov. 12, 2015

The Canadian National Institute for the Blind was at Province House today asking for more government funding for its therapy programs, but the non-profit is refusing to discuss the thousands of dollars it’s spent on legal action against former lottery kiosk operators.

CBC News reported earlier this year, the charity claimed in court documents that $100,000 had been misappropriated by several kiosk operators in Halifax, Truro, Bathurst and Summerside who ran lottery booths for the non-profit.

Independent Living Canada: Open Letter to Prime Minister Trudeau

November 10, 2015

To the Right Honourable Justin Trudeau,

On behalf of Independent Living Canada, its members, and on behalf of every person living with a disability, I would like to extend our sincere congratulations for your election as Prime Minister. I also wanted to congratulate you for appointing two ministers living with a disability.

Independent Living Canada is an organization helping and encouraging people living with disabilities to take control of their own lives. Our vision for Canada is that we become an inclusive and accessible society where people with disabilities are valued equally and participate fully.

Manitoba’s New Accessibility Rules Welcomed by Disability-Rights Advocate

Provincial standard requires businesses, organizations to make spaces easier to access CBC News Posted: Nov 02, 2015

New rules that require Manitoba businesses and organizations to be more accessible to customers with disabilities are now in effect, which a local advocate says will help open new opportunities.

A new accessibility standard came into effect on Monday, requiring all public and private organizations in the province with one or more employees to identify and remove any barriers to accessible customer service, or find alternatives to benefit clients with disabilities.

The regulations are part of the Accessibility for Manitobans Act, which was established in 2013.

Fake Cover Letters Expose Discrimination Against Disabled

November 2, 2015 Noam Scheiber

Employers appear to discriminate against well-qualified job candidates who have a disability, researchers at Rutgers and Syracuse universities have concluded.

The researchers, who sent résumés and cover letters on behalf of fictitious candidates for thousands of accounting jobs, found that employers expressed interest in candidates who disclosed a disability about 26 percent less frequently than in candidates who did not.

“I don’t think we were astounded by the fact that there were fewer expressions of interest” for people with disabilities, said Lisa Schur, a Rutgers political scientist who was part of the research team. “But I don’t think we were expecting it to be as large.”

Blind Taxi User Was Doubly Victimized

Times Colonist
October 30, 2015 12:46 AM

Re: “Tribunal dismisses blind man’s complaint against taxi,” October 27.

B.C. Human Rights Tribunal member Jacqueline Beltgens has erred in ruling against guide-dog user Graeme McCreath. McCreath was not seeking a special “accommodation,” but rather the protection of his lawful rights.

The Guide Animal Act clearly states that “a person with a disability accompanied by a guide animal may, in the same manner as a person not accompanied by an animal, enter and use an accommodation, conveyance, eating
place, lodging place or any other place to which the public is invited or has access so long as the guide animal is prevented from occupying a seat, and held by a leash or harness … A person must not interfere with the exercise of [this] right.”

Parents Praise Moves to Include Kids With Disabilities in Media

Target, Sesame Street applauded for depicting children with disabilities By Jason Osler
CBC News, Oct 28, 2015

If you glance at the flyers in your mailbox, you’ll probably see standard shots of models posing with merchandise. But a recent Halloween flyer from a major retailer has drawn attention across the continent, because it features a young girl with a disability.

The Target flyer, from earlier this month, included a picture of a girl who uses forearm crutches and is wearing an Elsa costume from the Disney movie Frozen.

The image went viral on social media after a mother of a child with a disability posted it on Facebook and applauded the move.

11 Major Companies to Promote Inclusion of Persons With Disabilities in the Workplace

The new Global Business and Disability Network Charter is a global tool for businesses to promote the inclusion of persons with disabilities in the world of work 28 October 2015

GENEVA (ILO News): Eleven major international companies have become the first signatories of the newly-created ILO Global Business & Disability Network Charter in a ceremony held at ILO headquarters in Geneva.

The Charter expresses their commitment to promoting and including persons with disabilities throughout their operations worldwide.

It covers a wide range of areas, from protecting staff with disabilities from any kind of discrimination to making the company premises and communication to staff progressively accessible to all employees with disabilities.

3D Printing Creates Major Breakthrough for Blind People

CHATHAM, N.Y., Oct. 26, 2015 /PRNewswire

3DPhotoWorks LLC, with support from the National Federation of the Blind, announces a 3D printing process that allows blind people to “see” fine art, diagrams, and other images. This recently patented process converts any conventional painting, drawing, collage or photograph into a 3D Tactile Fine Art Print. Prints have length, width, depth, and texture and are available in sizes up to 60″ x 120″.

The Company has devoted seven years to the development of this exciting new technology with the goal of making art and photography available to blind people at every museum, science center and institution, first in the United States and then worldwide.

United Airlines Criticized After Man With Cerebral Palsy DArcee Neal Forced To Crawl Off Plane

Lindsay McCane

United Airlines has come under fire after a man with cerebral palsy was forced to crawl off of a plane after the airline attendants wouldn’t assist him.

The incident took place at the Reagan National Airport in Arlington, Virginia, on Tuesday, October 20. When United Airlines failed to provide the man, identified as D’Arcee Neal, an aisle chair or someone to assist him to the restroom, he had no other choice but to get out of his seat and crawl to the door, according to WRC-TV.

“I was like, ‘I don’t have time for this,’ and I decided to get out and crawl down the plane to my chair, got in it and then just went about my business and left the airport,” said Neal.

Not All Disabled are Created Equal

Oct 23, 2015

The birth of a child is a time of celebration; families are excited about the newest edition to their family. Sadly, this is not the case if you are a disabled child born in Uganda

Children with disabilities face extreme forms of violence, stigma and discrimination based on misconceptions about the cause of disability that are rooted in cultural beliefs and traditions. The most frequently stated causes of disability in Uganda and Africa at large include witchcraft; a curse or punishment from gods; anger of ancestral spirits; bad omens; reincarnation; heredity; incestuous relationships; and the misdemeanors of the mother.

Uber Launches Service for Disabled Passengers in London

Minicab-hailing app has trained more than 100 drivers in the capital on its uberASSIST programme By James Titcomb
20 Oct 2015

Uber is launching its service for disabled passengers, uberASSIST, in London.

The minicab-hailing app says more than 100 of its most experienced drivers have signed up to the scheme, which provides additional assistance to passengers with wheelchairs, walking frames and scooters, or blind users.

Passengers who need to use the service enter a code – ASSISTUK – into the promotion screen on Uber’s app, giving them the option to request an trained driver, who has completed a disability equality course from Transport For All and Inclusion London.

New Database Launched to Help Those With Autism Find Work

CBC News Posted: Oct 19, 2015

The job seeker database will help those on the autism spectrum in Newfoundland and Labrador better find employment.

People with autism in Newfoundland and Labrador now have a new way of finding employment.

A new job seekers database was announced on Friday. It will connect people with an autism diagnosis to employers looking for workers.

The program was developed by the provincial autism society and Ready Willing and Able; a partnership which works to find jobs for those with intellectual disabilities and autism.

To be included in the database, candidates have to go online and fill out an application, which will then allow groups and businesses to access their profile and possibly contact them for work.

IBM Research and Carnegie Mellon Create Open Platform to Help the Blind Navigate Surroundings

PR Newswire, October 15, 2015: 0

Scientists from IBM Research (NYSE: IBM) and Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) today announced the first of a kind open platform designed to support the creation of smartphone apps that can enable
the blind to better navigate their surroundings.

The IBM and CMU researchers used the platform to create a pilot app, called NavCog, that draws on existing sensors and cognitive technologies to inform
blind people on the CMU campus about their surroundings by “whispering” into their ears through earbuds or by creating vibrations on smartphones. The app analyzes signals from Bluetooth beacons located along walkways and from smartphone sensors to help enable users to move without human assistance, whether inside campus buildings or outdoors. Researchers are exploring additional capabilities for future versions of the app to detect who is approaching and what is their mood.

Deaf Metis Woman Wins Human Rights Case Against UBC, St. Pauls Hospital

Tribunal awards lost wages and $35,000 for loss of dignity and self-respect by Brian Morton of the Vancouver Sun and published on July 8, 2015.

A B.C. Human Rights Tribunal has awarded a deaf Métis woman lost wages and $35,000 for injury to her dignity and self-respect for not being provided with sign language interpreters during her University of B.C. medical residency.

The discrimination entirely undermined her optimism, brilliance and efforts, said tribunal member Marlene Tyshynski in a written decision released June 30.