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New Canadian Accessibility Standard for Buildings Benefits Everyone, Disability Advocates Say

By Wanyee LiStarMetro Vancouver

VANCOUVERPeople with disabilities often get their own cashier line, their own bathroom stall, their own entrance and that type of building design amounts to segregation, disability advocates say.

Part of the problem is that Canada did not have a standard for accessibility design in buildings, said Brad McCannell, vice-president of access and inclusion with the Rick Hansen Foundation.

(left) Brad McCannell, vice president of access and inclusion with the Rick Hansen Foundation, (centre) Kirsten Sutton, vice president of and managing director at SAP Labs Canada, and Rick Hansen, founder of the Rick Hansen Foundation, celebrate a ‘Accessibility Certified Gold’ rating at SAP Labs’ Yaletown office.

HealthHack 2018 Winner Aims for Better Accessibility in Edmonton

By Kerry McAthey
Radio Anchor/Reporter 630CHED

Navigating Edmonton in a wheelchair takes a lot of force, according to the Click N’ Push application

Navigating Edmonton in a wheelchair takes a lot of force, according to the Click N’ Push application

The winner of this year’s HealthHack Smart Cities Challenge is aiming to make Edmonton more accessible to those who use wheelchairs.

Professor at the Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine at the University of Alberta Martin Ferguson-Pell and his team have developed Click N’ Push an app that shows just how difficult it can be to get around the city in a wheelchair.

New Accessibility Regulations for N.L. Buildings, Parking Lots

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.

Angry Note Left on Wheelchair Accessible Van attracting attention

Angry Note Left on Wheelchair Accessible Van attracting attention

Published Friday, November 22, 2013 6:45PM CST
Last Updated Friday, November 22, 2013 6:46PM CST

It’s a story that began with mean notes left on the windshield of a wheelchair lift van, but now, one woman’s story is prompting people in Saskatoon to take a second look at accessibility issues.

CTV News was with Desirée Parisien as she shared some of the notes.

“You are parked like a complete jackass,” one note read. “You are in two spots, one of which is for pregnant ladies. Stupidity is not a handicap. Use your wheelchair sticker for a better cause. Don’t use it for an excuse.”

New Yorkers with Disabilities Neglected In City’s Emergency Planning

Brooklyn Center for Independence of the Disabled (BCID), et al. v. Mayor Bloomberg, et al
Posted February 28, 2013

More than a decade after 9/11, New Yorkers with disabilities continue to face disproportionate risks of catastrophic harm and death when disasters strike, like Hurricane Irene and Superstorm Sandy.

People with disabilities impacted by Sandy reported a lack of evacuation, wheelchair accessible emergency shelters, and power outages, which left them stranded in their homes, without vital medical equipment, and prescription medications. Such events show that New York City lacks an adequate emergency plan that accounts for the needs of people with disabilities during an emergency.

Scandic Hotels Wins Major Procurement Contract in Norway

Posted January 9, 2013

Scandic Hotels has won a 4-year framework agreement with the Norwegian Children and Young People’s Agency, Bufdir, with a total value of around EUR 6 million. Scandic was the clear winner in the procurement process thanks to its investment in increased accessibility for people with disabilities.

Bufdir’s quotation requirement was in three categories; bed/breakfast, meetings and customised conference packages, and Scandic won all three categories.

This is an excellent example of Scandic’s commitment to accessibility paying off – and the fact that Scandic is way ahead of the competition. We continuously invest more money making our hotels accessible for all our guests.

Advocates Have Sought Bumpy Tiles for About 20 Years

Kytja Weir, Staff writer – Transportation
The Washington Examiner, October 5, 2012

The battle over installing bumpy tiles at Metro’s stations has been going on for about 20 years, long after the Americans with
Disabilities Act called for adding “detectable warnings” known as truncated
domes to platform edges in train stations by 1993.

Metro board member Mortimer Downey recalled the agency’s resistance when he served as U.S. Department of Transportation deputy secretary from 1993 to 2001.

“Metro wasted two years of my time telling me they did not want to put in the tiles and did not think it was feasible to do it,” he
said during a recent board meeting.

Group Pushes for Wheelchair Access to Patios

CBC News, August 22, 2012.

An advocacy group for people with disabilities is pushing to make Montreal’s patios more wheelchair accessible.

Linda Gauthier, president of the Regroupement Activistes Pour l’Inclusion Québec, or RAPLIQ, said Tuesday that most of Montreal’s restaurant and bar terrasses are still inaccessible to wheelchairs.

Montreal is known for its restaurant, café and bar patios, but too many of them are inaccessible to wheelchairs, an advocacy group says. (CBC)

“It’s exactly the same thing that if there would be a black person they would tell him, ‘You’re not allowed on my terrasse because of your colour.’
It’s discrimination,” Gauthier said.

Playground Designed for Disabled Users

By Jeff Bell, Times Colonist April 13, 2012

The Blanshard Community Centre and its refurbished playground provided the backdrop Thursday for a federal funding announcement aimed at improving accessibility for people with disabilities.

Ontario Conservative MP Dr. Kellie Leitch, parliamentary secretary to Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development Diane Finley, said the centre’s specially designed playground is an example of how the federal Enabling Accessibility Fund works. The Kings Road site was granted $50,636 from the fund in 2010 and the playground was installed soon after.

Kelly Greenwell, the centre’s executive director, said much effort went into securing money for the project until the Enabling Accessibility Fund came through. “We tried a lot of different ways to get something like this here.”

Aging in Place: How to Remodel Your Home and Stay as Long as Possible

by Jennifer Grey, Columnist
June 15, 2011

There are plenty of wonderful senior living communities out there. But for many older adults, no matter how lovely the neighborhood and how terrific the services, a senior community isn’t the first choice—staying at home is.

It’s difficult for older adults to stay in the home as they age—because many homes were not designed to accommodate aging in place. Still, you can make some basic changes to your home that will make it easier for you to stay as you age. Here are a few ideas for older adults who want to stay in their homes as long as possible.

Cities Study How to Become Age-Friendly

By: Anne-Marie Tobin, The Canadian Press
Posted: 11/21/2011 10:10 AM

Dr. Joanie Sims Gould poses for a photograph on one of numerous benches along a stretch of sidewalk in Vancouver, B.C., on Thursday November 17, 2011. Sims is a researcher who is working on a project aimed at making communities more seniors-friendly as the population ages. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

TORONTO – Lucy Howe rides a scooter to get around but she bounces uncomfortably when the sidewalks are rough and cracked. Curb cuts that form ramps for getting across the street aren’t always wide enough for the scooter, and it’s especially difficult in winter.

Taco Bell Awaits Sanctions in Accessibility Suit

Taco Bell is expected to appeal ruling that it violated Americans with Disabilities Act

October 25, 2011 | By
Lisa Jennings

A recent federal court decision that found Taco Bell in violation of federal and state laws protecting the rights of customers who use wheelchairs or scooters should motivate restaurant operators to comply with access rules, attorneys say.


new Accessibility App for Disabled Travelers

October 18, 2011

Travelling with disabilities can often present a unique set of challenges that can make it difficult or daunting to begin journeys. However, such challenges
did not prevent a blind man from climbing Mt.Everest, and it did not prevent Rick Hansen from wheeling across 34 countries, and four continents, averaging 85kms in his wheelchair each day on his Man of Motion Tour.

The Rick Hansen Foundation has set out to further revolutionize living and traveling with disabilities through their launch of the Rick Hansen Global Accessibility Map (GAM). The brainchild of Daryl Rock, the GAM is an easy-to-use online tool that rates the accessibility of buildings and public spaces around the world from a mobility, hearing, and sight accessibility perspective.

Questionnaire Universal Kitchen Design

Currently, the standard design of most kitchens limits the usability of many kitchen functions particularly for people in wheelchairs.
The kitchen is an extensively utilized room in our everyday lives. New technology is being developed, evaluated and commercialized in Canada. The key element is to ensure that the kitchen provided best suits the user needs.

Paving the Way for Disabled Travellers

Advocate pushes for accessibility for all

Updated February 3, 2011

Hearing the thundering water as the Maid of the Mist approaches the Horseshoe Falls is always a thrill for Linda Crabtree.

The St. Catharines resident has made it her mission to sample all Niagara has to offer in terms of attractions, hotels and restaurants.

And she does it all from an electric scooter.

Crabtree has Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, a progressively debilitating, neuromuscular disease.

She hasn’t walked in more than 20 years.

But that hasn’t stopped her from enjoying life, which includes day trips to various attractions, wineries and restaurants across the region.

Burnaby Set to Introduce New Vibrating Signals for Pedestrian Crossings

By Janaya Fuller-Evans, with files from Kelly Sinoski, The Vancouver Sun, Burnaby Now January 15, 2011   

While the chirping at Burnaby intersections won’t be silenced soon, it could be replaced with specific crossing directions for pedestrians, starting this

For now, vibrating signals are being introduced throughout the city, to help pedestrians with vision problems, as well as those whose hearing is diminished.

The City of Burnaby plans to phase out the chirping signals over time, replacing each with audio messages, with directional information on which crosswalk is safe to cross as well as other traffic information, according to the city’s director of engineering, Lambert Chu.

President Signs Pedestrian Safety Enhancement Act

Washington, D.C. January 5, 2011

The National Federation of the Blind today commended President Barrack Obama for signing into law the Pedestrian Safety Enhancement Act (S. 841), which
will protect the blind and other pedestrians from injury as a result of silent vehicle technology.

“The National Federation of the Blind is pleased that this critical legislation has been signed into law, preserving the right to safe and
independent travel for the blind,” said Dr. Marc Maurer, President of the National Federation of the Blind.

“The blind, like all pedestrians, must be able to travel to work, to school, to church, and to other places in our communities, and we must be able to
hear vehicles in order to do so.

Chirping Crosswalk Changes Its Tune; Safety Matters

Jeanne Armstrong
National Post , Dec. 23, 2010

Canadian municipalities are finding themselves on opposite sides of an odd debate: whether to change the sound used to help the visually impaired
safely cross the street.

The reason for the proposed change? The chirping sound that has become commonplace at crosswalks from coast to coast sounds too much like the
northern cardinal.

A report by the Transportation Association of Canada recommends that cities replace the high-pitched bird chirp signal because it was causing visually
impaired pedestrians to stray from the crosswalk path.

Human Rights Success: Disabling a System of Discrimination

December 12, 2010
By Chris Bowerman, Writer
Troy Media

Dec. 12, 2010/ Troy Media/ – Canada’s success in rooting out discrimination is often lost in a national debate that focuses on the failings of human rights

The country’s system of meting out justice in cases of inequality is not without its many bright spots, however.

In one particular case concluded earlier this year, a complaint concluded in a triple-whammy success for the federal human rights agencies, disabled Canadians and Elections Canada.

In relatively swift succession, an informed citizen’s complaint was investigated by the Canadian Human Rights Commission, referred to the tribunal, and
resolved with co-operation from the respondent – Elections Canada – which is implementing comprehensive orders to reform its electoral procedures and training.

Regina Mom Pushes for Accessible Playground

CBC news, Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A Regina mother is encouraging the city to build a new wheelchair-accessible playground.

Cindy Leggott, who uses a wheelchair to get around, wants to see an accessible playground built near Jean Vanier Elementary School.

Leggott said the playground would allow her to spend more quality time with her two-year-old daughter because traditional playgrounds are more difficult
for her to use.

“This particular structure is going to be on a surface that is not sand – it’s going to be on a rubberized surface that will allow any wheelchair to
go on it without having the risk of getting stuck.”