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Disability Alliance B.C. Worried Pending Accessibility Legislation Lacks Teeth

Disability B.C. says proposed legislation missing implementation timelines and enforcement mechanisms CBC News, Posted: May 13, 2021

The B.C. government is putting the finishing touches on legislation it says will improve accessibility for those with disabilities but a provincial advocacy group says the bill is incomplete.

A bill aimed at improving the lives of British Columbians with disabilities is before lawmakers in Victoria this week but a provincial advocacy group is calling on the government to pause the process and consult some more with the individuals it will effect.

Province of Manitoba Launches Online Engagement to Gather Feedback on Accessibility Standard for Customer Service

The Manitoba government is launching a new online engagement to gather feedback from Manitobans about their experiences with customer service and to ensure those with disabilities are protected with the same or similar access provided to others, Families Minister Rochelle Squires announced today.

“Our government is committed to protection and accessibility for individuals with disabilities, and the Accessibility Standard for Customer Service helps ensure respectful, barrier-free customer service provided by Manitoba organizations including businesses,” said Squires. “We want to hear from Manitobans on whether the standard is making a difference so we can continue to identify, remove and prevent barriers.”

Manitoba Promises New Income Support Program for People With Severe Disabilities

New legislation will lift people out of EIA to a ‘better income,’ the province vows Ian Froese
CBC News, Apr. 26, 2021

People living with severe and prolonged disabilities will have a new income support program devoted to them, the Manitoba government is promising.

The Progressive Conservatives introduced new legislation on Monday that will move people with disabilities off of employment income assistance to a different income program tailored to them.

Under the new program, they will receive disability support payments and shelter assistance, the news release said.

Manitobans with disabilities who currently receive income support through EIA are treated the same as those who’ve temporarily lost their jobs, or have short-term or less severe disabilities.

The Disabled Doctors Not Believed by Their Colleagues

Miranda Schreiber

BBC News, Apr. 19, 2021

When I was 15, I described what turned out to be the neurological symptoms of mental illness to my doctor. I told him I couldn’t do schoolwork, feel the cold, or understand a book. He suggested I go on walks if I was stressed.

This breakdown in communication, in which patient and doctor seem to live in different worlds, is well-documented by disabled people. Many feel they have to translate their experience, because disability and medical structures seem incompatible.

But this experience is familiar to disabled doctors too, and some are seeking solutions.

OPINION: In Anticipation of A BC Accessibility Act

When it comes to reducing barriers, B.C. has made progress, but still has a long way to go Apr. 17, 2021

Imagine for a moment you were the keynote speaker at an event, but you arrived and couldn’t get onto the stage.

What if you couldn’t speak and were refused medical services unless you allowed someone to speak for you?

What if you booked a vacation of a lifetime and arrived at your destination only to be told they didn’t have the special room you’d carefully booked, despite promises?

What if you applied for a job, but when they called you to book an interview and learned you had a disability they hung up?

Federal Appeals Court: Civil Rights Claims Against Uber Must Be Heard in Court

Originally Posted March 22, 2021

Pittsburgh, PA – Plaintiffs suing Uber for failing to provide transportation accessible to people with disabilities cannot be forced out of court and into arbitration, a federal court of appeals ruled on Wednesday. Read the Third Circuit Court of Appeals’ opinion at the link below.

The plaintiffs are people with disabilities who cannot use Uber’s on-demand transportation service in Pittsburgh because there are no wheelchair accessible vehicles available through Uber’s app.

The lawsuit, filed in 2019, seeks modifications to Uber’s policies and practices to ensure that the company makes wheelchair-accessible vehicles readily available to Pittsburgh riders who need them. Plaintiffs do not seek monetary damages.

Accessibility Advocates Raise Serious Concerns With New Policy Allowing Dogs on Nova Scotia Patios

By Elizabeth McSheffrey , Global News
Posted March 31, 2021

This week, Nova Scotia announced a new policy giving restaurant and bar owners the option to allow dogs on outdoor patios. Its a decision meant to include pet owners, but as Elizabeth McSheffrey reports, accessibility advocates are concerned it could end up excluding service dog users.

One day after the Nova Scotia government announced a new policy allowing dogs on outdoor patios, some accessibility advocates and guide dog users are raising concerns that the presence of pets could compromise their safety.

While service animals are well-trained, any barking or play from dogs at other tables may still distract them, interfering with their ability to keep their owner safe, said guide dog user Shelley Adams.

Walking While Blind in Manhattan During the Pandemic

by Peter Slatin
Braille Monitor March 2021

Crowded sidewalks and roadways have a few benefits to the blind: motion provides clues to what is happening. Before the pandemic, when I approached a corner I could hear whether other pedestrians were walking in the same direction, stopping, slowing or hurrying. I could hear cars traveling in the same direction and zooming past me on a parallel track through the intersection. I could hear other cars idling perpendicular to me, waiting for a light to change, or driving directly in front of me. These were all signals that it was okay to crossor not.

Disabled Canadians Face Uphill Struggle for Regular Care as COVID-19 Drains Resources

Emily Fagan
Special to The Globe and Mail
Published March 22, 2021

There’s a lot Heather Morgan has figured out on her own to ensure her family’s well-being. She spends 10 to 30 hours a week as a caregiver for her Ontario-based family of four, helping manage their multiple disabilities in addition to looking after her own health.

Her husband is autistic, while she and her two young adult children have an undiagnosed muscular condition that requires them to use power wheelchairs.

With what little time remains, she’s pursuing her master’s degree. It’s an uphill battle.

Blind Fans Outraged By Decision to Simulcast Blue Jays Games This Season!

For Immediate Release, March 8, 2021

A number of long-time blind baseball fans are outraged over the recent announcement that Toronto Blue Jays games will be simulcast this season, a move they say represents nothing more than a “callous, cost-cutting move that will make both radio and TV fans very unsatisfied and that will have impact on their enjoyment of their favourite team’s games.”

While the Blue Jays have great announcers, the needs and expectations of radio listeners and TV viewers are very different.