January 2, 2020
TOKYO – Japan is speeding up its efforts to make accommodation and transport facilities more accessible ahead of the Paralympic Games in Tokyo, but some people with disabilities have questioned whether enough is being done.
While the games are touted as a chance to create a more inclusive society, a Kyodo News survey showed 66 percent of respondents did not see any improvement in accessibility or understanding of disabilities since 2013, when Tokyo was awarded hosting rights. In comparison, 34 percent said they had noticed progress.
Japan Speeds up Barrier-Free Initiatives Ahead of Paralympics full article
By: Kerry Kavanaugh, Jason Solowski, and Thomas Korsak
Updated: December 31, 2019
WELLESLEY, Mass. For people with physical disabilities simple tasks can be major challenges. They plan ahead for everything. Even sports designed for athletes with disabilities can create obstacles.
We have enough to adapt to in life, said sled hockey player Brian Bardel. We tend not to think about it and just overcome.”
But, theres a new arena where sled hockey players can shed all that worry and just play. Its the only one of its kind in New England.
Boston 25 News Anchor Kerry Kavanaugh visited the fully adaptive ice rink in Wellesley and met the players of the Boston Ice Storm, a Massachusetts sled hockey team.
Boston Sled Hockey Players Finding Family and Freedom on the Ice full article
The left-wing thing tank says historical injustices and ongoing discrimination have made a society that excludes the Deaf and disabled. Nick Eagland
Updated: December 7, 2019
As the B.C. government develops accessibility legislation, a left-wing think-tank is calling on policy-makers to consider how historical injustices and continuing discrimination have led to a society that still excludes deaf and disabled people.
From Sept. 16 to Nov. 29 of this year, the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction collected public feedback to help develop the new legislation it says will “guide government, persons with disabilities and the broader community to work together to identify, remove and prevent barriers.”
Broadbent Pushes B.C. Government for Justice-Based Accessibility Law full article
The Canadian Press Staff
Published Tuesday, December 3, 2019
HALIFAX — Municipalities and universities will have a year to develop plans to remove barriers to accessibility as Nova Scotia continues to move towards its legislated goal of making the province more accessible to people with disabilities by 2030.
Justice Minister Mark Furey announced a step Tuesday that would see municipalities, villages, universities, the Nova Scotia Community College and provincial libraries designated as public sector bodies under the provincial Accessibility Act on April 1.
Furey said those bodies will then have one year to establish accessibility advisory committees and implement plans aimed at making buildings and public spaces accessible to employees under provincial standards that are being developed. Those standards are expected to be in place by 2022.
Public Bodies in Nova Scotia Get One Year to Develop Accessibility Plans full article
Alliance for Equality of Blind Canadians
L’Alliance pour l’égalité des personnes aveugles du Canada
Janet Hunt, Chapter President
Response to Discussion Paper on AAC Recommendations for the Transportation Accessibility Standard
The Winnipeg Chapter of the Alliance for Equality of Blind Canadians (AEBC) is pleased to provide feedback and comments on the AAC recommendations for the Transportation Accessibility Standard.
AEBC is a national grassroots, peer support organization that is comprised of Canadians who are blind, deafblind or partially sighted and our supporters from the public at large.
Recommendations for Transportation Accessibility Standard AEBC Winnipeg Nov 2019 full article
The next government should make all new homes accessible and adaptable, according to a coalition of housing and charity groups.
The organisation, which has called itself Housing Made for Everyone (HoME), includes Age UK, Riba (Royal Institute of British Architects), Disability Rights UK, the National Housing Federation, and the Chartered Institute of Housing.
It has published an open letter calling on the next government to take greater action to secure housing suitable for an ageing population and people living with disabilities.
It reads: “Without action, we face an ever-mounting bill, with councils spending greater sums on trying to adapt homes retrospectively and the costs to our health and social care systems spiralling.
Next Government ‘Must Tackle Dangerous Shortage of Accessible Homes’ full article
The government is collecting feedback to develop legislation to reduce barriers for disabled people in B.C. Nick Eagland
Updated: November 2, 2019
Olive Olajide describes the issues she has boarding new transit buses during Saturday’s community consultation session in Vancouver for new accessibility legislation.
Thousands of disabled British Columbians are contributing ideas for legislation to make the province more accessible, including a large group that packed into a community meeting Saturday in Vancouver.
More than 150 people turned up for the public consultation session at a downtown hotel where Shane Simpson, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction, asked them about the barriers they have experienced, what they think about framework proposed for the legislation, and how his ministry can improve it.
British Columbians Pack Meeting to Help Develop Accessibility Law full article
by Nicholas Upton | Oct 24, 2019
Stuck because a robot won’t move out of the way might sound like a dumb episode of “Black Mirror,” but that was the reality for a doctoral student on the University of Pittsburgh campus.
Emily Ackerman, a chemical engineering student who uses a wheelchair, said she was crossing the street as she does every day, but a Starship food-delivery robot blocked her path, leaving her stuck in a busy street. Ackerman was able to navigate up on the curb, and later took to Twitter to share her story.
Delivery Bots ‘Paused’ After Accessibility Incident full article
Michelle McQuigge, The Canadian Press
Published Tuesday, October 15, 2019
Amy Amantea tuned in to the English-language federal leaders’ debate with modest hope there would be at least some discussion of issues relevant to disabled Canadians.
The first half of the campaign had passed with barely a reference, even from the party that had delivered a historic achievement in national disability policy. Earlier this year, the Liberals made good on a 2015 campaign promise when the Accessible Canada Act received royal assent, marking the first time any government had enacted accessibility legislation at the federal level.
Some Disabled Canadians Feeling Left Out of Discussion During Election Campaign full article
LIFT Philanthropy Partners is pleased to announce our Request for Qualifications for a new initiative aimed at support for “creating communities, workplaces and services that enable everyone to participate fully in society without barriers.”1
This initiative supports organizations that are removing barriers for persons living with disabilities, scaling innovative programs and services, and demonstrating measureable results, specifically towards employment or self-employment outcomes.
Under this initiative, disabilities are defined broadly to include physical, developmental, mental, and cognitive disabilities.
Request for Qualifications: Social Inclusion and Employment Outcomes for Persons Living with Disabilities full article
Accessibility benefits everyone because anyone can have an injury, advocate says Kathryn Marlow · CBC · Posted: Oct 04, 2019
Victoria’s Chris Marks says improved accessibility would make life better for everyone not just people with disabilities.
Chris Marks loves his hometown, Victoria, but he can only explore so much of it.
After a spinal injury over a decade ago, Marks gets around using an electric wheelchair. Every day he encounters design flaws that stop him from getting where he wants to go: things likes stairs, curbs, and even raised doorways get in his way.
‘We’re All in This Together’: A Push for Accessibility for All British Columbians full article
Scott Jones · for CBC News · Posted: Sep 30, 2019
Scott Jones says that he struggles with suicide, but not because of his paralysis. Instead, he says the way in which others treat those with a disability can be the harder pill to swallow.
Editor’s note: Scott Jones was attacked outside a New Glasgow, N.S., bar in 2013, which left him paralyzed from the waist down. The musician and music teacher founded the Don’t Be Afraid campaign shortly afterward to encourage others to speak out against homophobia.
I struggle with suicide on a daily basis.
I Was Paralyzed 6 Years Ago and Now I Struggle with Suicide – But Not for the Reason You Think full article
September 13 2019
UNITED KINGDOM: Run by charity Motivation in partnership with 3D printer manufacturer Ultimaker, the project is called Motivation InnovATe. It designed to establish the technologies, infrastructure and skills within developing countries to enable custom 3D printed wheelchairs to produced where and when they are needed.
Initially starting in Kenya through local partner Bethany Kids, the project will see the establishment of a purpose-built assessment, fitting and 3D printing workshop, where wheelchair users will be measured using specialist tools, including a seating simulator, to determine the precise measurements of wheelchair they require.
3D Printed Wheelchairs Project Brings Assistive Tech to Developing Countries full article
From: Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada
$7.78 million investment will help boost participation of Canadians with disabilities in the digital economy September 4, 2019 Ottawa, Ontario
Canadians with disabilities deserve the same opportunities to find good jobs, contribute to their communities, and build a better life for themselves and their families. Yet many Canadians with disabilities still face barriers to full participation in the digital economy.
Today, the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, announced that 12 new projects from across the country will receive funding through the Accessible Technology Program. This is in addition to the three projects funded under the program that were announced earlier this year.
Government of Canada Announces New Accessible Technology Program Funding Recipients full article
by: Glacier Media
August 21, 2019
A device developed by a Saanich father to keep his disabled daughter’s diaper dry has taken second prize in a Canadian national contest.
The CareChanger, a sensory device that monitors for moisture and alerts caregivers to the need for a diaper change, took second place in its category at Innovative Design for Accessibility, a competition of Universities Canada, an organization that includes the University of Victoria.
Jim McDermott said he is meeting with a technology and design firm to discuss taking the device further, possibly to market.
“It might be a little easier now that I actually have an award-winning device to sell,” said McDermott, a retired maintenance engineer.
Dad’s Invention for Disabled Daughter Gets Recognition at National Contest full article
The new network of regional centers of excellence comes on the heels of Canada’s first national accessibility law. By SPARROW MCGOWAN | AUG 20 2019
Carleton University aims to draw on the power of partnerships to advance accessibility for people with disabilities through the recently announced Canadian Accessibility Network.
“We are pursuing to establish Carleton as a centre of excellence in accessibility,” said Dr. Boris Vukovic, director of Carleton’s READ (Research, Education, Accessibility and Design) Initiative, where the network will be headquartered. Dr. Vukovic said they plan to create a network of regional centers of excellence across the country, drawing on “Carleton’s history of collaborating with partners within and outside of Carleton, locally, nationally and even internationally on accessibility related projects.”
Carleton to Lead Canadian Accessibility Network full article
The Japan News/Asia News Network
August 04, 2019
TOKYO A little more than a year remains before the start of the Tokyo Paralympics, and sports facilities for persons with disabilities are being built across Japan and competitions being held for para athletes.
The Paralympics are expected to enhance the visibility of sports for persons with disabilities and help improve their business viability.
In March, i-Self Workout, a training gym for wheelchair users, opened in Koto Ward, Tokyo. J-Workout, the company that operates the gym, imported five kinds of equipment from South Korea designed to help users train their upper body and trunk while seated in a wheelchair.
In Japan, Gyms for People With Disabilities Gain Traction full article
‘We just keep trucking along and defying the odds,’ says Emmy nominee Ryan O’Connell Tashauna Reid · CBC News
Posted: Aug 11, 2019
When Ryan O’Connell created his Netflix series Special, he knew it was good. But he didn’t imagine the comedy would earn four Emmy nominations, including best comedy, in its first season.
“I always believed in the show,” said O’Connell. “But having that validated is sort of incredible.”
Special is about a millennial gay man living with cerebral palsy while trying to make it as a writer. But when he gets hit by a car just before starting his new job, he decides to hide his disability from his co-workers, citing the accident as the reason for his limp and dexterity issues.
How Actors With Disabilities are Changing the Narrative in Hollywood full article
July 29, 2019
The University of Manitoba Biomedical Engineering Design Team (BMED) brings together students with a passion for the biomedical field to foster design experience, device building, public speaking and networking opportunities.
Throughout their first year as a team, BMED organized events, tours and outreach programs to distribute knowledge about biomedical engineering. The team focused on completing autonomous design projects that aim to improve the quality of life of clients. Within these projects, students designed, prototyped and tested their devices before taking them to competitions and conferences. BMED worked on three projects: Wheelchair Transfer, Wheelchair Handwarmer, and EMG Muscle Rehabilitation.
Biomedical Engineering Students Design Life-Changing Technology full article
‘It’s about inclusion and enjoying the beach’
Pat Martel · CBC News · Posted: Aug 05, 2019
‘You know she’s happy when she hits the water,’ says Maryann LaFlamme as her daughter Meghan Hughes uses a floating wheelchair while vacationing on P.E.I.
For the first time in her life, 26-year-old Meghan Hughes has been able to feel what it’s like to have waves wash over her, thanks to a floating wheelchair at Cedar Dunes provincial park.
The floating chairs are provided at four P.E.I. provincial park beaches including the park at West Point, P.E.I. That’s where Hughes, who’s visiting from Windsor, Ont., recently took her first ride into the ocean.
Feeling Waves for First Time: Floating Wheelchairs Big Hit on P.E.I. Beaches full article