By Lila Refaie, Staff Lawyer
On June 27, 2018, the Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology (“Committee”) released a report about the Disability Tax Credit and the Registered Disability Savings Plan. The report is called Breaking Down Barriers: A critical analysis of the Disability Tax Credit and the Registered Disability Savings Plan.
In this report, the Committee analyzed the existing programs and concluded that a major reform is needed. The Committee put forward a list of 16 recommended changes for the federal government to consider in the hopes of improving both programs for persons with disabilities. The recommendations include a variety of changes, affecting everything from the administration of the programs to more permanent legislative amendments.
Review of Disability Tax Credit and Registered Disability Savings Plan full article
The Associated Press
October 02, 2018
BALTIMORE Three wheelchair users are suing the Baltimore Orioles over accessibility at Camden Yards.
News outlets report the lawsuit filed Friday against the team and the Maryland Stadium Authority says each plaintiff has been stuck in a wheelchair lift while trying to get to their seats. And the view from lower-level wheelchair-accessible seats is obstructed whenever fans stand up.
Plaintiff’s attorney Sharon Krevor-Weisbaum says the Americans with Disabilities Act mandated “equal enjoyment of the services.” Another plaintiff’s attorney, Kevin D. Docherty, criticized the Orioles for July’s “Celebrate ADA Day.”
The plaintiffs seek damages of at least $75,000 each, and a Camden Yards that’s compliant by the next baseball season.
Wheelchair Users Sue Orioles Over Camden Yards Accessibility full article
National competition aims to find innovative, practical and low-cost solutions to make our communities more accessible for persons with disabilities. By MARK CARDWELL | OCT 03 2018
A year ago, Memorial University student Emma Dornan was watching TV with her after-school buddy Matthew Squires, a 10-year-old who suffers from spastic quadriplegia cerebral palsy, when she made what turned out to be an award-winning discovery.
I was sitting on the couch with Matthew on my lap, using my hands and fingers to stabilize his head to help him watch TV, recalled Ms. Dornan, a fourth-year behavioural neuroscience student who works with children with disabilities at Easter Seals summer camps and during the school year in St. Johns.
Students Get to Showcase Their Award-Winning Accessibility-Related Designs full article
October 1 2018
The latest statistics show that people are living longer in virtually every country in the world, with the over 60 age group growing faster than any other cohort.
The aging global population is altering many aspects of society, none more so than housing. When quizzed about their preferred living arrangements, the overwhelming majority of over 60’s (up to 90%) stated that they’d prefer to stay in their own home as they grow older known as ‘Aging in Place’. Yet the challenges brought on by deterioration in mental and physical health as we age, often make this difficult.
How Technology is Assisting Seniors to ‘Age in Place’ full article
Studies like this one could begin to make digital games more accessible to people with a wide range of disabilities. by Emerging Technology from the arXiv
Originally posted July 3, 2018
By some estimates, as many as 2.6 billion people take part in digital gaming, a significant fraction of the global population. There is much ongoing study by games makers and researchers into why and how people play: for fun, for the challenge, to relax, to engage with friends, and so on.
The Secret World of Disabled Gamers full article
After the province said there would be no accessible parking spots at the new museum, RAM said there would be. Julia Parrish, Web Reporter, CTV Edmonton
Published Wednesday, September 26, 2018 3:51PM MDT
In an online post, the Royal Alberta Museum (RAM) says there will be accessible parking spots at the new museum.
The statement was posted Tuesday on the museum’s Facebook page, saying there would be three accessible parking spots just outside the main doors on the west side.
The post said there are wheelchair ramps outside the building leading up to the doors, and there is direct access to the museum through the LRT pedway, with elevators available to get to public transit. The building also features accessible washrooms.
RAM Clarifies Accessible Parking Plans for New Museum full article
By Brian Hill and Mercedes Stephenson Global News
Update: This story includes an updated response from Veteran Affairs Canada received after the story was first published.
Canadian veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are out of luck if they expect the government to help them find a service dog anytime soon.
Thats because the Department of Veteran Affairs (VAC) continues to deny veterans and their families funding for service dogs despite growing evidence showing their effectiveness in treating PTSD and its related symptoms.
The difference [between having a dog and not having a dog] can best be described as night and day, said Medric Cousineau, an air force veteran and the founder of Paws Fur Thought, an organization that helps match former soldiers with service dogs.
EXCLUSIVE: Veterans Denied Service Dogs Despite Gov’t Report Showing ‘Significant’ Reduction in PTSD full article
New standards for public buildings, streets, sidewalks and shared space coming for 2022 The Canadian Press · Posted: Sep 21, 2018
Nova Scotia has announced the next steps to reach its goal of making the province more accessible for those with disabilities by 2030.
Justice Minister Mark Furey has released an implementation strategy for the province’s Accessibility Act, passed in April 2017.
Furey says the document, entitled Access by Design 2030, identifies priorities for accessibility standards, including the formation of committees that will develop standards for public buildings, streets, sidewalks and shared spaces, as well as education.
He says the standards are expected to be rolled out in 2022 and will be implemented in subsequent years.
Province Announces Plans to Support Accessibility Law Passed in 2017 full article
It does not make sense that staff at the Canada Revenue Agency determine eligibility for complex programs that support Canadians with disabilities. Jennifer Zwicker, Stephanie Dunn
Policy Options Institute for Research on Public Policy, September 4, 2018
Breaking Down Barriers is the title and galvanizing theme of a June 2018 report from the Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology. It recommends urgently needed measures to improve access to underutilized federal disability supports: the disability tax credit (DTC) and the Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP).
The recommendations are broad in scope. They include streamlining the DTC and RDSP application processes and making eligibility criteria simpler and more appropriate.
Empower the Right Department to Manage Disability Supports full article
BY BEN JACOBSON email@example.com
September 16, 2018
A pair of U.S. senators from Iowa say it’s unclear whether the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act transcends the physical world into the cyber realm.
Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst, both Republicans, have asked U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions to explore whether the 1990 law applies to website accessibility as well.
“For nearly 30 years, the ADA has protected countless individuals with disabilities, ensuring physical access to ‘any place of public accommodation,'” the senators wrote in a letter, co-authored by lawmakers from North Carolina, South Dakota, Idaho and Texas. “We support the ADA and all that it stands for.
Senators Urge DOJ to Weigh in On ADA Impact on Websites full article
Danica Kirka, The Associated Press
Published Thursday, September 13, 2018
LONDON — Hadeel Ayoub slips a black glove onto her hand before beginning the swish of sign language that is meaningless to the untrained observer. Then she pushes a button on her wrist, and a small speaker relays the message drawn in the air: “Let’s Dance!”
“My dream is to give a voice to those who can’t speak,” says the 36-year-old inventor who is developing her BrightSign glove while working toward a Ph.D. in assistive technology at Goldsmiths, University of London.
Talking Gloves, Tactile Windows: New Tech Helps the Disabled full article
MEDIA RELEASE September 10, 2018
Deidre Guy and Jeff Wilson, Co-ffounders of the Inclusive Workplace and Supply Council of Canada (IWSCC), are thrilled to announce the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) as its first Founding Member.
IWSCC is dedicated to helping Veterans and differently-abled entrepreneurs by creating conditions for equal access and opportunity, and highlighting the opportunities and value of relationships with these companies. Efforts include Inclusive Workplace programs and Diverse Supplier Certification. This formal designation assures organizations that procurement opportunities are going to businesses that have been pre-certified as at least 51% owned and operated by veterans or persons with disabilities.
IWSCC Announces RBC as First Founding Member to Support Disabled Owned and Veteran Owned Businesses in Canada full article
Post date: Jul 26, 2018
(WASHINGTON)One in five Americans has a disability, and in today’s digital age it’s more important than ever that people with disabilities are able to use technology, from websites to mobile phones to emerging smart devices.
Twenty-eight years after the seminal passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act, leading tech companies agree that building and buying products that everyone can use is an imperative, not an afterthought. But a new national study shows that a major barrier many tech companies encounter is that they can’t find job candidates with the accessible tech skills the companies needand 57% report that, as a result, achieving accessibility in their products and services takes increasingly more time and resources.
PEAT and Teach Access Identify Large Skills Gap in the Tech Sector full article
By: Jason Law
Updated: Aug 29, 2018
BOSTON – Grocery shopping can be very stressful. Navigating crowded aisles in a store full of people is frustrating, but if you’re blind, like Kim Charlson, then grocery shopping can be almost impossible.
A new tool, however, could revolutionize shopping for people who can’t see.
It’s an app that helps the visually impaired navigate the world and does it using the eyes in your smartphone.
“You come into a grocery store and you’re just bombarded with everything all around you,” Charlson explained. “It’s just not the place a blind person can get around independently without some kind of support.”
Wegmans Adds a ‘Game-Changer’ for Visually Impaired Shopping full article
Nutrition and Recovery: An Overlooked Relationship
When people think of recovery from addiction, they often think of meetings and counseling. While this is the cornerstone of rehabilitating addicts, there is an aspect that often goes overlooked. Lifestyle.
Both research and popular practice of many recovery centers of America focus only on psychological aspects of rehabilitation. The exception to this is the use of prescription drugs to ease recovery and help week off users of addictive substances.
But, there may be easier and more holistic ways to help addicts recover. Including certain nutrients in a holistic diet may help speed up recovery and prevent relapse. It can also help improve general health and mood while detoxing.
Fueling recovery: Top Nutrients For Addicts full article
By Malcolm Owen
Monday, August 20, 2018
Apple has become the target of a new lawsuit, one that claims the iPhone producer’s website is violating the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) by not being fully accessible to blind or visually-impaired consumers, due to the way the website itself is coded.
Filed in the U.S. District Court of the Southern District of New York on Sunday, the complaint from the plaintiff Himelda Mendez is said to be filed on behalf of other users in a similar accessibility situation. Apple is the sole defendant in the lawsuit.
Apple Sued Over Claims Website is Inaccessible to Visually Impaired Users full article
The owners of the business argued that wheelchairs pose a danger to their cats. By Emma Paling
The Huffington Post
Paralympian and law student Jeff Adams spent an uncomfortable few hours at Meow Cat Café in Toronto after hearing the business turned away a 16-year-old because he uses a wheelchair.
The issue of accessibility in Canada is larger than one cat café in Toronto, paralympian Jeff Adams says.
Meow Cat Café was in the news all weekend when Global News reported that a 16-year-old wasn’t allowed inside for a birthday outing because he uses a wheelchair.
Meow Cat Café Dispute Highlights Canada’s Accessibility Problem, Paralympian Jeff Adams Says full article
Globe and Mail, August 16, 2018
Afshan Tafler has left no stone unturned in a bid to get help for her son, who has pervasive developmental disorder and who also shows signs of giftedness. The Toronto-based whole-life coach enrolled him in a private school with smaller class sizes and an on-site occupational therapist. She also pays an additional $10,000 a year above the school’s $23,000 tuition for an even smaller, personalized program within the school that tailors the curriculum to his learning style.
The High Cost of Special-Needs Programming full article
Now that Ottawa has tabled its new accessibility law, the Yukon needs to prepare to follow suit Aug. 10, 2018
At the beginning of the year Yukon Hospital Corporation unveiled a $72-million makeover at the Whitehorse General Hospital.
For that money the territory got itself a snazzy new emergency room complete with a bunch of changes designed to streamline the process of seeing a doctor.
But officials forgot something. The new ER came with a new entrance. That entrance doesn’t have a cutout in the sidewalk directly outside the front door which is what’s needed for wheelchair users to easily get inside.
Editorial: It’s time to start talking about territorial accessibility legislation full article
4 organizations will divide $180K to build ramps, automatic doors CBC News · Posted: Aug 09, 2018
Automatic doors are among the improvements to accessibility that will be funded by the new money from the Enabling Accessibility Fund, a $15.6 million federal program. (Guy Quenneville/CBC )
Four local organizations will receive new funding to improve accessibility, N.W.T. MP Michael McLeod announced Thursday on behalf of the federal government.
Two churches, the Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre, and the Hay River Metis Government Council will receive $180,000 in new federal funding for automated doors, wheelchair ramps, and improved entryways.
Feds Announce New Funding for Accessibility in the N.W.T. full article