Toyota Motor Europe Launches the Toyota Startup Awards to Find Most Innovative Solutions to Improve Mobility for All

The Toyota Startup Awards will take place at the 4YFN event in Barcelona, from 24 to 26 February 2020

Eight selected startups will participate in a pitching competition to try to win the main prize a fast track to the Toyota Accelerator Program, powered by ISDI Accelerator

Toyota is looking for the most innovative solutions in the fields of Inclusive Mobility, Accessibility and Disruptive Mobility to contribute to its goal of offering “Mobility for All”

The competition ties in with Toyota’s global call to “Start Your Impossible”, the belief that when people are free to move, anything is possible

Whitehorse Teen can Write eMails Using Her Eyes

‘It gives me a sense of pride to have one bit of independence,’ says Eva von Flowtow Jane Sponagle · CBC News · Posted: Dec 29, 2019

Eva von Flotow won’t take no for an answer.

The 19-year-old Whitehorse woman is fighting for more accessibility.

It’s a cause close to her heart; von Flotow uses a wheelchair. She has quadriplegic cerebral palsy with dystonia, which means she has difficulty controlling how she moves.

Von Flotow is already making change. The Vancouver International Airport is working on an accessible washroom with a lift after she wrote a letter saying none of the washrooms had a lift for people in wheelchairs.

Halifax New Year’s Eve Celebration at Grand Parade Aims to Be Accessible for First Time

By Alexa MacLean -Global News
Posted December 26, 2019

The New Year’s Eve celebration at Grand Parade is coined as the largest in Atlantic Canada. Work is being done to make it fully accessible to everyone looking to attend. .

A well-known accessibility advocate in Nova Scotia has been working alongside the municipality to ensure that one of Atlantic Canada’s largest outdoor New Year’s Eve celebrations, happening at Halifax’s Grand Parade, is fully accessible to anyone wanting to attend.

“This is the first year for it,” said Paul Vienneau.

“We’re going to build on this, but immediately we’ve got a sort of fenced-off area downstage right in the front, for disabled folks of all descriptions to sit.

Americans With Disabilities Have $200 Billion in Spending Power. Comcast Isn’t Leaving Them Behind

by Christian Hetrick, Updated: December 25, 2019

James Baldwin thought he’d never see his granddaughter’s face again.

The 18-year Army veteran started to lose his vision three years ago from an injury he suffered in the Gulf War. He lost his left eye and was left with limited vision in his right, reducing his sight to light and shadows. He can see shapes but not faces.

That was until October, when Baldwin put on a pair of NuEyes electronic glasses, which enhance the vision of visually impaired people. Suddenly, he could clearly see his wife sitting beside him. Leaves on trees. A picture of his granddaughter in her basketball uniform.

CANADA: Transport Agency Asks for Public Input on Air Travel for Disabled People

Dec 5, 2019
By: Canadian Press

TORONTO Two separate federal agencies issued announcements Tuesday on life with a disability in Canada one seeking greater input on hot-button issues and the other urging society at large to challenge its preconceptions.

Statements from the Canadian Transportation Agency and Statistics Canada differed in scope and content, but both touched on issues that disabled Canadians have long said lacked adequate attention.

The CTA announced it was launching the next phase of its consultations on accessibility issues, saying it was looking to remove further barriers to travel across provincial or national borders.

City of Calgary Announces New Dispatch Service for Accessible Taxis

By Kaylen Small -Global News
Posted December 5, 2019

The City of Calgary announced a new service for accessible taxis on Wednesday.

Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle Calgary,a centralized dispatch service for on-demand accessible taxis, aims to reduce wait times for people who use wheelchairs.

WAVC will have one point of contact for customers to request an accessible taxi and dispatch the closest available one while providing approximate wait times.

“Since these customers are paying the same metered rate as non-accessible users, we want to make sure they are getting the same level of service,” said Abdul Rafih, acting manager of compliance services, in a news release.

Broadbent Pushes B.C. Government for Justice-Based Accessibility Law

The left-wing thing tank says historical injustices and ongoing discrimination have made a society that excludes the Deaf and disabled. Nick Eagland
Updated: December 7, 2019

As the B.C. government develops accessibility legislation, a left-wing think-tank is calling on policy-makers to consider how historical injustices and continuing discrimination have led to a society that still excludes deaf and disabled people.

From Sept. 16 to Nov. 29 of this year, the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction collected public feedback to help develop the new legislation it says will “guide government, persons with disabilities and the broader community to work together to identify, remove and prevent barriers.”

Public Bodies in Nova Scotia Get One Year to Develop Accessibility Plans

The Canadian Press Staff
Published Tuesday, December 3, 2019

HALIFAX — Municipalities and universities will have a year to develop plans to remove barriers to accessibility as Nova Scotia continues to move towards its legislated goal of making the province more accessible to people with disabilities by 2030.

Justice Minister Mark Furey announced a step Tuesday that would see municipalities, villages, universities, the Nova Scotia Community College and provincial libraries designated as public sector bodies under the provincial Accessibility Act on April 1.

Furey said those bodies will then have one year to establish accessibility advisory committees and implement plans aimed at making buildings and public spaces accessible to employees under provincial standards that are being developed. Those standards are expected to be in place by 2022.

Campbell: Access to Employment Critical Step for People With Disabilities

Dec. 3 is United Nations International Day of Persons with Disabilities. The theme this year is “The Future is Accessible.” It’s a future all of us in the disability sector envision, especially in terms of employment for people who have a disability.

An idealistic vision? I don’t think so. Here’s the thing, though: the future starts now. We need to do more now about employment accessibility.

This demands asking two essential questions: How do we make the future more accessible? And what does accessibility mean, especially when it comes to employment?

Accessibility, the Future, and Why Domino’s Matters

November 29, 2019

Technology is changing the way we interact with companies like Domino’s, for sure.

The US Supreme Court last week to weigh in on an argument that the Americans with Disabilities Act should not apply to websites and digital storefronts, leaving intact a lower ruling finding that the ADA does, indeed, apply to digital space. Internet and Web users with disabilities, as well as advocates for accessible design, are breathing a sigh of relief.

Stanford and Students with Mental Health Disabilities Reach Landmark Settlement

Settlement is most comprehensive ever to protect college students with mental health disabilities from unnecessary exclusion Palo Alto, CA, October 7, 2019

A coalition of Stanford students and Stanford University have reached a groundbreaking settlement agreement that will result in significant changes to Stanford’s leave of absence policies and practices, all of which will help ensure that students experiencing mental health crises have access to appropriate accommodations and services and are not unnecessarily excluded from campus and housing. Read the settlement agreement below.

Recommendations for Transportation Accessibility Standard AEBC Winnipeg Nov 2019

Alliance for Equality of Blind Canadians
L’Alliance pour l’égalité des personnes aveugles du Canada
Winnipeg Chapter
Janet Hunt, Chapter President
Email: jjvhunt@shaw.ca
November 2019

Response to Discussion Paper on AAC Recommendations for the Transportation Accessibility Standard

The Winnipeg Chapter of the Alliance for Equality of Blind Canadians (AEBC) is pleased to provide feedback and comments on the AAC recommendations for the Transportation Accessibility Standard.

AEBC is a national grassroots, peer support organization that is comprised of Canadians who are blind, deafblind or partially sighted and our supporters from the public at large.

U.S. House Committee Leaders Call for More Action to Prevent Airline Mishandling of Wheelchairs

By Kelly Yamanouchi, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
November 14, 2019

U.S. House committee leaders this week called for airlines to do more to prevent mishandling of wheelchairs and scooters of passengers with disabilities, and sought more information on airlines’ policies and procedures.

In a letter to industry group Airlines for America CEO Nicholas Calio, Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian and National Air Carriers Association president George Novak, the members of Congress wrote that “the U.S. airline industry must do more to prevent mishandling of mobility aids for passengers with disabilities.”

Nearly 57 million Americans have a disability, according to Census data release in 2012, and more than 30 million had difficulty walking or climbing stairs, or used a wheelchair, cane, crutches or walker.

2Gether-International is Creating an Accelerator Program for Entrepreneurs with Disabilities

Best Brothers Group of Companies
November 8, 2019

UNITED STATES: For 2Gether-International founder Diego Mariscal, disabilities and entrepreneurship go hand-in-hand. From the moment we wake up, we have to figure out how to get dressed, how to get from one place to the next, how to communicate, and thats inherently an entrepreneurship skill, Mariscal said.

2Gether International aims to strengthen the community of entrepreneurs with disabilities.

Hes seen the proof in his organization, such as one entrepreneur who created an app to give away eyeglasses to those in need. Yet, he noted, the community faces some of the highest levels of unemployment and poverty in the world. In D.C., working-age people with disabilities face a 38.5% poverty rate.

Next Government ‘Must Tackle Dangerous Shortage of Accessible Homes’

The next government should make all new homes accessible and adaptable, according to a coalition of housing and charity groups.

The organisation, which has called itself Housing Made for Everyone (HoME), includes Age UK, Riba (Royal Institute of British Architects), Disability Rights UK, the National Housing Federation, and the Chartered Institute of Housing.

It has published an open letter calling on the next government to take greater action to secure housing suitable for an ageing population and people living with disabilities.

It reads: “Without action, we face an ever-mounting bill, with councils spending greater sums on trying to adapt homes retrospectively and the costs to our health and social care systems spiralling.

Lyft Offering Rides To Job Seekers With Disabilities

by Shaun Heasley | November 4, 2019

Lyft’s new Jobs Access Program is aimed at easing transportation concerns for people with disabilities and other groups as they seek employment.

In an effort to help people with disabilities access job training and get hired, one of the nation’s leading ride-sharing services plans to offer free or discounted rides.

Lyft’s Jobs Access Program will provide complementary or lower-cost rides to individuals with disabilities and other targeted groups in more than 35 markets across the U.S. and Canada.

The company said rides will be available to get to or from job training programs, interviews and to get back and forth from work for the first three weeks of employment before new hires typically get their first paychecks.

British Columbians Pack Meeting to Help Develop Accessibility Law

The government is collecting feedback to develop legislation to reduce barriers for disabled people in B.C. Nick Eagland
Updated: November 2, 2019

Olive Olajide describes the issues she has boarding new transit buses during Saturday’s community consultation session in Vancouver for new accessibility legislation.

Thousands of disabled British Columbians are contributing ideas for legislation to make the province more accessible, including a large group that packed into a community meeting Saturday in Vancouver.

More than 150 people turned up for the public consultation session at a downtown hotel where Shane Simpson, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction, asked them about the barriers they have experienced, what they think about framework proposed for the legislation, and how his ministry can improve it.

Advocate Says New Parkade at Halifax Hospital Will Reduce Accessibility

The Nova Scotia government is spending $29.5 million to build a new parking garage for the Halifax Infirmary. Natasha Pace
Published Friday, November 1, 2019

HALIFAX — The decision to spend millions to construct a new parking garage at a Halifax hospital is being met with some concern.

Thursday, Nova Scotia’s Minister of Transportation Infrastructure Renewal announced government had approved nearly $30 million to build a new parkade across from the Halifax Infirmary site of the Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre.

Now, questions are being asked about the project and the accessibility of it. Some fear the parkade could create barriers.

LSAT Will Change for All Would-Be Lawyers as a Result of Blind Man’s Lawsuit Settlement

By Debra Cassens Weiss
October 9, 2019, 2:11 pm CDT

Corrected: The current analytical reasoning section of the Law School Admission Test will eventually be dropped as a result of a settlement in a lawsuit by a legally blind man who said he was unable to draw diagrams to help him answer the questions.

But analytical reasoning also referred to as logic games will still be assessed on the test, according to a press release announcing the settlement. Over the next four years, the Law School Admission Council will develop different ways of testing analytical reasoning.

Delivery Bots ‘Paused’ After Accessibility Incident

by Nicholas Upton | Oct 24, 2019

Stuck because a robot won’t move out of the way might sound like a dumb episode of “Black Mirror,” but that was the reality for a doctoral student on the University of Pittsburgh campus.

Emily Ackerman, a chemical engineering student who uses a wheelchair, said she was crossing the street as she does every day, but a Starship food-delivery robot blocked her path, leaving her stuck in a busy street. Ackerman was able to navigate up on the curb, and later took to Twitter to share her story.