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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.

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.

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.

‘It’s a Basic Human Right:’ High School Should Prioritize Accessibility, Saanich Mother Says

Maya Bosdet, 14, uses a wheelchair and wants to attend the same high school her father did Adam van der Zwan · CBC News · Posted: Aug 29, 2019

Maya Bosdet and her mother Lisa say they were disappointed to find Claremont Secondary, the school near Maya’s home, is not accessible for the 14-year-old, who uses a wheelchair.

Maya Bosdet says she’s excited for the beginning of classes next week because it means continuing a family tradition of attending high school at Claremont Secondary, in Saanich, B.C.

But a tour of the school this week has her concerned the building won’t be accessible enough to meet her needs as a wheelchair user.

The Robson Square Steps are Beautiful but are They Safe?

Accessibility advocates in Vancouver call for upgrades to wheelchair ramp and steps Jesse Johnston · CBC News · Posted: Aug 22, 2019

The path at Robson Square in Vancouver, which zigzags across the stairwell like a switchback trail on a mountainside, is a crown jewel in the late architect Arthur Erickson’s portfolio.

Arnold Cheng doesn’t like it.

“There are two competing camps people who think it’s beautiful and wonderful and people who don’t think it’s beautiful and wonderful,” Cheng said.

“Quite often, one [camp] is people without disabilities and the other is people with disabilities.”

Cheng, who works as an accessibility consultant, says it’s dangerous to travel down the steep ramp in his wheelchair.

Accessible Playground in Cornwall, P.E.I., Getting Positive Reaction

‘The kids love it and it’s certainly a great feature to this facility’ Tom Steepe · CBC News · Posted: Aug 19, 2019

An accessible playground in Cornwall, P.E.I., has been getting positive feedback since it opened.

The playground, located at the Cornwall Civic Centre next to the curling club, includes a wide variety of structures designed to be fully accessible and inclusive through the use of stairs, climbers and slides.

“Everything has been positive, the kids love it and it’s certainly a great feature to this facility and to the programming that happens here,” said recreation manager Kim Meunier.

Meunier said the playground gets “upwards of 100 kids” visiting each day.

Whyte Ridge Community Centre Opens New Accessible Fitness Park

By Connor Chan Digital Journalist Global News

A new way for people with accessibility issues to get active in Winnipeg has opened at the Whyte Ridge Community Centre.

The new Whyte Ridge Accessible Fitness Park was officially opened on Saturday.

“We have all ages and we want folks of all ages to enjoy this,” said Coun. Janice Lukes.

The park was first discussed in 2015, received funding last year and was built in just a few weeks.

All the exercises are performed primarily with your own body weight. The park has been built specifically for people with accessibility issues.

A chart of different exercises at the fitness park.

Stonehenge Gets Rated for ‘Accessibility’ as an Attraction

Published by Mike Draper
29th July 2019.

A national charity, that organises holidays for disabled people and their carers, has been assessing visitor attractions.

The Revitalise Accessible Tourism Report, first conducted in 2014, was carried out for a second time to see if visitor attractions have actively made any positive changes in accessibility for 2019.
The report identified Stonehenge as the number one attraction in Wiltshire for 2019

Revitalise creates holidays for disabled adults and their carers, but when it comes to accessibility, every family deserves to have access to Britain’s cultural attractions.

It’s a sunny day and we’re looking at the stone circle at Stonehenge.
The Revitalise report identified Stonehenge as the number one attraction in Wiltshire for 2019.

Navigating the NYC Subway in a Wheelchair Is Hell

By Valerie Kipnis Jul 29, 2019

NEW YORK Sometimes it takes Sasha Blair-Goldensohn three times longer to get to work than it used to, and sometimes he’s stuck on a subway platform with no easy way to get up to street level.

The 43-year-old software engineer, who’s been using a wheelchair since 2009, is one of about a million differently-abled people facing daily struggles as they navigate New York City’s aging subway system.

“You can get almost all the way to work, and that last elevator that’s supposed to take you from the mezzanine section up to the pavement is out of service, and suddenly, it’s 40 minutes from home, and you’re a block away from work in the subway station, but there’s no way out,” Blair-Goldensohn says.

Bad Braille Plagues Buildings Across U.S., CBS News Radio Investigation Finds

By Steve Dorsey
June 28, 2019

The federal government, corporations, cities and even medical facilities across the country are looking past the needs of blind Americans by failing to address problems with braille signage.

CBS News has uncovered complaints to the Justice Department’s Disability Rights section about missing or incorrect braille at a number of public facilities, including Albuquerque’s bus system, restaurants in Kansas and Pennsylvania, and hospital and medical buildings in Chicago, among other locations. The records, spanning two years, were obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request.

Forty-one-year-old Vencer Cotton, who’s been blind since birth, often encounters bad braille in Washington, D.C. Cotton says he once entered the wrong restroom because of it.

Japan Struggling to Ramp Up Accessibility Efforts Ahead of Paralympics

KYODO NEWS – Jun 2, 2019

TOKYO – A shortage of wheelchair-accessible hotel rooms remains an issue for Tokyo 2020 organizers who say they are committed to using the Paralympic Games to make Japan a more inclusive place.

As the clock ticks down to the Aug. 25, 2020, Paralympic opening ceremony, the Tokyo metropolitan government admits that by its own estimations it is still about 300 rooms short of the projected 850 accessible rooms needed each night during the two-week sporting festival.

“We’re nowhere near the number. There’s no denying that we’re behind schedule,” said a representative of a Japanese disability organization.

Innovators Challenged to Design Products for Homes to Win Investment Fund and Help Disabled People Live Independently

4th April 2019

Now in its fifth year, Design Council Spark is putting a new focus on driving accessible home innovation; Design Council Spark: The Home Innovation Challenge is aiming to deliver major impact, both financially and socially, for people with reduced mobility or disabilities.

In the UK, there are currently 14 million people living with a disability and 25 percent of the population are due to be over the age of 65 by 2046. Design Council Spark showcases how innovative design is fundamental to futureproofing peoples ability to live independently and enabling bright ideas to transform future homes for everyone.

Broken Elevator at Portage and Main Suggests Accessibility’s Not A Priority, Advocate Says

Allen Mankewich says the wheelchair lift at 201 Portage Ave. is often out of service
Holly Caruk · CBC News · Posted: Mar 04, 2019 10:16 AM CT | Last Updated: March 4

Allen Mankewich, a consultant with the Independent Living Resource Centre who uses a wheelchair, says the broken lift forces people in wheelchairs to travel blocks out of their way on snowy sidewalks just to cross the street.

A Winnipeg man is frustrated after a broken wheelchair lift has gone unrepaired for weeks at downtown Winnipeg’s busiest intersection.

Paralympic Medalists Check Accessibility of 2020 Tokyo Games Venue Area

February 17, 2019 (Mainichi Japan)

TOKYO — Paralympic medalists have inspected parts of the capital’s Koto Ward, host to two Tokyo 2020 swimming venues, to see if the area meets the growing demand for easier access for people with disabilities.

A Mainichi Shimbun reporter joined the athletes’ first check of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics venue sites on Jan. 20. The aim: to assess the current environment as well as facilities with barrier-free concepts. The meeting point with Paralympians Association of Japan (PAJ) chairman Junichi Kawai, 43, and former Japan national wheelchair basketball player Katsumi Miyake, 48, was outside the Tokyo Metro’s Tatsumi Station ticket gate.

Calgary Building Receives $72,000 Toward Accessibility Renovations

by Kayla Bruch
Originally Posted Jan 22, 2019

CALGARY (660 NEWS) Seventy-two thousand dollars will go a long way in renovating a local community space.

Minister of Public Services and Procurement and Accessibility, Honourable Carla Qualtrough, said the Evergreen Community SPACES building in Calgary is receiving this money through the Enabling Accessibility Fund.

“The idea of creating initiatives that remove barriers for people with disabilities is really the idea of making our country better and more equal,” said Qualtrough.

She adds Canada can’t succeed as a country unless we give everyone an equal opportunity, and we can’t achieve this if 20 per cent of the population is excluded.

Age-Friendly Community Committee aims to increase accessibility

By Evan Jones
January 17, 2019

Many East Lansing residents go through doorways and live in apartments without realizing the barriers common designs present to older members of the community.

Through the Age-Friendly Community Committee, citizens and government leaders are working to improve accessibility and bridge the generational gap.

The City of East Lansing created the committee in 2017 to continue working toward an Age-Friendly Community designation, which the World Health Organization, or WHO, describes in a 76-page guide(opens in new tab/window). While the problem is described by the WHO through a global lens, they aim to inspire communities to improve access for their own aging populations.

UK Faces Accessible Housing Crisis – Only 7% of Homes Deemed Accessible

Controversy rang out in November 2018 when the Home Builders Federation objected to councils across England wanting to increase the number of homes with universal home designed centered around accessibility.

Organizations such as Age UK and the Centre for Ageing Better and Disability Rights UK released reports stating that only 7% of homes classify as accessible, causing a rift in a housing market that so poorly serves those with limited mobility.

While currently trying to fight this injustice, organizations are being met with resistance in their fight for housing options that are suitable for all and meet higher accessibility standards.

Welcome Mat: Study Finds Accessibility Key in Bathroom Reno Designs

Maureen Feighan, The Detroit News
Published Dec. 20, 2018

Aging baby boomers who’d like to stay in their homes as they grow older are making accessibility a big part of their bathroom renovations plans, making them bigger and adding features like grab bars, according to Houzz.com’s new 2018 U.S. Bathroom Trends Study.

The survey of 1,100 homeowners, released in mid November, found that one-third of Baby Boomers are addressing current aging needs, while nearly a quarter are planning ahead for future needs as they renovate a master bathroom.

The survey also found 47 percent change the bathroom layout and 34 percent remove the bathtub.

Accessibility Problems Still Not Fixed at MUHC SuperHospital: Report

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.

Wheelchair Users Sue Orioles Over Camden Yards Accessibility

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.