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Disability Rights Advocates Fight ‘Demeaning’ Immigration Criteria

Michelle McQuigge
The Canadian Press
November 19, 2017

TORONTO – A national advocacy group is pushing for the government to repeal immigration criteria that it calls discriminatory toward people with disabilities.

The Council of Canadians with Disabilities is calling for the repeal of a provision that bars disabled immigrants from settling in Canada on grounds that they could place too much demand on the country’s medical system. The group contends the practice is discriminatory and based on outdated, stereotypical ideas around disability.

The council wants the government to drop the requirement from the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and to make sure disabled people are included in crafting a new, more inclusive procedure.

B.C. Needs Disability Act: Victoria Council

Council motion asks province to make B.C. barrier free
Lauren Boothby/
Nov. 17, 2017

The City of Victoria wants to make the city and the province barrier free.

Council passed a motion Thursday asking the provincial government to enact a strong and effective British Columbians with Disabilities Act, which was added to the consent agenda at committee of the whole. Other provinces, including Ontario and Manitoba, have provincial accessibility laws, which include such regulations as building and structural guidelines, and allowing service animals.

Coun. Jeremy Loveday, who put the motion forward, said people with disabilities need more legal protections. Currently, the provinces Human Rights Tribunal is the only body used to address accessibility issues, but the province does have a non-binding Accessibility 2024 10-year action plan.

Disability Group TO Call for Repeal of Discriminatory Provision in Canada’s Immigration Act

For Immediate Release November 17, 2017

When: Monday, November 20, 2017
Place: Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration
Room 415, 197 Sparks Street
Time: 6:30 pm

The Council of Canadians With Disabilities (CCD), a national, human rights organization of persons with various disabilities that is working for a more inclusive and accessible Canada, will call for repeal of the “Excessive Demands” provisions in Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Protection Act when it appears before the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration on Monday evening, November 20, 2017.

Airbnb buys ‘Airbnb for Disabled People’ Startup Accomable in Accessibility Upgrade

Posted November 16, 2017
by Ingrid Lunden (@ingridlunden)

Airbnb, the accommodation and travel startup that is now valued at $31 billion, is today announcing an acquisition that points to how it wants to address the travel needs of more kinds of customers. It has bought Accomable, a startup based out of London that focuses on travel listings that are disabled-friendly.

Along with the announcement Airbnb is refreshing its own accessibility features as the first stage in how it hopes to develop them.

Manitoba: Progress on Accessibility Standard in Employment

Following public consultations and a thorough review of all public comments received, the Accessibility Advisory Council (council) submitted Recommendations for an Accessibility Employment Standard for the Minister of Families on April 5, 2017. The Honourable Scott Fielding, Minister of Families has reviewed and considered the recommendations of the council.

The Government of Manitoba is pleased to make its Proposed Accessible Employment Standards Regulation available for public comment as of November 1, 2017. (PDF) (Word, find the links at the Url below)

In acknowledgement of the holiday period in December, the deadline for your feedback is extended beyond the 60-day period required by The Accessibility for Manitobans Act to Friday, January 12, 2018. Please forward all electronic comments, submissions and briefs to http://www.access@gov.mb.ca.

Canadian Universities Sign Off on Pledge to Greater Diversity, Accessibility

Data on diversity on Canadian campuses is limited
The Canadian Press/
Oct. 26, 2017 9:35 a.m./

Canadian universities have done a great job making their campuses more accessible for students with disabilities, but now have to turn more attention to helping those students get jobs, one of Canada’s leading disability advocates told a room full of university presidents Wednesday.

Rick Hansen, a former paralympian whose foundation is devoted to making the world a more accessible place, spoke to the presidents in Ottawa on Wednesday, just before they voted to make a public commitment to seven principles of diversity.

People With Disabilities Around B.C. to Benefit From New Accessibility Programs

News Release
Victoria
Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Accessible, inclusive communities for people with disabilities are the main goals behind two provincially funded programs designed to improve universal access in British Columbia.

Through $9 million in provincial funding, the Rick Hansen Foundation (RHF) has launched two new programs to improve accessibility for British Columbians.

“When we remove the physical barriers, we create communities where everyone feels welcome. We are pleased to support the Rick Hansen Foundation with this initiative where together we can build a better B.C. for people of all abilities to be able to live, work and play,” said Shane Simpson, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction.

EU One Step Closer to Accessibility Act as MEP Mizzi welcomes EP vote

Act would facilitate access to products and services

A European Accessibility Act that would make it easier for senior citizens and people with disability to use ATMs, check-in and other ticketing machines has been hailed as a “huge opportunity” by MEP Marlene Mizzi.

The European Accessibility Act, which seeks to bolster existing accessibility requirements for products and services, was voted through the European Parliament yesterday. The Act must be approved by the EU Council before becoming law.

“This was a real victory for the Socialists & Democrats group in the European Parliament. We have managed to push through our priorities and to ensure that the European Parliament adopts a strong and ambitious position,” Mrs Mizzi said.

Leaving No One Behind: Achieving Disability-Inclusive Disaster Risk Management

Report from World Bank
Published on 14 Sep 2017
BY CHARLOTTE MCCLAIN-NHLAPO

Natural hazard events can occur in any country, at any time. At present, India, Bangladesh, and Nepal are dealing with the aftermath of some of the worst monsoon flooding in years, which has left more than 1,200 people dead and millions homeless. At the same time, North America and the Caribbean region are responding to some of the strongest hurricanes on record.

At such times of peril, individual and community resilience is at a premium, and we cannot afford to miss opportunities to bolster that resilience wherever possible. This is especially true with respect to certain groups such as persons with disabilities who have historically been disproportionately affected by natural hazards.

Disabled Accessibility Law Gathering Support

By John Gibb
Tuesday Sept. 12, 2017

Canadian disability advocate David Lepofsky believes there is growing political backing to pass “accessibility” legislation in this country.

“Accessibility legislation can only help, if it’s done right,” Mr Lepofsky said in Dunedin recently.

Read more at
http://www.aoda.ca/disabled-accessibility-law-gathering-support/

Congress Wants to Change the Americans with Disabilities Act and Undermine the Civil Rights of People with Disabilities

Tyler Ray & Vania Leveille, Senior Legislative Counsel
ACLU Washington Legislative Office, September 6, 2017

The Americans with Disabilities Act is the most comprehensive and
foundational civil rights law prohibiting discrimination on the basis of disability. Yet, 27 years after it was passed, people with disabilities still face enormous barriers.

People with mobility disabilities routinely
find themselves blocked from the simplest of social interactions. They are unable to go to the corner grocery store to pick up a quart of milk because there is a step at the door. They are unable to go to the local movie theatre with their friends because there is no accessible seating. They might be able to get into the door of the local restaurant, but are stymied
if they have to go to the bathroom while they are there, because it is the size of a postage stamp.

Justice System Failed Mentally Ill Indigenous Inmate, Lawyer Argues

Michael Nehass, a 33-year-old Indigenous inmate who is mentally ill, spent much of his nearly six-year period of incarceration in solitary confinement. Patrick White
September 4, 2017

In 2016, Michael Nehass swallowed razor blades. To his delusional mind, it was a reasonable act built upon solid logic.

Mr. Nehass, a 33-year-old Indigenous inmate, believed that a technological device of some unspecified kind had been implanted in his stomach during his lengthy incarceration. Consuming the blades, he thought, would force hospital surgeons to open up his torso, whereupon they would see the implant and remove it.

UN Denounces British Government for Failing to Protect Disabled Peoples’ Rights

May Bulman
August 31, 2017

The Government has been criticised by the United Nations for failing to uphold the rights of disabled people through a string of austerity policies.

An inquiry into the UKs progress in fulfilling its commitments to a major UN convention found ministers have failed people with disabilities through a catalogue of policies in recent years, affecting a range of areas from access to healthcare to equality in education and work.

A rise in disabled pupils not in mainstream education and a “persistent” employment gap facing disabled adults were among a string of accusations outlined in the report, published this week by the UN committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, after it spent two days grilling Government officials in Geneva.

Three Day Event to Help Calgarians with Disabilities

CALGARY, Alberta, Aug. 17, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE)

Not-for-profit organization creating specialized solutions for disabilities in 72 hour makeathon event

The Tikkun Olam Makers:Calgary run by Kadima Dynamics, is excited to announce their third makeathon event where local engineers and designers, termed ‘Makers’, work with people with a disability, or ‘Need-Knowers’, to create solutions for their everyday challenges.

15 teams of 4-6 individuals each, from communities across Alberta will work together for a continuous 72 hours, with access to fabrication equipment and materials. Participants will be given a budget, monitored, and guided through their projects.

World’s Blind Population to Triple by 2050 : study

Published: Thu, Aug 03 2017

The number of blind people across the world is set to triple from about 36 million to 115 million by 2050, due to a growing ageing population, says a study in ‘The Lancet’

The researchers estimate that crude prevalence of global blindness declined from 0.75% in 1990 to 0.48% in 2015, while the rate of moderate to severe vision impairment reduced from 3.83% to 2.90%.

London: The number of blind people across the world is set to triple from about 36 million to 115 million by 2050, due to a growing ageing population, a study warned on Thursday.

Guide Dog Users, Providers Say Proposed Rules Disregard Needs of Visually Impaired

Michelle McQuigge / The Canadian Press
July 7, 2017 08:50 AM

Yvonne Peters, who is visually impaired, spends time with her four year old service dog Mina at her home in Winnipeg, Tuesday, July 4, 2017. Peters expects proposed standards to impact service dog teams in Canada.

TORONTO Providers and users of guide dogs for the visually impaired say new proposed federal standards for service dog teams disregard their current needs and could pose barriers to future access.

The Canadian General Standards Board issued draft guidelines meant to serve as best practices for a wide range of people with disabilities and their canine service partners.

Freeing our people: Updates From the Long Road to dIinstitutionalization

By: Natalie Spagnuolo, Kory Earle
The Monitor, July/August 2017
July 4, 2017

Imagine.

You are told when you will go to bed, when you will eat, and what you will eat.

You are denied a key to your own home, or to have visitors.

You are coerced or forced into sexual sterilization, for “your own protection.”

You’re informed the hours you spent shredding paper over 10 years are just a form of “training,” and that you don’t deserve even a minimum wage for this work.

You are told how to vote, or that someone else will vote in your place because you aren’t capable of making rational decisions.

Letter Calls on Minister to Include Education in Accessibility Legislation

CBC News Posted: Jul 03, 2017

A group of Manitobans wants to see schools become more accessible for people with disabilities.

Barrier Free Manitoba delivered a letter to Minister of Families Scott Fielding on Friday calling for an education standard to be included in the Accessibility for Manitobans Act.

The letter was signed by 1,100 Manitobans and 59 organizations.

Patrick Faulkner sits on the steering committee of Barrier Free Manitoba. He said although human rights law states that all children have the right to a quality education, in practice, there are many barriers.

“We know that half of parents report that they have real difficulty securing the kinds of supports (that they need),” he said.

The Federal Government Releases Report of Its Public Consultation on What the Promised Canadians with Disabilities Act Should Include Lots of Good Content But Some Areas Where The Federal Report Falls Short

Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Alliance Update United for a Barrier-Free Ontario for All People with Disabilities http://www.aodaalliance.org aodafeedback@gmail.com Twitter: @aodaalliance

June 13, 2017

SUMMARY

On May 29, 2017, the Federal Government released a detailed 63-page report on what its promised Canadians with Disabilities Act should include, according to the feedback the Federal Government received during its public consultation. It held public forums and roundtables across Canada, and an online survey, from the 2016 summer through the 2017 winter. According to this report, the Federal Government heard from many people and organizations, including from many people with disabilities.

More Canadians Seeking Disability Benefits Have Denials Overturned on Appeal

Jordan Press,
The Canadian Press, June 4, 2017

OTTAWA Nearly half the Canadians who seek to have decisions denying them access to Canada Pension Plan disability benefits are successfully appealing the rulings a statistic that is giving experts cause for concern.

The figures illustrate what has happened in the year since Canada’s auditor general excoriated the government for its handling of CPP disability appeals, which provides stipends to Canadians who are unable to work due to disability.

Michael Ferguson’s February 2016 report on the $4-billion disability benefits system found that some one-third of applicants who were originally denied benefits were later found to be eligible, based on the initial evidence.