Individuals who are deaf, hard-of-hearing or deafblind will soon have access to faster, better message relay services By Sameer Chhabra
Dec 14, 2018
Canada’s telecommunications watchdog has issued a decision mandating standards for message relay services.
According to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission’s (CRTC) December 14th, 2018 decision, groups that provide text-based message relay services (MRS) like teletypewriter relay (TTY) and internet protocol relay (IP relay) will be required to implement quality of service standards, as well as a standard for call answer time and typing speed.
As per the CRTC’s latest telecom decision, 80 percent of all calls each months will need to be responded to by a live MRS operator within 20 seconds.
CRTC Mandates Standards for TTY, IP Relay Accessibility Messaging Services full article
Since 1992, the United Nations International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD) has been annually observed on 3 December around the world. The theme for this year’s IDPD is “Empowering persons with disabilities and ensuring inclusiveness and equality”.
This theme focuses on the empowering persons with disabilities for the inclusive, equitable and sustainable development envisaged in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
The 2030 Agenda, pledging to “leave no one behind,” is an ambitious plan of action of the international community towards a peaceful and prosperous world, where dignity of an individual person and equality among all is applied as the fundamental principle, cutting across the three pillars of the work of the United Nations: Development, Human Rights and Peace and Security. It is critical to ensure, in this regard, the full and equal participation of persons with disabilities in all spheres of society and create enabling environments by, for and with persons with disabilities.
International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD), 3 December 2018 full article
New features include “alternative text” to provide descriptions for pics. by Gordon Gottsegen
November 28, 2018
On Wednesday, Instagram announced new features intended to provide a better experience for people with vision impairments.
Instagram is introducing automatic alternative text, which lets you hear descriptions of pictures when using Instagram with a screen reader. The automatic alternative text uses object recognition tech to generate a list of things that may appear in the photo, helping people know what they’re looking at.
Instagram also lets you create your own alternative text. When posting a photo, you’ll be able to go into the Advanced Settings and add your own alt text, which can be heard when using a screen reader.
Instagram Improving Accessibility for Users with Visual Impairments full article
By Henry St Leger
November 20, 2018
Subtitles go poof
The arrival of Spyro Reignited Trilogy should be an occasion of joy for players, either those coming to the beloved PlayStation platformer for the first time or those seeing one of their childhood gaming icons lovingly remastered in a modern engine.
The trilogy revisits the first three Spyro games developed by Insomniac Games from 1998 to 2000, all of which were made for the PS1. When the trilogy launched last week, however, there was a notable omission: subtitles.
While Activision incorporates subtitles in the general gameplay of the remastered game as you run around, chase sheep, breathe fire, save the world, and so on animated cut-scenes don’t have them.
Activision Ignites Rage Over Spyro’s Accessibility Failure full article
It’s aiming to keep wait times down to 15 minutes or less
Mallory Locklear, @mallorylocklear
November 20, 2018
Uber has found itself in hot water multiple times over its lack of wheelchair-accessible vehicles (WAVs), and now it’s teaming up with another company in order to better serve passengers with disabilities. It’s partnering with MV Transportation, a company that provides paratransit services across the US and Canada, and is bringing MV Transportation’s WAV fleet to eight cities.
Uber enlists outside help to improve wheelchair-accessible rides full article
There’s already a blueprint for a more accessible internet. If only designers would learn it.
By Anne Quito•November 15, 2018
The internet can be a hostile space for 15% of the world’s population who experience some form of disability.
Try navigating a website as someone who is visually impaired: Turn on voice command on your computer (Command ? + F5 if you’re on a Mac, enable Navigator if you’re on a PC) and go to Amazon’s Kindle store. You’ll quickly find out that those who rely on voice commands can’t skip around and are doomed to listen to every notation about every page element before getting to the one piece of information they need.
The Internet Is An Unwelcoming Place to the Disabled full article
Date Filed: 10/22/2018
On October 18, 2018, Disability Rights Advocates(DRA) and a coalition of blind advocates filed a class action lawsuit in Federal Court against the California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) and its county agents for failing to provide Medi-Cal notices in accessible formats, such as Braille.
The plaintiffs are the California Council of the Blind and three individuals; co-counsel is the Disability Rights and Education Fund and Disability Rights California. Read the complaint at the link below.
Class Action Lawsuit Filed Against Medi-Cal full article
OTTAWA, ONTARIO, CANADA: Canada has received a wake-up call in recent months about the urgent need to remove physical barriers in the built environment and improve accessibility for people of all abilities.
In June 2018, the federal government tabled the Accessible Canada Act, a means to ensure equality, inclusion, and full participation in society for all Canadians. This historic event was welcomed by disability groups and advocates across the country, as Canada currently has no set national standard for measuring accessibility and implementing change.
A Wake Up Call on the Urgent Need to Remove Barriers full article
by Paul Edwards
I have been involved at the state level of ACB since 1977 and have worked as a rehab teacher and a rehab counselor with the Division of Blind Services in Florida.
Before I retired I worked for 27 years as Director of Services to Students with Disabilities at one of the campuses of the largest community college in the country. This means that I was around when Section 504 was passed and then finally implemented. It seemed like a huge step forward to us then despite its limited coverage.
How to Work on Work full article
Universities are under legal pressure to make their websites fully accessible to people with disabilities, but is “fully” even possible? By Lindsay McKenzie
November 6, 2018
Hundreds of colleges and universities across the country are currently under investigation by the Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights for failing to make their websites accessible to people with disabilities.
Universities that receive federal financial aid are required by law to make reasonable accommodations to ensure their web content is accessible to everyone, including, but not limited to, people who are blind, deaf or have limited mobility.
Feds Prod Universities to Address Website Accessibility full article
by Adrian Ghobrial and News Staff
Posted Nov 2, 2018 2018 at 7:56 am EST
Two visually-impaired Toronto women will have their complaint investigated by the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal more than three years after they were removed from a flight at Pearson airport because of their service dogs.
Friends Amal Haddad and Nayla Farah and Farahs daughter had booked a round trip to Stockholm on Jet Airways, departing July 1, 2015, with a stopover in Brussels on the way over.
Farah, who has been travelling the world with a seeing-eye dog for years, said she and Haddad made sure they had all their papers in order before arriving at the airport.
Passengers Taken Off Flight Due to Guide Dogs Allege Discrimination full article
by Sarah Meehan
The Baltimore Sun
October 29, 2018
Three blind Maryland residents and the National Federation of the Blind are suing Walmart, alleging that the company violates the Americans with Disabilities Act because its self-checkout kiosks are not fully accessible to blind customers.
The lawsuit, filed Thursday in U.S. District Court, also claims that an employee at the Walmart in Owings Mills allegedly attempted to take money from one of the plaintiffs while she was checking out at the store.
The suit claims that a staff member at the Owings Mills store on Reisterstown Road was assisting Cynthia Morales with a purchase at a self-checkout kiosk in July 2017 when the employee selected an option for cash back from her debit card and took $40 without her knowledge.
Blind Marylanders Sue Walmart, Saying Self-Serve Checkouts Violate ADA full article
October 30, 2018
In the past five years, Canada has made tremendous strides in the fight to reduce the stigma surrounding mental health. The #BellLetsTalk campaign has been at the forefront, considering the campaign routinely grabs the world’s attention using a single hashtag to raise money for mental health initiatives.
READ ALSO: Ontario Universities Are Tracking Their Students Who Went To These High Schools Because Of This Insane Secret List(opens in new tab/window)
While the stigma may not be as prevalent as it was a decade ago, what has recently been discovered when it comes to Canadians with mental illnesses trying to cross the border is the harsh reality that the stigma is still very much alive.
It’s Been Revealed That Canadians Diagnosed With Mental Health Issues Are Put On A List That Is Shared With The FBI And US Border Patrol full article
Editors Note: As a member of the Accessibility Team that tested Gutenberg I can tell you at the time I tested it, it was garbage and totally inaccessible to me and my screen reader, if your company has any employees who use assistive devices, do not upgrade until they fix it .
?Sarah Gooding October 25, 2018
WPCampus is looking to hire a company to perform an accessibility audit of the Gutenberg editor. The organization is a community of more than 800 web professionals, educators, and others who work with WordPress in higher education. WPCampus director Rachel Cherry published a request for proposals detailing the organization’s specific concerns:
WPCampus is Pursuing an Independent Accessibility Audit of Gutenberg full article
Sharon Montgomery-Dupe (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Published: Oct 18 at 10:22 p.m.
A Sydney woman said she recently took the jet as a start to an exciting vacation but because they had no proper means of boarding a passenger with disabilities she was carried aboard, which was humiliating and dangerous.
Air travel is under federal jurisdiction
SYDNEY, N.S. It was a dream vacation that began with a nightmare.
Marcie Shwery-Stanley recently boarded an Air Canada jet by being carried up a steep set of stairs by three men.
“I was not only frightened to death, it was very demeaning,” said the Sydney woman who needs a wheelchair to get around. “It was a terrible experience and I’m looking into making a formal complaint.
Sydney Woman With Disabilities Said She Was Carried on Air Canada Jet full article
Broken elevators, muffled announcements, a lack of Braille the transit system can be commuting chaos for riders with disabilities Oct 21, 2018
By Brit McCandless Farmer
With 472 stations in total, the New York City subway is one of the largest rapid transit systems in the world. It’s also one of the least accessible: Only 25 percent of the stations are designated wheelchair accessible, the lowest rate of wheelchair accessibility for any heavy rail system in the U.S.
The New York City Subway’s Accessibility Problem full article
Originally Published: 03 October 2018
The worlds first machine capable of turning British Sign Language (BSL) into written English is set to be built by the University of Surrey as part of a project funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.
BSL is a language in its own right, with its own grammar, and it is very different from English. BSL uses several parts of the body simultaneously to fully express a range phrases, ideas and emotions.
Surrey to Build World’s First Translation System for British Sign Language full article
Of more than 50 recommendations to improve access for the disabled at the MUHC superhospital, six have been implemented so far. Aaron Derfel, Montreal Gazette
Updated: October 16, 2018
More than a year after an independent report found numerous problems with accessibility for the disabled and other patients at the MUHC superhospital, the McGill University Health Centre has still not fixed most of the deficiencies, the Montreal Gazette has learned.
The MUHC commissioned the report by two experts at the Université de Montréal after the patients committee raised repeated concerns about the lack of clear signage, the scarcity of wheelchairs in the lobby, the confusing layout and poor access to public bathrooms for the mobility-challenged. The report uncovered visual and physical obstacles in 19 categories, a dozen of which were deemed urgent.
Accessibility Problems Still Not Fixed at MUHC SuperHospital: Report full article
Other countries have on-screen interpreters during news broadcasts Sherry Noik, CBC News, September 27, 2018.
When the next ice storm, wildfire or terror attack happens, Canadians who are deaf or hard of hearing will be in greater peril than others because most public notification systems are not accessible to them, experts say.
The Canadian Hearing Society estimates there are 3.15 million Canadians who are hard of hearing and 340,000 Canadians who are deaf, including an estimated 11,000 who are deaf-blind. In policy and in practice, Canada lags behind other countries in ensuring their safety in an emergency.
Deaf Canadians ‘At Risk’ in Times of National Emergency full article
Originally posted September 18, 2018
The World Federation of the Deafblind has launched the initial global report on the situation and rights of persons with deafblindness.
Representing between 0.2% to 2% of the population, persons with deafblindness are a very diverse yet hidden group and are, overall, more likely to be poor and unemployed, and with lower educational outcomes. Because deafblindness is less well-known and often misunderstood, people struggle to obtain the right support, and are often excluded from both development and disability programmes.
World Federation of the Deafblind Launches Initial Global Report! full article