The Internet Is for Everyone, Right? Not With a Screen Reader

Blind users have been fighting for a more inclusive web for over 20 years. Are lawsuits like the one against Dominos going to make a difference?

A few weeks ago, Lucy Greco heard a story on NPR about more clothing retailers shuttering their stores and moving online. Oh, great, she thought, recalling some of her past experiences with online shopping: Youre clicking on something that says, graphic graphic graphic, or some numbered file name, or some gibberish like that.

Making Halloween on P.E.I. Accessible for All Trick-or-Treaters

‘It’s one of those things that you don’t think about till you live it’ Tom Steepe · CBC News · Posted: Oct 22, 2019

The Weeks family hold one of the Accessible Trick-or-Treating signs popping up on lawns across P.E.I. From left to right, Edison Weeks, Chris Weeks, Robyn Weeks and Kaidence Weeks.

An Island woman is doing her part to make sure children with accessibility issues don’t miss out on trick-or-treating this year.

Robyn Weeks of Clyde River has posted a bright orange sign on her front lawn, telling people her home is accessible for everyone trick-or-treating and helping to raise awareness.

People With Disabilities Could Boost Economy by $50 billion: Report

By Troy Media on October 18, 2019
Mario Toneguzzi is a Troy Media reporter based in Calgary

Canadians with disabilities are already a large part of the working age population and will increase in importance as the population ages, says a new report by TD Economics.

Yet labour market outcomes for these individuals continues to lag. Even moderate success in narrowing gaps between people with disabilities (PWD) and the general population could provide an economic boost of more than $50 billion, said the Canadians with Disabilities: Seizing the Opportunity report.

“For employers, the case for becoming leaders in making workplaces more accessible is clear: generating a competitive edge in the growing war for talent,” it said.

Carleton University Creates Video Library Focusing on People With Disabilities

The project aims to raise awareness of the importance of societal changes for the disabled. October 20, 2019
By: Mideline Bony

In an effort to include people with disabilities which are often excluded from historical records, Carleton University is making a special addition to its library.

The Accessible Canada Act C-81, an act that focuses on creating inclusive and accessibility-friendly communities, workplaces and services, received royal assent on July 21, 2019. That same day, a film crew interviewed several key people, including the Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Senator Jim Munson, James van Raalte, Sinead Tuite, Bill Adair and Frank Folino.

Some Disabled Canadians Feeling Left Out of Discussion During Election Campaign

Michelle McQuigge, The Canadian Press
Published Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Amy Amantea tuned in to the English-language federal leaders’ debate with modest hope there would be at least some discussion of issues relevant to disabled Canadians.

The first half of the campaign had passed with barely a reference, even from the party that had delivered a historic achievement in national disability policy. Earlier this year, the Liberals made good on a 2015 campaign promise when the Accessible Canada Act received royal assent, marking the first time any government had enacted accessibility legislation at the federal level.

How Technology Can Enable Restaurant Accessibility And Inclusiveness

As a restauranteur, you hope to provide a great experience for everyone who patronizes your establishment. But then the question arises, how does one accomplish this?
By Laura Boniello Miller, Corporate Business Development Manager, JAWS Kiosk program, Vispero – 10.11.2019

According to figures from the CDC, 26% of the United States population identifies with having a disability. That’s 61 million people who may need additional accommodations to enjoy a nice meal out. As a restauranteur, you hope to provide a great experience for everyone who patronizes your establishment. But then the question arises, how does one accomplish this?

Request for Qualifications: Social Inclusion and Employment Outcomes for Persons Living with Disabilities

LIFT Philanthropy Partners is pleased to announce our Request for Qualifications for a new initiative aimed at support for “creating communities, workplaces and services that enable everyone to participate fully in society without barriers.”1

This initiative supports organizations that are removing barriers for persons living with disabilities, scaling innovative programs and services, and demonstrating measureable results, specifically towards employment or self-employment outcomes.

Under this initiative, disabilities are defined broadly to include physical, developmental, mental, and cognitive disabilities.

‘We’re All in This Together’: A Push for Accessibility for All British Columbians

Accessibility benefits everyone because anyone can have an injury, advocate says Kathryn Marlow · CBC · Posted: Oct 04, 2019

Victoria’s Chris Marks says improved accessibility would make life better for everyone not just people with disabilities.

Chris Marks loves his hometown, Victoria, but he can only explore so much of it.

After a spinal injury over a decade ago, Marks gets around using an electric wheelchair. Every day he encounters design flaws that stop him from getting where he wants to go: things likes stairs, curbs, and even raised doorways get in his way.

SCOTUS Rejects Pizza Delivery Company’s Appeal Over Web and Mobile App Accessibility

By Amanda Robert
October 7, 2019

The U.S. Supreme Court declined Monday to hear Domino’s Pizza Inc.’s appeal over its website and mobile app and whether they are required to comply with federal disabilities law.

With its order, the high court let stand a decision by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, which held in January that Guillermo Robles, a blind man, could sue the national pizza chain under the Americans with Disabilities Act if its website and mobile app did not work with common screen-reading software.

Campbell: Hiring Qualified Disabled Workers is Good for Business – and Society

We’re making progress but statistics show still more opportunity to recruit diverse talent. Jeannette Campbell
Updated: October 7, 2019

Diversity and inclusion have to be part of the workplace philosophy if Canada is to take advantage of its educated and skilled disabled workers.

October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month. It’s the official month every year for celebrating and recognizing workplace contributions of people who have a disability and the business successes they help create. But it is significantly more than that.

It represents a critical opportunity for all businesses to examine their recruitment strategies and make improvements. Statistics show many companies are still missing out on a vast untapped pool of employees: skilled people who have a disability.

‘Give Us the Opportunity,’ Calgary Disability Advocate Tells Employers

Darby Young fights to make businesses more inclusive, aware and accessible Hannah Kost · CBC News · Posted: Oct 04, 2019

“When people see persons with disabilities, they think they scream ‘accommodation,’ and that’s not necessarily true,” says Darby Young, the founder of Level Playing Field.

October is Disability Employment Awareness Month, and one Calgary business owner is encouraging employers to be more inclusive through both her advocacy and her day job.

Darby Young was born with mild cerebral palsy (CP) and says it taught her early on about the obstacles people with disabilities face in the workforce.

Transit Plus Rider Wants Changes to ‘Absolutely Ludicrous’ Rule on Stop Locations

Winnipeg’s public transit for people with disabilities limits drop-offs to within 500 metres of bus stops CBC News · Posted: Oct 02, 2019

Maureen Anderson, a 76-year-old Winnipegger with fibromyalgia, is calling for changes to the city’s Transit Plus system after being told last week the transportation service could only drop her off at the nearest bus stop to her destination and that she would have to call a cab to get the rest of the way there.

“Close enough” isn’t a good enough approach when it comes to Winnipeg’s public transportation system for people with physical disabilities, says a Transit Plus user.

I Was Paralyzed 6 Years Ago and Now I Struggle with Suicide – But Not for the Reason You Think

Scott Jones · for CBC News · Posted: Sep 30, 2019

Scott Jones says that he struggles with suicide, but not because of his paralysis. Instead, he says the way in which others treat those with a disability can be the harder pill to swallow.
Editor’s note: Scott Jones was attacked outside a New Glasgow, N.S., bar in 2013, which left him paralyzed from the waist down. The musician and music teacher founded the Don’t Be Afraid campaign shortly afterward to encourage others to speak out against homophobia.

I struggle with suicide on a daily basis.

3D Printed Wheelchairs Project Brings Assistive Tech to Developing Countries

September 13 2019

UNITED KINGDOM: Run by charity Motivation in partnership with 3D printer manufacturer Ultimaker, the project is called Motivation InnovATe. It designed to establish the technologies, infrastructure and skills within developing countries to enable custom 3D printed wheelchairs to produced where and when they are needed.

Initially starting in Kenya through local partner Bethany Kids, the project will see the establishment of a purpose-built assessment, fitting and 3D printing workshop, where wheelchair users will be measured using specialist tools, including a seating simulator, to determine the precise measurements of wheelchair they require.

What You Need to Know If You Have a Disability and Want to Vote

CBC News · Posted: Sep 22, 2019

If you’re one of the six million or so Canadians who identify as having at least one disability, there are new tools and services available to help you vote.

Many were developed with the input and experience of an advisory group struck in 2014 specifically to address some of the biggest obstacles people with different abilities face when they go to cast a ballot.

Some of the tools and measures are being used in an election for the first time.

B.C. Communities Urged to Improve Access for Disabled People

One in four B.C. residents has disability, most want to work Tom Fletcher/
Sep. 16, 2019 1:20 p.m./

The unemployment rate for people with disabilities is close to 50 per cent, and B.C. needs them as much as they want to work, the president of the B.C. Chamber of Commerce says.

Val Litwin spoke Monday at an announcement by the B.C. government on its plan to help people with disabilities find jobs, in an economy with a million job openings ahead and a labour shortage already being felt.

Residents at Calgary Apartment Building Frustrated Over Lack of Accessible Door

CTV Calgary
Kathy Le, Video Journalist
@CTVKathyLe
Published Friday, September 13, 2019

For a handful of wheelchair-dependent, southeast Calgary apartment residents, getting into and out of their building is proving to be a very difficult task.

Robin Cummings says she and at least five or six other residents rely on a wheelchair or scooter to get around, but there isn’t an automatic door opener at the two entrance doors to help facilitate the process.

“We have to use our hands. One hand to hold the door open and one hand to try and operate a scooter to get in two sets of doors,” said Cummings.

In a Tight Labor Market, a Disability May Not Be a Barrier

To expand the pool of workers, companies are recruiting stay-at-home parents, retirees and people with disabilities. Will they keep it up if the economy sours? By Ben Casselman
NY Times, Sept. 5, 2019

ROUND ROCK, Tex. When Kate Cosway completed her masters degree in 2014, her résumé drew plenty of interest, but she rarely advanced far in the hiring process. She was pretty sure she knew why: She is on the autism spectrum and struggles in traditional interviews.

Her luck finally turned this summer when she landed a 12-week internship at Dell Technologies, which this month will turn into a full-time job working on automation in the companys audit department.

Government of Canada Announces New Accessible Technology Program Funding Recipients

From: Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada
$7.78 million investment will help boost participation of Canadians with disabilities in the digital economy September 4, 2019 Ottawa, Ontario

Canadians with disabilities deserve the same opportunities to find good jobs, contribute to their communities, and build a better life for themselves and their families. Yet many Canadians with disabilities still face barriers to full participation in the digital economy.

Today, the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, announced that 12 new projects from across the country will receive funding through the Accessible Technology Program. This is in addition to the three projects funded under the program that were announced earlier this year.

Disabled Passengers Say New Canada Transportation Act Rules Increase Air Travel Barriers

By Christopher Reynolds The Canadian Press

Tracy Odell recalls with a mix of pride and pain the sunny spring day two years ago that her daughter got married in California.

Pride in the milestone. Pain at having to miss it.

Airlines, she said, effectively failed to accommodate her disability, a problem that thousands of Canadians continue to face despite new rules designed in theory to open the skies to disabled travellers.

As seating space shrank and cargo doors were often too small for customized wheelchairs, Odell cut back on the flights she once took routinely for her work with a non-profit.