People with hearing and sight disabilities using screen readers and other assistive tech must be able to access content on government websites, but getting and staying compliant is a challenge. by Zack Quaintance / November 20, 2017
Updates for Section 508 accessibility legislation go into effect in January, creating new specifications for how federal agencies must make websites and other digital information channels navigable for users with disabilities, and experts say these requirements are poised to become the new standard for state and local governments as well.
Section 508 Gets an Update: New Web Accessibility Guidelines for Government Sites Take Effect in January full article
By Peter GoffinThe Canadian Press
Mon., Nov. 20, 2017
The company’s policy says any drivers refusing rides to customers because of service animals will be dismissed, but it leaves room for exemptions.
Advocates say exemptions in Uber Canada’s service-animal policy could still lead to discrimination.
Uber Canada has launched a new policy on how its drivers deal with customers who have service animals, but some disability rights advocates say exemptions built into the rules could still lead to discrimination.
The company’s policy says drivers who refuse to give rides to customers with service animals will be dismissed.
Uber Canada’s Service-Animal Policy Doesn’t Go Far Enough, Critics Say full article
The Canadian Press
November 19, 2017
TORONTO – A national advocacy group is pushing for the government to repeal immigration criteria that it calls discriminatory toward people with disabilities.
The Council of Canadians with Disabilities is calling for the repeal of a provision that bars disabled immigrants from settling in Canada on grounds that they could place too much demand on the country’s medical system. The group contends the practice is discriminatory and based on outdated, stereotypical ideas around disability.
The council wants the government to drop the requirement from the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and to make sure disabled people are included in crafting a new, more inclusive procedure.
Disability Rights Advocates Fight ‘Demeaning’ Immigration Criteria full article
The Associated Press,, Financial Post, 10,06, 2017.
Federal disability law requires movie theatres to provide specialized interpreters to patrons who are deaf and blind, an appeals court said Friday.
The Philadelphia-based 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against Cinemark, the nation’s third-largest movie chain, in a case involving a Pennsylvania man
who wanted to see the 2014 movie “Gone Girl” and asked a Cinemark theatre in Pittsburgh to supply a “tactile interpreter.” The theatre denied his request.
The plaintiff, Paul McGann, is a movie enthusiast who reads American Sign Language through touch. He uses a method of tactile interpretation that involves
placing his hands over the hands of an interpreter who uses sign language to describe the movie’s action, dialogue and even the audience response.
Court: Movie Theatres Must Accommodate Deaf-Blind Patrons full article
Council motion asks province to make B.C. barrier free
Nov. 17, 2017
The City of Victoria wants to make the city and the province barrier free.
Council passed a motion Thursday asking the provincial government to enact a strong and effective British Columbians with Disabilities Act, which was added to the consent agenda at committee of the whole. Other provinces, including Ontario and Manitoba, have provincial accessibility laws, which include such regulations as building and structural guidelines, and allowing service animals.
Coun. Jeremy Loveday, who put the motion forward, said people with disabilities need more legal protections. Currently, the provinces Human Rights Tribunal is the only body used to address accessibility issues, but the province does have a non-binding Accessibility 2024 10-year action plan.
B.C. Needs Disability Act: Victoria Council full article
For Immediate Release November 17, 2017
When: Monday, November 20, 2017
Place: Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration
Room 415, 197 Sparks Street
Time: 6:30 pm
The Council of Canadians With Disabilities (CCD), a national, human rights organization of persons with various disabilities that is working for a more inclusive and accessible Canada, will call for repeal of the “Excessive Demands” provisions in Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Protection Act when it appears before the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration on Monday evening, November 20, 2017.
Disability Group TO Call for Repeal of Discriminatory Provision in Canada’s Immigration Act full article
Posted November 16, 2017
by Ingrid Lunden (@ingridlunden)
Airbnb, the accommodation and travel startup that is now valued at $31 billion, is today announcing an acquisition that points to how it wants to address the travel needs of more kinds of customers. It has bought Accomable, a startup based out of London that focuses on travel listings that are disabled-friendly.
Along with the announcement Airbnb is refreshing its own accessibility features as the first stage in how it hopes to develop them.
Airbnb buys ‘Airbnb for Disabled People’ Startup Accomable in Accessibility Upgrade full article
Washington, November 7, 2017
Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.V.) today introduced bipartisan legislation that would strengthen the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) to ensure that visual and hearing-impaired students receive the best possible education.
The Alice Cogswell and Anne Sullivan Macy Act will improve the effectiveness and personalization of education and services for students who are deaf, hard of hearing, blind, visually impaired, and deaf-blind.
The legislation would improve reporting and evaluation measures of special education in each state, increase training for teachers and other special education professionals, and reaffirm the Department of Education’s mission and responsibility to ensure an accessible and quality education for all students.
Senators Markey and Capito Introduce Legislation to Improve Educational Opportunities for Visual and Hearing-Impaired Students full article
PARKERSBURG, W.Va., Nov. 1, 2017 /PRNewswire
A West Virginia nonprofit organization is making a difference in the lives of people with disabilities while benefitting the environment at the same time.
The Jackson County Developmental Center (JCDC) of Millwood has embarked on a partnership with RightCycle by Kimberly-Clark Professional to provide employment for people who have survived traumatic brain injuries or have been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders, learning disabilities and other conditions.
The JCDC employees remove zippers and other metal parts from protective garments so that the apparel can be recycled through the RightCycle Program, the first large-scale recycling program for non-hazardous lab, cleanroom and industrial waste.
West Virginia Nonprofit and its Partnership with the RightCycle Program Help People with Disabilities Find Work that Sustains Them and the Environment full article
nTIDE October 2017 Jobs Report
EAST HANOVER, N.J. (PRWEB) November 03, 2017
“For the 19th consecutive month, the proportion of people with disabilities working has continued to grow, and once again, their gains are outpacing those of people without disabilities,” according to John O’Neill, PhD, director of employment and disability research at Kessler Foundation.
The major economic indicators continue to reflect increasing inclusion of Americans with disabilities in the workforce, according to today’s National Trends in Disability Employment Monthly Update (nTIDE), issued by Kessler Foundation and the University of New Hampshire’s Institute on Disability (UNH-IOD).
Job Numbers Reflect Increasing Inclusion of Americans with Disabilities in the Workforce full article
Following public consultations and a thorough review of all public comments received, the Accessibility Advisory Council (council) submitted Recommendations for an Accessibility Employment Standard for the Minister of Families on April 5, 2017. The Honourable Scott Fielding, Minister of Families has reviewed and considered the recommendations of the council.
The Government of Manitoba is pleased to make its Proposed Accessible Employment Standards Regulation available for public comment as of November 1, 2017. (PDF) (Word, find the links at the Url below)
In acknowledgement of the holiday period in December, the deadline for your feedback is extended beyond the 60-day period required by The Accessibility for Manitobans Act to Friday, January 12, 2018. Please forward all electronic comments, submissions and briefs to http://email@example.com.”
Manitoba: Progress on Accessibility Standard in Employment full article
New regulations for parking lots, washrooms, wheelchair ramps and more included in amendments CBC News Posted: Oct 23, 2017
Service NL is bringing in new regulations which will bring Newfoundland and Labrador up to national standards for having accessible buildings and facilities.
The Newfoundland and Labrador government says changes are coming to accessibility regulations for buildings, parking lots and other facilities in the province.
Service NL announced Monday its intentions to amend the Buildings Accessibility Regulations and Mobility Impaired Parking Regulations.
The new rules will apply to new construction and to buildings being extensively renovated.
New Accessibility Regulations for N.L. Buildings, Parking Lots full article
Data on diversity on Canadian campuses is limited
The Canadian Press/
Oct. 26, 2017 9:35 a.m./
Canadian universities have done a great job making their campuses more accessible for students with disabilities, but now have to turn more attention to helping those students get jobs, one of Canada’s leading disability advocates told a room full of university presidents Wednesday.
Rick Hansen, a former paralympian whose foundation is devoted to making the world a more accessible place, spoke to the presidents in Ottawa on Wednesday, just before they voted to make a public commitment to seven principles of diversity.
Canadian Universities Sign Off on Pledge to Greater Diversity, Accessibility full article
Tuesday, October 17, 2017
Accessible, inclusive communities for people with disabilities are the main goals behind two provincially funded programs designed to improve universal access in British Columbia.
Through $9 million in provincial funding, the Rick Hansen Foundation (RHF) has launched two new programs to improve accessibility for British Columbians.
“When we remove the physical barriers, we create communities where everyone feels welcome. We are pleased to support the Rick Hansen Foundation with this initiative where together we can build a better B.C. for people of all abilities to be able to live, work and play,” said Shane Simpson, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction.
People With Disabilities Around B.C. to Benefit From New Accessibility Programs full article
New York, New YorkDisability Rights Advocates (DRA), a national nonprofit legal center, filed a Charge of Discrimination for Julio Andrade, a former Marine, after the Fire Department of the City of New York (FDNY) denied him a job as a Fire Fighter because of a diagnosis of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) he received at the time of his honorable discharge from service in the Iraq war, approximately 8 years earlier.
The Charge, filed with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, alleges that the FDNY illegally discriminated against Andrade because of the disability diagnosis. It also says that veterans’ groups report that the FDNY is disqualifying veterans from FDNY Fire Fighter jobs without individual evaluation of whether they are qualified for the job.
FDNY Violates ADA by Pre-judging Veteran Applicants as Unfit full article
Srikanth Saripalli, Texas A&M University
SFGate, October 5, 2017
Self-driving cars could revolutionize how disabled people get around their communities and even travel far from home. People who can’t see well or with physical or mental difficulties that prevent them from driving safely often rely on others or local government or nonprofit agencies to help them get around.
Autonomous vehicle technology on its own is not enough to help these people become more independent, but simultaneous advances in machine learning and artificial intelligence can enable these vehicles to understand spoken instructions, observe nearby surroundings and communicate with people. Together, these technologies can provide independent mobility with practical assistance that is specialized for each user’s abilities and needs.
Are Self-Driving Cars the Future of Mobility for Disabled People? full article
Act would facilitate access to products and services
A European Accessibility Act that would make it easier for senior citizens and people with disability to use ATMs, check-in and other ticketing machines has been hailed as a “huge opportunity” by MEP Marlene Mizzi.
The European Accessibility Act, which seeks to bolster existing accessibility requirements for products and services, was voted through the European Parliament yesterday. The Act must be approved by the EU Council before becoming law.
“This was a real victory for the Socialists & Democrats group in the European Parliament. We have managed to push through our priorities and to ensure that the European Parliament adopts a strong and ambitious position,” Mrs Mizzi said.
EU One Step Closer to Accessibility Act as MEP Mizzi welcomes EP vote full article
Careers sites, applications must still be accessible to candidates with disabilities, advocates say By Roy Maurer
Sep 25, 2017
The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) had planned to write regulations for employers to follow to make sure their websites are accessible and readable by people with disabilities, but no more.
The DOJ has moved the regulations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to its “inactive list,” leaving private employers with an unclear standard for compliance at a time when ADA lawsuits focused on websitesincluding careers sitesare proliferating.
ADA website accessibility regulations under Title II (for state and local governments) and Title III (for businesses open to the public) had been planned for 2017 and 2018, respectively, before the DOJ marked them as inactive.
DOJ Halts Plan to Create Website Accessibility Regulations full article
WINNIPEG, Sept. 25, 2017 /CNW
The governments of Canada and Manitoba recognize that strategic investments in public transit and active transportation infrastructure play a key role in developing dynamic communities, encouraging healthy lifestyles and ensuring everyone can get around their communities easily and efficiently.
Today, the Honourable Jim Carr, Minister of Natural Resources and Member of Parliament for Winnipeg South Centre, on behalf of the Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, and the Honourable Jeff Wharton, Minister of Municipal Relations, announced the details of five transportation projects in rural communities. The work is being funded through the province’s Small Communities Transportation Fund, which is supported federally using a portion of Manitoba’s annual federal Gas Tax Fund allocation.
Canada and Manitoba Invest in Rural Transit Projects Across the Province full article
Report from World Bank
Published on 14 Sep 2017
BY CHARLOTTE MCCLAIN-NHLAPO
Natural hazard events can occur in any country, at any time. At present, India, Bangladesh, and Nepal are dealing with the aftermath of some of the worst monsoon flooding in years, which has left more than 1,200 people dead and millions homeless. At the same time, North America and the Caribbean region are responding to some of the strongest hurricanes on record.
At such times of peril, individual and community resilience is at a premium, and we cannot afford to miss opportunities to bolster that resilience wherever possible. This is especially true with respect to certain groups such as persons with disabilities who have historically been disproportionately affected by natural hazards.
Leaving No One Behind: Achieving Disability-Inclusive Disaster Risk Management full article